Drafting your Personal Statement

I get a lot of questions about Personal Statements (PS) so I decided it is time to do another post.  I believe your PS is your best chance to make an impact on the board.  The PS should not be a bland recap of your career experience or qualifications because the board is going to get this from your OTS applicant profile.  IMO your goal for the PS should be to tell the board a personal story about how you were inspired to apply to become and officer in the United States Air Force.  It should be so captivating it must be read to the end, and reading it should fill the board member with emotion and move them to tears.  If you do not do this (or attempt to do this), I think you are missing a huge opportunity to catch the board's attention.  Over this past year I have ran this blog I have probably read two or three PSs which met my own personal criteria for this, so it is possible.  If there are any selects out there who would like to contribute their PS to my blog, I would love to post it.  

I am not sure what criteria recruiters are pushing out there for civilian applicants, but active duty applicants are required to fit their entire PS into a form called the Air Force Form 56 (AF56).  This form (like many other AF Forms) is an "xfdl" file which requires specific software to open.  The software is designed for windows but I have heard it is possible to use it on Mac, it can just be a little buggy.  Instructions for obtaining the software and form:

The PS block is on page 4.  For the AD side we are to write the PS in this block and copy/paste it onto the OTS applicant profile.  The xfdl forms are a little quirky with spacing but you will figure it out.

General Guidelines
Personal Opinion/Advice

I am not or have never been a member of the OTS board, but I have written (with the help of my mentors) a PS and have been selected for OTS.  As the owner of this blog, I have also reviewed the PSs of many of my readers who have and have not been selected.  I believe can see the difference between an effective and not-so-effective PS.  Here are some of my own personal opinions and advice which you can consider as you author your PS and decide what is best for you.
Tying it Together

The PS, along with your entire application, should flow, not be a disjointed discombobulation of catch phrases or concepts.  After the board reads your PS or reviews your application they should know who you are as a person, what makes you tick, and that you will be the perfect addition to the Air Force.  Put your heart into it, re-write it as many times as it takes, have some English majors and Field Grade Officers review it, and let it happen.

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