Tuesday 18 June 2019       info@tesladuo.com

How to write a personal statement for your CV

A powerful CV will invariably include a personal statement, otherwise called a profile or career summary. The aim is to enable the recruiter to quickly identify the strategic value you can add to their company. The ultimate aim of your CV is to successfully persuade the reader to invite you to interview; your personal statement is crucial in facilitating this.

A well-written personal statement will be between 50-200 words; it is important not to ramble and launch into an essay about yourself. Your Cover Letter should be where you showcase additional interesting and engaging information, tailored to that company specifically.
The skills and experience included in your CV should match the job specification of the position you are applying for - the same goes for your personal statement.
I am often asked whether a personal statement should be in the first or third person. There are no definitive rules, but I have a preference for third, which I believe to be more professional. If you do write in the first person, avoid repeating ‘I’ at the start of every sentence - the recruiter knows it is about you.

A powerful opening statement in the third person might be:

“A marketing and communications manager with over 15 years of experience developing award-winning and profitable marketing campaigns, many of which have delivered 800% ROI in the past year.”

An effective opening statement in the first person might be:

“ As a highly-motivated and results-orientated manager within the luxury hotel sector, I have a proven track record of providing exemplary levels of service to a broad range of guests, including VIPs and high-profile individuals”.

Both examples read well and are stylistically more attractive than a personal statement beginning with ‘I’. Part of the problem with starting your statement with an ‘I’ is that it can end up reading more like a list.
Generally, your personal statement should be clearly broken down into the 3 three following sections:

  • Who You Are
Are you a recent graduate? Or are you a seasoned and experienced professional?
Your opening must immediately make clear to the recruiter where you are coming from (university or an existing job), that you have relevant industry experience if this is a requirement and also that you have core, transferable skills.

  • What you can bring to the company
Avoid vague, sweeping statements about your strengths. “I am good communication skills” indicates nothing more than average communication skills! It is meant to be a sales tool, so highlight what your core attributes are. Also avoid using generic buzzwords, which make you less likely to standout. Examples include: Extensive experience, innovative, motivated, results-orientated and dynamic. It is challenging, but worth spending time crafting an interesting and attention-grabbing personal statement.

  • Your Career Goals
Indicate where you see your career headed. If you’re embarking in a new career direction, your personal statement is a good place to indicate this to a recruiter, in particular if your experience does not obviously match the role you are applying for.

20-500 words maximum

Be punchy and informative
If you can, use 1.5 line spacing to make your personal statement more readable
Tailor it according to the job specification
Don’t mix first and third person sentences - keep consistent with one ‘voice’

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