What Is the Best Way to Write a Narrative Statement?

Cultura RM/Gu/Collection Mix: Subjects/Getty Images

Narrative statements, also called personal statements, vary in content but should be consistent, have a main focus, include engaging and creative content, avoid generalizations, convey knowledge of a certain academic subject area or job skill and avoid repetition. Narrative statements are used in several arenas, including job applications and academic settings. They ultimately help writers “sell” themselves by highlighting their best features, unusual and valuable skills and past accomplishments.

These statements, as with personal meetings — such as might be encountered in a job interview or when placed before a review committee — should begin with an introduction. In this section, writers should introduce themselves by name and include an address if the narrative statement is accompanying a job application. Narrative statements should then progress to a section outlining unique skills and attributes that make the writer stand out from other candidates. While these statements should maintain a professional tone throughout, there is certainly room for adding personal touches like humor and other emotions. A quality statement will avoid making generalizations or stating information that makes readers lose interest. Narrative statements are short and succinct. Every word counts, and avoiding repetition is critical to writing success. Finally, they should conclude with a restatement of special skills and attributes and leave readers with a positive impression.