Writing a personal statement for teaching assistant roles

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 9 May 2022

If you're applying for a teaching assistant role, the employer may ask you to include a personal statement with your application. A personal statement supports the details you submit in your application, providing further details on why you're suited for a role and what makes you stand out as an applicant. A strong personal statement can make the difference between two candidates, so it's essential that your personal statement is succinct, professional, relevant and persuasive without exaggerating your qualities. In this article, we explain how to write a teaching assistant personal statement, with tips and examples.

What is a personal statement for teaching assistant roles?

A personal statement for a teaching assistant role is an important document that provides information on why you're a suitable candidate for the position. Employers may use personal statements to help them identify the strongest candidates for a role when their qualifications and experience appear similar. Your teaching assistant personal statement may include details of your qualifications and experience. It's also essential though, to include other information about yourself, including soft skills, attitudes and beliefs about teaching and why you want to become a teaching assistant or work in education.

Your application usually includes all the relevant details the employer feels they require to make a recruitment decision. If you feel that there's anything relevant that the application form didn't cover or you wish to expand on what you submitted in your application, your personal statement is the place to do it. A well-written, persuasive and engaging personal statement can play a role in getting you through the initial application stage and securing an interview.

Related: How to write an attention-grabbing personal statement

What do employers look for in a personal statement?

There are several things employers look for in a personal statement, and your challenge is to include all the necessary information while making your statement stand out from those of other applicants. Employers are generally seeking further evidence to support the details you've included in your application or CV. This might include anecdotal evidence about your experience, beyond the factual items included in your CV or application form. It may also include information about your beliefs, values and attitudes and your vision for your career in education.

Employers may also expect you to explain your motivation for applying for the role, and may favour those who write with enthusiasm and a clear passion for education, teaching and working with young people. You may also wish to provide some additional information on your interests and hobbies outside work. Only include these if they're relevant to your suitability for the role or if they highlight an area of your character or a soft skill that may help you in the job.

What not to include in your personal statement

While you want to write a persuasive and engaging personal statement, it's important not to appear boastful or arrogant. It's also useful to avoid making bold statements about how you're the right person for the job or how you're inherently better than other candidates for any reason. The employer can read the details you've included in your personal statement and make up their own mind when it comes to your suitability.

Set out to make your personal statement as succinct as possible and avoid including any details that aren't relevant to the application or the role itself. Long, rambling statements that don't directly reference your experience, skills and suitability for the role may negatively affect your chances of progressing to the next stage. While it's essential to write with a human voice, it's also critical to keep your tone professional throughout. Including humour, for example, may seem like a good idea to help portray your human side, but it can be hard to do so while maintaining a professional tone.

Related: How to write a supporting statement when applying to a job

How to write a teaching assistant personal statement

The steps below explain how to write a strong personal statement for a teaching assistant job application. Following these steps can help you to ensure your personal statement is relevant, professional and persuasive without becoming too boastful or veering off-topic. Take a look at the following steps to help get you started:

1. Read the application pack and any instructions

Firstly, make sure you're familiar with any instructions included in the job advert or the application pack. These usually mention what you're expected to submit with your application, including any personal statements, covering letters and supplemental information. The guidance may outline a word limit for your personal statement, so it's crucial to take note of this and ensure your statement isn't too long.

2. Review your application form or CV

You might include your personal statement in your application form or you may write it separately. Either way, if you wait to write your personal statement until you've completed the rest of the application form or finalised your CV, you can review these and identify areas you wish to elaborate on in your personal statement. You may notice some things that the application form doesn't give you scope to mention that you wish to include in your statement. Basing the content of your statement on elements that you've already mentioned in your application can help you to keep it relevant.

Related: How to write a CV personal profile (with 14 examples)

3. Make a plan

As with any written document, planning is a critical step. It can help you to create a structured, succinct document that remains relevant to your job application. Take some time to note any qualifications, achievements, experience or skills you wish to mention and work on the structure of the statement. A personal statement usually includes a succinct opening, references to your qualifications and experience, your strengths and skills and your reasons for wanting the job. Make sure you have something to say in each of these categories.

4. Write your personal statement

After making your plan, it's time to write the statement itself. Your opening paragraph summarises your suitability for the role and highlights some key strengths that you're going to elaborate on in the rest of your statement. Attempt to make your opening paragraph no more than two sentences long, as you're going to provide more detail on these points in the rest of the statement. Once you're happy with your opening paragraph, you can move onto writing the rest of the statement. Try setting the statement out in three paragraphs, covering the following subjects:

Highlight your qualifications and teaching experience

Describe your education, training and experience that makes you suitable for a role as a teaching assistant. If you have prior classroom experience or have worked or volunteered with children in any setting, mention this here. You can also mention other work experience that isn't directly linked to education or working with children but endeavour to relate it to the teaching assistant role and emphasise any way it's relevant to your application.

Mention any relevant skills

Your personal statement provides a valuable opportunity to highlight any relevant skills or strengths that might not feature on your CV or in your application form. Strengths and skills that might be relevant to teaching assistant roles could include communication skills, working with children with learning disabilities, problem-solving skills, teamwork and emotional intelligence. The skills you include could be hard skills or soft skills, but make sure they're relevant to the role you're applying for.

Related: What are hard skills and how do they differ from soft skills?

Outline your reasons for applying

This section of the personal statement is your opportunity to stand out from the rest of the applicants. You may choose to mention why you're interested in working with children, your passion for education and any life experiences that have led to you choosing to pursue a career in teaching. Show your passion and enthusiasm, but make sure you remain honest and professional.

Related: 7 Personal attributes to mention in your interview

Quick tips for improving your personal statement

Here are some quick, general tips for ensuring you write a strong personal statement and giving yourself the best chance of progressing through the recruitment process:

  • Adopt a professional tone: Make sure your language is simple, yet professional throughout. Avoid slang and exclamation marks and keep sentences and paragraphs short and to the point.

  • Emphasise your enthusiasm: Let the employer know how enthusiastic you are about the position and about pursuing a career in education.

  • Avoid the use of clichés: Steer clear of using clichés, such as mentioning how you're 'the best person for the job'.

  • Keep it succinct: Keep your statement as brief as possible, while still covering all the relevant points. Review your work after you're written to the statement, to see if there are any parts you can edit or remove without weakening the impact of the statement.

  • Be honest and accurate: Don't include any lies, exaggerations or untruths in your statement and don't oversell yourself. Your qualifications, achievements and skills can speak for themselves, and employers tend to see through exaggerations and unsubstantiated claims.

Once you've finished writing your personal statement, review it, amend it and then review it again. Make sure you're happy with the content and everything you've mentioned is professional, accurate and truthful. A succinct, persuasive and honest personal statement gives you the best chance of progressing to the next stage of the recruitment process.

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