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How to Format a Narrative Statement for a Job

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Many job applications, especially for governmental positions, require a narrative statement from the candidate in addition to the resume. This gives the reviewer more information to help him select the most-qualified applicant. The supplement also affords the opportunity to embellish the material listed in the resume as well as to add whatever is necessary according to the guidelines.

Place your name, social security number, job title and job announcement on top of the page. Read the instructions carefully to see if something is recommended for the specific supplement narrative. Mention and describe in paragraph form anyawards, accomplishments or special training you may have had. Try to confine your statement to five paragraphs, but if necessary, you may use a few more. Write in the first person throughout to tell about yourself and convince the reader that you are the best-suited candidate for the available position. Relate your experience to the job and show how you can contribute to the company. Note that some applications use the acronym KASOC, which means knowledge, ability, skill and other characteristics. Utilize these in developing your narrative statement.

Divide your narrative according to the characteristics you will develop. Emphasize what makes you superior to the other applicants. Begin by telling about the knowledge you possess based on formal education, training or first-hand experience. Check the job requirements and write how you have the knowledge necessary for the position. Don't merely list your accomplishments, but explain in detail how these will help you contribute to the company.

Describe a skill you may have that might be useful for the work. Be specific and give examples of materials you may have developed or publications you may have written. Tell how you get along with people or mention any leadership ability you have demonstrated.

Consider the narrative as a vehicle to convince the reader that you have strong qualifications. Develop ideas and use words such as "I supervised" or " I designed." Mention how many people worked under you if, for example, you supervised a project. Tell what activities were involved. Relate how successful you were. Elaborate so that you cover the important points and the reader realizes what you will be able to do for the organization.

Reread your work and make any necessary corrections. Check for spelling and grammar and be certain there are no errors. Revise where necessary. Be sure to demonstrate organizational ability in your development of your essay. Ask yourself if you were the reader, would you find the narrative convincing enough to hire you for the position.


Based in Bellmore, N.Y., Shula Hirsch has been writing since 1960 on travel, education, raising children and senior problems. Her articles have appeared in "Newsday," "Mature Living," "Teaching Today," and "Travel News." She holds a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University and is a retired professor of English.

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