TDNet Discover

Writing About Yourself

What is worse than writing about yourself without sounding too self-centered? A personal statement can be the among the most difficult parts of an application. Generally speaking, these documents are one or two ages long, but even that can seem long when the writer struggles to tie their life experiences into future aspirations. 

Start with a theme. Talk to someone about where you have been and where you want to go. How can those dreams link together? Don't be afraid to write different versions of your statement, exercise your writing muscles by playing with how you see yourself.  

Job applications can be tedious, they take time and effort to complete not    only correctly but on time. Often there are several components to the entire process as well. Though all parts carry importance, one document which can be the most difficult to put together is the CV and/or resume. Since both need to be updated throughout one's working life, and amended for each application, this writing project can quickly become confusing. The resources below are here to help in that process.

How to Write a Personal Statement

Purdue OWL's Guide

This site walks a writer through the brainstorming process through the reading of prompts and to the final draft Guide

Includes a video guide as well as a comprehensive list of how to approach and write a personal statement.

American Association of Medical Colleges

The Advising Corner of the AAMC, lists how professionals have come to view the personal statement an advice on how to work the draft stage.

Personal Statement Don'ts and Do's

"Every year, I read hundreds of personal statements, mostly for residency, but my labor of love is to review the statements you write for fellowship applications. Residency personal statements are straightforward: we don’t expect applicants to have sophisticated career plans; we just want to know a student has a spark, can write well, and would fit into our community. In contrast, fellowship directors want mature applicants with a more advanced career trajectory.

For those of you getting ready to write your personal statements (and those who plan to write one someday), here are some don'ts and do's."

Articles of Interest

Writing Compelling Physician Cover Letters

New England Journal of Medicine, October 26th, 2011

"The cover letter is usually the first bit of written communication from job seekers that hits the desk of a hiring physician, staff recruiter, or human resources professional. As such, it can make the difference between getting an interview and your dossier landing in the “maybe” pile.

Although writing a cover letter may be an unfamiliar challenge for many residents, it’s not terribly difficult if you follow three basic rules: Keep it short, make it clear, and cover the basics. “Think about the needs of the reader,” says James W. Tysinger, Ph.D., deputy chair for education in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Texas Medical School and author of Resumes and Personal Statements for Health Professionals. “Let the reader know right away who you are and why you are writing.”


How to write a medical CV

Agha, R., Whitehurst, K., Jafree, D., Devabalan, Y., Koshy, K., & Gundogan, B. (2017). How to write a medical CV. International journal of surgery. Oncology, 2(6), e32.

"A medical curriculum vitae remains an important document that has 2 main roles: to distinguish candidates applying for various positions, whether that be jobs, posts, grants and it provides a means of keeping an up-to-date record of all your achievements and skills gained thus far. This article provides detailed guidance on how to structure an effective curriculum vitae to maximize your chances of success when applying for these positions."


Writing the Curriculum Vitae and Personal Statement

Woo, R., Krawczyk Oman, J. A., Byrn, L., Wakim, N. M., Dyne, P. L., Cheaito, M. A., Epter, M., & Kazzi, A. (2019). Writing the Curriculum Vitae and Personal Statement. The Journal of emergency medicine, 57(3), 411–414.
"Two of the most important components of the medical student's application for the National Resident Matching Program are the curriculum vitae (CV) and personal statement (PS). The aim of the CV is to give an itemized account of the applicant's accomplishments since the beginning of their undergraduate studies, with the main emphasis on their activities and performance in medical school. The PS, on the other hand, is the applicant's chance to give program directors (PDs) a sense of who they are. The purpose of the PS is to complement but not rehash the CV. It is an opportunity to convey what makes them fit for a residency in emergency medicine (EM). A well-written statement should guide the reader through the heartbreaks, triumphs, and inspirations that drive the applicant. Applicants should remember that the CV and PS are the first impression they brand. Both the CV and PS should be brief; easy to read; professional; honest; consistent; and free of clichés, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors. "
by Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC (Updated March 7, 2023) /
Reviewed by Shrilekha Deshaies, MSN, CCRN, RN
"A nursing cover letter is still crucial in the job application process. It’s often the first impression a potential employer will have of you. A cover letter is a chance to tell your story and call attention to aspects of your resume you want a reviewer to notice. It’s also a chance to explain to an employer why you want to work for them, what you know about them, and why you’re an ideal candidate. A strong cover letter can tip the balance in your favor, helping you stand out from the competition and land an interview. In the following guide, we walk you through writing a strong nursing cover letter, mistakes to avoid, and real-world tips that will keep you focused. Check out our downloadable nursing cover letter template and a sample letter to get started. Once you master the process, you’ll be writing winning cover letters in no time."
PTJ: Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Journal | Physical Therapy, 2024;104:pzae006
John H. Hollman, PT, PhD, Beth A. Cloud-Biebl, PT, PhD, David A. Krause, PT, DSc, Darren Q. Calley, PT, DSc
Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the lexical sophistication of personal statements submitted by professional physical therapist education program applicants with those generated by OpenAI’s Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer (ChatGPT).
Methods: Personal statements from 152 applicants and 20 generated by ChatGPT were collected, all in response to a standardized prompt. These statements were coded numerically, then analyzed with recurrence quantification analyses (RQAs). RQA indices including recurrence, determinism, max line, mean line, and entropy were compared with t-tests. A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to examine discriminative validity of RQA indices to distinguish between ChatGPT and human-generated personal statements.
Results: ChatGPT-generated personal statements exhibited higher recurrence, determinism, mean line, and entropy values than did human-generated personal statements. The strongest discriminator was a 13.04% determinism rate, which differentiated ChatGPT from human-generated writing samples with 70% sensitivity and 91.4% specificity (positive likelihood ratio=8.14). Personal statements with determinism rates exceeding 13% were 8 times more likely to have been ChatGPT than human generated.
Conclusion: Although RQA can distinguish artificial intelligence (AI)-generated text from human-generated text, it is not absolute. Thus, AI introduces additional challenges to the authenticity and utility of personal statements. Admissions committees along with organizations providing guidelines in professional physical therapist education program admissions should reevaluate the role of personal statements in applications.
Impact: As AI-driven chatbots like ChatGPT complicate the evaluation of personal statements, RQA emerges as a potential tool for admissions committees to detect AI-generated statements.

Statements for Residency & Med School

How to Write and Impressive Residency Personal Statement

How to Write a Nurse Resume

How to Write a Nurse Cover Letter

Misc Resources

Strolling Through the Match Guidebook: 2023 - 2024

"With practical tips and expert advice to lean on every step of the way, Strolling Through the Match has been helping students for decades in the dash to match. As a comprehensive guide to the match, this booklet provides reliable insight on professional development for all osteopathic and allopathic med students, guidance on choosing a specialty, and a deep look into the process of choosing and matching into a family medicine residency. Each year, Strolling Through the Match is updated with the latest statistics and information to ensure students have everything they need to successfully navigate the journey to residency."

*Use the free e-book download found on this site!

12 Tips for a PS

A quick read on what to include, what not to include, and how to approach this writing project.

AAFP Guide

American Academy of Family Physicians helpful guide to writing personal statements. Also includes interview tips.

Pulse - voices from the heart of medicine

"Telling the personal story of health care…by and for everyone–patients, health professionals and students of narrative medicine."  This resource includes the personal stories of doctors, their poetry,  the art they produce, impactful encounters with patients that left a mark on their practice. Understanding what makes up a person, both within their career life and outside of it, is crucial in the writing process.

Interview Techniques

"Research confirms interviewing is an effective system of gathering essential information regarding the personality and character of another person. In the medical profession, interviews are a key element for gathering information on a one-on-one basis, starting with applying to professional school to daily interviews with patients in a variety of settings. Interviews will always be a part of medicine due to the nature and importance of the information gained. Continually developing and improving techniques in conducting and participating in the interview process will benefit all those who labor in the medical field. As noted above, interviews are a continual process in the medical field."

What's in a CV?

What distinguishes a curriculum vitae from a resume? Well, there a few distinct differences. 

A CV will always begin with your educational background, degrees earned, school organizations, academic memberships, etc...The purpose of this document is to emphasize the applicant's academic strengths.

A resume will always begin with one's work experience. Following this will be one's education history, any awards whether academic or work-related, and then other certifications or outside endeavors.    

What these two have in common are: a descending order in how degrees, job positions, publications etc are listed (newest always comes first), a section at the end for references, headers for each new section, and at times the formatting can be similar. 


American Medical Association guides to writing medical CVs


BMJ CV Guide

British Medical Journal article on preparing your medical CV


A Guide To Writing a Medical CV: Tips and Example

"Different from a resume or cover letter, a curriculum vitae is a multi-page overview of your background and accomplishments relevant to the opportunity you're applying for. Learning what to include in a medical CV can ensure you submit a document that gets the interest of hiring managers. In this article, we discuss what to include in a medical CV and provide tips and an example."


Medical Student CV Example for Residency, Med School, or Your Medical Career

"You’ve been dreaming of getting into medical school since the first time you performed surgery on your teddy bear.The bad news is that so has every other med school applicant. And there are tons of them every year banging on university doors, wanting to get into medicine. Ouch. But there is light at the end of the med school application tunnel. You can reach it with a medical school CV that will have university recruiters so impressed that they’ll need to take two aspirin and call you in the morning. Want to save time and have your CV ready in 5 minutes? Try our CV builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click."


How to Write a Nursing Resume

"Even with nurses in high demand, you still need a great nursing resume to stand out from other applicants. A strong resume conveys your skills and experience and how they fit an employer's needs. Learn to make the best possible impression through this collection of resume writing tips for nurses. These tips on writing a powerful nursing resume can help you stand out in a crowded pool of applicants. Recruiters spend an average of seven seconds on each resume, and you can make those seconds count for you."

Resume & CV


AMA Career Guide

A thorough overview of what should be included in a CV & includes examples of how to list those items.


Resume Checklist

A printable PDF of what must be fit into a comprehensive resume 


Resume Templates

From, a collection of medical resume examples, with a list by job title. 


CV Templates

From the Uni. California San Francisco, a list of residency and healthcare CV examples 


Nursing CV 

This helpful template guide comes from