Creating an effective CV takes time and close attention to detail. You've already included your jobs and experience, and now you want to allow the recruiter or hiring manager to understand the strategic value you can add.
This is when you need to utilize a personal statement at the top of your CV.
How to Write a CV Personal Statement [+4 Real-life Examples]
What is a Personal Statement?
A personal statement is a few brief and direct sentences at the top of your CV. The personal statement is also referred to as a career summary or personal mission statement.
This is used to grab the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager and summarizes essential experiences or training that you can bring to this position.
Why do I Need a Personal Statement?
A recruiter or hiring manager is tasked with sorting through an enormous amount of resumes every single day. A personal statement is a way to separate yourself from the other applicants.
This statement summarizes your experience and highlights your unique talents. The CV personal statement is meant to demonstrate why you are the perfect fit for the job.
Even med students need a medical school personal statement, as it is what differentiates them from all the other students applying. Plus, it allows them to share their personal stories and objectives.
Where do I Start?
Always begin by reading the job description carefully and thoroughly.
Your personal statement should be tailored to each job description, so it explicitly states the value you’ll bring to the position you are applying. A generic personal statement cannot do that.
Once you have a solid handle on the job description, you can begin writing. It’s important to keep your personal statement brief, about 50-200 words will do.
Don’t forget that you have your whole cover letter to show some personality and include engaging content.
The personal statement should be a quick summary that highlights why you are the best person for the job.
You’ll need to decide whether you are writing your personal statement in first- or third-person. This should follow how you've written the rest of your CV.
For example, if you've already written, “I grew and developed a team of 50 salespeople,” in your CV then you will want to keep your personal statement in first-person to match the prevailing style.
No matter what you choose, make sure that you keep it consistent throughout. Do not switch between first- and third-person as that will get confusing to the hiring manager.
Writing a personal statement for your CV in first-person does not mean you need to start every sentence with “I.”
There are ways to craft your personal statement to sound snappy, concise and personal, and here are a few examples to help inspire your personal statement.
CV Personal Statement Examples
It doesn’t matter what chose as your desired career or how much experience you have, use these examples to drive the creation of your own personal statement.
You can take snippets from each or write something completely different. Always remember that your personal statement is a reflection of yourself and should align with your own personal goals and experience.
If these examples don’t fit your exact career, feel free to take some pointers and write yours from scratch.
#1: Personal Statement Example for Recent Graduate CV
“As a recent graduate from university, with an honors degree in communications, I held several internships within leading organizations, including Bertelsmann. These internships enabled me to gain experience in the field and learn how to serve up valuable contributions in a fast-paced, professional environment.”
Explanation: This example should be customized to include the university you’ve graduated from and any relevant internships. A compelling personal statement always highlights relevant skills and experiences.
In this case, a recent graduate does not have extensive experience in the workforce, so soft skills like experiencing success in a fast-paced work environment and becoming a trusted team member become even more critical.
#2: Personal Statement Example for Returning to the Workforce CV
“A highly motivated and experienced office administrator, I am currently looking to resume my professional career after an extended hiatus to raise my family. Proficient in all Microsoft Office programs, I can lead meetings and work with clients to keep your office running smoothly and efficiently. After spending several years volunteering as an administrative worker for a local charity, I am committed to resuming my professional career on a full-time basis.”
Explanation: After time off from a career, it can be hard to break back into the market. This personal statement outlines the reason for the break, the relevant qualifications and what the applicant has been doing in between jobs.
Any volunteer experience becomes highly relevant when there is no concrete professional experience to draw upon, to demonstrate the use of those skills.
#3: Personal Statement Example for a Career Change CV
“With over 15 years as a sales manager, I have extensive experience building high-functioning sales teams that consistently achieve budget numbers. In fact, my ability to grow talent led to a 20% increase in annual renewals across the board. Now, after 15 years, I am seeking new challenges to flex my marketing muscles in a fast-paced environment.”
Explanation: When changing careers, it's essential to highlight skills that are transferable between industries.
In this case, leadership and team-building experience can apply to any industry. Homing in on concrete numbers and percentages increases credibility when applying for a position.
The applicant ends with the reason behind the desired career change. This part is not necessary but may be appealing to some hiring managers who are wondering what the impetus for the career change.
#4: Personal Statement Example for a Experienced Professional CV
“As a friendly, professional and highly trained educator, I am passionate about teaching and have an innate ability to understand student’s needs. Creating a safe and productive environment for optimal learning is my top priority. I’ve worked as a teacher for nearly 10 years in a variety of subjects and my experience and skill set make me the perfect fit for your team.”
Explanation: With more experience comes more skills and a better idea of strengths and weaknesses. Showcasing your passion for the industry is a great way to begin a personal statement, as it shows the hiring manager your dedication to the craft.
A personal statement can be written in many different ways, but it is ultimately up to you to determine what skills you want to highlight for your chosen position.
You can follow these examples or take learnings from each to contribute towards your personal statement.
If you understand the job you are applying for and know the unique skill set that you bring to the table, you will have a stellar personal statement for your CV that will get you across the table from the hiring manager in no time.