A personal statement is a concise paragraph or summary, which details what you can bring to a job or company. It is also known as an opening statement or executive summary. Sitting at the top of your CV, it is your opportunity to really sell yourself to employers and to highlight the relevant skills and experience you possess. While effectively and succinctly convincing recruiters that you are a good fit for the role, a personal statement gives you the chance to show off your strengths and share your career goals.
Structure of a Personal Statement
In terms of length, a CV personal profile should be no longer than 200 words. Aim for a few short sentences, four or five should do the job. Keep it factual and to the point. Avoid statements that are not backed up by your CV.
If you are struggling with what to write, break your personal statement down into three parts. First, introduce yourself and tell the employer who you are. For example, ‘A recent graduate with a 2:1 in English literature from the Hillview University’ or a ‘Highly-skilled physiotherapist looking to progress into…” There’s nothing wrong with using the introduction as a chance to tell the reader about the type of work you’re looking for.
Next, detail what you can offer the company. Ask yourself why you are suited to the particular role and cover any relevant skills or experience. If you lack practical work experience instead draw attention to your academic achievements such as working for your university newspaper, which developed written communication, attention to detail, and team working skills. Conclude your personal statement by highlighting your career goals. For example, ‘I am looking to start my career in the exciting world of publishing and to develop the skills learned through my university studies and internships’.
It is up to you how you present this information; there is no hard and fast rule. However, personal statements are generally displayed as a single paragraph, without a title or subheading. You will need to keep it consistent with the rest of your CV formatting, meaning that the font size and type will need to be the same throughout your document.
Also, consider the voice you would like to use. Personal statements can be written in either the first or third person, but you will need to maintain this voice throughout – don’t switch between the two.
Examples of a Personal Statement
‘As a recent graduate from the University of Townville, with an honors degree in marketing, I have undertaken internships at industry-leading agencies such as Beyond Imagination and Noah Freemans. These placements have allowed me to develop sector knowledge and gain hands-on experience, as well as expand transferable skills such as commercial awareness, communication and negotiation, and analytical skills. My career aim is to gain a role which allows me to further my expertise and take on increased responsibility at a market-leading digital marketing agency.’
‘I am a highly motivated forensic science graduate from Groveshire University, looking to secure a graduate position that enables me to use and develop my analytical, attention to detail, and communication skills. I have gained relevant experience in both scientific and hospital laboratories, which allowed me to build on my problem solving, concentration, and team working skills. My career goal is to assume a role that enables me to analyse and interpret forensic data and to eventually move into crime scene investigation.’
Remember; avoid copying and pasting ready-made answers. Instead use them as a guide to craft your own, tailored CV personal statement.