How To Write a Winning CV Personal Statement

Examples and expert tips for writing a compelling CV personal statement.

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A persuasive personal statement helps employers identify you as a strong candidate for the job, from the moment they start reading your CV.

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement, also known as a personal profile, is a short introduction at the top of your CV that summarises your achievements, skills, and career objectives. A compelling personal statement has the power to give you a competitive advantage over other candidates applying for the same job.

Deciding what to include in your personal statement can be difficult, as you are trying to sum up all your experience and talents concisely so as not to take up too much valuable space on your CV.

How long should my personal statement be?

Your personal statement should not be longer than one paragraph – around 150 words is an ideal length.

What should you include in a personal statement?

Your personal statement needs to let prospective employers know why you are the best person for the job. Breaking down the information you want to include into can make the writing process easier.

Introduction

Use a few words to describe who you are as a professional. For example, “a highly motivated marketing professional with six years of experience in the field.” This highlights your qualifications to hiring managers straightaway. If you are a recent graduate, you could mention that too - for example, “a driven biology graduate with honours from the University of X looking to increase my expertise in stem cell research.”

Body

This section is where you need to highlight your most relevant experiences and skills. Essentially, this is where you answer the question “why are you the best fit for this job?”

Ask yourself the following questions before constructing the body of your personal statement.

  1. What are your relevant qualifications or interests?
  2. What relevant job roles have you had in the past?
  3. What skills do you possess that your prospective employer is looking for?
  4. What successes have you achieved in your career so far? When answering this one, be specific, and include numbers where you can. For example, “my excellent networking skills generated a 20% increase in new clients in my previous role. I won several top salesperson awards over the past five years.”
Conclusion

Once you have told potential employers how great you are, it’s time to explain to them how the position they are hiring for aligns with your career goals and interests. For example, a sentence like ‘I am looking to broaden my HR experience in the challenging field of information technology, an area in which your company is a market leader’ speaks volumes about where you see yourself in the future and why you would be a great fit in the role.

3 golden rules to follow when writing your CV personal statement

1. Be concise

Writing a concise summary can feel harder than if you’re being asked to write an essay about yourself. Start by setting out all the information you would like to include in your personal statement and cut it down from there. Leave out any unnecessary phrases and use positive action words instead - like ‘launched’, ‘increased’, ‘created’, ‘improved’, ‘managed’ and so on. Simple, practical terms also help you avoid overused buzzwords - really think about your top skills and how best to describe your expertise.

2. Tailor your personal statement

While you don’t need to spend hours on your personal statement, it’s important to tailor it for each job you are applying for. Most hiring managers can spot a generic personal statement a mile away, so tweak your statement to fit each company’s voice and call attention to the specific skills they are looking for.

3. Communicate your value

Your statement should demonstrate your suitability for the position and the value you would bring to the company. Highlight achievements that are relevant to the position you’re going for and show that you have qualities and skills that will be useful to the organisation.

Here’s an example personal statement to help get you started:

“A highly motivated freelance writer with 8 years of experience in print and online publications. Known for writing exciting and though-provoking articles, some of which have won awards. Eager for a new challenge in the field of investigative journalism, which can utilise my critical thinking abilities and meticulous attention to detail.”

Once you’ve polished up your CV personal statement, why not check out some of our other jobseeker guides:

  1. Questions To Ask In An Interview
  2. Your CV Guide | CV Templates, Examples & Expert Tips
  3. Common Interview Questions and How To Answer Them
  4. 10 Tips To Maximise Your LinkedIn Profile
  5. Onboarding: What To Expect When Starting A New Job

If you need help updating your CV or to find out about our latest roles, contact your local Adecco branch and connect with a recruiter today! Or, view all jobs here.

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