Statements of Purpose are documents which confirm bank details, background, details about personal life, etc., which can be used to communicate a strategy in the improvement of a company, to highlight the reasons why you are suitable for a job/course, or in criminal proceedings. Today, we will only focus on the aspects involving career and education. The Letter of Statement (Statement of Purpose, Personal Background, Cover letter etc) is without a doubt the most difficult thing that a graduate will ever have to write. This is mainly because most students have little to no experience with writing, or they have to little.
Also, it is actually quite difficult to write about yourself, your life, and your experience. Before you begin the letter, you should have a pretty good idea of what course you wish to continue studying in the future, or what type of job you wish to apply to. Before we discuss creating the best letter of statement in order to draw attention, let’s see how it should be formatted.
Formatting and Organizing a Statement of Purpose
- a “hook” to demonstrate your passion and inclination for the job
- Background information → your experience in the field
- Description of your academic background
- this can include classes, courses and school
- references to professors you have had which are authorities in the field
- Extra-Curricular activities related to the job/course
- Other accomplishments: like prizes, contests, publications, conferences, public readings etc.
- A succinct explanation why you have chosen the specific opening (include references to professors that inspired you -if any- and discussing about the features of the grad program which interest you)
Tips for Writing the Best Statement Letter
Your introduction is the first thing that the admissions committee, so you have to make it awesome. Think about it for a second, why would they chose you from a stack with hundreds of applications if it is exactly like the same? The first thing you should understand before writing your introduction for the letter of statement is the fact that it must be original. Typically, introductions should be short, and to the point. There is no need to tell them what you are applying for, and what you think you can learn from the experience: they very well know what the program is, and what its value is.
Most letters of statement should have no more than 300 words, and 15% of it is the introduction. 15% means nothing! Five professors locked in the room with hundreds of applications, who do you think they will choose? Also ask yourself if they are even going to read the rest of the text if your introduction is boring? How can you make it something unforgettable? Or at least something they would want to hold on to? You need THE HOOK. Try to connect your introduction to an experience from your past, and you will find your hook.
Now that you have your introduction, you can focus on the rest of your document. Here are other useful tricks for creating the best letter of statement:
- the address and contact details should appear on the top right of the page, with the date below, and the recipient’s name and address to the left. If you do not know who you are writing to (which is not great), refer to them as Dear Sir or Madam.
- Use the body of the letter to present your academic studies and achievments that will support your claim for the position.
- Always begin the letter exactly with the purpose of the letter. This way, the reader will have instant knowledge of its purpose.
- Finish the letter with what you expect to happen next, or what you think you can contribute with. “Yours faithfully”, or “Yours Sincerely” are the generic sign-offs.