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Professional Portfolio—Personal Statement/Cover Letter
For this assignment, you will submit the second document to be included in your Professional Portfolio: Your personal statement or a cover letter. As you near completion of your undergraduate education, you have probably been reflecting on your personal and professional development and goals. Summarizing so much personal information on paper is not easy, but it's important. Many employers complain that in interviews and job applications, students do not seem to know how to articulate the skills and strengths that they bring to the job.
In preparation for writing the personal statement/cover letter, review Dr. Margaret A. Lloyd’s Web site at: http://www.psywww.com/careers/index.htm. Learn what you can do with your bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Determine if you will pursue graduate school or employment upon graduation. Note choices that seem to apply to you and why. If more than one, rank these choices. Describe any concerns you might have regarding your interests. What level of education will you need to pursue? Have you taken any previous courses or trained in this area? These links in particular should be helpful:
- Exploring your abilities, interest, skills, & values www.psywww.com/careers/explore.htm#top
- Graduate School Options: www.psywww.com/careers/options.htm
- Entry-Level Positions www.psywww.com/careers/entry.htm
For this assignment, find a graduate program (if you are preparing your Professional Portfolio with the Graduate School focus) or a job opening that you would like to apply to (if you are preparing your Professional Portfolio with the Employment focus). Look up the details for the application requirements, and tailor your personal statement/cover letter to these specific graduate school/job requirements.
Personal Statement (for those with the Graduate School focus)
This essay may be the single most influential component of a graduate school application. The statement you write for this portfolio gives you a forum for presenting yourself to the admissions committee, scholarship committee, and others who want to know something about you.
In preparation for writing the statement, read the document “Preparing Personal Statements” at: http://www.creighton.edu/soar/preparingapps/statements/. Here are a few of their suggestions:
- find and use your voice
- use concrete examples of what you've done
- avoid generalizations, such as “I'm good with people”
- proofread and edit (and ask others to proofread and make suggestions about) your statement to be sure it is free of grammatical and typographical errors, and informal language, “I'm okay with sciences but weak in math”
Cover Letter (for those with the Employment focus)
A cover letteris a way to introduce yourself to a potential employer. This letter should include details about yourself and why you feel you are qualified for the position. Summarize your undergraduate experiences, your strengths and weaknesses, the reasons you are applying and how they will help you meet your professional goals.
Write a cover letter to a prospective employer. The letter, which should accompany your resume, should summarize why you are interested in the job and what qualifications and skills make you an ideal candidate or match for the position. Limit your letter to one page.
Follow this link for advice on writing a cover letter: http://www.uwec.edu/ORSP/IRB/about/submit/Cover-Letter.htm.