Hiring managers are busy people. And they only spend an average of 6 seconds looking at a CV before deciding whether to reject or read on. One of the first things they’ll read is your personal statement. So you need to make sure this grabs their attention as well as nailing the rest of your CV.
What is a personal statement on a CV?
A personal statement (or summary) are the opening lines of your CV. It tells the employer about you, your aims, and what you have to offer. Your personal statement should summarise the most important points from your CV.
Tips for writing a personal statement that stands out
Place it at the top of your CV
First things first, your personal statement sits towards the top of your CV along with your personal details. The next part of your CV will be your work experience, followed by your qualifications and hobbies. And don’t forget to title each section so it says ‘Personal statement’, ‘Work experience’ etc.
Keep it short
The best personal statements are concise and to the point. There’s no waffling or long-winded sentences. It should be a paragraph containing 3-5 sentences only. Remember, hiring managers are short on time. So make their job easier by writing a short but powerful personal statement.
Don’t be generic
Avoid writing cliches in your personal statement. The point is to stand out from the crowd. So really think of all the things that make you unique and an asset. Ask yourself if your personal statement could be talking about anyone… or if it can only be about you.
Summarise your experience
Use 1-2 sentences in your statement to summarise your experience. But keep it relevant. If you’re applying for a job in hospitality, only mention the stuff that’s closely linked with hospitality. This will make sure your CV stands out and the hiring manager will want to know more about you.
Talk about your career aims
Make sure you include where you want your career to go, and why. It’s good to show employers that you’re serious about this career path. Show them you’re ambitious and determined.
Use buzzwords from the job description
The job description tells you exactly who the hiring manager is looking for. If they’re looking for ‘organised’ people, make sure you include the word organised. But don’t overdo this. Only pick out a couple of the most important qualities they’re looking for.
Keep it formal
Remember to keep the language professional and formal. Don’t use abbreviations like ‘I’m’ or ‘I’ve’. Instead, write ‘I am’ or ‘I have’.
Don’t echo your cover letter
If you’re including a cover letter with your application, don’t just copy and paste the text from there. Make sure your personal statement is totally original.
Personal statement examples
Example 1: waiter/waitress role
“I am an outgoing person who thrives working in fast-paced environments. I enjoy providing a first-class experience for customers and have 2 years’ experience working in a busy restaurant as a waitress. I am looking to work full-time for a fine-dining restaurant that can provide ongoing career progression. I am available from March 1st.”
Example 2: sales role
“I am a highly motivated individual who is best suited to working in competitive environments. I have excelled in my current role selling mobile phone contracts, having achieved all of my sales targets. I am now seeking a more challenging sales role, selling higher-ticket items. I am available to start at one month’s notice.”
Example 3: carer role
“I am a compassionate and dependable person, seeking work as a carer. I have experience caring for sick, elderly relatives, administering their medication and tending to personal care. I understand what it takes to support vulnerable people. I am seeking a full-time position with an immediate start.”
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