The 2021 Forty Under 40 competition is now open for entries!
The Personal Statement is necessary and is the most important part of the process, and it can come from a nominator or the nominee directly. If the nominator does not have access to this information, he or she must ask the nominee to provide it or the nominee will not be considered. Here are some tips that will help you to prepare a personal statement:
1/ Entries are judged on several key factors:
• Career progress
• Technical and/or educational achievement
• Membership in and service to professional organizations
• Community service
• Other evidence of exemplary professional or personal development
2/ Career progress
You must show the growth of your (or the nominee's) skills, responsibility, and success in your chosen profession. We're looking for a clear sense of growth and accomplishments in your work. Please be specific about the accomplishments.
Formal education is not necessarily a reliable indicator of career success, but the judges need to know how far you've gone in your education and how it contributed to your overall career development. Did you earn a degree at night while working a full-time job? Did you get advanced training, such as a CGP, CAPS, MIRM, or other professional designation?
4/ Service to professional organizations
How involved are you in your professional organization(s)? Are you more than just a member? Have you chaired a committee? Run an event? Served on the board? As before, be specific: How did your involvement produce results? (E.g., indicate how much money you helped raise, how your efforts led to a new program, such as training or outreach for your organization.) Wherever possible, supply data to make your case.
5/ Community service
As with No. 4, be specific. Habitat for Humanity? How many days per year? How many houses did you help build, over what time period? What roles/titles did you assume in your community work? Were you president of your church board? How are you giving back?
6/ Other evidence of exemplary professional or personal development
Here is where you could discuss any special information that would be helpful to the judges. Are you involved in activities not specifically related to work or community/professional service—for example, are you learning to play the bassoon? Did you have an interesting previous occupation before your current one? This is a chance for you to tell a little about the inner you.
7/ Make your written statement readable
Use a fairly large type font and don't crowd the copy. Don't be afraid to use Yellow Highlight and BOLD FACE and CAPs or even arrows ----> to point judges to the important stuff in your entry.
8/ Statement length
How long should the personal statement be? As long as it needs to be without overdoing it. Your statement should tell your story concisely but comprehensively, in an organized fashion.
SUGGESTION: At the beginning of your Statement, list 3 to 5 main reasons why you should be named a Forty Under 40 superstar. Use those bullet points to structure your Personal Statement by supporting each point with more information.
9/ Additional materials
Send these items (see the FAQs for some permissible items) as additional attachments or include them in the same document as the Personal Statement but on separate pages.
10/ Letters of endorsement
These are not required but are nice to have. The more specific these are, the better. Letters of support that tell how your personal involvement solved a problem on a job or improved a project's outcome will help.
A final word about the judging process
The judges take into account the age of each applicant. We don't expect a 26-year-old to have achieved as much as a 38-year-old.
Also, we're open to receiving entries from a wide range of professionals who are involved in the home building industry. After reviewing the nomination form, the FAQs, and the how-to-win tips sheet, if you're still unsure, email Denise Dersin: [email protected], for a ruling on eligibility.
(Tips courtesy of editors Rob Cassidy and Dave Barista.)