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A personal statement apart from being one of the things a recruiter would first come in contact with on your CV is also a crucial part of the CV as it is a summary of your personality, qualifications and the skills you possess and the value you would be able to add to the organization if hired. This is your first attempt at creating a good first impression and it has to be properly utilized.

Although the personal statement part of the CV is supposed to be short, it has to pack a punch and be potent enough to gain the attention of the recruiter. Some things to consider when writing a personal statement are the length, the details to include, and generally how to compose it. In this article, we would be treating the following;

  • What is a personal statement?
  • What to include in a personal statement?
  • How to start a personal statement
  • How long should a personal statement be?
  • How to end a personal statement

Why do I need a personal statement?

Your personal statement is one of the most important parts of your CV as it gives you a chance of selling yourself to your potential employer. By selling yourself, you prove that you are capable to take on the role and do a good job while at it.

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement can also be referred to as a personal profile, professional profile or career objective. It is a very important part of your CV and adequate attention must be paid when writing it. Your CV’s personal statement is a short paragraph that is situated at the top of your CV just below your name and contact details section.

A personal statement is an opportunity to tell the recruiter who you are, what you can add in terms of value, how suitable you are for the position, show off your strengths, achievements and your future aspirations career-wise.

Unfortunately, many candidates get this part of the CV wrong and it gives the recruiter a wrong impression and can even make them lose interest in your CV from the get-go.

It is important that the way you would write a personal statement for a job application. It is very different from how you would write one for a university application so don’t mix the both of them up.

An example of a standard personal statement is

I am a recent graduate with a 2:1 degree in Creative Writing from English literature from the Hillview University seeking an entry-level position in copywriting. In the course of my degree due to the heavy demands of assignments and research, I developed a keen eye for details.

In the past year, I was the editor in charge at the Hillview media society and during my tenure, I managed a team of writers, created and edited the content that was to be published.

This further buttress the fact that I am well suited to work in a professional setting and excel. I would like to utilize my creative knowledge and develop my copywriting skill set in a challenging and fast-paced environment.

What to include in a personal statement?

As your personal statement is supposed to create a long-lasting impression on the recruiter, there are specific details that you should include in the personal statement section of our CV and the three major things to focus on are:

  • Who you are?
  • Your most relevant job experience.
  • Your career goals.

Talk about who you are

This part should tell the recruiter your current position in your professional field. This section should be written in the first sentence of your personal statement and your current job and the job title attached to it has to be considered when writing this description. An example of how to write this section is:

A professional and successful digital marketing executive, I have worked with several universal brands in the sector to help improve their marketing tactic and expand their customer base.

This description suits someone who has had prior work experience in a company. For recent graduates, who have not had any form of experience, this section can be written as:

‘‘Recent graduate with honors’ or ‘Recent graduate with a 2:1 degree in Creative Writing from English literature from the Hillview University’

this would best sum up who you are and where you stand professionally.

Your most relevant job experience

This section should highlight your recent or most relevant job experience, what role you performed there and what you achieved in the duration of your stay. This part of your personal statement should list out your achievements and table out what you stand to benefit the organization when hired.

Your leadership skills and attributes can be mentioned in this part. If in the job posting, a particular skill set has been mentioned and you possess this skill, this is the best part to mention it. This would tell the recruiter that you have read the job application properly and that you are a perfect fit for the job.

An example of this section for candidates with prior work experience is

I have experience in improving quality digital products through my most recent role. As a result of this experience, I am in tune with the recent trends in the online landscape and I have been able to device effective and aggressive branding strategies that have yielded results.

For people with no work experience, skills gained managing a society in college or during an internship position that is relevant to the job can also be mentioned.

Also mention your career goals

In this section, you should try to convey the fact that you are looking to grow and develop on yourself and skills. This would make you stand out from other candidates and give the recruiter an idea as to why you are applying for the job.


Things you should not include in your personal statement

There are also some things you should never include on your CV and they are:

Generic and cliché statements

Recruiters always know from the keywords used in the CV if the candidate has read the job application properly. You should only use keywords applicable to the job and tailor your CV accordingly. you should also think outside the box and not use cliché or common statements in your CV. This is usually a huge turn off for recruiters.

Lies

It is important that you do not exaggerate your position, achievement or anything in your CV. Even if you manage to make it to the interview stage, the truth would eventually be discovered and this would be bad for your integrity and credibility.  Once you get to interview any untruths will be discovered.

Too much personal information

The recruiter does not need to know details like your age, marital status, and the likes so there is no need to include it in your personal statement or even in the CV as a whole.


How to structure your personal statement

You can structure your personal statement properly by asking and answering these questions before you start drafting it.

  1. Why are you interested in this job?
  2. Why do you think you are better suited for this job?
  3. Do you have any previous work experience relating to this line of work?
  4. Have you partaken in any project that makes you better suited for this job?
  5. What special skills as a candidate do you have that separates you from the others.

Once you answer these questions, you would have a better idea of what to include in your personal statement, what to emphasize upon and what to relegate to the background.


How to start a personal statement

The initial part of your personal statement should be captivating enough to get the attention of the recruiter at first glance. You should be mindful of the words you use while writing this part of your personal statement; you should use words that are compelling and words that provoke the need to know more on the path of the recruiter.

The beginning of your personal statement should include;

  • Your job titles. If none or if you are a recent graduate, you can include the degree gotten.
  • The number of years of experience you have gotten from your previous jobs.
  • Particular expertise or skill set you to possess.

You should always use words that would convey a positive outlook as this would give your recruiter an idea as to your personality. Your personal statement should be written as professionally as possible in concise words.


How long should a personal statement be?

A personal statement is basically a summary of who you are in a professional light and as such should not be too long. Ideally, it should range from 50-150 words and should stay between four to six sentences. It should be short, concise, and adequately sum up who you are in a professional manner.

Writing a personal statement that is longer than necessary would most likely make the recruiter lose interest in reading it. Don’t ramble and waste valuable space on the personal statement when you can use that space to include other details of your professional life in other section of your CV. You can go through some of the personal statement examples in our CVs to have an idea of what to write and how best to write it.


How to end a personal statement

The ideal way to end your personal statement is by telling the recruiter why you want the job and also why you are a better fit for the job.

If you are a recent graduate, you can finish your personal statement like this;

My long-term career goal is to gain responsibility for leading on a project and managing delivery successfully, and in the long run, actively contribute to achieving the business goals

As a recent graduate with no work experience, when including our career goals, you should make sure it is the same as the job position you are applying for. So, for example, if you are applying for a role as a manager, your career goal can be ‘To effectively manage operations in the company with a goal to achieve better working techniques and operations’

If you have prior work experience, you can decide to end it this way:

Hoping to find my next challenge in the world of marketing, and to grow my digital portfolio within an innovative and dynamic company.


Tips to keep in mind when writing a personal statement for your CV

It is important to note that your personal statement should always be personalized and always tailored to meet the specifications of the job you are applying for.

This does not mean you would always have to rewrite your personal statement every time though, you can just use your discretion to make the necessary changes so it meets the requirements of the job and tweak it accordingly.

  • Know your target audience:
    Your personal statement part of your CV should always be job specific. It is advisable to do proper research about the company before applying for the job at all. You should go through the job description properly so you would have an idea of what the company requires in a candidate.
  • Make a list:
    When you find out what the recruiter wants, you should make a list of these requirements and an additional list of your qualifications on the other hand. You should compare and contrast for both of them, find out what skills you possess among the requirements and then tailor your personal statement to buttress on that skill. You can also list out some of your achievements in your personal statement; this would give you an edge.
  • Explain to the recruiter why you are perfect for the job:
    Your personal statement is supposed to convince the recruiter to a large extent that he or she should hire you so when writing it, you should mention experience relevant to the job and the transferrable skills you have gained so far. Use easy to understand words that can convey your message.
  • Write a draft and then edit:
    When writing a personal statement, you should first write out a draft listing all the requirements, your skills, your academic qualifications, and the likes. You don’t have to bother about the length of the personal statement while doing this. After writing everything you need to include, you can then revisit it, read through it again, remove repetitions and trim it down.

    When editing, cut down the clichés and exaggerations and stick within the 50-150-word limit. Try to use other words too. It is also important to cut out ramblings and stick to using concise and thoughtful words in your personal statement.
  • Pick a tense and stick to it: Your personal statement can be written in any tense but you should endeavour to be consistent in using the selected tense from the start to the finish. Another thing to keep in mind is that while you can write in the first person, you should try not to overuse the word ‘I’.

For example, you should avoid statements like;

I am a recent banking and administration graduate. I am a driven and self-motivated individual that always gives my very best everything I do.

  • Stick to one qualification
    In your personal statement, choosing a specific skill set or talent that you have and highlight it. There is no need to highlight multiple skills that you would not be able to keep up with. Chose a specialization.
  • Structure it properly
    Craft your sentences properly and make it flow logically; the way you structure your personal statement can determine how it would be received by the recruiter. If your personal statement is properly structured and flows well, it would improve the readability of the text and this way, it would be coherent enough to be read.
  • Be original and truthful
    Generally, when writing your CV, you should endeavor to be as original and sincere as possible. Include only details that you can back up in the eventuality that you get to the interview stage. Lying or blowing a detail out of proportion can do damage to your image and integrity.
  • Be positive
    A recruiter apart from knowing if you are professionally qualified for the job also wants to know that you can interact properly with people and you have a cheerful and positive personality. Try as much as you can to convey this with your words. Also, try to convey in positive notes your passion and enthusiasm towards the job and the opportunity it presents for you.
  • Proofread multiple times
    There is no such thing as going through your personal statement too many times. Give it to friends to read through for you. This way, any mistake you might have skipped over would be pointed out to you. You can also run it through software like Grammarly to point out additional errors that you might have missed.
  • Take your time
    There is no need to rush, you need time to go through the job details and craft a personal statement that would take you a step closer to getting that dream job. You can even consider writing the personal statement last. This would give you more time to prepare for it and also give you a better idea of what you would still need to include.

Do’s and don’ts of a personal statement

Do’s

  • Highlight attributes that you think has the potential to set you apart from other candidates.
  • Make your personal statement relevant by tailoring it to meet the specifications of the job you are applying for.
  • Watch the number of words you use and stick to the ideal number of words which is between 50-150.
  • Make the personal statement interesting to read for the recruiter.
  • Avoid generic and common phrases.
  • Pay attention to the keywords used by the employer in the job description.
  • End your personal statement on a strong note.
  • Avoid the use of repetitions.
  • Cross check properly for both grammatical and punctuation errors before submitting your CV.

Don’ts

  • Do not lie.
  • Do not mix up the tenses. You can pick either first person or third person tense but you cannot mix both of them.
  • Do not copy word for word from a previous personal statement. It must be tailored to meet job specifications.
  • Do not repeat words or ramble in your personal statement. Remember, less is more.

Examples of personal statements

A professional and highly-skilled architect looking to resume a position in architecture. Extremely knowledgeable with seven years of industry experience. Specializes predominantly in the development of new projects and highly skilled in system design and development. A highly-motivated visionary with experience in sustainable architecture, working on large-scale projects and high-level planning.


I am an adept medical doctor with ten years of practice experience who is dedicated to the patient’s overall well-being and I follow all medical procedures with the use of the latest instruments and technological advancements. I specialized as a general internist during my residency and this has provided me with the knowledge needed to diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases. I also focus on listening to the patient’s complaints and answer any questions the patients might have in clear and concise terms. I am willing to work with other medical personals with the aim of improving results and maximizing patient’s satisfaction.


There are some free CV examples with personal statements down below that you can check from for more ideas on how to write that personal statement that would take you a step forward to getting that job of your dreams.

It is essential to know, however, that you should not copy these personal statement samples word for word. They are just meant to guide you and help you craft one of your own.

Free CV Example #1

Compatible with Microsoft Word CV Example
Download CV Example #1

Free CV Example #2

Compatible with Microsoft Word CV Example
Download CV Example #2

Free CV Example #3

Compatible with Microsoft Word CV Example
Download CV Example #3

Free CV Example #4

Compatible with Microsoft Word CV Example
Download CV Example #4

Free CV Example #5

Compatible with Microsoft Word CV Example
Download CV Example #5

If you enjoyed our article and free CV examples, then please do consider sharing it. It means a lot 🙂

Good luck with your job search.

How to Write a Personal Statement for a CV?
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