Academic Support Programs

Applications & personal statements

Application materials like personal statements, resumes, and cover letters are an integral part of packaging your experience, academics, and interests in a meaningful way. The UW Career and Internship Center is a great resource to support you through the brainstorming, writing, and completion processes of your application materials. Here are some additional tips for telling your story for programs at UW and beyond!

Personal Statements

Since most majors at the UW require an application, many students are required to turn in personal statement essays and/or short answer responses to get into their major. For example, every application for the College of Engineering requires a short answer question that asks them to share the unique perspective that they can bring to the engineering classroom. 

Applications are not restricted to UW though — they are required for scholarship essays, internships, and jobs! That being said, here is an overview about how to organize an application like this:

The personal statement is a place to describe motivations and provide insight about the perspective you'll bring to the program, which could be related to your academic interests, identity, or past research/internship experience.


Although resumes can be personalized or designed based on the student’s area of study/conventions of the discipline, there are some tips that will apply to every resume:

Cover Letters

Typically, cover letters include information about how you found out about the job (this is a good place to name drop references/job fair recruiters/etc.), the extent of and reasons for your interest in the job, and a few examples of experiences that have prepared you for the job. Here are two great videos from the UW Career and Internship Center that can help you structure your cover letter and guide you through what to include in your cover letter.

Cover letters are not a reiteration of the resume. Instead, hey are meant to highlight relevant experiences that convey how you’d be an asset to the company, project, or internship you want to join.

Here are a few general tips for cover letters:

Things to Remember

Writing about yourself can be difficult, especially if you are more accustomed to the conventions of academic writing. Use the application as an opportunity to discuss your skills, motivations, and experiences.

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