Your personal statement is one of the most important parts of your CV, it’s your chance to really sell yourself to the employer.
On average an employer will spend 8.8 seconds looking at a CV. In that 8.8 seconds you have to grab their attention and give them a reason to keep reading.
So how do you make sure your personal statement makes them want to read on?
First things first is make sure your personal statement is at the top, right under your name and contact details. You don’t want the employer to have to read through your whole CV to try and find your personal statement so make it nice and easy for them.
Second, consider the length of your personal statement, 8.8 seconds isn’t a very long time so keep your statement between 50 and 200 words.
Be consistent. If you start your statement in the first person then stick to it, don’t change to third half way through.
There’s three topics you need to cover in your personal statement
- Who you are
- What you can offer the company
- Your career goals
Who you are
This introduces you to the employer and allows you to talk a little bit about what you have done in the past as well as highlight some key skills that you possess. You could start with:
- A recent graduate…
- A hard-working student…
- I am a self motivated…
Each of those highlights an achievement or skill and showcases your abilities.
What you can offer the company
Here is where you would expand on any skills and strengths tailoring them to the role you are applying for. Try to back them up with evidence so that the employer can see how you have used those skills.
For example, rather than saying “I work well in a team” you might say “I have developed strong communicational skills through working with other colleagues on projects set by previous managers”
The last topic shows the employer that you are worth investing time in and that you really want to succeed in the job role you are applying for. You might say something like:
- I am looking for a fast paced and challenging environment to develop my skills in…
- I am looking to secure a position that challenges my current skills and helps me build on them…
Whatever you say in your personal statement, always remember you have about 8.8 seconds to make the best impression. Keep it concise, keep it consistent and keep it about you.
For an example of a good personal statement, take a look at our sample CV.