It is important to reveal passion in the personal statement, but many applicants go about this the wrong way.
They make two vital mistakes:
- 1) they emphasize duration of interest; and/or
- 2) they describe their passion.
Duration of interest does not reveal depth of interest.
-Devon L. Golem, PhD, RD
Many applicants highlight the length of time that they have been interested in the subject/field. “I’ve been interested in the magic of nutrition ever since I was 4-years-old.”
Readers do not care how long a person has been interested…they care how much a person is interested.
With this in mind, many applicants make the second vital mistake…they describe their passion and all the surrounding beliefs.
“Nutrition is at the root of health. If people eat well, they live well. Changing my diet not only changed my health, but it also changed my way of thinking. Eating healthy does not mean compromising taste.”
Including one or two of these statements are okay, but, remember, you are preaching to the choir. Most of the readers, if not all, are nutrition professionals and have dedicated their careers to the field.
Some of them see robust descriptions of the ‘power of nutrition’ as romanticizing the field…indicating that the applicant is not aware of the practical side.
How to reveal your passion
If someone is really interested in something, they get as much experience and exposure as they can. Beyond the requirements, what have you done that reveals that you are passionate about and dedicated to the field?
Of all the work and volunteer experience, involvement in professional and student organizations, side projects, community efforts, and more that are listed on your resume…what are a couple of experiences can you mention?
The best way to reveal your passion is to follow a statement of interest with examples of effort and experience.
“I have a strong interest in diabetes. While working at So-and-So Diabetes Camp, I gained exposure to several diabetes management techniques and learned from experienced endocrinologists.”
“I am very passionate about pediatric nutrition. As a dietary aide at the Best Children’s Hospital, I learned many aspects of pediatric nutrition, food-service, and shadowed dietitians providing nutrition counseling to children and parents.”
Use this strategy to stand out from the rest!
Also, consider the Developing Your Career Plan course. It’s always a good time to plan the next few years of your career. Knowing your plan makes applying easy.