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If you are among those who want to step into the world of work after school or require professional experience while studying at university, you should learn what your potential employers are looking for in their applicants and what papers you have to prepare. A job application is often a complicated process but it will be easier if you first master the art of writing a personal statement.
Telling the truth, everything relies on your statement. To write a successful statement, you should consider lots of criteria from the topic to the paper format. Moreover, the content of your statement should directly relate to the area of your work. In this article, we would like to focus your attention on healthcare jobs which are especially popular among women and all the rest who want to provide professional medical help to people. Occupational therapy is one of these jobs.
This healthcare field attracts many applicants; however, not everyone knows how to write an effective OT personal statement. Without a careful preparation stage, there are a few chances to get this job. Therefore, if you want to meet the success, these tips are for you.
How to apply successfully
A brainstorming stage is critically important. You need a complete picture of what you are going to include in your essay, otherwise, your draft will be far from perfect. Keep in mind that your personal statement does not only relate to your experiences, it is much wider and should highlight other key options.
This checklist will help you organize your brainstorming stage, outline your essay properly and finalize your essay. Consider these questions in order to fill in your personal statement with career-related information:
- Why do I want to become an occupational therapist?
- What are the main reasons for my career choice? (when answering this question be specific as the phrase: “I like helping those in need” is too general and relates to hundreds of occupations).
- What steps have been taken by me to understand that I fit this profession?
- What are the specific experiences that encouraged me to choose this career path?
- What kind of shadowing or other job training have I taken?
- How did I treat and interact with the patients? Was it effective? What have I learned?
- What have I learned from reading professional materials?
- Have I been involved in a certain student community? Was my activity there meaningful enough for my future career goals?
When inquiring what a personal statement is one should first understand - it is not a paper that lists your skills and speaks about your passion for the career. This paper establishes your credibility with the readers and shows that you are a person who:
- can write effectively and coherently and follow academic writing standards;
- is mature and determined enough to acquire new professional knowledge and skills and perform well in clinical settings;
- understands the personal connection to the chosen field;
- has carefully thought over the reasons why to choose this occupation;
- possesses well-grounded knowledge of the career field he or she has determined to pursue;
- is able to interact effectively with the other professionals and patients;
- is aware of such aspects as patient privacy, excellent patient service, patient-centric approach.
If you have decided to apply for several educational programs at the same time, you should be very careful with the type of your paper and with its content. Everything depends on the program requirements that can be quite different. For example, you may be asked to answer some custom questions instead of writing a general essay. Therefore, before writing check the application requirements on central application services and discover whether you have to write a personal statement, an autobiography or response to questions.
How to present your experiences
Let your admission officers assess your professional experiences by incorporating small stories about patient care, volunteer work and some clinical observations into your OT essay. You have to do it in a thoughtful manner so that your readers could understand why you have chosen this career path and how you fit this occupation. To do this effectively, you should first make a list of your experiences, then assess them and give a detailed description of them.
Here are some tremendously helpful tips to write a perfect draft:
- Support your experiences with a list of skills, knowledge and professional characteristics you have noticed while shadowing the professionals. Highlight what new things you have learned about the occupation. Show how your experiences confirm your desire to obtain this profession. Describe how your observations refine your attitude to the occupation you have chosen. Add these ideas to your draft.
- Use the mentioned-above method when recounting the most significant events during your own patient care activity or volunteering. Outline the knowledge, professional attributes and skills that you have improved or started to develop while working.
- Look through the checklist with common questions that make a basis for a typical admission paper. Check if every idea of yours is supported by a detailed description of your experience.
- Reflect on each experience in a narrative form. Do not worry about the length – you can edit it later if necessary. Use this algorithm to be specific to your story: place of your OT shadowing, the description of a patient, observation or treatment process, interaction with the patient, the outcome.
- Admission officers do not enjoy reading between the lines especially when it concerns healthcare. This occupation requires being as clear and specific as possible. So present the experience assessment part with such words as “This practice helped me decide...”, “From this experience, I realized /learned/ developed....”
It is not compulsory to give a detailed description of your experiences but is widely used by many applicants who think that in this way they show their interest in their future profession and demonstrate their high-level academic writing skills required by the university. It is up to you how to highlight the most significant events during your healthcare practice, but remember not to make your personal statement too generalized and vague.
In the manner shown above, you may include in the statement the situations and events from your own life that prompted you to choose this occupation. Describe the experiences that have impacted your career choice. Tell what increased your interest in this profession. This can be anything from a doctor that you have admired to the therapy received by you personally or your family member.
Mistakes to avoid
Once you have completed a more or less coherent draft, you should look deeper at the content of your paper. In this section, you will remind you about the common mistakes you should avoid in your essay. Learn how to craft the most powerful and impressive personal statement possible with these tips:
- Avoid over-generalization as it does not allow the readers know what you have exactly learned from your experiences. Specificity matters.
- Avoid clichés like, I love taking care of people, I have always dreamt of being an OT, I can work with people effectively. These are just filler phrases which do not allow the admission officers see who you are. They do not show the reasons for pursuing this occupation and do not help you clearly assess your experiences. Instead show how your studies, volunteering, shadowing and medical practice enhanced your interest in the profession and influenced your decision.
- Try not to repeat ideas and use parallel constructions. Your statements should be diverse, comprehensive and complex.
- Do not oversimplify the occupation. Show that you are sufficiently aware of the profession you are pursuing. Of course, your essay should not look like an encyclopedia but it should demonstrate that you know it pretty well.
- Do not capitalize the title or the name of the profession. For example, professors (not Professors) performed the operations for the internship students.
- Abbreviations are Ok. It is good to alternate a full term and its abbreviation in the essay as it allows avoiding repetitions. For example, I walked the hospital under the supervision of an OT in Twinsee Hospital.
- Comply with confidentiality requirements. You may talk about patient care experience and mention the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, relations with the patient but do not share the patient’s personal information like name or address, etc. use pronouns to tell about your patient or write a fictive name created by you. Learn more about the patient privacy in special acts.
- When talking about your experiences avoid sounding too personal. They need objective judgments rather than your feelings and viewpoints.
- Avoid grammar, spelling and punctuation mistakes including typos. Remember you risk failing your admission once the committee finds at least three mistakes in your essay. Accuracy shows professionalism.
We have innovative solutions for all kinds of issues related to your field of occupation, professionally written tips and reliable information that will help you successfully apply for the job of your dream. If for some reason you cannot write a personal statement, resume or another kind of application essays, our writers will help. They will also assist you with such a challenging task as writing a college entrance essay so that you will have a 100 percent chance to be accepted.
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