What is a personal statement?
A personal statement is a way to promote yourself, whether you’re applying for university or a job (but personal statements for university will be much longer and more detailed than ones for a CV).
Your personal statement will be located in the very top of your CV if you are using a template (sometimes referred to as the ‘about’ section).
It should be a summary of yourself, your skills and experience, to help you stand out from the other applicants. Its purpose is to show that you are suitable for the job role.
How to structure your personal statement
- Explain who you are
What you currently do for work, how much experience you have and a few keywords that describe your character (e.g. enthusiastic, organized, analytical). Try to use words that relate to the job you are applying for.
- State why you are applying for this particular role and why you should be considered
Use your experience and skills to reinforce this in order to show that you have the attributes the company and the role needs. Make sure that these are tailored to the role you are applying for and not random.
- Mention your professional goals for the future
Again, it’s a good idea to mention something that is along the lines of that role and the company. Employers want employees who will stay with that company for a long time, not just as experience for a few months, which is why it is absolutely key to sound passionate.
General tips for a personal statement
- Be clear and concise. Don’t waffle.
- Maintain the same tone throughout. You can use any tense and personal pronouns but ensure it is consistent (e.g. don’t say ‘I am an enthusiastic individual’ then say ‘She has 10 years of experience’).
- Check your spelling, punctuation and grammar! It may seem obvious but many skip this step. Jobs get so many applicants and you don’t want to give them a reason to put your CV in the no pile.
- Research the company and the job title and description. Many companies have an ‘About us’ section on their website that mentions their core values. Use it! Mention that you have some of these in your personal statement and the skills that the job posting states it needs. This is also applicable to those writing a personal statement for a university application.