Crafting a Compelling Personal Statement for Job Applications
A personal statement is a powerful tool in your CV. It enables you to briefly introduce yourself, highlight your most relevant skills, and present your experience. A good personal statement should be short and to the point (you don’t want to exceed 150 words) and show who you are, what you can offer, and what career goals you have. Let’s discuss it in more detail.
Table of Contents
- What is a personal statement in a CV?
- Does everybody need a personal statement?
- How to create a gripping personal statement for your CV?
- Examples of mistakes in a personal statement for work
- The takeaway
What Is a Personal Statement in a CV?
A personal statement, also known as an opening statement or a personal profile, is the brief paragraph you can usually see in CV examples – the one right at the beginning of a given resume. It is meant to be a short introduction presenting your key skills, experiences, achievements, and aims to the employer in a nutshell.
Crafting a compelling personal statement is crucial, as it’s the first touchpoint between you and the recruiter, meaning that it makes the first impression. And as we know, a good first impression increases your chances of getting hired significantly.
Does Everybody Need a Personal Statement?
The answer is: it depends. While many recruiters/employers believe that it isn’t necessary for fresh graduates to include a personal statement (after all, do they have any experience to include in it?), there are still many people who believe that it should be included, no matter your career history. Thus, it’s best to prepare it anyway.
How to Create a Gripping Personal Statement for Your CV?
A personal statement should be a part of your resume customization – while some elements might fit no matter what position you apply for, others should be changed based on the job. Yet, this is just the tip of the iceberg – and since we’re on the topic of tips, we prepared some for you, regarding personal statement writing.
Imagine an example of a personal statement that is formatted in a weird way – would it make a great first impression? No. This is why before you even start writing, you should ensure that:
- your formatting is okay, it’s easy to read the statement,
- the personal statement is at the top of the first page and fits in with the rest of the layout.
Now, let’s get to the writing. Here, you should also follow certain guidelines:
- make sure that your personal statement is no longer than 150 words,
- choose the tone of voice and whether you will write in the first or in the third person – be consistent,
- avoid mistakes,
- write the truth.
Additionally, when it comes to the form, you should start the statement by introducing yourself, fill the middle part with your experience, and finish by presenting your goals.
Having prepared your statement, you need to proofread it to ensure that it’s top-notch and free of mistakes. Again, we have a few tips on how to do that:
- read the statement out loud – it will help you spot any grammatical or syntactic errors,
- conduct separate checks – first read it focusing only on consistency in terms of the person used, then do the same for grammar mistakes, and then the same for the tone of voice; this will let you eliminate mistakes more accurately,
- check the number of words – you don’t want your statement to be too lengthy.
Examples of Mistakes in a Personal Statement for Work
We gave you some tips on how to write a gripping personal statement for your CV, so now let’s focus on the opposite – the things that you shouldn’t do. These include:
- quoting your previous employers,
- including unnecessary information,
- copying fragments from your cover letter,
- overusing buzzwords,
- using jargon or colloquial language,
- including cliche statements, such as “I am a team player,” “I’m success-oriented,” etc.
Making a strong first impression is critical if you want to get hired. Therefore, you need to polish your whole CV, including the personal statement. Remember to make it brief and easy to read; avoid making language mistakes – this wouldn’t speak well of you, would it?