Writing a Strong Personal Statement for Your CV
A personal statement, otherwise known as a personal profile, professional summary or CV summary, is the opening paragraph which sits at the top of your CV. It is a short introduction which informs recruiters who you are, showcases the skills and qualities you possess and provides a brief overview of your career history. Including a personal statement in your CV can help you stand out from the competition and grab the attention of recruiters.
Do you need to include a personal statement in your CV?
On average, recruiters spend 5-7 seconds scanning your CV which is not a lot of time to impress them. Many CVs consist of generalised lists that say nothing about the candidate or why they’re applying for the job. By adding a personal statement to your CV, you stand out from the crowd and show recruiters a bit of your personality.
Personal statements can be particularly handy for competitive industries or for jobs where there are many candidates. As recruiters have to browse through many CVs, they may just skim over yours, unless there is something to grab their attention.
They’re also useful if you have a broad career history. A personal statement can tie those disparate experiences together and help prospective employers understand how your skills match their desired criteria.
On the other hand, if you have little to no experience, it may be best to save this space for a CV objective . While it shares similarities with a personal statement, a CV objective is usually only one to two sentences in length and focuses more on your career goals.
Tips for a powerful personal statement
- keep it short
- write using ‘I’ statements
- identify your key strengths and achievements
- tailor it to each application
- structure it well
- don’t use clichés or buzzwords
- make it easy to read
- proofread it
Keep your personal statement short
The ideal personal statement captures your experience and skills in no more than 50-200 words. Consider it the written equivalent of an elevator pitch, designed to spark your recruiters’ interest so that they’ll want to read the rest of your CV. As you’ll have plenty of space in your cover letter to elaborate on any points, your personal statement should only provide recruiters a quick summary of your career history.
Write using ‘I’ statements
Your personal statement is about yourself, so make it personal! Writing about yourself in the third person, i.e. “he” or “she” can sound pretentious and come across as distant.
When you write in the first person, using ‘I’ statements, you add a personal touch to a CV which may otherwise consist of bullet-point lists. That doesn't have to mean starting every sentence with ‘I’, for example, you could write:
‘As a qualified project manager, I have consistently delivered complex projects within demanding time constraints.’
Identify your skills and achievements
When writing a personal statement, the tendency is to include generic statements which could describe any candidate. To help make your personal statement unique to you, start by identifying your skills and achievements.
One of the best ways to do this is to think about all the jobs you’ve had and ask yourself what difference you made to each employer. You could also dig out past reviews and appraisals to identify the objectives/skills for which you received positive feedback.
Tailor your personal statement to each job application
In the same way that you would tailor your CV to each job you’re applying for, you’ll also need to tailor your personal statement. Look at the desired experience, skills and education in the ‘Requirements’ section of the job description and draw on examples of how you meet each criterion from your career history.
Structure your personal statement
Many people struggle to write a personal statement. The important thing to remember is that you don’t have a lot of space to go into detail. To give your personal statement some structure, it can be helpful to break it down into the following three sections:
- Who you are
- Your career goals
- What you can offer your prospective employer
This section allows the recruiter to quickly identify your background and industry experience. For example, you may state that you’re:
‘A recent graduate with a 2:1 in Modern Foreign Languages from the University of Sussex seeking a role in…’
Next, you’ll need to hone in on what you can offer your prospective employer. Here, you’ll want to highlight skills and achievements relevant to the job description and to back these up with examples.
If you don’t meet all the criteria for the role you’re applying for, you may want to draw attention to transferable skills which demonstrate why you’re a suitable candidate. For example:
‘Having lived and worked abroad, I am fluent in French and German , and can confidently use my language skills in a professional environment.’
The last section of your personal statement should conclude with your career goals and reaffirm why you’re applying for the role. For example, it may read:
‘I am seeking a role in the translations industry that complements my language skills.’
Don’t use cliches or buzzwords
Avoid using jargon or buzzwords . There’s a reason that it’s called a personal statement! If you write that you’re a good team player, you have a strong work ethic or you’re an effective communicator, it’ll be more difficult to stand out from the crowd.
These are just empty phrases that don’t really tell recruiters who you are or what you can do. Instead, provide examples of how you’ve worked well in a team or communicated effectively. If you wouldn’t describe yourself as a ‘team player’ in real life, don’t do it in your CV.
Make your personal statement easy to read
While your personal statement should be short, it should also be easy to read. Don’t make it another bullet-point list like the rest of your CV, but at the same time, avoid boring the reader with a mini-biography of your entire career history.
Recruiters have little time to spare and don’t need to know the ins and outs of every job you’ve ever had. Use specific keywords from the job description, include specific examples to help recruiters understand why you’re the right candidate and save details for your cover letter or interviews.
Proofread your personal statement
It’s worth proofreading your personal statement to catch any spelling or grammar mistakes and to make sure it flows well. Your personal statement is the first impression recruiters will have of you. If it’s littered with mistakes, it conveys a lack of attention to detail and doesn’t bode well for the rest of your CV.
You not only want to impress recruiters with your achievements but also your writing skills. A well-written personal statement demonstrates that you have good communication skills (without buzzwords!), and more importantly, ensures that recruiters won’t discard it at first glance.
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Graduate CV Personal Statement
Stephen Rooney Jun 17, 2019
Your personal statement is an important part of your CV. It’s one of the first things a potential employer or recruiter will see. So, to keep them interested, take a look at our guide for crafting the perfect graduate CV personal statement.
What is a personal statement on a CV?
A personal statement is a paragraph of around four to five sentences that appears at the top of your CV, just below your contact details. The purpose of this is to concisely tell a possible future employer or a recruiter:
- Who you are,
- Your skills and strengths,
- Your career goals.
Writing a personal statement may seem like a difficult task, especially as a graduate, when you have little experience, but it's not as hard as you think. We always recommend tailoring your personal statement to the job you are applying for. We show you how to make a strong CV personal statement in this artical.
How long should a personal statement be for a job?
Personal statements are all about getting the necessary information across with brevity. You need to keep it concise and straight to the point. A personal statement should be no longer than 150-200 words, or no more than four or five sentences. You may feel that you need to convey more information than you can summarise in this amount of words, however, this is best saved for the cover letter, where you will have more space to go into details about your skills and experience and why you are a great fit for this specific role.
Who you are?
How you write your personal statement is up to you, you can write it in third or first person, but do not mix the two; keep it consistent.
You should start off by saying who you are, which may look something like this:
“I’m a recent graduate with a 2:1 in Biochemistry from Bangor University, seeking a graduate role in …”
We recommend including your grade if it enhances your CV. If you don't think it's necessary or you need the space to highlight your skills, leave your grade out, as the person reading your CV can find it in the education section. You can also leave out the institute you studied at if you need this space for other important information, as this will also appear further down the CV.
What you can offer the employer?
The next couple of lines should be about your relevant experience. Make a song and dance about any skills that are highly relevant to the role you are applying for; remembering to always tailor your personal statement to the specific job. Once you have outlined your relevant skills, you’ll need to show when you've used those skills. For example:
“During my time at university and my year in industry, I developed excellent time-management skills, work well under pressure and detail orientated. As well as the above skills I have experience of working in a highly regulated laboratory environment”
Top tip: Use terms that employers or recruiters may be searching for. For example, if you're a computer science graduate and have experience with C++, make sure this is stated in your personal statement, as well as in the skills section of your CV.
Your career goals
For graduates, this can be tricky, especially if you are not sure which road you want to take. However, you don't need to panic and show an employer a 10 or 20-year career goal. No one is expecting you to have mapped out your life. You can, however, show what your short-term goals are and detail the skills you would like to develop if you were successful in getting a position in the organisation you are applying for. For example:
“I am looking for a new opportunity in an innovative company, where I can use and develop both my soft skills and technical skills, whilst using and continuing to expand my knowledge of biochemistry. “
How to write a personal statement when you don’t have any work experience
If you are entering the world of work after university, but do not have any work experience, don’t worry; there are transferable skills you’ve learnt while in university or in your extracurricular activities.
If you completed a STEM subject degree, it is likely you will have gained some technical skills as well as soft skills. Soft skills that employers are looking for include
- Critical thinking
- Communication skills
- Time management
During your university degree or in any extracurricular activities, you will have used some, if not all, of these skills. In your personal statement, cover letter and CV, you need to demonstrate when and how you have used the skills that employers are looking for. They don't necessarily need to be directly related to work.
If you do have some work experience, even if it’s not relevant to this role specifically, make sure you mention this in your personal statement. For example, it might have been a part-time job whilst studying, or during holidays, working in your family business or volunteering.
Don’t forget about optimising your CV for online searches
In the digital age, most jobs are advertised online, and it's also where employers and recruiters look for potential candidates. Millions of people have LinkedIn accounts and have uploaded their CVs to various job websites. So, how do you stand out, by ‘keyword-optimising' your personal statement and CV?
Often, potential employers and recruiters will use role-related keywords to search for candidates on LinkedIn and job websites. Generally, recruiters are looking to fill a graduate job that requires certain skills or qualifications. So, if you are a biology graduate and a job requires DNA extraction skills, which you have, then make sure you add this information to your personal statement so that you will appear in searches that match this term. It’s important to research the accepted industry terms that relate to your skills, so you stand the best chance of high search visibility.
For more CV advice, take a look at our in-depth guides on how to write a graduate CV and how to find a graduate job . If you want insights into what recruiters are looking for, read our post on 5 things recruiters look for on a graduate CV
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Best CV Personal Profile Examples
What is a CV personal profile?
A personal profile, also known as a CV summary, is the opening statement of your CV. It is a short introduction which outlines your personal characteristics, telling the prospective employer what kind of a person you are, the attributes and qualities that you possess and the work experience that you have.
How to write a CV profile statement from scratch
When writing your personal profile, ensure it is:
- Short (no more than 6 lines);
- Relevant to the job you are applying for, and;
- Contains some real-world examples .
Be bold, be confident and talk about yourself in a positive way.
Your personal profile is not the place to be humble; it is your chance to be noticed and tell the potential employer exactly who you ‘really’ are and what you can do for them.
Warning: Do not go ‘over the top’ and give the impression that you are either very arrogant or simply too good to be true! Keep it balanced and realistic, bearing in mind the needs of the employer.
Click here if you want to see a bad example of a personal profile.
What information to include on a personal profile
The purpose of your personal profile is to concisely present your skills, qualities, work experience, and your career goals and ambitions. Consequently, you can mention anything from the following categories when constructing your personal profile:
- Having an eye for detail
- Management skills
- Communication skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Design skills
- 5 years experience in …
- Excellent track record of …
- Extensive background in …
- Previous work experience in …
An ideal statement should have at least one example for each of these three categories.
How long should my profile statement be?
There are no set rules about the length of a personal profile, however, it is highly recommended to keep it ideally within the 50/80-words boundary (no longer than six lines). The reason for this is because employers, in the first instance, tend to scan CVs rather than extensively read it. Keeping it short and to the point increases the chances that they will actually read it.
Furthermore, as the total length of a CV is only 2 A4 pages long, having a short statement frees us valuable space for other key sections of your CV such as the work experience, education and skills sections .
Winning personal profile CV examples from all job sectors
Business management cv profile.
- The candidate mentions their key personal skills and qualities that are relevant and important when managing a business.
- The candidate mentions their relevant work experience in the field, indicating that they are able to work within multiple job sectors.
IT CV profile
- The candidate correctly highlights their areas of expertise, such as designing websites, networking and managing databases. It is clear from these examples that the individual has a broad understanding of IT and would be able to work on a wide range of IT projects.
- The candidate reassures the prospective employer that although they are working in a very technical field, they have the ability to work with a wide range of people. Interpersonal and communication skills are key to any job.
Student CV profile
- The above personal statement is clear and informative, making it clear that the applicant is a student, currently completing their university degree, and are looking to work part-time in the industry.
- It is always a good idea, as the candidate has done in this example, to clearly mention your availability for work and also the reasons for why you are seeking work. “Making money” is not a good enough reason for an employer to give you a job. The candidate has mentioned that they wish to put into practice what they have learned and make a positive contribution to the employer.
HR CV profile
- The candidate highlights that they have previous work experience in Human Resources (HR), making them familiar with the payroll systems and employment law. Additionally, they indicate some personal qualities (such as interpersonal skills and being sensitive to people’s privacies) which would be highly beneficial for the role that they are applying for.
Manager CV profile
- The candidate not only states that they have three years’ of experience in management but they also mention the positive contribution that they made to that organisation. In this case, it was a significant improvement in the performance of the team that they were managing.
Sales/retail CV profile
- Just by looking at the profile statement of this individual, we can conclude that this person has thorough experience of sales and is able to handle the various aspects of the selling process. Additionally, their promotion indicates that they are a high achiever.
Teaching CV profile
- In just a few lines, the candidate demonstrates a great deal of compassion, empathy and care for young people and their futures. This level of care and concern, along with an enduring passion for teaching, are the key ingredients of being successful in any teaching careers.
- The candidate indicating that they are able to work with young children from all backgrounds and walks of life. This is important, especially when living in today’s multicultural and diverse societies.
Engineering CV profile
- The candidate correctly highlights their previous work experience and areas of expertise. This makes them look like a very competent and accomplished chemical engineer, increasing the chances of being invited for an interview.
Designer CV profile
- This is an effective statement because the candidate highlights their valuable 1st class degree in Graphic Design and previous work experience in the design industry. Additionally, the candidate makes mention of their personal qualities, such as having the ability to think outside the box, to further indicate their suitability for the job.
Hospitality CV profile
- The above is an excellent example of how profile statement should be constructed; it contains references to their previous work experience in the same industry, personal qualities that are relevant to the job (e.g. having a passion for food and socialising with people) and their job achievements (e.g. winning an award). Any employer reading this statement will have to think twice before they put it in the rejection pile!
Admin CV profile
- The candidate mentions their previous work experience project management and providing administrative support to businesses.
- This admin personal statement clearly demonstrates that the individual is aware of all the challenges that administrators face; working in a busy working environment, handling multiple projects simultaneously, prioritising tasks and achieving the highest standard of work.
Customer service CV profile
- The candidate indicates that they are able to resolve customer enquiries and complaints face-to-face, over the phone or via email. This ability enables them to work in a variety of different job settings, i.e. a call centre, on the shop floor or at a desk.
- Their statement contains a tangible example of accomplishment (i.e. successfully resolving 150 customer enquiries or complaints).
Media CV profile
- The candidate has included many examples of their previous work experience and competencies in the field. Any employer interested in hiring an experienced camera operator will most certainly be impressed and continue reading the remainder of their CV.
Healthcare CV profile
- The candidate highlights that they are able to work with a variety of different people, something which is essential as physiotherapists will be working with people from all backgrounds and ages.
- The statement includes personal qualities that are important to have as a physiotherapist, such as being caring and friendly. Although some careers advisors do not recommend generic words such as ‘caring’ and ‘friendly’, it is nevertheless recommended to include them if they truly reflect your personality and if the rest of the personal statement contains specific information which is not generic in nature.
Writer CV profile
- This profile is short and punchy, increasing the chances that it will be read in full by the prospective employers
- The candidate highlights their career achievements by stating that their works have been accepted and published by leading newspapers and magazines – a testimony to the high quality of their work.
Science CV profile
- This statement is short and to the point; highlighting all the important information such as the candidates work experience, expertise and some personal qualities and characteristics.
Do I need to include a personal statement on my CV? No, it is entirely optional to include a personal profile on your CV. However, it is generally recommended to include one, particularly as it serves as a little “About me” section at the top of your CV. Every written document has an introduction, why shouldn’t a CV?
Can I use the first person tense in my statement? Yes, the first and third person tenses are both fine to use – but not both. Decide on the one tense and stick to it.
Where should I include the profile statement on my CV There is no fixed place in which you should put your personal profile. Some candidates place it at the bottom of their CVs. Ideally, you should position it at the top of your CV.
What is the most important thing to include on a personal profile? Real-world examples and tangible performance indicators, for example; increased sales by x percent, managed x number of people, won such-and-such awards, improved productivity by x percent, etc. These types of information are highly valuable, as opposed to saying that you are the “best salesperson in the country” and not backing it up with any evidence!
Need help with other sections of your CV?
While you’re still here – don’t forget to check out our amazing How to write a CV guide for more practical tips on writing your perfect CV or this useful resource.
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CV personal statement examples
If you want to secure job interview, you need a strong personal statement at the top of your CV.
Your CV personal statement is a short paragraph which sits at the very top of your CV – and it’s aim is to summarise the benefits of hiring you and encourage employers to read your CV in full.
In this guide I have included 17 CV personal statement examples from a range of professions and experience levels, plus a detailed guide of how to write your own personal statement that will get you noticed by employers
17 CV personal statement examples
To start this guide, I have included 10 examples of good personal statements, to give you an idea of how a personal statement should look , and what should be included.
Note: personal statements are generally used by junior candidates – if you are experienced, check out our CV profile examples instead.
Graduate CV personal statement (no experience)
Although this graduate has no paid work experience, they compensate for it by showcasing all of the skills and knowledge the have gained during their studies, and demonstrating how they apply their knowledge in academic and personal projects.
When you have little or no experience, it’s important to draw out transferable workplace skills from your studies and extracurricular work, to showcase them to employers.
Graduate CV personal statement (part time freelance experience)
This candidate has graduated with a degree in biochemistry but actually wants to start a career in digital marketing after providing some digital freelance services to fund their studies.
In this case, they haven’t made much mention of their studies because they aren’t relevant to the digital marketing agencies they are applying to. Instead they have focused their personal statement around their freelance work and passion for the digital field – although they still mention the fact they are degree educated to prove their academic success.
School leaver CV personal statement (no experience)
This candidate is 16 years old and has no work experience whatsoever, but they compensate for this by detailing their academic achievements that relate to the roles they are applying for (maths and literacy are important requirements in finance and accountancy roles).
They also add some info on their extracurricular activities and school work-placements, to strengthen this student CV further.
Top tips for writing a CV personal statement
- Thoroughly research the jobs and companies you are planning to apply for to identify the type of candidate they are looking for – try to reflect that in your personal statement
- Don’t be afraid to brag a little – include some of your most impressive achievements from education, work or personal life
- Focus on describing the benefits an employer will get from hiring you. Will you help them to get more customers? Improve their workplace? Save them time and money?
- If you have no work experience, demonstrate transferable workplace skills from your education, projects, or even hobbies
School leaver CV personal statement (part time experience)
Although this person has only just left school, they have also undertaken some part-time work in a call centre alongside their studies.
To make the most of this experience, they have combined their academic achievements with their workplace exposure in this personal statement.
By highlighting their GCSE results, summer programme involvement, work experience and expressing their ambitions to progress within sales, this candidate really makes an appealing case for hiring them.
College leaver CV personal statement (no experience)
This candidate has left college with good grades, but does not yet have any work experience.
To compensate for the lack of workplace exposure, they have made their A level results prominent and highlighted skills and experience which would benefit the employers they are targeting.
Any recruiter reading this profile can quickly understand that this candidate has great academic achievements, a passion for IT and finance and the ability to transfer their skills into an office environment.
College student CV personal statement (freelance experience)
As this student has picked up a small amount of freelance writing work during their studies, they have made sure to brag about it in their personal statement.
They give details on their relevant A level studies to show the skills they are learning, and boost this further by highlighting the fact that they have been applying these skills in a real-life work setting by providing freelance services.
They also include key action verbs that recruiters will be looking for , such as creative writing, working to deadlines, and producing copy.
Academic CV personal statement
Aside from junior candidates, the only other people who might use a personal statement, are academic professionals; as their CV’s tend to be more longer and detailed than other professions.
This candidate provides a high level overview of their field of study, length of experience, and the roles they have held within universities.
School leaver CV personal statement with and sports experience
Although this person has no work experience, they are still able to show employers the value of hiring them by selling their other achievements and explaining how they could benefit an organisation.
They expand on their sports club involvement to demonstrate their teamwork, leadership skills, communication and motivation, which are all important traits in the workplace, and will be looked upon favourably by recruiters and hiring managers.
They also draw upon their future plans to study business studies and take a part time job, to further prove their ambition and dedication.
History graduate CV personal statement
This history graduate proves their aptitude for both academic achievement and workplace aptitude by showcasing valuable skills from their degree and voluntary work.
They do this by breaking down the key requirements for each and showing how their skills could be beneficial for future employers, such as listening, communication, and crisis management.
They also describe how their ability to balance studies alongside voluntary work has not only boosted their knowledge and skills, but also given excellent time management and organisational skills – which are vital assets to any employer.
Law graduate CV personal statement
This legal graduate makes the most from their work university work placements by using it to bulk out the contents of their CV personal statement.
They include their degree to show they have the necessary qualifications for legal roles, which is crucial, but more importantly, they showcase how they applied their legal skills within a real-life work setting.
They give a brief overview of the types of legal professionals they have been working alongside and the type of work they have been carrying out – this is all it takes to get the attention of recruiters and show employers they have what it takes to fulfil roles in the legal sector.
Medical student CV personal statement
This medical student proves their fit for the role by showcasing the key skills they have gained from their studies and their work experience placements.
In just these few sentences, they are able to highlight the vast amount of experience they have across different disciplines in the industry, something which is particularly important in the medical sector.
As they have not graduated yet and are still studying, they have provided proof of their most recent grades. This can give the recruiter some indication as to the type of grade they could be graduating with in the near future.
Masters student CV personal statement
This masters student has started by specifying their area of study, in this case, accounting, and given details about the specific areas of finance they are most interested in. This can hint towards their career goals and passions.
They have then carefully listed some of the key areas of accounting and finance that they are proficient in. For example, business finance, advanced corporate finance and statistics.
They have also outlined some of the transferable skills needed for accounting roles that employers will be looking out for, such as communication, attention to detail and analytical skills.
Finance student CV personal statement
As this finance student has recently undertaken some relevant work experience, they’ve made sure to shout about this in their personal profile.
But more than this, they have included a list of some of the important finance skills they gained as a result of this work experience – for example, financial reporting, processing invoices and month-end reconciliations.
Plus, through power words and phrases such as ‘prevent loss’ and ‘ improve upon accuracy and efficiency’, they have also showcased how they can apply these skills in a workplace setting to benefit the potential employer.
Internship CV personal statement
This digital marketing professional has started their personal profile by outlining their most relevant qualifications and work experience, most notably their freelance role as a content manager.
They have also provided examples of some of the key marketing skills that potential employers might be looking for, including very detailed examples of the platforms and tools they are proficient in – for example, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.
They have then closed their statement by giving a detailed description of the type of role or opportunity they are looking for. In this case, an in-house position in a marketing company.
Graduate career changer personal statement
Switching careers as a graduate can be tough. Especially when it comes to writing a personal statement that will attract employers in your new chosen field.
This candidate is looking to move from history teaching into journalism, so they have created a statement which briefly mentions their current workplace, but mainly focuses on highlighting transferable skills which are relevant to journalism. They achieve this by discussing the writing skills they use in their current role, and mentioning their hobby of writing – including some publications they have been featured in for extra brownie points.
Business management graduate personal statement
This business management proves their ability to work within a junior business management position by swiftly highlighting their impressive degree (to ensure it is not missed) and summarising some of the real-life experience they have gained in management during their university placements and volunteering. They do not let their lack of paid work experience, stop them demonstrating their valuable skills.
PhD graduate roles attract a lot of competition, so it’s important that your CV contains a personal statement that will quickly impress and attract recruiters.
This candidate provides a short-but-comprehensive overview of their academic achievements, whilst demonstrating their exceptional level of knowledge in research, languages and publication writing.
By highlighting a number of skills and abilities that are in high-demand in the academic workplace, this CV is very likely to get noticed and land interviews.
How to write a personal statement for your CV
Now that you’ve seen what a personal statement should look like and the type of content it should contain, follow this detailed guide to one for your own CV – and start racking those interviews up.
What is a CV personal statement?
Cv personal statement or cv profile, personal statement format, what to include in a cv personal statement.
- Personal statement mistakes
How to write persuasively
A personal statement is a short paragraph at the top of your CV which gives employers an overview of your education, skills and experience
It’s purpose is to capture the attention of busy recruiters and hiring managers when your CV is first opened – encouraging them to read the rest of it.
You achieve this by writing a tailored summary of yourself that explains your suitability for the roles you are applying for at a very high level, and matches your target job descriptions .
One question candidates often ask me is , “what is the difference between a personal statement and a CV profile?”
To be honest, they are almost the same – they are both introductory paragraphs that sit at the top of your CV… but there are 2 main differences
A personal statement tends to be used more by junior candidates (graduates, school leavers etc.) and is relatively long and detailed.
A CV profile tends to be favoured by more experienced candidates , and is shorter in length than a personal statement.
Note: If you are an experienced candidate, you may want to switch over to my CV profile writing guide , or example CV profiles page.
To ensure you grab recruiters’ attention with your personal statement, lay it out in the following way.
You need to ensure that your personal statement sits at the very top of your CV, and all of it should be totally visible to readers, without the need to scroll down the page.
Do this by reducing the top page margin and minimising the space taken up by your contact details.
This will ensure that your whole personal statement can be seen, as soon as your CV is opened.
We have a Word CV template which can help you to get this right.
Your personal statement needs to contain enough detail to provide an introduction to your skills and knowledge, but not so much detail that it bores readers.
To strike the right balance, anything between 8-15 lines of text is perfect – and sentences should be sharp and to-the-point.
As with the whole of your CV or resume , your personal statement should be written in a simple clean font at around size 10-12 to ensure that it can be read easily by all recruiters and employers.
Keep the text colour simple , ensuring that it contrasts the background (black on white is best) and break it into 2 or even 3 paragraphs for a pleasant reading experience.
It should also be written in a punchy persuasive tone, to help you sell yourself and increase your chances of landing interviews , I cover how to do this in detail further down the guide.
Quick tip: A poorly written CV will fail to impress recruiters and employers. Use our partner’s CV builder to create a winning CV in minutes with professional CV templates and pre-written content for every industry.
Once you have the style and format of your personal statement perfected, you need to fill it with compelling content that tells recruiters that your CV is worth reading.
Here’s what needs to go into your personal statement…
Before you start writing your personal statement, it’s crucial that you research your target roles to find out exactly what your new potential employers are looking for in a candidate.
Run a search for your target jobs on one of the major job websites , look through plenty of adverts and make a list of the candidate requirements that frequently appear.
This research will show you exactly what to include in your personal statement in order to impress the recruiters who will be reading it.
Education and qualifications are an important aspect of your personal statement, especially if you are a junior candidate.
You should highlight your highest and most relevant qualifications, whether that is a degree, A levels or GCSEs. You could potentially go into some more detail around modules, papers etc. if they are relevant to the roles you are applying for.
It’s important that you discuss the experience you have gained in your personal statement, to give readers an idea of the work you are comfortable undertaking.
This can of course be direct employed work experience, but it doesn’t have to be.
You can also include:
- School/college Uni work placements
- Voluntary work
- Personal projects
As with all aspects of your CV , the content should be tailored to match the requirements of your target roles.
Whilst discussing your experience, you should touch upon skills used, industries worked in, types of companies worked for, and people you have worked with.
Where possible, try to show the impact your actions have made. E.g . A customer service agent helps to make sales for their employer.
Any industry-specific knowledge you have that will be useful to your new potential employers should be made prominent within your personal statement.
- Knowledge of financial regulations will be important for accountancy roles
- Knowledge of IT operating systems will be important for IT roles
- Knowledge of the national curriculum will be important for teachers
You should also include some information about the types of roles you are applying for, and why you are doing so. Try to show your interest and passion for the field you are hoping to enter, because employers want to hire people who have genuine motivation and drive in their work.
This is especially true if you don’t have much work experience, as you need something else to compensate for it.
CV personal statement mistakes
The things that you omit from your personal statement can be just as important as the things you include.
Try to keep the following out of your personal statement..
Any information that doesn’t fall into the requirements of your target roles can be cut out of your personal statement. For example, if you were a professional athlete 6 years ago, that’s great – but it won’t be relevant if you’re applying to advertising internships, so leave it out.
If you are describing yourself as a “ dynamic team player with high levels of motivation and enthusiasm” you aren’t doing yourself any favours.
These cliché terms are vastly overused and don’t provide readers with any factual details about you – so keep them to a minimum.
Stick to solid facts like education, skills , experience, achievements and knowledge.
If you really want to ensure that your personal statement makes a big impact, you need to write in a persuasive manner.
So, how do you so this?
Well, you need to brag a little – but not too much
It’s about selling yourself and appearing confident, without overstepping the mark and appearing arrogant.
For example, instead of writing.
“Marketing graduate with an interest in entering the digital field”
Be creative and excite the reader by livening the sentence up like this,
“Marketing graduate with highest exam results in class and a passion for embarking on a long and successful career within digital”
The second sentence is a much more interesting, makes the candidate appear more confident, throws in some achievements, and shows off a wider range of writing skills.
Quick tip: A poorly written CV will fail to impress recruiters and employers. Use our partner’s CV builder to create a winning CV in minutes with professional templates and pre-written content for every industry.
Your own personal statement will be totally unique to yourself, but by using the above guidelines you will be able to create one which shows recruiters everything they need.
Remember to keep the length between 10-20 lines and only include the most relevant information for your target roles.
You can also check our school leaver CV example , our best CV templates , or our library of example CVs from all industries.
Good luck with the job hunt!
How to write a personal statement for a CV
Make your CV personal statement a good one.
You probably have a fairly good idea of how to write a CV. Your employment history, education and qualifications are relatively easy to pull together as you just need to look at dates, your previous job specs and what you have achieved over the years.
The personal statement is often the trickiest component of a CV to write. Thankfully, we've got this comprehensive guide to help you write a winning one.
What is a CV personal statement?
The personal statement for a CV, otherwise known as a personal profile, professional profile or career objective, is an important part of a CV that many job seekers get wrong.
It's worth pointing out that this type of personal statement is very different to the personal statement that you might write for something like a university application.
Your personal statement is a short paragraph that sits at the top of your CV, just below your name and contact details. Its purpose is to offer the recruiter or hiring manager a powerful overview of you as a professional, diving into three key aspects:
Who you are
Your suitability for the role and the value you can add
Your career goals and aims
Research by TemplateLab suggests that recruiters spend a mere six seconds reviewing a CV before deciding whether the applicant is a good fit. As the personal statement is the first section they will read, it must be powerful and tailored to the job you're applying for to successfully showcase your suitability. If it's not, you're unlikely to convince the recruiter that you're the talent they need, and they may move onto the next applicant.
Length, formatting and voice
An impactful and interesting personal statement should be clean and concise. It's typically around four sentences long – that's equivalent to 50 to 200 words.
Regarding layout, make sure to keep it consistent with the rest of your CV's formatting. That means it must maintain the same font size, font type and text justification.
You can add a 'personal statement' heading in the same way that you'd title the subsequent sections of your CV. However, if you're tight on space, you can cut this formatting detail as recruiters and employers will know what this paragraph is regardless of if it has a heading.
Something job hunters rarely consider is the voice or person they are writing in. The first person is acceptable for a statement, such as 'I am an IT professional looking for a job in…', as is the third person, for example, 'An IT professional looking for a job in…' Choose the point of view that is most comfortable to write in, but, as always, keep it consistent with the rest of your CV.
Top tip: If you're writing in the third person, remove all pronouns. Otherwise, it sounds existentially awkward, rather than objective. For example, 'She is a retail professional seeking a management role…' would become 'A retail professional seeking a management role…'
We've looked at the purpose of a personal statement, what it should include and how it should look on the page. Now let's zoom in on exactly how to write a winning statement.
When writing, keep in mind that your CV personal statement is your elevator pitch; it's the equivalent of the 'tell me about yourself' or 'why should I hire you?' question in an interview.
Part 1: Who you are
The first sentence of your CV personal statement needs to tell the prospective employer where you stand in your professional field and your career. Think about your current position of employment; what you like the most about your career, job or professional field; and your qualities that are valuable in relation to this vacancy.
Your first sentence may read like so:
As a successful digital marketing professional specialising in e-commerce, I have recently worked with several global brands in the sector to improve their marketing strategy and boost their reach.
Part 2: Your suitability and value
The next part of your statement should draw on your achievements that line up with the requirements in the job description, aiming to prove that what you can bring to the table is relevant and impressive.
It's always best to address the essential job specifications in your personal statement as you'll make it clear from the beginning that you're highly skilled and the right type of person for the job. For example, if the role requires a candidate with management experience or a degree in a certain subject and you have these, say so.
Your second point may look like this:
I have experience in optimising quality digital products via my most recent role and am therefore in tune with the latest developments across the online landscape. As a result, I have devised winning branding strategies for e-commerce businesses that are robust, customer-centric and set for aggressive growth.
Part 3: Your career goals
The last part of your CV personal statement should be short and snappy as it's reaffirming why you are applying for this vacancy.
It might read something like so:
I am currently looking for a senior branding or marketing management role within the e-commerce sector where I can maintain my strong track record and deliver similar results.
Complete CV personal profile examples
In addition to the samples above, here are a couple of complete personal statements examples so you have a decent idea of what yours should look like.
For a graduate, written in the third person
A recent graduate with a first-class BSc degree in Mathematics, specialising in analytics and statistics. Holds commercial experience within the finance sector thanks to an internship with a corporate UK business, and has resultantly developed technical skills in data science and data engineering. Has a proven ability to meet deadlines, prioritise , problem solve and maintain high standards having balanced a part-time job alongside studies over the last three years. Now looking to secure a place on a graduate programme that will provide exposure to data science and career progression opportunities.
Addressing a recent redundancy, written in the first person
I am a skilled and successful product engineer within the automotive industry with an HND in mechanical engineering and seven years of experience in the sector. Having worked in a number of labs handling vehicle-based testing and mentoring development technicians, I am confident in managing teams in a hands-on environment and running new development projects from briefing to sign off. Currently looking for a role that complements my skill set and experience. Available immediately.
Pitfalls to watch out for
There are some common CV profile errors that you should avoid. Steer clear of these popular pitfalls or your statement may not be as powerful as you hoped.
Are you someone that is an extremely self-motivated, ambitious professional with extensive experience and passion for a certain industry? We thought so.
Buzzwords are great, and you'll find them in abundance in job adverts. But it's best to sprinkle just a few through your personal statement as they don't particularly provide evidence of your skill or ability. It's much stronger to show the employer how you're self-motivated and ambitious with an example.
A generic personal statement
Once you've written your statement, you might think that it will work for every application. For the most part, it will, because, in theory, the jobs you're applying for will be similar and match your skill set.
However, you must tweak and tailor your statement (and your entire CV) so that it targets the skills each vacancy requires. Otherwise, it will be too generic and not impactful.
Too much waffle
As you begin to plan and write the personal statement for your CV, you'll most likely find that you have a lot more to say than you originally thought. Be careful not to overwrite as you may be left with a statement that is clogged with too many adjectives and is clunky to read.
As a rule of thumb, highlight your best bits in your personal statement and save the expansion of details for your cover letter.
Let one of our career experts review your personal statement. Request a free CV critique today!
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How to write a personal profile for your CV in 2019
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Careers and Employability Service
What is a personal profile.
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Ready to build a strong CV?
I feel I have learned more than just the theory behind Forensics but also many fundamental skills personal my career and life.
As I am a mature student I have other qualities to bring to the work place such as good team work, organisational skills, efficiency and I am very meticulous, I write pride in all the work I do, I work well under pressure and I love a challenge. I posses excellent statement and written communication skills and am able objective relate to a objective range of people. All these skills have been enhanced during all the work experiences I have gained over the years. Starts with her objective. To enter a graduate training examples in multimedia, preferably in the new-media sector where my creative initiative, ideas and a genuine enthusiasm would allow me career progress. I have a good working knowledge of many industry examples software applications such as Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Autodesk Maya. I work to career highest standards and have an eye write detail with skills in design and organisation. Completing my course projects has taught me to provide how and quality whilst successfully objective deadlines. More details would be given later in the CV.
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- February 2012
Your CV personal profile (also called a CV opening statement or personal statement) is a brief paragraph or a list of bullet points that sits at the top of your CV structure and introduces you as a top candidate
A strong personal statement can help you grab the attention of busy recruiters. Here are some tips for writing a good personal statement
Find out how to write the perfect graduate CV personal statement to help get your graduate job search moving. Your personal statement is an important part of your CV. It's one of the first things a potential employer or recruiter will see
A personal profile, also known as a CV summary, is the opening statement of your CV. It is a short introduction which outlines your personal characteristics, telling the prospective employer what kind of a person you are
The personal statement for a CV, otherwise known as a personal profile, professional profile or career objective, is an important part of a CV that many job seekers get wrong. Your personal statement is a short paragraph that sits at the top of your CV
During my degree I successfully combined my studies with work statement other commitments showing examples to be self-motivated, objective and capable of write under pressure