How to write a personal statement
In order to be able to write a personal statement, you need to know for whom you are writing it. Your personal statement is not only personal to you, but also to the job for which you are applying. Good personal statements attract recruiter’s attention and make them want to continue reading your CV!
The main aim of a personal statement is to explain who you are and why you are the best candidate for the job application in a short paragraph. It’s an opportunity to grab employers’ attention before they’ve even started reading about your work experience, academic background or skills.
This short paragraph should include a bite-size summary of your personal profile and inform recruiters of your abilities, characteristics and refer to relevant work experience or academic qualifications that you may have completed. The idea is to summarise the important parts of your CV and give an overview of your work profile, without being too repetitive.
It can be difficult to write a rounded, yet brief, personal statement that shows off your best qualities, skills and aspects. The key is to keep it relevant to the job specification, all the while referring to personal qualities and skills that would make you a top candidate for the job. It should make reference to a relevant work experience, academic achievement or area of expertise which suits the job specification well. This proves your knowledge in the area and hiring managers are able to see how equipped you are for the job role.
One of the best ways of writing a good personal statement is by asking yourself introduction questions, such as:
“Who are you?”
“A forward thinking project manager with…”
By answering your own simple interview questions, you maintain a clear personal statement structure and summarise your personal profile well.
Other questions could be:
“Why do you wish to enter this sector or work in this industry?”
“What characteristics and skills make you the perfect candidate for the job?”
You can also use an online CV builder to create a CV and worry less about things such as format or design, as the CV maker does the work for you.
Tips for writing personal statements
The following tips can be used as a guide and also as a checklist while writing your personal statement.
- Make your personal statement short and snappy. Keeping it brief will make hiring managers want to read the rest of your CV to discover more about your “valuable work experience” or “extensive work history”.
- Choose original adjectives and stay away from generic ones such as, “hard-working”.
Write in a positive tone.
- Try not to trail off on a talk about one great thing you did one time. Instead, start with an interesting, captivating sentence, demonstrate your core elements and qualities, as well as what you could bring to the new company, and finish with a powerful, yet subtle, winning sentence.
- Identify yourself with the company and link relevant skills and responsibilities from previous work experience with the job specification.
- Personalise each personal statement for each job specification.
- Make sure you proofread both your personal statement and the rest of your CV. Typos don’t look professional! Reading it out loud may also help you see parts could be stronger or sentences could flow better.
- If you’re struggling to think of how to start or write a good personal statement, try the tip mentioned at the bottom of the how to write a personal statement section and ask yourself simple interview questions. Answer these in a dynamic and professional manner and string them together using connectors and other writing techniques to form a rough personal statement draft which you can perfect.
Difference between a career objective and a personal statement
A career objective focuses on your goals and the professional achievements you wish to fulfill during your career. It is generally shorter than a personal statement and is not focused on mentioned previous work experience, academic certificates and accomplishments. A career objective demonstrates your drive and initiative in the sector and shows employers your career vision. Your career objective can also include why the job position suits you and refer back to your career objective, using it to establish your motivation in the sector.
On the other hand, a personal statement includes other elements, such as characteristics which contribute to the job specification, or academic achievements which may benefit the job role. It is a more general summary and a way of summarising your personal profile, as opposed to defining your career goals.
Be careful that you don’t confuse personal statements for university application processes with personal statements for job application processes. They are different, despite having the same name! On your CV, a personal statement is a short paragraph which makes you stand out, whereas for a university application, a personal statement is a much longer piece of writing which summarises your academic background and personal interests, as well as characteristics.
You can use a CV template when writing your CV, which will generate a format and design tailored to your own taste and requirements. You can choose whether you would like to write a CV objective, career objective, or a personal statement, as well.
When should you include a personal statement on your CV?
In the event that it is not necessary to include a cover letter with your job application, you can add a personal statement on your CV to give a more personal and explanatory touch to your profile.
Alternatively, regardless as to whether or not it is necessary to include a cover letter with your job application, you can still include a personal statement on your CV format. However, you should ensure that no information is duplicated, that neither written text overlaps, and more importantly, that they are contrastingly constructive.
The choice is entirely up to you. We recommend writing a personal statement, as it is a productive way of presenting yourself to hiring managers with a short and concise summary of your profile.
CV personal statement examples
Struggling to write the perfect personal statement for your CV? Have a look at some of the examples below for some inspiration.
“Recent graduate with a first-class honours degree in Graphic Communication Design from the University of Exeter. Valuable work experience in illustration, publication and online web design. Looking for a challenging job role based in London where I can jumpstart my career and develop my graphic design expertise.”
“A proactive primary school teacher with over seven years’ experience specialising in Science and Maths, as well as Foreign Languages. Fluent in both German and French, looking for a secure job position in East Sussex where I can incorporate modern and innovative teaching techniques to motivate pupils.”
“A highly driven sales professional with four years’ experience working for two successful companies in Birmingham. Over the last few years, my sales targets have been increased due to my quick working pace and progress, leaving me with the belief and certainty of my capability for the role of sales manager.”
“A motivated and enthusiastic individual, who has recently achieved A levels in Business, Media and French at Havant College. Looking for a business apprenticeship where I can begin my career and reach my eventual goal of a successful business developer in the international media sector.”