How to Write a CV Personal Statement: A Guide

How to Write a CV Personal Statement: A Guide

Your CV personal statement is a powerful tool for persuading employers you’re right for the job. It provides an introduction to your CV and summarises your skills, experience and ambitions. The aim is to grab the reader’s attention and briefly outline your credentials, to encourage them to read on. In this article, we discuss how to write a CV personal statement that makes an impact and increases your chances of job application success.

Key Elements of a CV Profile

Picking the right balance of elements for your CV profile is crucial to making it concise, engaging and readable. Your personal statement should reflect your skills and experience, indicating that you have what it takes to do the job. However, it should also showcase some unique characteristics and strengths that set you apart from other candidates.

An effective, engaging CV summary should include a concise summary of your qualifications and mention relevant skills and experience. It should also demonstrate a track record of success and achievements. In addition, it provides a chance to showcase a unique value proposition to make your application stand out from the crowd.

The ideal CV personal statement is no longer than two to three sentences. It can be a challenge to distil your qualities, achievements and experience into such a short paragraph, but it can prove a useful exercise in economy, requiring you to succinctly summarise your unique selling points for employers.

Benefits of Including a CV Personal Statement

Your CV personal statement offers various benefits that can help your chances of success. Because hiring managers tend to spend so little time reviewing each CV, it’s crucial to capture their attention quickly. Your CV summary provides the opportunity to do this with a short, easy-to-read paragraph. If your CV personal statement is interesting and engaging, the reader is much more likely to continue to study your CV in depth.

Your CV summary or personal statement allows you to focus on what you consider to be your greatest strengths and qualities. Whether these are your qualifications, your skills, your experience or your personality, you can choose what you believe is most likely to make a positive impression with the hiring manager. Your statement can also help to differentiate you from other candidates as it’s one of the few sections of your CV where you can add personal opinion and insight. Without a personal statement, CVs can be dry, factual documents that are difficult for employers to distinguish between.

Expert tip:

Use the job description as a guide for what to mention in your CV personal statement, but make sure you leave some space to highlight the skills and achievements that make you a unique candidate. Reviewing CVs can be a repetitive process, so include insights that grab the attention of the reader and help your application stand out.

How to Write an Effective CV Profile

There’s an art to writing an effective CV profile or personal statement. It requires practice to create one with a minimum word count and maximum impact. The first thing to note is that the most effective personal statements are tailored for each specific job application. It’s impossible to write a personal statement that you can reuse for every job application without drastically compromising its effectiveness. You might have a basic form and structure ready, and your statement might be similar between applications for similar roles, but be prepared to edit, tweak, and amend your statement for every single application.

When writing your personal statement, first, read the job description and make sure you understand the key requirements for the role. This will help you decide what to focus on in your paragraph. The job description should contain a list of essential and desirable skills and experience. Match these with your own experience to decide what to mention in your profile. You might have space to mention one or two key skills, achievements and experiences in your statement, so make sure you strike a balance between the key requirements for the role and your own greatest features.

Use action verbs to give your statement a punchy, purposeful tone. For example, instead of writing ‘I’ve worked as a manager for a financial consultancy firm’, write ‘led a dynamic team of financial consultants’. As well as creating greater impact, this can help you to keep your statement focused and concise.

There’s an art to writing an effective CV profile or personal statement. It requires practice to create one with a minimum word count and a maximum impact.

Examples of CV Profile

Below you can find some examples of CV personal statements to use as inspiration. Remember, it’s important to tailor your CV summary or personal statement for each job application. Even similar jobs or identical job titles require a tailored approach to your personal statement and CV as a whole. Different employers might favour different skills and experience, or they might be searching for the right candidate to fit into their team, the dynamic of which may differ from that of their competitors.

Here are four example CV profiles, to illustrate how to make a positive impact with employers:

Customer service CV profile

An enthusiastic customer service manager with four years’ experience overseeing customer inquiries and complaints at a large supermarket. A strong communicator and excellent problem-solver who thrives under pressure and enjoys working in a customer-facing environment. Developed policies to reduce branch customer complaints by 18% in a two-year period.

Managerial CV profile

An experienced manager with a balanced skill set, combining a results-driven mindset with building a personal, relational team culture. Created high-performing sales and marketing teams across a 20-year career, with a focus on staff development and nurturing highly creative, collaborative work environments. 

Human resources CV profile

A dedicated HR professional with five years’ experience in recruitment and training strategy. Led a recruitment team committed to ensuring equality and diversity throughout local government at all levels. Designed organisational structures and recruited for balanced, efficient teams using a combination of strategic planning, analytical skills and interpersonal skills.

Supply chain CV profile

An outcomes-focused supply chain manager with seven years’ experience optimising logistics operations, reducing costs, and increasing business efficiency. Develops innovative strategies to streamline processes, lower risks, and create smoother supply chain flow. Committed to continuous improvement through strategic thinking, collaboration and planning.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in a CV Personal Statement

If you want to write a CV summary that makes a positive impact and improves your chances of progressing to a job interview, take a look at these common mistakes to avoid:

  • Writing a generic or vague summary: it’s almost impossible to make a strong impact by using the same summary for every job application. Read and understand the job description, and tweak and edit your CV personal statement accordingly. This means every CV summary is tailored to the job spec, as well as keeping the content fresh and up-to-date.
  • Including irrelevant information: your CV personal statement should be distilled to the most essential skills, experience and achievements. Every sentence and, indeed, every word of it should be designed for maximum impact. If your profile is too long, or it includes information that’s not strictly relevant to the job in hand, your chances of success may be compromised.
  • Focusing too much on personal objectives: you might want to mention your own personal ambitions and career objectives in your statement. This can be powerful, especially for junior roles where you don’t have lots of relevant experience. However, as you gain more experience, this becomes less useful. Concentrate on highlighting your relevant skills, experience and achievements.
  • Overusing buzzwords or clichés: it’s important to ensure the content of your personal statement shows how you meet the job description. However, avoid buzzwords, industry jargon and clichés as much as possible. Use original language and make sure your statement demonstrates what makes you a perfect and unique candidate for the job.

Key Takeaways for Writing Your CV Personal Statement

A strong CV personal statement can make or break your chances of successfully passing to the next stage of the recruitment process. Write your summary with the job description in mind and focus on highlighting two or three key skills, experiences and achievements. Make sure you tailor your profile for every job description for maximum impact. A well-designed CV can help your personal statement to stand out. CVwizard offers a range of CV templates and resources to help you craft a winning CV. Sign up and follow the simple steps to create a professional-looking CV today.

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