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Still confused about personal statement v.s. cover letter

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by aspire_teach, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. Hello, I am in the process of applying for a job that starts in October (hurrah for late bloomers on the job market!) The school has asked for both a personal statement that can be inserted in a box on the generic applictaion form, and a cover letter. I have read Theo's advice on the differences between the two, but the school's instructions make it more confusing still. On the generic application form, the personal statement asks for information on my experience, qualities, and how I would address the person specification with examples from my practices (I am an NQT).
    I read a bit around what makes a cover letter, and various sources tell me it consists of telling the reader how your work experience matches the job. This sounds exactly like a personal statement to me! Other sources state that a cover letter is only a few sentences/paragraphs long. Is a personal statement basically an extension of the cover letter? If anyone can shed some light, or perhaps offer a sample starter sentence for each example, I would be ever so grateful. Thank you!!
     
  2. Hello, I am in the process of applying for a job that starts in October (hurrah for late bloomers on the job market!) The school has asked for both a personal statement that can be inserted in a box on the generic applictaion form, and a cover letter. I have read Theo's advice on the differences between the two, but the school's instructions make it more confusing still. On the generic application form, the personal statement asks for information on my experience, qualities, and how I would address the person specification with examples from my practices (I am an NQT).
    I read a bit around what makes a cover letter, and various sources tell me it consists of telling the reader how your work experience matches the job. This sounds exactly like a personal statement to me! Other sources state that a cover letter is only a few sentences/paragraphs long. Is a personal statement basically an extension of the cover letter? If anyone can shed some light, or perhaps offer a sample starter sentence for each example, I would be ever so grateful. Thank you!!
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    The statement part is as you have said; experience, philosophy and meeting the person spec.

    Then a cover letter is just a short 'please find enclosed...blah blah blah' type letter. A paragraph or two is sufficient.

    If you applying by email, then the form should be an attachment, as should the executive summary, (often easier to do this before writing your statement) but the cover letter is really the body of the email.

    A cover letter is really just to see if you have a grasp of basic good manners, good written English and understand the formalities. Also whether you have bothered to find out the name of the person you are applying to.
     
  4. ahh, thanks Minnie! I've revised my personal statement quite a bit for this job, so it's a relief I haven't done it wrong! It is a bit confusing, as the definition of a cover letter (at least in my experience) seems to differ between different sectors and industries.
     
  5. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    (I'm on my hols, so I'm not really here. Don't tell Mrs TG . . .)
    Yes, I agree that it's confusing - and schools use different terminology for what they want. Go to the Welcome thread and look at the FAQs. The difference is explained there.
    Then read the shortlisting clickables inside the Welcome thread. To sum up:
    You should send:
    • an application form with every bit filled in, no "See letter"
    • an application letter OR personal statement. Not both but certainly one of them.
    • a cover letter ONLY if you do a personal statement. See FAQs inside the Welcome thread
    • an Executive summary. If there's a space on the form, put it in there; if not, put it at the end of your letter so that it gets printed out automatically.
    Reading the clickables inside the W.T will really help you. Lots of posters have found thattaking this advice gets them interviews - and jobs. Headteachers say that they appreciate candidates who do what I advise.
    Please take Theo's advice!
    taking Theo's Advice
    The benefit of an executive summary
    read theo's advice and do the executive summary people, it really does work, seriously!!!!
    Dear Theo: Executive summary works- I have an interview
    Best wishes.
    ** creeps quietly away before Mrs TG notices . . . **
    _____________________________________________________________
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Workshops. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.
     
  6. Thanks Theo - and my lips are sealed!!
     
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    See Theo, if I'd known you were going to play truant from your holidays, I'd not have bothered answering knowing you would do it so much better!

    :)
     

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