5 min read

How to Stand Out With a Candidate Statement

How to Stand Out With a Candidate Statement

Whether you are running for student government, political office, academic roles, board of directors, or for a partner in a professional organization, a candidate statement is necessary for your voters to determine what you stand for and what you represent.

People want representatives that they can relate to and one that is prepared to make a stance on the tough subjects, and will carry out their duties with integrity.


What is a candidate statement?


A candidate statement educates your voters about who you are, what you're passionate about, and why you deserve their vote. It outlines the candidates, qualifications, goals, and vision with the purpose to inform, persuade, and engage the voters, selectors, or stakeholders.

A well crafted statement differentiates the candidate from the others and provides a compelling case for why they deserve their desired position.

The length of a candidate statement depends on the role and the organization in which you are seeking election and generally ranges between 200 to 1,000 words so you want to make them count.

Let's start by looking at some common things you should consider prior to writing your statement.


Things to Consider


Approaching your candidate statement in an organized manner is the best way to ensure that you convey a clear and concise message. In order to do that, we want to highlight some key factors you should consider to ensure you are providing the right amount of detail to your community, organization, university, members, etc.


Voting Platform


Most organizations are offering some form of online voting by now. Whether it is through an app or browser based platform, you are seeking one that offers candidate profiles. For example our platform allows for candidate bios, statements, and pictures to ensure your audience gets the full picture.

Browser based platforms are the better choice. It makes it easy for all your stakeholders to sign in and vote instead of downloading yet another Application on their smart devices that they will use only once, and create yet another login and password that they will most likely forget. It has been shown that web based platforms improve turnout rates. With the right platform you can vote with a direct link which auto populates your credentials and you don't have to do much else.

Email and text capabilities are a great feature that most platforms offer. Just make sure you have a good email campaign in mind to send reminder emails to those who have not voted yet. The right platform will allow you to filter on those who have not voted yet and send personalized messages to them.


Research Your Competition, Audience, and Environment


Everyone can benefit from a little research especially when you are facing a limited word count. Your audience is constantly getting messages from every candidate and you want your to stand out, so research on your competitors, your electors along with their major concerns will help you enhance your message. You can assess your tone for your demographic to relate to you better and ensure you are talking more to their concerns and not talking so much about yourself.

Research will help you strengthen your messaging, especially if you have stats or real examples of what you will be discussing. Since in most cases you won't get a chance to do this in person by debating opposing candidates, producing a concise statement is the next best option.

Now that we have some ideas, let's start putting them into action and get started on writing your candidate statement.


Writing Your Candidate Statement


Clear communication is the winning recipe here and we suggest putting the main points in a bullet point format based on their importance to your campaign to ensure you cover everything before putting them into sentences.

A concise candidate statement typically includes the following elements:


1. Engage voters with a brief introduction


An introduction is always hard to write and can at times be confused with a bio. The length of this part is completely dependent on the word limit and the industry or type of audience you are targeting. Maybe including your hobbies in this is not the best idea especially if it is not relevant to the position you are seeking. Keep this short and sweet. Just ensure you include the following required info:

  • Candidate's name
  • Current position they hold
  • The position they are seeking


2. Background and Qualifications


In this section you want to highlight why you are qualified for the position. You can choose what to include and what to leave out based on the description of your new position. Don't include all the jobs you have held and focus on the accomplishments and work that relate to your new responsibilities.

Here are some of the things you should include taking the above statement into consideration:

  • Professional background
  • Education
  • Relevant experience
  • Key Accomplishments

Try to consider some outside the box instances that may be relevant as well. Have you taken part in a program that applies to the issues at hand? Do you have any special skills that are very useful in the area of your candidacy? Were you part of the leadership team at any academic or professional setting? Have you done any or been part of a group whose research is crucial to the issues you'll be talking about? don't be afraid to include examples of your accomplishments and tell a story rather than list them.


3. Goals and Objectives


This portion of the statement should convey the candidates priorities and how they intend to address key issues relevant to their position. Outline your specific goals and objectives which detail the concrete actions and initiatives you plan to implement to get that ultimate vision. Highlight clear and measurable goals to demonstrate your commitment and provide a clear understanding of what you aim to accomplish.

Answer the following questions:

  • What are the issues that I want to focus on?
  • How can their progress be measured?
  • What action, policy, program, or initiative will get me closer to my goal?

4. Vision and Values


Building trust is key but it's a hard thing to do, which is why this section is so important. It presents your vision for the future and the core values that guide your actions and decisions.

By explaining your long-term perspective and ethical principles, you are providing insight into your leadership style and priorities. By articulating your vision and values, you increase the chances of building that trust and connect with your audience on a deeper level, showing how your guiding principles align with the needs and aspirations of the community.


5. Personal Motivation


Your reasons for running are important. It is how you can create a relatable and authentic connection with your audience, so don't be afraid to be real. It reveals your passion, dedication, and what drives you to make a difference.

Tell your story! Highlight your personal experiences or even values that inspire your commitment to serving your community effectively. Many people lean on overly professional candidate statements and clearly avoid getting personal. These types of messages tend to come across generic and not authentic. You want to show that you will be involved every step of the way and to do that, you need to tell your audience your motivation.


6. Closing Remarks


Your closing remarks provide a summary of your appeal, reiterating your commitment to the role and the community you hope to serve. It should support the key points made throughout the statement to reinforce your qualifications, goals, and vision.

You may also want to include a call to action which depending on the position would include:

  • Asking for their vote
  • Asking for endorsements
  • Asking for donations to your campaign
  • Asking for signatures

7. Contact Information (Optional)


Some candidate statements may include contact information or a website link for voters or selectors to learn more about the candidate.

As you can see it is optional and not at all necessary, but if you are asking for donations or endorsements you should include a link to make it easier for people to engage.

We have seen many candidate statements across all industries over the past 20 years. Our advice to you comes from previous experiences and the results that we saw from each election. A sincere candidate statement always stands out.

Both of our online voting products, eBallot Essential and eBallot for Business, allow candidates to showcase their statements, biographies or resumes on the ballot. This is an ideal option for election administrators or organizations who need to run a people-focused election and who want to present as much information on the choices as possible, so voters can make the best decision.

For more information on candidate profiles as well as our other capabilities, click here.


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