How to write a personal statement for your CV
An important aspect of creating an effective CV is writing your personal statement, this sometimes referred to as a profile or career summary. This enables the recruiter and the hiring company to quickly identify the strategic value you can add to the organisation. Your CV is a self-marketing document aimed at persuading somebody to interview you; your personal statement is a critical part of making this happen. Many people struggle with writing this statement but it doesn't have to be as difficult as you think. A well written statement only needs to be between 50 and 200 words. It is important not to waffle. You have your cover letter to include other interesting and engaging information.
You must read the job specification carefully and ensure your skills and experience match then reflect this in your statement. Should the statement be written in the first or third person? While there are no rules about this, we would say to write in the first person because the CV is all about you and your skill set. This doesn't mean that you have to add "I" at the beginning of each sentence, however. The reader knows it's about you so avoid this type of repetition and keep them engaged in your value and transferable skills. For example an opening statement without the opening "I" could read: As a highly-motivated and results orientated manager within the luxury hotel sector, I have a proven track record of providing exemplary levels of service to a broad range of guests, including VIPs and high-profile individuals. This example reads naturally and flows for the reader, whereas if an "I" was inserted at the start, while not hugely different, it would read more like a list. As you move forward with additional information it then becomes difficult to break out of the format you have started. As a general rule, it's best to break the statement into three sections:
Who you are
"A recent graduate" from any University, with a 2:1 honours degree in media communications, I have undertaken several internships within leading organisations such as Company A and Company B. These placements have enabled me to develop not only specific media industry experience, but also a valuable and transferable skill set in this fast-paced sector. The above opening allows the recruiter to quickly identify where you are coming from, that you have had industry experience (something that may be in the selection criteria) and core transferable skills. This in itself could be enough for your opening statement, but it can be expanded upon by adding some additional information.
What you can bring to the table
During placement with Company A, I worked in the media division contributing to projects – such as the award-winning project – and managed my own research, liaised with various divisions, formulated media reports and participated in group project meetings. Utilising excellent communication skills, I developed and maintained successful working relationships with both internal and external staff.
Your career aim
Looking to secure a position in a media organisation, where I can bring immediate and strategic value and develop current skill sets further.
An example of a poorly written personal statement is: A recent graduate from Any University with a 2:1 honours degree in media communications. "I have undertaken several internships within leading organisations." They are now looking to secure a position in a media organisation where I can develop my current skill set. The mismatch of first and third person is not only confusing to the reader, but it almost sounds like a profile about different people. It also lacks specific detail and proof of what value the candidate could bring to the company. Key points on writing a dynamic and interesting personal statement:
Get to the point: avoid lengthy descriptions but get the point across.
Match the job spec with well written copy that is relevant and promotes you as a good candidate.
Read your profile out loud review it to ensure it reads naturally and then get somebody else to read it as you will read differently to somebody else.
Don't mix first and third person sentences or past or present. Only write as a first person as a third person CV sounds like you haven’t been bothered or are able to write your own CV.