How to Write a Personal Statement

How to Write a Personal Statement

Write a great personal statement for a CV.

If you want your CV to get noticed, you must know how to write a personal statement that will set you apart from the crowd. It's not as difficult as it seems. Think of your CV personal statement as a sort of introductory greeting. It sits at the very top of the page, just beneath your contact information, and is likely the first thing a hiring manager will read. It's a brief description of your experience and accomplishments, all presented neatly and clearly. (We have some personal statement examples below for you to check out.)

Getting to grips with writing a CV personal statement means really understanding your audience. This might require you to tailor your personal statement for every job application. Yes, it will take you longer but it will be worth it. For more personal statement examples, have a look at Monster's free CV templates.

How to Write a Personal Statement

1. Be Brief

Personal statements that ramble on or are too wordy tend to be a turn-off for employers even if the rest of your CV is ideal. Keep it to two paragraphs at the most and try to limit each of these to two or three concise sentences.

2. Keep It Relevant

A personal statement about your great passion for the outdoors is superb if you are applying for the position of a park ranger, but not if you are going for an office-based job. Anything you say should be suited to the employment opportunity in question.

3. Stay Consistent

A very important factor of how to write a personal statement: Don't state anything that cannot be backed up by what comes later in your CV. This includes things like saying you are skilled with customer service when your work history has never been customer-facing, or claiming to be hard working if you have been sacked for absenteeism.

4. Avoid Clichés

Don't follow the pack by saying you are "a team player" or "diligent." It is better to give personal examples of such things rather than make unsubstantiated claims about yourself. For example: "Early adopter of social media platforms and technologies, with a proven record of creating and managing successful social media campaigns that increased sales by 25 percent."

5. Sell Yourself

Think about what an advertising executive would say about your skills and how they relate to what the potential employer needs. Draw out the most important parts of your individual blend of aptitudes so that you stand out as a good candidate to call to interview.

6. Explain Gaps

If there is a glaring gap in your CV, a personal statement is a good place to put it into context. If you have been out of work or on a long-term break from the workplace, then put a positive spin on it by focusing on things you might have done like retraining or voluntary work.

7. Identify Yourself

If your CV name is not the one you commonly use, then make this clear in your personal statement. When referring to yourself, use the first person "I" pronoun and don't mix this up with third-person sentence structures.

8. Check It Over

Reading your personal statement aloud will help you to pick out syntax errors and problems with flow. Finally, you also need to ensure there are no spelling mistakes or typographical errors.

Personal Statement Examples

  • Expanded Functions Dental Assistant (EFDA) with excellent clinical and patient relations skills acquired through five years of experience in busy dental practises. Professional, caring demeanour that earned frequent praise from clients and employers.
  • Client-focused, detail-oriented, and computer-literate receptionist for a high-volume office environment. Personable and welcoming in all interactions with clients and team members, and skilled at anticipating management's and office's needs.
  • Creative and energetic public relations strategist with 10 years of experience leading PR campaigns for prestigious agencies. Proven success conceptualising, overseeing, and implementing media strategies and tracking data across traditional media and digital channels.

Show Off Your CV Personal Statement

Knowing how to write a personal statement ought to help you get shortlisted for an interview, but it can't do the job on its own. Want some help? Create a Monster profile for free and you'll be able to connect with recruiters for great job opportunities in your area.