How To Write Personal Statement for a CV (With Tips and Examples)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 17 August 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A personal statement is a short but important section of a CV that provides a quick overview of yourself to the hiring manager. It gives you a chance to capture the interest of an employer and influence them to read more of your CV. In addition, it offers an introduction about yourself and why you would be a good hire. In this article, we discuss how to draft an attention-grabbing personal statement for your CV and provide tips and examples to guide you.
What is a personal statement for a CV?
A personal statement for a CV is a concise summary of your CV showcasing your suitability for the job you're applying for. It provides an overview to the hiring manager about you as a professional and highlights your key skills and experience. Often placed at the top section of a CV, the personal statement is one of the most powerful areas of your CV therefore, you need to tailor it to the job you're applying for.
You can include these four major components while drafting a personal statement:
A short background about who you are
The value you can add to an organisation
Key skills and achievements
How to create a CV personal statement
Perfecting your personal statement proves that you have a firm understanding of why your skills, goals and experiences make you the perfect fit for the job. Here are three steps to help you create an effective personal statement:
1. Start with an introduction about yourself
The opening line of the personal statement explains where you are in your career. You can use strong, enthusiastic language to capture the attention of the reader. The first sentences can indicate your current position, years of experience and area of specialisation. You can also include details about the skills and qualities that make you suitable for the position you're applying for.
Example: Highly experienced and skilled mechanical engineer with a background in the aerospace and automotive industry. Holds a degree in mechanical engineering and over 8 years of experience in the field.
2. Talk about the value you'll bring to an organisation
In the following lines of your statement, focus on your skills and achievements related to the job description. Communicate your suitability for the role and the value you can bring to the organisation. Address the important job specifications to ensure you effectively communicate that you're the right person for this job.
Example: Has extensive experience in a laboratory setting, managing specialised testing processes and training new operators. With a vast range of experience involving team management, conceptualising development strategies and implementing innovative practices, I've successfully implemented several programs in the organisation.
3. Briefly mention your career goals
The final section of your personal statement talks about your aspirations and career objectives. It also reaffirms your interest in the target position. However, since you would've already written about your qualifications and skills in the previous section, you can keep this part direct and short.
Example: I am currently looking for a senior product engineer role within the automobile sector where I can maintain my solid track record and deliver similar results.
Tips for writing a personal statement
Your personal statement for a CV is a reflection of your professional experience to date. Depending on what stage of career you're in, the objective of your personal statement may differ. Here are some tips to help you draft a personal statement:
Tailor your personal statement to each job application
When you create a unique, personalised statement for each job application, it highlights your specific skills that match best with the job. This is an effective approach instead of using a generic statement for every application.
Keywords are specific words or skills mentioned in the job description. Using keywords in your CV ensures that it passes the initial screening performed with the help of specialised software, such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). It also shows the hiring manager that you've read through the job description and understand the role clearly.
Using keywords is a much better alternative than using buzzwords. Try to avoid using industry jargon that takes up valuable space in your personal statement.
Keep it short and simple
It's important to keep the length of the personal statement short. So, it's best to limit your personal statement to three or four sentences and a word count below 200 words to convey your message effectively. Include only your key skills and achievements to make a powerful personal statement that captures the hiring manager's attention quickly.
Use proper structure and formatting
Use proper formatting and a well-structured layout that aligns with the format of the rest of your CV. This means using the same font type, font size and text justification throughout the CV. This ensures that the statement captures the attention of the hiring manager and makes it easier for them to read.
Use facts and figures
Using specific facts and actionable statistics from your professional experience can make your personal statement stand out from the competition. In addition, they help to quantify your skills and achievements. For example, you can include figures such as university grades, number of years of experience or any impressive results related to previous projects.
Proofread and edit
Just like your cover letter and CV, remember to proofread your personal statement multiple times for typographical or grammatical errors. The personal statement has to be clear, easy to read and properly edited.
Plan to write your personal statement last
It's a good practice to write your personal statement after completing the rest of the sections in your CV. Once you've added the relevant work experience, achievements and qualifications, you can identify the key phrases and skills from your past position to fill this section.
You can also use your job description as a guide for writing your personal statement. By keeping the personal statement last, it may be easier to find inspiration for writing this section.
CV personal statement examples
It's important to tailor your statement to match the requirements of the job you're applying for. Here are some personal statement examples that you can use as inspiration for creating your own statements:
For experienced professionals with 10+ years of experience
Here's a sample statement suited for an experienced professional with several years of experience:
A senior operations manager with over 12 years of professional experience and has worked within the marine, manufacturing, automotive and aerospace industries with leading organisations. Highly qualified and proficient in inventory management, continuous improvement, operational improvement change management and lean manufacturing. Skilled at automating business processes and implementing digital tools to achieve high levels of productivity. Seeking to explore my leadership abilities and expand my expertise in an operations management role.
For experienced professionals with less than five years of experience
Here's a sample personal statement for a professional with lesser experience:
Technical writer with over three years of experience in a large e-commerce company. Authored two 300+ pages of software user guides for robotic automation software and created enterprise-level documentation systems that are in use still today. Looking to further my career by joining Bluered technology as a User Experience Writer.
For recent graduates
If you have recently graduated, you may be looking for an internship opportunity or an entry-level position. Here's an example of a personal statement for a recent graduate:
I recently graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a master's degree in mathematics, majoring in analytics and statistics. Having completed an internship with a multinational technology company has helped me develop strong technical capabilities in data engineering. I have consistently shown my ability to meet deadlines, accomplish project objectives, solve mission-critical issues, and prioritise important tasks while upholding the high standards required for my position. I am currently seeking a data analyst position in an established firm. As a positive, energetic and enthusiastic individual, with outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal, I strongly believe that I would be a valuable asset to your team.
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
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