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How to Write a Personal Statement for Your CV in 2020

Making your CV stand out from other job applicants can be tough but if you know how to write a personal statement, then you have a better chance of landing the job of your dreams.

According to research, it is confirmed that a lot of people are unhappy with their current jobs. If this is you, it’s time to spruce up your CV ready for your next job search. And a personal statement could set you up for success.

Putting together the core information of your CV, such as education and employment history, is a fairly easy task.

While you may think these are all you need to market yourself effectively, you should probably add an introductory statement too. This will give your CV the extra oomph it needs to secure that job in 2020.

Every potential employer wants to know how you can be a great asset to their company. 

How can you convince your prospective employer that you are the best person for the job even before you meet them with your CV?

We understand that creating a good CV requires hard work and great attention to detail. You have the experience, skills and educational qualifications, but you want the recruiter to know the value that you can add to the company, but how?

By now, you may be wondering why you need a personal statement, but the need for one is becoming more important by the day. Below are some questions every job seeker asks themeselve.

“Do I need a personal statement on my CV when my experiences and skills are boldly written on my CV?”

Yes! You need a personal statement to quickly tell your prospective employer about your special talents, skills, and experience that you are bringing into the job. 

According to statistics, employers spend only 6 seconds reading a CV. This means that you have just 6 seconds to prove to the employer that you are the best fit for the job, and this is what a personal statement does for you. 

So, are you ready to see how you can take charge of your job search? Let’s get started then.

Before we get into it, let us take a look at everything we are going to learn from this guide:

  • What is a personal statement?
  • Why you should write a personal statement
  • How to write a personal statement

How to Write A Personal Statement

You can write a personal statement following these steps:

  • Create a draft: Make a draft of all the values that you can add to the job that you are applying for. You can make a list.
  • Select the skills and values that are most important to the job: When you have made a list of your skills and values, then you can select the ones that best relate to the job that you are applying for.
  • Concentrate on your strength: Concentrate on the things that emphasize you as the best person for the job.
  • Make sure you go straight to the point: Recruiters are not interested in knowing your details.
  • Understand the job that you are applying for.
  • Provide evidence for your experience and skills.
  • State why you want to work for the company.
  • Make sure your personal statement focuses more on what you can do for your company rather than what the company can do for you.
  • Make sure your first sentence is captivating.
  • Re-read your personal statement to make sure its free from grammatical errors.
  • Make sure your personal statement answers the basic personal statement questions like; who are you? What can you do? Why should we hire you? Why do you want to work for us?

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a piece of writing usually not more than 2 or 3 paragraphs that appears at the top of your CV that gives a summary of who you are, your skills, your achievement, experience, your career goals and finally; the reason for your application.

You can write an amazing CV, but not having a personal statement on your CV or having a poor one can make your CV not get the attention that it should get. A personal statement is what captivates the recruiter’s attention to your CV.

Just like an elevator pitch, a personal statement allows you to convince the recruiter that you are the best person for the job even before they decide to read your CV.

A personal statement helps you take charge of your application. If your personal statement is good, the recruiter will likely read your CV; and if your personal statement is bad, well your CV might just get trashed.

Below is an example of a personal statement.

example of a personal statement

Reasons Why You Should Add A Personal Statement in Your CV

If your aim of writing a CV is to eventually land the job of your dreams, then you should consider attracting the interest of the employer with your personal statement.  Below are some of the reasons why you should consider adding a personal statement to you CV.

1. Writing a personal statement on your CV helps you sustain the interest of the recruiter on your CV.

A personal statement will help you project your skills and unique abilities that make you the best person for the job to the recruiter at a glance. 

Even if your skills and experience are stated on your CV, the personal statement is what the recruiter will likely see first. And if your personal statement is interesting enough it will capture the attention of the recruiter.

2. Adding a personal statement to your CV helps you market yourself to the recruiter.

Why do you write a CV in the first place?

I guess you write a CV to convince your prospective employer that you are the best person for the job, showing your skills and experience. 

So, you are marketing yourself to the recruiter with your CV, right? So, if your CV is a marketing tool, why don’t you take advantage of that and market yourself to the recruiter. 

Adding a personal statement to your CV will help you utilize the functionality of your CV as a marketing tool. 

3. It helps you share your ambition and skills with the recruiter.

If you are a fresh graduate with little or no formal work experience, then you can take advantage of the personal statement to share some of your informal experiences with the recruiter.

You can share some of the strengths and experiences that you must have acquired during your stay at the university that will convince the recruiter that will be great at the job.

4. It helps your application stand out.

Having a personal statement on your CV can come in handy when you are applying for a competitive job. 

If you are applying for a competitive job, it means that there are thousands of other people that are applying for the same job, so what do you have to do? Stand out!

Employers often flip past CVs without even reading them especially when they have a lot to attend to. Recruiters will likely flip past your CV unless they can spot that competitive advantage

That been said, Let’s dive into the main business which is how to write a personal statement for your cv. I will show you all you need to know to create an amazing personal statement for your CV in this article.

How to Write a Personal Statement for Your CV

1.      Understand the job that you are applying for:

The first step to writing a good personal statement is to first understand the job that you are applying for. Understanding the job description and the recruiter’s expectation for that position will help you craft a personal statement that will directly appeal to the employer.

Carefully reading the job description will help you understand what the employer looks forward to seeing in the potential employee.

Take note of the words that were used in the job description and use it to form your personal statement. You should also research the company to understand their core values.

2.      Talk about who you are:

Your personal statement should be able to tell the recruiter who you are (professionally) in clear terms. This should appear in the first sentence of your personal statement.

To effectively tell the recruiter who you are, you can think about your current position and make a list of things that you do in your job. You can also do this for your previous experiences.

You can include the things that you are passionate about or the things that you love most about your profession and the valuable qualities that you. 

Now that you have understood what a personal statement is, and why it is important, I think it is time for you to know how to write a good personal statement that will land you a job.

When you are writing your personal statement, you should know that your personal statement is your elevator pitch. It is like answering the question; “Tell me about yourself?”“Can we meet you?”, “why should we hire you?”.

So, see how you can go ahead to write an amazing personal statement following these steps:

Talking about who you are can look like this:

“As a resourceful and successful digital marketing professional with more than 6 years of experience specializing in search engine optimization (SEO) and a passion for digital marketing that makes it easy for me to help individuals and brands gain an online presence. 

From the example above, you can see that any recruiter that looks at this personal statement will immediately understand who the person is and even what the person does. 

3.      Present your strength and values:

The next thing for you do after telling the recruiter who you are is to present your strength, values, and achievement that are in line with the job description that makes you the best person for the job. 

This part will allow you to show the recruiter what relevant value you will be bringing to the table. 

It is also good for you to include the important requirement that is specified in the job description in your personal statement to give the recruiter the idea that you are the best person for the job. 

If for example, the job description specifies certain skills or educational qualifications that a candidate should have, you should not forget to add that you possess those skills or qualifications. This helps to send the right message to the recruiter. 

The second part of your personal statement can look like this:

“With a comprehensive knowledge of the digital marketing strategies and search engine optimization skills I have been able to develop strategies and processes for optimizing digital products that I utilized in my current job. 

As a result of my expertise, I have been able to build SEO strategies that can help businesses improve their online visibility which will also increase revenue in the long run”

4.      State what you want.

In the last part of your personal statement, you should be able to state what your career goals are. The recruiter needs to know what is next after your skills and experience.

The recruiter also wants to know why you are applying for the job. You should be able to tell the recruiter why you are interested in the job, what you look forward to achieving with the job, and why you are interested in the organization.

Make sure that this part of your personal statement is short, straight to the point and reaffirming.

The concluding part of your personal statement should be something like this:

“I am currently looking for an SEO specialist role where I can open myself up to bigger challenges and also deliver great with result utilizing my skills and experience.”

No doubt, these tips will help you write a great personal statement, but it is good you know how to structure your personal statement in a way that it appears professional.

How to Structure Your Personal Statement

I know that writing a personal statement may seem daunting, but since you already understand how to write a personal statement on your CV, you will just need to understand some basic structures you need to follow to create a good personal statement. 

1. Start with an introduction

Your statement should follow the normal essay format, which means that it should have an introduction just like every other essay you write. 

Your introduction should explain who you are and what you do, but make sure it is short and straight to the point. 

You can just use this structure to frame your personal statement:

  • Your introduction should be precise and explain why you are happy about what you do. This part should show that you are passionate about what you do.
  • Talk about the things that have formed the background of your chosen career. 
  • Focus on the things that interest you in your career.

The introductory part of your personal statement basically asks the question; “What interests you about your career?”  Once you can answer this question correctly, then you have successfully written a good personal statement introduction.

2. Draft the main body of your personal statement

The main body of your personal statement should show your preparedness for the job. This paragraph should show what skills, qualifications, abilities, and values that you tend to add performing the job. 

This paragraph should include the following:

  • Talk about the skills and qualifications that make you the best person for the job.
  • Give examples that will emphasize that you are the best person for the job. 
  • Show how your skills and qualifications will be relevant in the job that you are applying for and the company at large. 

The main paragraph (s) should answer these questions; 

a. Why are you the best person for this job?

b. Why should we hire you?

c. What experience are you bringing into this job?

d. Can you tell us about a project that you have done?

e. What unique skills do you have that makes you the best candidate for this position?

3. Write a concluding paragraph.

Just like you write a conclusion when you are writing an essay, you should also write a conclusion for your personal statement. 

The conclusion for your personal statement should be short and precise. It should state your reason for the application. Your conclusion should include the following:

  • A summary of why you think you are the best person for the job.
  • Your conclusion should also state your plans for the future as regards your skills, qualification, and experience.
  • Lastly, your conclusion should state what you look forward to achieving if you get the job.

You can use these tips and questions to structure your personal statement. I understand that a lot of emphases is placed on experience. If you don’t have any experience, you can also talk about your achievements and educational qualifications. 

Your personal statement should look like this, answering the basic personal statement questions like; who are you? why should we hire you? why do you want to work here? etc. 

How to Start Your Personal Statement

Since you now know what a personal statement is, how to write a personal statement, and the structure of a personal statement. 

Now, it is time for you to put your knowledge into practice by knowing how to start writing your personal statement.

If you get confused anytime you want to write a personal statement on your CV or if this is your first time, then you will find these personal statement introduction examples helpful.

Personal statement introduction examples

  • “an experienced website developer with extensive knowledge of programming languages including HTML, CSS, PHP, and JavaScript”
  • “I am an outgoing and eloquent customer service professional with a passion for problem-solving and 6 years prior customer service experience in the hospitality industry. 
  • “I am an ambitious and motivated Civil Engineer with strong technical skills like; drawing models for structures, creating blueprints and using CAD software.
  • “I am a skilled digital marketer that specializes in search engine optimization (SEO) as well as social media management and web development.”
  • “A highly creative graphic designer that specializes in UI designs as well as illustrations. I am skilled at using graphic design soft wares like; Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Corel Draw.”

To start writing your personal statement, you should know that it is important for you to open your personal statement with an introduction that will capture the attention of the recruiter and keep them glued to your CV.

To start your personal statement, you can follow this structure to have a good introduction:

  • Talk about your job title
  • Your years of experience
  • The skills that you acquire
  • Also, use the active verb to describe all the following so that you can convey the right emotions. 

With these structures and the personal statement examples above, writing the introductory part of your personal statement will be much easy for you. 

How to End Your Personal Statement

You know that everything that has a beginning must have an end, right? So, in our context of writing a personal statement how can you end your personal statement? 

If you have started your personal statement already, then you have done the most difficult aspect of the job. Drafting the end of your personal statement is easy, all you need to do is to follow these guidelines to help you draft an interesting personal statement ending. 

  • Your personal statement should end with your aim or objective. It is at the conclusion that you wrap up your personal statement ending with a conclusion of why you think you are the best for the position and why you want to get the job.
  • You can end your personal statement by letting the recruiter know what you are looking for in the role that you are applying for. 
  • You can also end your personal statement by stating your career goal. This is one method that works for entry-level people with little or no experience. You should remember to state the career goals that are related to the job that you are applying for.

To help you end your personal statement professionally, you can take a look at these personal statement ending examples:

  • “I am looking to launch forth my career in the world of ICT where I can put into practice all that I have learned in the university and add value to my society.
  • “I want to find my next challenge in the world of digital marketing, and also to grow my career in an innovative and exciting organization. 
  • “Looking to start my journalism career in a company that will open me up to realities in journalism, build my skills and will also help me contribute to the already existing innovative processes. 

Since you now know how to start and end your personal statement, it is good that you know what to include and what you should not include in your personal statement.

Let’s take a look at some pieces of information you need to include in your personal statement.

When you are writing your personal statement, you should bear in mind that there some information that will form the building block of your personal statement.

This information will have to be included for you to create a perfect personal statement:

Quick Tip: Before you even start writing your personal statement, you should take the time to read the job description and make a list of things that the employer wants to see in the prospective job seeker. To get better information, you would have to research the role and even the company.

Include the following information in your personal statement:

Information You should Include in Your Personal Statement

Education

Your education, qualification, and certification are vital aspects of your personal statement. If you are a fresh graduate or applying for an entry-level position with no experience, it is from your education and qualification that the recruiter will be able to tell if you are the best person for the job. 

I know that you will still talk about your education on your CV, but when you are talking about your education, qualification, or certification in your personal statement you should mention your highest qualification that makes you the best person for the job. 

If you are applying for an entry-level position, you can include your course description, that is if it is closely related to the job that you are applying for. 

Experience

Your experience is like the core aspect of your CV. You must include the experience that you have acquired in your personal statement so that the recruiter can see at a glance the job that you are most suited for. 

The following can form your experience:

  • Tangible experience in your previous jobs.
  • Volunteering experience
  • Internship experience
  • School project
  • Industrial training experience etc.

Quick Tip: when you are talking about your experience in your personal statement, make sure your experience is related to the job that you are applying for. 

When you are talking about your experience, you can talk about the skills and abilities that you used in your previous jobs to achieve success. 

Skills

Your skills are another important aspect of your personal statement. Adding your skills to your personal statement will show the recruiter what you are capable of doing.

When you are including your skills to your personal statement, you should be careful to add skills that will help you perform the role better.

For example, if you are applying for a graphic design role, you can add skills like; Illustration skills, Photo editing skills, copywriting skills, etc. 

Objective/Reason

When you are writing your personal statement, you should be able to show the reason you are applying for the job. You should also show the reason why you have chosen that career. 

This will help you show interest and passion about what you do or the career path that you are about to go into. 

Your objective or reason may not sound important, but it is important because employers look forward to hiring passionate and driven individuals. 

If you don’t have work experience, then this aspect of your personal statement is important. 

Education

Your education, qualification, and certification are vital aspects of your personal statement. If you are a fresh graduate or applying for an entry-level position with no experience, it is from your education and qualification that the recruiter will be able to tell if you are the best person for the job.

I know that you will still talk about your education on your CV, but when you are talking about your education, qualification, or certification in your personal statement you should mention your highest qualification that makes you the best person for the job.

If you are applying for an entry-level position, you can include your course description that is if it is closely related to the job that you are applying for.

Experience

Your experience is like the core aspect of your CV. You must include the experience that you have acquired in your personal statement so that the recruiter can see at a glance the job that you are most suited for.

The following can form your experience:

  • Tangible experience in your previous jobs.
  • Volunteering experience
  • Internship experience
  • School project
  • Industrial training experience etc.

Quick Tip: when you are talking about your experience in your personal statement, make sure your experience is related to the job that you are applying for.

When you are talking about your experience, you can talk about skills and abilities that you used in your previous jobs to achieve success.

Skills

Your skills are another important aspect of your personal statement. Adding your skills to your personal statement will show the recruiter What you are capable of doing.

When you are including your skills to your personal statement, you should be careful to add skills that will help you perform the role better.

For example, if you are applying for a graphic design role, you can add skills like; Illustration skills, Photo editing skills, copy writing skills etc.

Objective/Reason

When you are writing your personal statement, you should be able to show the reason you are applying for the job. You should also show the reason why you have chosen that career.

This will help you show interest and passion about what you do or the career path that you are about to go into.

Your objective or reason may not sound important, but it is important because employers look forward to hiring a passionate and driven individual.

If you don’t have work experience, then this aspect of your personal statement is important. 

Personal Statement Dos and Don’ts

While you are creating your personal statement, you must know what you should include for you create a perfect personal statement and things that you should do away with.
Let’s take a look at what you should add and what you should avoid.

Personal Statement Dos
  • Be concise and go straight to the point; recruiters don’t like to read long texts before they get to the main point.
  • When you are talking about your skills, make sure the skills are related to the job that you are applying for.
  • Talk about skills that make you different from other applicants. Talk about the unique skills that you are bringing into the job.
  • Give examples of how you have used your skills in a similar position. Make sure that these skills are related to the job description. 
  • Research the company; visit their social media pages, websites, etc. and fit that into your personal statement. 
  • You can add some of the company language and tone to your personal statement. This gives the recruiter the idea that you are intentional about the job. 
  • Remember to follow the basic principles of writing; keep your personal statement simple, concise, coherent, free of grammatical errors, and avoid unnecessary repetition.
  • Always state a passion that is related to the job that you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for an IT role, mentioning that you are passionate about problem-solving can help you stand out from the crowd. 
Personal Statement Don'ts
  • Avoid using clichés that don’t reflect you as the best person for the job. Using clichés like; “Good communication skills” are things that almost everyone puts on their personal statement.
  • Make sure that your sentences are emotionally powerful to convey the message that you want to pass across to the recruiter.
  • Don’t lie about anything when you are writing your personal statement. If you lie or exaggerate when you are writing your personal statement, just know that the truth will surely surface when you go for the interview.
  • Don’t try to use negative words or expressions to appeal to the emotions of the recruiter. Including information like how long it took you to finally land the job of your dreams and all the ordeals that you had to experience. This does not in any way show that you are the best fit for the job.
  • Don’t talk about personal information in your personal statement. Even if it is called a personal statement, the recruiter is interested in knowing if you are the best person for the position, and not interested in other information like; how many children you have, etc.
  • Don’t write an extremely long personal statement, your personal statement should not be more than 150 words.

Since you now understand what you should do when you are writing your personal statement and what you should not do, then it is time for you to know how to format your personal statement in a way that it will look clean and easy to read.

Let’s dive in;

How to Format Your Personal Statement

The appearance of your personal statement can go a long way to determine if the recruiter will love to continue reading your CV.
To be sure you are increasing the chances of getting your CV read by the recruiter, you have to format your personal statement.
See how you can format your personal statement;

Positioning Your Personal Statement

You need to position your personal statement in a way that the recruiter will be able to see it as soon as they open your CV, instead of having to make the recruiter manually scroll down to find your personal statement.

You can reduce the margin of your document to make sure your personal statement is in the right position. 

Size/Length of Your Personal Statement

In as much as it is good that your personal statement provides enough information as to why you think you are the best person for the job, you should avoid writing a long personal statement. 

Your personal statement should be between 8 – 14 lines or a maximum of 150 words. 

Writing Style for Your Personal Statement

When you are writing your personal statement, make sure your style of writing is simple. Regardless of the writing style that you choose to adopt, make sure what you are writing is clear and easy to read. 

Make sure you choose a simple font type like; Times New Roman, Arial, etc. Your font colour should also be simple and not too loud or sharp. Colours like gray and black are perfect. 

It is good for you to adopt a persuasive style when you are writing your personal statement since you are going to be selling yourself to the recruiter.

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