Always imagine an interview

When applying for a career oriented course, you have to write a personal statement, explaining how you got interested in the field and how you have developed your interest so far, demonstrating that you have some personal characteristics and skills which will make you a successful student and professional.

Yesterday I read a personal statement which looked like a list. When I asked the student to elaborate on some points, for example his internship with a professional, he said that he had taken a certificate from the professional – to certify that he has really interned. Hm.

First, some formats just don’t give you the opportunity to enclose such documents.

Second, even if they do, such a note does not say much about what you have done and learned.

Third, what if you are interviewed and asked to elaborate on the internship? Are you going to tell them that you have a certificate?

Talking intelligently about your experiences counts most when applying to college; it cannot be replaced by certificates, even if issued by the US president.

Being unable to talk intelligently sends the message that you are either unintelligent or just boasting about an experience you never had or trying to pass it off as something more special than it really was.

Here is my wisest tip: always imagine you are interviewed about the items you list in your resumes or mention in your essays. That will help you remember more and be self-reflective and coherent.


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