Wisdom//

10 Tips for Writing a Winning Personal Statement for Your CV

A strong personal statement is what will give a recruiter that extra push. It’s a section that many people struggle with, but it is essential.

Alexxndr/Shutterstock
Alexxndr/Shutterstock

Are you applying for a new role or looking for useful tips to spruce up your CV? While it’s somewhat easy to list down your work history and employment; this isn’t all that makes a CV stand out.

A strong personal statement is what will give the recruiter the extra push to keep reading. It’s a section of the document that many people struggle with, but it’s what you need to sell yourself, effectively.

What is a personal Statement for CV?

It’s the introductory paragraph at the top of your CV that persuades the recruiter to interview you. It’s what some refer to as Personal profile or Career summary.

Typically, the ideal word count ranges from 50 to 200 words. Since the CV is a self-marketing document, you should use this section to help the recruiter identify any strategic value you’ll add to their company.

It’s almost similar to a cover letter, but this time you’ll only use a few sentences to sell yourself. Below is how to go about it:

Writing Tips for an Interview-Winning Personal Statement for CV

1. Research

Depending on where you want to submit your CV, you may need to tailor it to a particular job specification. It also depends on the career path you want to take. For those not sure about which field they want to get into, you may leave out the personal statement section, all together.

However, when applying for a specific job, you need to include the skills and expertise that the potential employer is looking for.

2. Introduce yourself

It’s the opening part where you outline who you are. Perhaps, you are a recent graduate from X university, with a Y degree. If you already have experience in a specific field and are looking for a position in that industry, mention that.

There’s some flexibility in the ideal grammatical person to write in, i.e., the first or third person. Choose what you are comfortable with and be consistent. For, the first person, try to limit using “I’s” at the beginning of a sentence.

3. Highlight your skills and strengths

The next logical step after the introduction is to showcase what you can bring to the table. That is, what you have to offer the company. Highlight critical achievements that will make you stand out.

Also, provide evidence to support your claims. Use the job spec to match the CV with the specific job you are applying to. If you feel intimidated by the process of crafting a winning personal statement, have not enough writing skills you can also get expert personal statement help.

4. Address any breaks

Reasons for making the application to a particular position vary from one person to another. If you have a gap in your work experience, you can give reasons for the break. Also, include details on what you’ve been doing in that period.

Draw from your volunteer experience if you don’t have particular professional expertise. Outline the skills you have acquired, too.

5. Include your career goals

It’s the section that addresses the question of how to end personal statement. It shows the recruiter that you are worth investing in time and money. An example of the closing statement is:

Looking to secure a position in the X industry for Y reasons.

Dos and Don’ts of Personal Statement Writing

1. Be specific

As much as you want to engage the reader, you should refrain from using lengthy descriptions. Keep your statements informative and punchy. Also, provide just enough evidence to hook the reader.

2. Be real

It doesn’t mean boring, in any case. Demonstrate to the recruiter who you are as a person and what you can offer the company. Highlight relevant qualities that make you unique and the application, noteworthy.

3. Overusing buzzwords

Excessive use of buzzwords to reveal information about yourself can be off-putting. Instead, highlight your relevant skills and support them with evidence.

Clichés also don’t provide factual details about you. Keep them to a minimum.

4. Replicating your cover letter

The two documents may have the same goals, but none should be a replica of the other. Otherwise, it’s a show of laziness.

5. Irrelevant Information

Whatever is not related to the job specifications, needs to be left out. You may be an all-rounded person, but being a marathon runner isn’t relevant to, say a marketing role. Unless you want to highlight some transferable skills.

Final Advice on Writing a Personal Statement for CV

Remember to proofread the details you include. You want the recruiter to view you as a professional and one who pays attention to detail. Also, ensure that your account has a natural flow.

Do not ramble as you sell yourself. Stick to using the specified word count of 50 to 200 words. Before you sit down to write the personal statement, determine the skillset or requirements the recruiter is looking for in a specific role.

Choose and highlight those that make you stand out. or, it’s the details which will persuade the recruiter to keep reading or put your application in the rejection pile. Make your efforts count.

Originally published on Ladders.

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