What is a personal statement for your CV?

A CV is a great way for an employer to get a quick impression of your qualifications and experience, but it can lack personality. That’s where a personal statement on your CV can help: this is the place where you can add your personality and show potential employers and recruiters who you are and why you’d be a great asset to the company. Now you may be wondering, ‘what actually is a CV personal statement?’. A personal statement (also known as a personal profile on a CV, a CV summary, a CV objective or a CV opening statement) is a short paragraph of text on your CV, used to introduce yourself to potential employers and make a strong first impression in a few short sentences.

A personal statement on your CV for a job application is different from a longer personal statement for a university. The CV personal statement is just a few sentences long and includes your career interests. Want to know how to write a good personal statement, what to include and mistakes to avoid? Stick around, because in this article we explain how to write your own CV personal statement and provide tips and examples.
 

Do you need a personal statement on your CV?

There are some parts of a CV that you can’t leave out, such as your personal information and your work experience. A CV personal statement, however, isn’t a must on a CV, and an employer isn’t likely to discard your application simply because you don’t have a personal statement on your CV. But even though you don’t need a personal statement on your CV, not adding one is a bit of a missed opportunity.

A CV is a very formal, professional document. It’s a great way for recruiters and employers to see all your qualifications and experiences at a single glance. But you’re so much more than the degree you just completed, or the time you spent as a sales advisor at the local grocery shop. You have ambitions and a sparkling personality, and a personal statement on your CV is a great way to relay these to your future employer.
 

Personal statement, CV summary, cover letter or supporting statement: what’s the difference?

There are so many words and phrases when it comes to applying for a job. A CV, cover letter, personal statement, CV summary or personal summary for a CV, supporting statement, CV opening statement, personal profile, CV objective, etcetera, etcetera. But what do all these phrases mean, and what’s the difference? We’ll break it down for you.

  • CV, also known as a curriculum vitae: a document that summarizes your experience, educational background and skills. This is a necessary document when applying for a job.
  • Cover letter: a letter or email in which you express your interest in the position for which you are applying. You also mention your capabilities, skills and qualifications, without simply repeating your CV.
  • Supporting statement: similar to a cover letter, but is usually a shorter piece of text. A supporting statement is usually a part of the application form and sometimes has a word limit.
  • Personal statement, aka CV summary, CV opening statement, personal profile or CV objective: a short statement, usually a few sentences, that introduces you to the employer or recruiter.

 

How to write a CV personal statement

Writing a CV personal statement for a job can sound pretty intimidating, but we’re here to help you write a good CV summary. Before you start writing your personal statement for your CV, it’s good to know what to write in a CV summary. A CV personal statement typically consists of three parts:

  1. A short statement of who you are. Start with giving a quick introduction of yourself, by saying what job you’re currently in (or your last job) and where your strengths lie.
  2. What your value to an organization would be. In this part, you want to wow a potential employer or recruiter by convincing them that you’re the best person for the job. Here you can highlight achievements and skills that would be valuable to the company or field you want to work in.
  3. Your career objectives. This is where you can express your ambitions and career goals. Employers love people who have ambitions to grow, and saying what it is you’re looking for can give recruiters a clear idea of if a job suits you.

 
This may sound like a lot to cover in a short paragraph, but each of the components doesn’t need to be much longer than 1 or 2 sentences.
 

5 common mistakes to avoid when writing a CV personal statement

As with anything, there are some common mistakes to avoid when writing a CV personal statement:

  • Avoid including irrelevant information. Though you’re wanting to show your personality, you only have limited space, so make sure everything you add to your CV personal statement is relevant for the job you want or the field you want to work in. Don’t mention that you love to read, except if you’re looking for a job in publishing, and avoid statements that may be better off on your dating profile, like your favourite movie or an inspirational quote.
  • Don’t repeat your CV. Your CV already mentions all of your qualifications and experiences, so there is no need to waste your personal statement on mentioning those again. Only mention your current position or most relevant jobs you’ve had, and the skills that are useful for the position you’re applying for.
  • Stay away from clichés. Sure, you probably are a dynamic team player who works hard, but recruiters and employers read these phrases countless times a day. You’re better off sticking with the facts, like how your experience in retail has helped you develop great communication skills.
  • Don’t copy and paste from your cover letter. Same as with your CV, make sure not to simply summarise your cover letter. The last thing a recruiter or potential employer wants to do is read through the same thing over and over again.
  • Avoid rambling. Employers and recruiters read through a lot of CV’s and personal statements, so the last thing you want is to spend too much time reading statements that just go on and on. Be concise and get to the point, only mentioning relevant information.

 

10 tips to make your personal statement stand out on your CV

Now you know what to include in your CV personal statement and what to avoid, you’re ready to get started. If you want your personal statement to stand out on your CV, we’ve got a few tips for you:

  • Write a unique statement. The employer wants to know who you are, so it’s best to be you in your CV personal statement. You can take inspiration from personal statement templates and examples, but avoid copy and pasting other people’s work.
  • Provide evidence. Sure, anyone can say they have amazing management skills, but you’re going to need evidence to back up statements such as those. Giving examples makes you much more believable, and strengthens your statement.
  • Be concise. You only have a limited amount of words and space, so use them wisely. Make sure all your assets and qualifications come across in a few short and concise sentences.
  • Use the correct formatting and stick to the word count. A good CV personal statement is usually around 4 sentences long, which is about 50 to 200 words. Use the same font and size as the rest of your CV to be consistent.
  • Match your writing style to the rest of your CV. Just as you want to use the same font and size as the rest of your CV to stay consistent, you also want to match your writing style. You want your CV to be a clear and consistent document, so you don’t want your style to be all over the place.
  • Tailor your personal statement to the vacancy. This may seem like a lot of work, but tailoring your CV personal statement to the job or company you’re applying for is a great way to make sure you appeal to the employer and can mention all the skills and qualifications you have that they’re looking for.
  • Be honest. Most people embellish their CV’s somewhat, but you’re better off just being honest in your CV personal statement. After all, if you lie about your skills and abilities and you end up getting the job, you might be in way over your head.
  • Check the spelling and grammar. As with any important document, the best thing you can do is check, check, double-check. Spelling and grammatical errors are very unprofessional, and they’re super easy to spot and solve nowadays with autocorrect.
  • Read it out loud. You can read your personal statement a hundred times and read over the same error every time. Reading out loud helps you hear what your statement sounds like to others and spot mistakes.
  • Be creative. Even though your personal statement on your CV should be short and concise, you can still be creative. Use your personal writing style and try to liven up your sentences. Also, try to come up with a strong final sentence when concluding your personal statement.

 

Good personal statement on a CV examples

Reading how to write a good CV summary, profile or personal statement for your CV can be a bit vague without a visual. That’s why we’ve gathered a few personal statement examples for jobs. This will give you an idea of how to write your own statement, and may even give you some inspiration. Take a look at these personal profiles or CV summary/objective examples.

A personal statement for your CV for an apprenticeship

I am a highly motivated and hardworking individual. I have recently completed my A-Levels, achieving excellent grades in both History and English. I have a keen interest in the publishing field. My career aim is to gain a role that allows me to further my skills and knowledge and take on increased responsibility at a market-leading publishing firm, with the longer-term aspiration of working as an editor or publisher.

A personal statement for your CV for a job after graduation

As a recent 2:1 marketing graduate from the University of X, I am looking to secure a Graduate Marketer position to further develop my skills and knowledge in a practical and fast-paced environment. I have undertaken internships at industry-leading agencies such as X and X, where I was able to develop sector knowledge and gain hands-on experience.

A personal statement for your CV with experience

Target-oriented and enthusiastic Sales Professional with over 10 years of experience. Grew X’s client base from 10 to 40 within one year. Increased sales by 30 per cent by implementing a new lead qualification tool. Skilled at developing and maintaining client relationships and highly committed to working with a team to achieve quotas.

A personal statement for your CV with no experience

A friendly and energetic person with good people skills looking for an opportunity to work in retail. I am a quick learner, willing to work hard and complete training. I am a motivated person who is willing to work hard and flexibly and can work alone or in a team. I am keen to learn and succeed.

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FAQ

  • What is a personal statement for a CV?
    A personal statement, also known as a CV profile, summary or objective, is a short paragraph introducing yourself on your CV. It includes three components: who you are, what your value to the company would be and what your career goals are.
  • Do I need a personal statement on my CV?
    Most employers won’t specifically ask for a personal statement in your CV, but it’s a good idea to add one regardless. This is a way for you to instantly catch the attention of the reader and to make them want to read the rest of your CV.
  • How do I write a CV profile, summary or objective?
    A personal statement on your CV should be short, around 4 sentences and between 50 and 200 words. First, start with a small introduction to yourself, mentioning your educational background or work experience. Secondly, describe how you would be of value to the company, mentioning skills and examples of achievements. Finally, mention your future career aims.
  • Where can I find examples of good CV personal statements for jobs?
    Right here, on Jobbird. We have all kinds of tips for applying for jobs, including how to make a CV and how to write a personal statement. In the article about personal statements, you’ll find multiple examples.