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Personal Statement (With Examples)

Updated on Oct 16, 2020 99 views
Personal Statement (With Examples)

A personal statement can make or break your application. It’s the first section of your Curriculum Vitæ as a result of its strategic position, it is a determining factor in the recruitment exercises. 

So, what is a personal statement and why should you put in the effort to write it? 

A personal statement is a short, personal summary you write to testify to your characteristics and sell yourself as the best fit for a position. The better crafted your personal statement is, the higher your chances of getting the job. 

In a personal statement, you would typically summarise your skills and experience, whilst also making sure that it’s relevant to the position you’re applying for.

Personal statements aren’t only required for employment purposes, but university applications are also accompanied by a personal statement. Unlike the one for employment, though, it will be much more detailed.

Why is a personal statement important?

The importance of a personal statement cannot be stressed enough. It is the first impression the hiring manager has of you. Since you most likely wouldn’t be present during the CV review/shortlisting, they’ll go by what you have put down to have an idea of your person. 

Since it’s the first thing they’ll see when they access your CV (it’s on top), so it really can make or break your application.

Brevity is essential to a flawless personal statement. So, you need to summarize the specific skills and experience that would make you perfect for the position you are applying for. 

In the same great personal statement that can impress the recruiter, a terrible or poorly written one can also make them toss your application into the bin.

What should be its length?

As pointed out earlier, a personal statement should be short and straight-to-the-point. Avoid being too descriptive as wordiness would bulk up your CV and take up unnecessary space. Your personal statement shouldn’t cover than four-five lines of your CV.

However, if your personal statement is for a university admission application, you have the freedom to more detailed in your statement.

How do you Write a Personal Statement?

A personal statement should tell whoever reads through it three main things about you in a clear and concise manner. They are:

Who are you?

What do you bring to the table?

What are your goals?

Who are you?

This is pretty self explanatory, but is somehow problematic for applicants. No, this is not the time to give a autobiographical account of your life. Just provide the details about who you are that are relevant to your application.

For example, ‘ A project manager with over 7 years experience’ answers the question succinctly. Anything beyond this is a load of crap. 

What do you bring to the table?

Let’s face it, employers need you to add value to their organization. Which is why they initiated the recruitment process in the first place – to hire the person with the most value to add to their company. So, tailor your answer to the application and avoid storytelling.

Make it clear that you’re the right person for the job by directly including the requirements in your personal statement.

If it’s a marketing job, your marketing skills should be highlighted briefly in your statement.

What are your goals?

Every employer loves a career oriented person. And nothing says you are focused on self-development more than highlighting it in your personal statement.

Your personal statement should be tailored to each application. This may appear stressful but it increases your chances greatly, as opposed to having a generic CV.

While it will be more pleasing to the eyes to omit pronouns totally in your personal statement, it isn’t a factor for disqualification you include it in. Just make sure you minimize its use and are consistent with the tense you utilize.

A typical personal statement should include the following:

Personal Qualities

  • Self-motivated
  • Creative
  • Versatile 
  • Tenacious 

Skills

  • Management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical skills

Experience

  • 7 years experience in …
  • Excellent track record of …
  • Extensive background in …
  • Grasp of/knowledge of …

Personal Statement Example 

As earlier pointed out, personal statements can be academic or CV related. Here, examples of each type would be given.

Personal statement for your CV as a recent graduate 

A recent graduate of Computer Science looking to secure a Graduate Data Analyst job to further develop my analytical skills, knowledge and to build up these abilities in a useful and reputable organization. My career goal is to contribute my data analysis, data modelling, data cleansing, and data enrichment a leading field and effectively add to the success of the organization.

Personal statement example for university student

I am a hardworking and versatile individual with a great passion for content writing and digital marketing. I am currently a third year student of English Language at the University of Newton. I have excellent communication skills, enabling me to effectively communicate with a wide range of people. I am seeing a part-time position in the industry in which I can put into practice my knowledge and experience, ultimately benefiting the operations of the organisation that I work for.

Personal statement example for an experienced professional 

Project manager with over ten years experience in the advertising industry. In my previous role I was responsible for managing the finance and sustainability strategy of a number of large scale projects and liaising directly with clients. I am looking to take on new challenges including managing multiple projects simultaneously and leading a bigger team.I am  confident that my knowledge, experience and skills would make me an asset to your team.

 

Be mindful of including unnecessary details that would take up valuable space. This includes an overload of adjectives, skills and experiences. Remember that the cover letter as/or body of  the CV is meant for your to expatiate on these.

A general advice is to, highlight your best bits in your personal statement and keep elaborate details for your cover letter.

 

Read also: CV templates for all fields

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