Tip 19 : Be honest with yourself - Are you suitable?

You really do have to be honest here - are you genuinely a good candidate?

You've listed your achievements, skills and experience against the criteria on the job/course spec. You've found your unique advantage. You've identified your weaknesses, and are prepared to address any missing criteria. You are now in the best possible position to decide whether you think you're a genuinely good fit for the position at hand.

Bear in mind that your enthusiasm for the position will often be a deciding factor here. It doesn't matter too much if you think you'll be competing with stronger candidates if it's a position that really excites you.

But if it's not that exciting, and you're not sure that you're a great candidate, it might be time to look elsewhere.

Tip 20 : Match your skills and achievements against the requirements

This is the last aspect of the planning process, and if you've done a good job so far you should have an idea of the kind of thing the course leader or employer is looking for. On a piece of paper or a word processor, you should list each of the criteria from the job/course spec, and then weave relevant achievements, skills, knowledge and experience into your statement.

This is a key part of creating powerful personal statements, and it is not easy to do well. In fact, many people end up with artificial sounding statements when they try to do this, and it's important that you do your best to avoid this. Your statement needs to flow naturally, as well as include good quality content.

You'll probably find some of your ammunition could be used for several different criteria, and that's fine - It's best to keep your options open at this stage.

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