If you are applying to the Peace Corps, I hope sharing my experience will be helpful to you. I applied despite my fear of not having the necessary experience to be a serious candidate. Anyone else with similar concerns should apply as well! You can always apply again later, but don’t reject yourself by not even trying.
The application itself is relatively easy and should take about an hour according to the website. However, the motivational statement and resume will set you back a few hours if you have not already prepared them. Research before you start. You should know how a Peace Corps resume should look and how to write your descriptions (Some examples I used).
Look up samples! Research what your resume should look like and what it should contain. My resume was three pages that began with “Qualifying Skills”, “Professional Experience”, “Education”, “Specialized Skills”, and ended with “International Travel”. For any resume, it is really helpful to include quantifiable data like “Tutored 3 foreign exchange students in English and math (cumulative 10 hours)”. In addition, I completes a “Skills Addendum” form to further show I was qualified. I contacted a recruiter to learn more about the form and was able to get some suggestions for completing it and tips for my resume.
While I was preparing to write my motivational statement, I read a few blogs/samples and then researched the Peace Corps’ Core Expectations, their mission, and global initiatives. I wanted my statement to represent my passion for service and desire to make positive change in the lives of others, while showing that I had taken the initiative to learn about how the Peace Corps plays a part in the world. Below is the motivational statement I used– I know it is super cheesy, but I couldn’t help myself.
My Motivational Statement
Since I was ten, I have always wanted to do big things in this world– I even told my best friend that I was going to be Oprah when I grew up. She was brilliant and successful, but I was most impressed when I watched a news special about the school she had built for girls in South Africa. When I was graduating from high school, I was asked to write about my future profession and this was when I first wrote about my desire to finish college and then join the Peace Corps as a teacher. Oprah knew what a valuable tool having an education was and I saw the Peace Corps as my opportunity to give that to others.
Now that I have completed college, my desire to join the Peace Corps is just as powerful as it was when I wrote about my future profession. My reasons for joining have expanded, but the initial desire to do good is still strong. One of my biggest motivators is the desire to enact change and add positivity where I can. I am careful with how I word wanting to help others because sometimes the intent is good, but it can also lead you to believe that another person’s way of life needs to be changed if it differs from your own thoughts or initial beliefs. My goal is to fully immerse myself in the culture of the community and to work with them and their children in hopes of building a bright future. I hope my presence and joining the community led solutions will influence how education for adolescent girls is viewed and make education more accessible to them.
Education is very important to me and I recognize that the work required of a Peace Corps volunteer cannot be completed in a short period of time and that I must be present for the allotted amount of time. I understand that there are steps I must go through in order to be successful. Establishing rapport with the local community and the students takes time and I must act in a professional manner to best represent the Peace Corps, the United States, and myself. In order to fulfill my role in as a teacher, I know that I must also be a student when I am learning from the local people and show my respect for their beliefs.
Joining the Peace Corps has been a dream that has followed me since high school and I hope that I will have the opportunity to actually do it. I hope to influence positive change in the lives of others I come in contact with and leave a lasting impression. What I really admire about the role of an educator is the fact that they get to work with children who have infinite possibility and will have the power to shape their own future as individuals and as a community.
Hope this helped and check out the links below! Wishing you all the best in your journey!
This blog does not reflect the views of and is not associated with Peace Corps, any of its staff or volunteers, or the United States Government.