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Craft a winning personal statement for your CV to stand out

8 min read · Updated on March 12, 2024

Charlotte Grainger

Let the personal statement on your CV speak volumes about you

You probably have a fairly good idea of how to write a CV . Your employment history, education, and qualifications are relatively easy to pull together as you just need to look at dates, your previous job specs, and what you've achieved over the years.

The personal statement is often the trickiest component of a CV to write. Thankfully, we've got this comprehensive guide to help you write a winning one.

What is a personal statement for a CV?

Your personal statement is a short paragraph that sits at the top of your CV, just below your name and contact details. Diving into three key aspects, this section offers the recruiter or hiring manager a powerful overview of you as a professional:

1.    Who you are

2.    Your suitability for the role and the value you can add

3.    Your career goals 

Why include a personal statement on your CV?

It is estimated that recruiters spend an average of less than 8 seconds reviewing a CV before deciding whether the applicant is a good fit. 

As the personal statement is the first section they will read, it must be powerful and tailored to the job you're applying for to successfully showcase your suitability. If it's not, you're unlikely to convince the recruiter you're the talent they need for the job.

5 tips on writing your personal statement

Before we look at some personal statement examples, let's take a look at the basics. Here are some expert-backed tips for writing a good personal statement on your CV.

1. Keep it short and on point

Keep your personal statement clean and concise. It's typically around four sentences long, or about 50 to 200 words. If you're overshooting that word count, see which nonessential parts can be omitted.

2. Get the layout right from the start

Make sure that your layout is consistent with the rest of your CV's formatting . That means maintaining the same font size, font type, and text justification. Recruiters will notice these minor details, and so it's smart to get ahead of the game here. 

3. Use a heading (if there's space!)

You can add a “personal statement” heading in the same way that you'd title the subsequent sections of your CV. However, if you're tight on space, you can cut the heading as recruiters will know what this paragraph is nonetheless.

4. Choose the right perspective

The first person is acceptable for a statement (“I am an IT professional looking for a job in…”) as is the third person (“An IT professional looking for a job in…”). Choose the point of view that's most comfortable to write in, but, as always, keep it consistent with the rest of your CV.

5. Cut back on unnecessary words

If you're writing in the third person, remove all pronouns. Otherwise, it sounds existentially awkward, rather than objective. For example, “She is a retail professional seeking a management role…” would become “A retail professional seeking a management role…”

How to write a personal statement for a CV

We've looked at the purpose of a personal statement, what it should include, and how it should look on the page. Now let's zoom in on exactly how to write a winning statement.

When writing, keep in mind that the personal statement on your CV is your elevator pitch; it's the equivalent of the “Tell me about yourself” or “Why should I hire you?” question in an interview. Below, we break down what you need to include in your personal statement.

Part 1: Who you are

Your opening statement needs to tell the prospective employer where you stand in your career. 

This introduction could include your current role, years of experience, and what you like the most about your career or professional field. It gives the recruiter a hint of the qualities that make you valuable to the vacancy.

Your first sentence may read like so:

As a successful digital marketing professional with five years specialising in e-commerce, I have recently worked with several global brands in the sector to improve their marketing strategy and boost their reach.

Part 2: Your suitability and value

The next part of your statement should line up with the requirements in the job description and prove your relevant and impressive qualifications.

It's always best to address here the essential job specifications to articulate from the beginning that you're the right person for the job. For example, if the role requires management experience or a certain degree and you have these, say so.

Your middle sentences may look like this:

I have experience in optimising quality digital products via my most recent role and am therefore in tune with the latest developments across the online landscape. As a result, I have devised winning branding strategies for e-commerce businesses that are robust, customer-centric and set for aggressive growth.

Part 3: Your career goals

The last part of your personal statement should be short and snappy as it's reaffirming why you are applying for this vacancy.

It might read something like so:

I am currently looking for a senior branding or marketing management role within the e-commerce sector where I can maintain my strong track record and deliver similar results.

Complete CV personal profile examples

In addition to the samples above, here are a couple of complete personal statement examples to give you an idea of what yours should look like.

For a graduate, written in the third person:

A recent graduate with a first-class BSc degree in Mathematics, specialising in analytics and statistics. Holds commercial experience within the finance sector, thanks to an internship with a corporate UK business, and has resultantly developed technical skills in data science and data engineering. Has a proven ability to meet deadlines, prioritise, problem solve, and maintain high standards having balanced a part-time job alongside studies over the last three years. Now looking to secure a place on a graduate programme that will provide exposure to data science and career progression opportunities.

Addressing a recent redundancy, written in the first person:

I am a skilled and successful Product Engineer within the automotive industry, with an HND in mechanical engineering and seven years of experience in the sector. Having worked in a number of labs handling vehicle-based testing and mentoring development technicians, I am confident in managing teams in a hands-on environment and running new development projects from briefing to sign off. Currently looking for a role that complements my skill set and experience. Available immediately.

Writing your personal statement: common mistakes to avoid  

There are some common profile errors that you should avoid. Steer clear of these popular pitfalls to keep your personal statement as powerful as possible.

Buzzword overload

Are you an extremely self-motivated, ambitious professional with extensive experience and passion for a certain industry? We thought so.

Buzzwords are great, and you'll find them in abundance in job adverts. But it's best to sprinkle just a few through your personal statement as they don't particularly provide evidence of your skill or ability. It's much stronger to show the employer how you're self-motivated and ambitious with an example.

Using a generic personal statement

You might think that your personal statement can work for every application. For the most part, it will, because, in theory, the jobs you're applying for will be similar and match your skill set.

However, you must tweak and tailor your statement (and your entire CV) so that it targets the skills each vacancy requires. Otherwise, it won't be as impactful.

Including too much waffle

As you begin to plan and write the personal statement for your CV, you'll most likely find that you have a lot more to say than you originally thought. Be careful not to overwrite as you may be left with a statement that's clogged with too many adjectives and is clunky to read.

As a rule of thumb, highlight your best bits in your personal statement and save the details for your cover letter.

FAQs about your personal statement 

Now that we've shown you some examples of a personal statement on a CV, there's just one last thing to cover. Here are some frequently asked questions on the topic:

How long should a personal statement be?

When you're writing a personal statement for a CV, your word count should be between 50 and 200 words. Be sure not to waste any space with unnecessary waffle here. 

Does a personal statement have other names?

Yes! The personal statement on your CV may also be called a personal profile, a CV summary, or a professional summary. 

Does a CV (really) need a personal statement?

Yes, most CVs require a personal statement at the top of the page. Use our guide to help you write a summary that grabs the hiring manager's attention for the right reasons. 

Stand out with a winning personal statement

Writing a captivating personal statement on your CV is a quick way to hook potential employers. Make sure that your summary showcases what makes you unique and adds value to your application. 

Still unsure about your personal statement? Get in touch with one of our career experts by requesting a free CV critique today! 

Recommended reading: 

Professional email salutations that work (with examples)

Written communication: definition and examples

How long should a cover letter be and what should it include?

Related Articles:

What File Format Is Best for Your CV? Pros + Cons

Best fonts to use for a CV (with examples)

Should you put your address on a CV (with examples)

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How to Write a CV Personal Statement [+4 Real-life Examples]

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Creating an effective CV takes time and close attention to detail. You've already included your jobs and experience , and now you want to allow the recruiter or hiring manager to understand the strategic value you can add.

This is when you need to utilize a personal statement at the top of your CV.

How to Write a CV Personal Statement [+4 Real-life Examples] 

cv personal statement example

What is a Personal Statement? 

A personal statement is a few brief and direct sentences at the top of your CV. The personal statement is also referred to as a career summary or personal mission statement.

This is used to grab the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager and summarizes essential experiences or training that you can bring to this position.

Why do I Need a Personal Statement?

A recruiter or hiring manager is tasked with sorting through an enormous amount of resumes every single day. A personal statement is a way to separate yourself from the other applicants.

This statement summarizes your experience and highlights your unique talents . The CV personal statement is meant to demonstrate why you are the perfect fit for the job. 

Even med students need a medical school personal statement , as it is what differentiates them from all the other students applying. Plus, it allows them to share their personal stories and objectives.

Where do I Start? 

Always begin by reading the job description carefully and thoroughly.

Your personal statement should be tailored to each job description, so it explicitly states the value you’ll bring to the position you are applying. A generic personal statement cannot do that. 

Once you have a solid handle on the job description, you can begin writing. It’s important to keep your personal statement brief, about 50-200 words will do.

Don’t forget that you have your whole cover letter to show some personality and include engaging content.

The personal statement should be a quick summary that highlights why you are the best person for the job. 

You’ll need to decide whether you are writing your personal statement in first- or third-person. This should follow how you've written the rest of your CV.

For example, if you've already written, “I grew and developed a team of 50 salespeople,” in your CV then you will want to keep your personal statement in first-person to match the prevailing style.

No matter what you choose, make sure that you keep it consistent throughout. Do not switch between first- and third-person as that will get confusing to the hiring manager.

Writing a personal statement for your CV in first-person does not mean you need to start every sentence with “I.”

There are ways to craft your personal statement to sound snappy, concise and personal, and here are a few examples to help inspire your personal statement. 

CV Personal Statement Examples

It doesn’t matter what chose as your desired career or how much experienc e you have, use these examples to drive the creation of your own personal statement.

You can take snippets from each or write something completely different. Always remember that your personal statement is a reflection of yourself and should align with your own personal goals and experience.

If these examples don’t fit your exact career, feel free to take some pointers and write yours from scratch. 

#1: Personal Statement Example for Recent Graduate CV

“As a recent graduate from university, with an honors degree in communications, I held several internships within leading organizations, including Bertelsmann. These internships enabled me to gain experience in the field and learn how to serve up valuable contributions in a fast-paced, professional environment.”

Explanation: This example should be customized to include the university you’ve graduated from and any relevant internships. A compelling personal statement always highlights relevant skills and experiences.

In this case, a recent graduate does not have extensive experience in the workforce, so soft skills like experiencing success in a fast-paced work environment and becoming a trusted team member become even more critical.

#2: Personal Statement Example for Returning to the Workforce CV

“A highly motivated and experienced office administrator, I am currently looking to resume my professional career after an extended hiatus to raise my family. Proficient in all Microsoft Office programs, I can lead meetings and work with clients to keep your office running smoothly and efficiently. After spending several years volunteering as an administrative worker for a local charity, I am committed to resuming my professional career on a full-time basis.”

Explanation: After time off from a career, it can be hard to break back into the market. This personal statement outlines the reason for the break, the relevant qualifications and what the applicant has been doing in between jobs.

Any volunteer experience becomes highly relevant when there is no concrete professional experience to draw upon, to demonstrate the use of those skills. 

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#3: Personal Statement Example for a Career Change CV

“With over 15 years as a sales manager, I have extensive experience building high-functioning sales teams that consistently achieve budget numbers. In fact, my ability to grow talent led to a 20% increase in annual renewals across the board. Now, after 15 years, I am seeking new challenges to flex my marketing muscles in a fast-paced environment.” 

Explanation: When changing careers , it's essential to highlight skills that are transferable between industries.

In this case, leadership and team-building experience can apply to any industry. Homing in on concrete numbers and percentages increases credibility when applying for a position.

The applicant ends with the reason behind the desired career change. This part is not necessary but may be appealing to some hiring managers who are wondering what the impetus for the career change.

#4: Personal Statement Example for a Experienced Professional CV

“As a friendly, professional and highly trained educator, I am passionate about teaching and have an innate ability to understand student’s needs. Creating a safe and productive environment for optimal learning is my top priority. I’ve worked as a teacher for nearly 10 years in a variety of subjects and my experience and skill set make me the perfect fit for your team.”

Explanation: With more experience comes more skills and a better idea of strengths and weaknesses. Showcasing your passion for the industry is a great way to begin a personal statement, as it shows the hiring manager your dedication to the craft. 

A personal statement can be written in many different ways, but it is ultimately up to you to determine what skills you want to highlight for your chosen position.

You can follow these examples or take learnings from each to contribute towards your personal statement. 

If you understand the job you are applying for and know the unique skill set that you bring to the table, you will have a stellar personal statement for your CV that will get you across the table from the hiring manager in no time.  

Suggested Reading:

  • How to Write a CV (Curriculum Vitae) in 2024 [31+ Examples]
  • 43+ Resume Tips and Tricks to Land Your Next Job
  • 150+ Must-Have Skills for Any Resume  [With Tips + Tricks]
  • How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself”

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How to write a personal statement for your CV

A personal statement on your CV is a great way to give your job application extra impact. Here are some examples to help you get started.

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A critical aspect of creating an effective CV is writing a personal statement, sometimes called a profile or career summary, that enables the recruiter to quickly identify the strategic value you can add to their organisation. Your CV should be a self-marketing document aimed at persuading the recruiter to interview you – and your personal statement is a critical part of making this happen.

Many candidates struggle with writing the statement but it doesn’t have to be a difficult as you may think. A well written statement can be between 50 and 200 words, although it is important not to ramble. Remember you always have your cover letter for interesting and engaging information.

It’s important to read the job specification carefully and ensure not only that your skills and experience match but you reflect this in your statement. I am often asked whether a statement should be written in the first or third person and, while there are no definitive rules about this, my preference is always to write in the first person because the CV is all about you and your skillset. 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

As recent graduate from Durham University, with a 2:1 honours degree in media communications, I have undertaken several internships within leading organisations such as Bertelsmann and Times Warner. 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 allowes 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 Bertelsmann, I worked in the media division contributing to projects – such as the award-winning China Max Documentary – 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 skillset further.

An example of a poorly written personal statement

Tim is a recent graduate from Durham University with a 2:1 honours degree in media communications. I have undertaken several internships within leading organisations. Tim is 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 straight to the point: avoid lengthy descriptions and make your testimonies punchy and informative.
  • Keep it between 50 to 200 words maximum.
  • If you have enough space, use 1.5 line spacing to make you statement easier to read.
  • Match person and job specifications with well written copy.
  • Read your profile out loud to ensure it reads naturally.
  • Don’t mix first and third person sentences.

Other essential resources

Three excellent cover letter examples

CV templates: graduates, career changers and ladder climbers

What questions to ask at the end of your interview

How to write a CV when you lack direct work experience

Elizabeth Bacchus is a consultant and founder of The Successful CV Company .

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How To Write A Resume Personal Statement (With Examples)

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The Purpose Of A Resume Personal Statement

The elements of a good personal statement, the construction of a good personal statement, final words: writing a resume personal statement.

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Quick Answer: A personal statement on a resume summarizes the benefits of hiring you and encourages recruiters to pay attention to your resume. It's the first section of the resume that recruiters see, so it should be brief, easy-to-read, and attention-grabbing. Your statement should include who you are, suitable skills, achievements, your target company, and what you hope to do for your new employer. It should be short and concise, mentioning only the most relevant information for your target roles.

Landing a job interview requires a memorable resume. Including a good personal statement at the top of your resume is a perfect way to do it.

Essentially, your resume personal statement is a brief paragraph that aims to summarise the benefits of hiring you and encourage employers to pay attention to your resume.

If you are wondering whether you should include it.

And you will see why. In this article, we have all the information you need on how to write an eye-catching personal statement and a couple of useful examples.

Hundreds of resumes go through the hands of a Recruiter in just a day. So, you understand how important it is to grab his or her attention in just seconds. One really effective way is to write a personal statement at the top of a resume.

By including a strong personal statement you would for sure get more attention than one without.

1. State who you are

Begin with a description showing your current position in your profession and field of specialization. You could also include what you like most about your work and any characteristics and skills that would make you the perfect choice for the position.

2. Add measurements to your achievements

After that, you should communicate how suitable for the position you are and what is your value to the organization. This section should highlight accomplishments relevant to the position you are applying for. Show that you could be beneficial for the company.

If you are wondering which accomplishments to mention, select those that directly associate with your position. If the position requires managerial experience, mention previous situations that have placed you in such a role. This way, you could quickly establish yourself as the right candidate for the job.

3. State your career objectives

The third section of your personal statement should state why you are applying for this particular position. You have already communicated your skills and qualifications in the previous sentences, so you write the last one concise and direct.

4. Keep your personal statement short

Your whole personal statement should be short, concise, and easy to read. Keep in mind to use simple sentences telling the recruiter the most important information for you.

After telling you how to structure it, see how it is done.

“An efficient, and reliable administrative professional with 8+ years of experience supporting executives, sales personnel, and managers to improve the internal operations for their businesses.

Proficient in CRM applications and design programs. Diversified skill set covering administrative support, client relations, human resources and recruiting, account management, and project management. Excellent interpersonal, phone, and digital communication skills.”

“As a recent graduate from the University of Townville, with a 2:1 honors degree in marketing, I have undertaken internships at industry-leading agencies such as Beyond Imagination and Noah Freemans. These placements have allowed me to develop sector knowledge and gain hands-on experience, as well as expand transferable skills such as communication, negotiation, and analytical skills. My current goal is to gain a role that allows me to further my knowledge and take on increased responsibility at a market-leading digital marketing agency.”

“I am a highly competent IT professional with a proven track record in networking and managing databases. I have strong technical skills as well as excellent interpersonal skills, enabling me to communicate easily with clients. I am eager to be challenged in order to grow and further improve my skills. My greatest passion in life is using my technical know-how to benefit other people and organizations.”

Resume Personal Statement for Career Changers Example

Experienced Sales Manager

“As a Sales Manager with 7 years of experience, my tenacious and proactive approach resulted in numerous important contract wins. My excellent networking skills have provided my team with vital client leads, and my ability to develop client relationships has resulted in a 16% increase in business renewals for the organization I work for. I currently seek a new challenge which will utilize my meticulous attention to detail and friendly, professional manner.”

Resume Personal Statement for Entry Level Job

Entry Level Business Analyst

“Enthusiastic Business Analyst, skilled in leadership and communication. Seeking to enhance understanding of key metrics for IPSoft. As a business report writer for Valens Securities helped grow employee grasp of key concepts by 42%. My PowerPoint presentation of GBMP’s Policy Deployment plan was turned into a webinar that got 2,300 views.”

Resume personal statement for experienced professional

Experienced Teaching Assistant

“Enthusiastic teaching assistant with 6 years of experience. Seeking to maintain a graduate teaching assistant position at St. Andrews University. Mentored 70+ students for 3 years. Delivered lectures, edited 2 books. Commended by 2 professors for research quality. Graded 1000+ student papers. Skilled in materials development and research.”

And if you are still not sure how to write your personal statement, go through our Resume Examples . They are all approved by top Hiring Managers and have helped thousands get their dream job.

Your personal statement will be totally unique to yourself, but by using the above tips and tricks we gave you, you will be able to create one which shows the Hiring Managers everything they need.

Remember to keep it short and only include the most relevant information for your target roles.

Do you have any other questions about personal statements on a resume? Give us a shout-out in the comments below!

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StandOut CV

CV personal statement examples

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If you want to secure job interview, you need a strong personal statement at the top of your CV.

Your CV personal statement is a short paragraph which sits at the very top of your CV – and it’s aim is to summarise the benefits of hiring you and encourage employers to read your CV in full.

In this guide I have included 17 CV personal statement examples from a range of professions and experience levels, plus a detailed guide of how to write your own personal statement that will get you noticed by employers

CV templates 

17 CV personal statement examples

To start this guide, I have included 10 examples of good personal statements, to give you an idea of how a personal statement should look , and what should be included.

Note: personal statements are generally used by junior candidates – if you are experienced, check out our CV profile examples instead.

Graduate CV personal statement (no experience)

Graduate with no experience CV personal statement

Although this  graduate has no paid work experience, they compensate for it by showcasing all of the skills and knowledge the have gained during their studies, and demonstrating how they apply their knowledge in academic and personal projects.

When you have little or no experience, it’s important to draw out transferable workplace skills from your studies and extracurricular work, to showcase them to employers.

Graduate CV personal statement (part time freelance experience)

Graduate with part time freelance experience CV personal statement

This candidate has graduated with a degree in biochemistry but actually wants to start a career in digital marketing after providing some digital freelance services to fund their studies.

In this case, they haven’t made much mention of their studies because they aren’t relevant to the digital marketing agencies they are applying to. Instead they have focused their personal statement around their freelance work and passion for the digital field – although they still mention the fact they are degree educated to prove their academic success.

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School leaver CV personal statement (no experience)

School leaver with no experience CV personal statement

This candidate is 16 years old and has no work experience whatsoever, but they compensate for this by detailing their academic achievements that relate to the roles they are applying for (maths and literacy are important requirements in finance and accountancy roles).

They also add some info on their extracurricular activities and school work-placements, to strengthen this student CV further.

    Top tips for writing a CV personal statement

  • Thoroughly research the jobs and companies you are planning to apply for to identify the type of candidate they are looking for – try to reflect that in your personal statement
  • Don’t be afraid to brag a little – include some of your most impressive achievements from education, work or personal life
  • Focus on describing the benefits an employer will get from hiring you. Will you help them to get more customers? Improve their workplace? Save them time and money?
  • If you have no work experience, demonstrate transferable workplace skills from your education, projects, or even hobbies

School leaver CV personal statement (part time experience)

School leaver with part time experience CV personal statement

Although this person has only just left school, they have also undertaken some part-time work in a call centre alongside their studies.

To make the most of this experience, they have combined their academic achievements with their workplace exposure in this personal statement.

By highlighting their GCSE results, summer programme involvement, work experience and expressing their ambitions to progress within sales, this candidate really makes an appealing case for hiring them.

College leaver CV personal statement (no experience)

College leaver with no experience CV personal statement

This candidate has left college with good grades, but does not yet have any work experience.

To compensate for the lack of workplace exposure, they have made their A level results prominent and highlighted skills and experience which would benefit the employers they are targeting.

Any recruiter reading this profile can quickly understand that this candidate has great academic achievements, a passion for IT and finance and the ability to transfer their skills into an office environment.

College student CV personal statement (freelance experience)

College student with freelance experience CV personal statement

As this student has picked up a small amount of freelance writing work during their studies, they have made sure to brag about it in their personal statement.

They give details on their relevant A level studies to show the skills they are learning, and boost this further by highlighting the fact that they have been applying these skills in a real-life work setting by providing freelance services.

They also include key action verbs that recruiters will be looking for , such as creative writing, working to deadlines, and producing copy.

Academic CV personal statement

Academic CV personal statement

Aside from junior candidates, the only other people who might use a personal statement, are academic professionals; as their CV’s tend to be more longer and detailed than other professions.

This candidate provides a high level overview of their field of study, length of experience, and the roles they have held within universities.

School leaver CV personal statement with and sports experience

School leaver with part time experience CV personal statement

Although this person has no work experience, they are still able to show employers the value of hiring them by selling their other achievements and explaining how they could benefit an organisation.

They expand on their sports club involvement to demonstrate their teamwork, leadership skills, communication and motivation, which are all important traits in the workplace, and will be looked upon favourably by recruiters and hiring managers.

They also draw upon their future plans to study business studies and take a part time job, to further prove their ambition and dedication.

History graduate CV personal statement

History graduate CV personal statement

This history graduate proves their aptitude for both academic achievement and workplace aptitude by showcasing valuable skills from their degree and voluntary work.

They do this by breaking down the key requirements for each and showing how their skills could be beneficial for future employers, such as listening, communication, and crisis management.

They also describe how their ability to balance studies alongside voluntary work has not only boosted their knowledge and skills, but also given excellent time management and organisational skills – which are vital assets to any employer.

Law graduate CV personal statement

Law graduate CV personal statement

This legal graduate makes the most from their work university work placements by using it to bulk out the contents of their CV personal statement.

They include their degree to show they have the necessary qualifications for legal roles, which is crucial, but more importantly, they showcase how they applied their legal skills within a real-life work setting.

They give a brief overview of the types of legal professionals they have been working alongside and the type of work they have been carrying out – this is all it takes to get the attention of recruiters and show employers they have what it takes to fulfil roles in the legal sector.

Medical student CV personal statement

Medical student CV personal statement

This medical student proves their fit for the role by showcasing the key skills they have gained from their studies and their work experience placements.

In just these few sentences, they are able to highlight the vast amount of experience they have across different disciplines in the industry, something which is particularly important in the medical sector.

As they have not graduated yet and are still studying, they have provided proof of their most recent grades. This can give the recruiter some indication as to the type of grade they could be graduating with in the near future.

Masters student CV personal statement

Masters student CV personal statement

This masters student has started by specifying their area of study, in this case, accounting, and given details about the specific areas of finance they are most interested in. This can hint towards their career goals and passions.

They have then carefully listed some of the key areas of accounting and finance that they are proficient in. For example, business finance, advanced corporate finance and statistics.

They have also outlined some of the transferable skills needed for accounting roles that employers will be looking out for, such as communication, attention to detail and analytical skills.

Finance student CV personal statement

Finance student CV personal statement

As this finance student has recently undertaken some relevant work experience, they’ve made sure to shout about this in their personal profile.

But more than this, they have included a list of some of the important finance skills they gained as a result of this work experience – for example, financial reporting, processing invoices and month-end reconciliations.

Plus, through power words and phrases such as ‘prevent loss’ and ‘ improve upon accuracy and efficiency’, they have also showcased how they can apply these skills in a workplace setting to benefit the potential employer.

Internship  CV personal statement

Internship CV personal statement

This digital marketing professional has started their personal profile by outlining their most relevant qualifications and work experience, most notably their freelance role as a content manager.

They have also provided examples of some of the key marketing skills that potential employers might be looking for, including very detailed examples of the platforms and tools they are proficient in – for example, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

They have then closed their statement by giving a detailed description of the type of role or opportunity they are looking for. In this case, an in-house position in a marketing company.

Graduate career changer personal statement

Graduate career changer CV personal statement

Switching careers as a graduate can be tough. Especially when it comes to writing a personal statement that will attract employers in your new chosen field.

This candidate is looking to move from history teaching into journalism, so they have created a statement which briefly mentions their current workplace, but mainly focuses on highlighting transferable skills which are relevant to journalism. They achieve this by discussing the writing skills they use in their current role, and mentioning their hobby of writing – including some publications they have been featured in for extra brownie points.

Business management graduate personal statement

Business management graduate CV personal statement

This business management proves their ability to work within a junior business management position by swiftly highlighting their impressive degree (to ensure it is not missed) and summarising some of the real-life experience they have gained in management during their university placements and volunteering. They do not let their lack of paid work experience, stop them demonstrating their valuable skills.

PhD graduate

PhD graduate CV personal statement

PhD graduate roles attract a lot of competition, so it’s important that your CV contains a personal statement that will quickly impress and attract recruiters.

This candidate provides a short-but-comprehensive overview of their academic achievements, whilst demonstrating their exceptional level of knowledge in research, languages and publication writing.

By highlighting a number of skills and abilities that are in high-demand in the academic workplace, this CV is very likely to get noticed and land interviews.

How to write a personal statement for your CV

Now that you’ve seen what a personal statement should look like and the type of content it should contain, follow this detailed guide to one for your own CV – and start racking those interviews up.

Guide contents

What is a CV personal statement?

Cv personal statement or cv profile, personal statement format, what to include in a cv personal statement.

  • Personal statement mistakes

How to write persuasively

A personal statement is a short paragraph at the top of your CV which gives employers an overview of your education, skills and experience

It’s purpose is to capture the attention of busy recruiters and hiring managers when your CV is first opened – encouraging them to read the rest of it.

You achieve this by writing a tailored summary of yourself that explains your suitability for the roles you are applying for at a very high level, and matches your target job descriptions .

Personal statement basics

One question candidates often ask me is , “what is the difference between a personal statement and a CV profile?”

To be honest, they are almost the same – they are both introductory paragraphs that sit at the top of your CV… but there are 2 main differences

A personal statement tends to be used more by junior candidates (graduates, school leavers etc.) and is relatively long and detailed.

A CV profile tends to be favoured by more experienced candidates , and is shorter in length than a personal statement.

CV personal statement vs profile

Note: If you are an experienced candidate, you may want to switch over to my CV profile writing guide , or example CV profiles page.

To ensure you grab recruiters’ attention with your personal statement, lay it out in the following way.


You need to ensure that your personal statement sits at the very top of your CV, and all of it should be totally visible to readers, without the need to scroll down the page.

Do this by reducing the top page margin and minimising the space taken up by your contact details.

CV margins

This will ensure that your whole personal statement can be seen, as soon as your CV is opened.

We have a Word CV template which can help you to get this right.


Your personal statement needs to contain enough detail to provide an introduction to your skills and knowledge, but not so much detail that it bores readers.

To strike the right balance, anything between 8-15 lines of text is perfect – and sentences should be sharp and to-the-point.

As with the whole of your CV or resume , your personal statement should be written in a simple clean font at around size 10-12 to ensure that it can be read easily by all recruiters and employers.

Keep the text colour simple , ensuring that it contrasts the background (black on white is best) and break it into 2 or even 3 paragraphs for a pleasant reading experience.

It should also be written in a punchy persuasive tone, to help you sell yourself and increase your chances of landing interviews , I cover how to do this in detail further down the guide.

Quick tip: A poorly written CV will fail to impress recruiters and employers. Use our quick-and-easy CV Builder to create a winning CV in minutes with professional CV templates and pre-written content for every industry.

Once you have the style and format of your personal statement perfected, you need to fill it with compelling content that tells recruiters that your CV is worth reading.

Here’s what needs to go into your personal statement…

Before you start writing your personal statement, it’s crucial that you research your target roles to find out exactly what your new potential employers are looking for in a candidate.

Run a search for your target jobs on one of the major job websites , look through plenty of adverts and make a list of the candidate requirements that frequently appear.

Key words in job adverts

This research will show you exactly what to include in your personal statement in order to impress the recruiters who will be reading it.

Education and qualifications are an important aspect of your personal statement, especially if you are a junior candidate.

You should highlight your highest and most relevant qualifications, whether that is a degree, A levels or GCSEs. You could potentially go into some more detail around modules, papers etc. if they are relevant to the roles you are applying for.

It’s important that you discuss the experience you have gained in your personal statement, to give readers an idea of the work you are comfortable undertaking.

This can of course be direct employed work experience, but it doesn’t have to be.

You can also include:

  • School/college Uni work placements
  • Voluntary work
  • Personal projects
  • Hobbies/interests

As with all aspects of your CV , the content should be tailored to match the requirements of your target roles.

Whilst discussing your experience, you should touch upon skills used, industries worked in, types of companies worked for, and people you have worked with.

Where possible, try to show the impact your actions have made. E.g . A customer service agent helps to make sales for their employer.

Any industry-specific knowledge you have that will be useful to your new potential employers should be made prominent within your personal statement.

For example

  • Knowledge of financial regulations will be important for accountancy roles
  • Knowledge of IT operating systems will be important for IT roles
  • Knowledge of the national curriculum will be important for teachers

You should also include some information about the types of roles you are applying for, and why you are doing so. Try to show your interest and passion for the field you are hoping to enter, because employers want to hire people who have genuine motivation and drive in their work.

This is especially true if you don’t have much work experience, as you need something else to compensate for it.

CV personal statement mistakes

The things that you omit from your personal statement can be just as important as the things you include.

Try to keep the following out of your personal statement..

Irrelevant info

Any information that doesn’t fall into the requirements of your target roles can be cut out of your personal statement. For example, if you were a professional athlete 6 years ago, that’s great – but it won’t be relevant if you’re applying to advertising internships, so leave it out.

Generic clichés

Poor resume profile

If you are describing yourself as a “ dynamic team player with high levels of motivation and enthusiasm” you aren’t doing yourself any favours.

These cliché terms are vastly overused and don’t provide readers with any factual details about you – so keep them to a minimum.

Stick to solid facts like education, skills , experience, achievements and knowledge.

If you really want to ensure that your personal statement makes a big impact, you need to write in a persuasive manner.

So, how do you so this?

Well, you need to brag a little – but not too much

It’s about selling yourself and appearing confident, without overstepping the mark and appearing arrogant.

For example, instead of writing.

“Marketing graduate with an interest in entering the digital field”

Be creative and excite the reader by livening the sentence up like this,

“Marketing graduate with highest exam results in class and a passion for embarking on a long and successful career within digital”

The second sentence is a much more interesting, makes the candidate appear more confident, throws in some achievements, and shows off a wider range of writing skills.

Quick tip: A poorly written CV will fail to impress recruiters and employers. Use our quick-and-easy CV Builder to create a winning CV in minutes with professional templates and pre-written content for every industry.

Your own personal statement will be totally unique to yourself, but by using the above guidelines you will be able to create one which shows recruiters everything they need.

Remember to keep the length between 10-20 lines and only include the most relevant information for your target roles.

You can also check our school leaver CV example , our best CV templates , or our library of example CVs from all industries.

Good luck with the job hunt!

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what to write on your personal statement cv

Best CV Personal Profile Examples


What is a CV personal profile?

A personal profile, also known as a CV summary, is the opening statement of your CV. It is a short introduction which outlines your personal characteristics, telling the prospective employer what kind of a person you are, the attributes and qualities that you possess and the work experience that you have.

personal profile cv examples

How to write a CV profile statement from scratch

When writing your personal profile, ensure it is:

  • Short (no more than 6 lines);
  • Relevant to the job you are applying for, and;
  • Contains some real-world examples .

Be bold, be confident and talk about yourself in a positive way.

Your personal profile is not the place to be humble; it is your chance to be noticed and tell the potential employer exactly who you ‘really’ are and what you can do for them.

Warning: Do not go ‘over the top’ and give the impression that you are either very arrogant or simply too good to be true! Keep it balanced and realistic, bearing in mind the needs of the employer.

Click here if you want to see a bad example of a personal profile.

student CV profile

What information to include on a personal profile

The purpose of your personal profile is to concisely present your skills, qualities, work experience, and your career goals and ambitions. Consequently, you can mention anything from the following categories when constructing your personal profile:

Personal Qualities

  • Self-motivated
  • Having an eye for detail
  • Management skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Design skills
  • 5 years experience in …
  • Excellent track record of …
  • Extensive background in …
  • Previous work experience in …

An ideal statement should have at least one example for each of these three categories.

How long should my profile statement be?

There are no set rules about the length of a personal profile, however, it is highly recommended to keep it ideally within the 50/80-words boundary (no longer than six lines). The reason for this is because employers, in the first instance, tend to scan CVs rather than extensively read it. Keeping it short and to the point increases the chances that they will actually read it.

Furthermore, as the total length of a CV is only 2 A4 pages long, having a short statement frees us valuable space for other key sections of your CV such as the work experience, education and skills sections .

Winning personal profile CV examples from all job sectors

Business management cv profile.

  • The candidate mentions their key personal skills and qualities that are relevant and important when managing a business.
  • The candidate mentions their relevant work experience in the field, indicating that they are able to work within multiple job sectors.

IT CV profile

  • The candidate correctly highlights their areas of expertise, such as designing websites, networking and managing databases. It is clear from these examples that the individual has a broad understanding of IT and would be able to work on a wide range of IT projects.
  • The candidate reassures the prospective employer that although they are working in a very technical field, they have the ability to work with a wide range of people. Interpersonal and communication skills are key to any job.

Student CV profile

  • The above personal statement is clear and informative, making it clear that the applicant is a student, currently completing their university degree, and are looking to work part-time in the industry.
  • It is always a good idea, as the candidate has done in this example, to clearly mention your availability for work and also the reasons for why you are seeking work. “Making money” is not a good enough reason for an employer to give you a job. The candidate has mentioned that they wish to put into practice what they have learned and make a positive contribution to the employer.

HR CV profile

HR CV profile

  • The candidate highlights that they have previous work experience in Human Resources (HR), making them familiar with the payroll systems and employment law. Additionally, they indicate some personal qualities (such as interpersonal skills and being sensitive to people’s privacies) which would be highly beneficial for the role that they are applying for.

Manager CV profile

  • The candidate not only states that they have three years’ of experience in management but they also mention the positive contribution that they made to that organisation. In this case, it was a significant improvement in the performance of the team that they were managing.

Sales/retail CV profile

  • Just by looking at the profile statement of this individual, we can conclude that this person has thorough experience of sales and is able to handle the various aspects of the selling process. Additionally, their promotion indicates that they are a high achiever.

Teaching CV profile

  • In just a few lines, the candidate demonstrates a great deal of compassion, empathy and care for young people and their futures. This level of care and concern, along with an enduring passion for teaching, are the key ingredients of being successful in any teaching careers.
  • The candidate indicating that they are able to work with young children from all backgrounds and walks of life. This is important, especially when living in today’s multicultural and diverse societies.

Engineering CV profile

  • The candidate correctly highlights their previous work experience and areas of expertise. This makes them look like a very competent and accomplished chemical engineer, increasing the chances of being invited for an interview.

Designer CV profile

  • This is an effective statement because the candidate highlights their valuable 1st class degree in Graphic Design and previous work experience in the design industry. Additionally, the candidate makes mention of their personal qualities, such as having the ability to think outside the box, to further indicate their suitability for the job.

Hospitality CV profile

  • The above is an excellent example of how profile statement should be constructed; it contains references to their previous work experience in the same industry, personal qualities that are relevant to the job (e.g. having a passion for food and socialising with people) and their job achievements (e.g. winning an award). Any employer reading this statement will have to think twice before they put it in the rejection pile!

Admin CV profile

Admin CV Profile

  • The candidate mentions their previous work experience project management and providing administrative support to businesses.
  • This admin personal statement clearly demonstrates that the individual is aware of all the challenges that administrators face; working in a busy working environment, handling multiple projects simultaneously, prioritising tasks and achieving the highest standard of work.

Customer service CV profile

  • The candidate indicates that they are able to resolve customer enquiries and complaints face-to-face, over the phone or via email. This ability enables them to work in a variety of different job settings, i.e. a call centre, on the shop floor or at a desk.
  • Their statement contains a tangible example of accomplishment (i.e. successfully resolving 150 customer enquiries or complaints).

Media CV profile

  • The candidate has included many examples of their previous work experience and competencies in the field. Any employer interested in hiring an experienced camera operator will most certainly be impressed and continue reading the remainder of their CV.

Healthcare CV profile

  • The candidate highlights that they are able to work with a variety of different people, something which is essential as physiotherapists will be working with people from all backgrounds and ages.
  • The statement includes personal qualities that are important to have as a physiotherapist, such as being caring and friendly. Although some careers advisors do not recommend generic words such as ‘caring’ and ‘friendly’, it is nevertheless recommended to include them if they truly reflect your personality and if the rest of the personal statement contains specific information which is not generic in nature.

Writer CV profile

  • This profile is short and punchy, increasing the chances that it will be read in full by the prospective employers
  • The candidate highlights their career achievements by stating that their works have been accepted and published by leading newspapers and magazines – a testimony to the high quality of their work.

Science CV profile

  • This statement is short and to the point; highlighting all the important information such as the candidates work experience, expertise and some personal qualities and characteristics.

Do I need to include a personal statement on my CV? No, it is entirely optional to include a personal profile on your CV. However, it is generally recommended to include one, particularly as it serves as a little “About me” section at the top of your CV. Every written document has an introduction, why shouldn’t a CV?

Can I use the first person tense in my statement? Yes, the first and third person tenses are both fine to use – but not both. Decide on the one tense and stick to it.

Where should I include the profile statement on my CV There is no fixed place in which you should put your personal profile. Some candidates place it at the bottom of their CVs. Ideally, you should position it at the top of your CV.

What is the most important thing to include on a personal profile? Real-world examples and tangible performance indicators, for example; increased sales by x percent, managed x number of people, won such-and-such awards, improved productivity by x percent, etc. These types of information are highly valuable, as opposed to saying that you are the “best salesperson in the country” and not backing it up with any evidence!

Need help with other sections of your CV?

While you’re still here – don’t forget to check out our amazing How to write a CV guide for more practical tips on writing your perfect CV or this useful resource.

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How to Write a Personal Statement for a Resume (with AI 🤖)

Nathan Thompson

You're skilled, ambitious, and ready to seize new professional opportunities. But so are many other job seekers.

So how can you stand out in a sea of applicants and make a lasting impact on hiring managers? That's simple : crafting a unique "Personal Statement" resume section that captures who you are as an individual—the "you-ness" that makes you an irresistible candidate.

The problem is that "simple" doesn't always mean "easy."

Luckily, by the end of this post, you'll be able to confidently write a resume personal statement for any opportunity that comes your way. 

3 key takeaways 

  • Learn how to craft a personal statement that defines your career goals, skills, and professional narrative.
  • Discover the importance of tailoring your personal statement to a specific role.
  • Understand how to leverage AI tools like Teal's AI Resume Builder to create and polish an effective personal statement.

Understanding personal statements on resumes

A personal statement is a concise paragraph or summary, similar to a resume headline , at the top of your resume. Its purpose is to articulate your career goals, highlight your skills, experiences, and what you can bring to the role.

This is a valuable opportunity to make a lasting first impression on the hiring manager or recruiter and stand out among the endless number of applicants you're likely competing with.

While building your resume, you may have also heard of a "professional statement" (sometimes called an " opening statement ") or a "resume objective." Though similar, they are subtly different from personal statements. 

Here's a breakdown:

Your resume's personal statement is a comprehensive declaration that outlines your career objectives and highlights your skills, experiences, and the unique value you can bring to a role. It provides a fuller picture of you as a professional, making it a great choice for experienced candidates with various skills and achievements they want to draw attention to. 

A resume professional summary , or short professional bio , is a concise summary that specifically targets your industry expertise and key achievements. It draws attention to your relevant professional experiences and successes. 

Typically, the resume summary statement is the ideal choice for seasoned professionals with a history of tangible results and accomplishments in their field.

A resume objective highlights your qualifications, but it's typically a straightforward declaration of your career goals, too. It's usually a bit shorter and focuses on what type of role or industry you want to work in. Resume objectives can benefit those who are at the beginning of their career or going through a career change, such as re-entering the workforce or transitioning between fields , and don't have an extensive track record to showcase.

The choice between a resume personal statement, professional statement, and a resume objective ultimately comes down to your career path and the specific requirements of the job you're eyeing. 

Once you've decided to write a compelling personal statement, you need to know the right way of going about it. 

How to write a personal statement for a resume

You'd think that writing about yourself would be easy. After all, who knows your past experiences and future ambitions better than you? 

And yet, it's those "About Me" resume sections and resume personal statements that are one of the most frustrating pieces of writing a resume; they're often the most impactful, too. Because, again, they're the hook that introduces the very uniqueness of you . 

Consider the following tips for writing a standout personal statement: 

1. Self-reflection: Look at your career goals, skills, resume achievements , current position, and any special value you bring to an organization. Reflecting on these aspects provides a solid foundation for your personal statement.

You might find it helpful to use a mind map or SWOT analysis to organize your thoughts. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and it's a strategic planning tool used to evaluate these four aspects of a project or personal development.

This exercise will help you identify your resume strengths and selling points, providing a solid foundation for your personal statement.

2. Start with a strong opening: Your opening sentence should be compelling and immediately convey your professional identity. Think of it as your personal "elevator pitch." Here are some examples:

  • Strong opening : "As a seasoned Project Manager with a decade of experience in the tech industry, I specialize in leading cross-functional teams to deliver complex projects on time and under budget. "
  • Weak opening : "I'm a hard-working professional looking for a project management role."

The strong opening immediately establishes the individual's professional identity, highlighting their experience, industry, and key skills. On the other hand, the weak opening is vague and doesn't convey the person's unique value or area of expertise.

3. Align with the job description: Your personal statement should align with the role you're applying for. Read the job description carefully, then tailor your summary statement to highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the role.

This is where Teal's Job Application Tracker and AI Resume Builder comes in. 

Leveraging the power of AI, Teal extracts and prioritizes the critical keywords, both hard and soft skills, present in the job description you're targeting.

Then, you can use AI to automate your personal statement: 

Create multiple versions of your professional summary using Teal’s AI integration feature within the AI Resume Builder.

Note: This feature is called "Professional Summaries," but it allows you to beat the blank page quickly. You can then tailor this to be more aligned with a professional statement to help you stand out.

Not only does this help you shape a compelling personal statement much more quickly, but it also gives you an edge with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) . Hiring managers often use ATS software to prioritize candidates based on keyword matching (though it's worth mentioning that this software never filters out applicants altogether). 

By using Teal's AI Resume Builder to incorporate the necessary hard skills , soft skills, and keywords into your personal statement, you increase your odds of standing out in the crowded job market.

Sign up for Teal's AI Resume Builder today!

4. Keep it concise: A personal statement should be brief and to the point. Aim for no more than 150 words or three to four sentences. The best way to approach this is to draft your personal statement without any word limit, then review and revise it, cutting out any fluff or unnecessary details. 

Ask yourself if each sentence is critical to the narrative and truly adds value. Remember, every word counts. Writing an effective personal statement requires careful thought and attention to detail. 

However, advances in generative AI can help streamline this process. 

What to avoid when writing a resume personal statement

When writing a personal statement, it's just as important to know what to steer clear of as it is to know what to include. 

So, here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Being vague: Remember, your personal statement is your unique story. Generic phrases like "hard-working professional" or "team player" won't help you stand out. Instead, aim for specific details about your experiences and achievements that demonstrate these traits.

2. Using complex jargon: While you need to communicate your industry knowledge, a personal statement loaded with jargon can be off-putting and difficult to understand. Keep your language clear and concise.

3. Writing an autobiography: A personal statement isn't a full personal profile. It's not meant to be a comprehensive rundown of your life story. It should focus on relevant skills, experiences, and goals that align with the position you're applying for. 

If it doesn't add value to your application, leave it out.

4. Using third-person language: Your resume personal statement highlights your qualifications, experiences, and skills. Opt to write a resume personal statement in the first person point of view using words like "I," "my," and "me" to provide a more personalized and authentic perspective.

5. Ignoring the job description: Tailoring your personal statement to the specific role is crucial. If you're not aligning your skills and experiences with the requirements mentioned in the job description, you're missing an opportunity to demonstrate how well you fit the role.

Again, this is something that Teal's AI Resume Builder helps you with natively. 

6. Negativity: Your personal statement should reflect positivity and enthusiasm for the role you're applying for and the value you can bring. Avoid mentioning negative experiences or failures unless you can highlight what you learned from them. 

Here's an example of a negative vs. a positive personal statement: 

  • Negative : "After a string of unsatisfying jobs and a career path that lacked direction, I'm now looking for an opportunity in a company that values its employees and provides clear career progression."
  • Positive : "With a passion for employee engagement and a track record in driving positive workplace culture, I'm eager to bring my experience and enthusiasm to a forward-thinking company that values innovation and employee development."

In the negative example, the focus is on past dissatisfaction, which can give a negative impression to the reader. But the positive example emphasizes enthusiasm, experience, and a clear vision of what the applicant can bring to the role and company. 

It also subtly communicates past success (i.e., a track record in driving positive workplace culture) without explicitly resting on your laurels.

Resume personal statement examples

So now that you know the best practices for crafting a resume personal statement, let's take a look at a few personal statement examples broken down by industry and role level. We'll explore personal statements for job examples in the following fields: 

  • Management 

Let's dive right into writing personal statements for sales roles. 

1) Sales roles

Entry-level: "A recent graduate of Business Administration with a passion for sales and demonstrated customer service skills. Earned top sales honors during internship experience and eager to bring my dedication and drive to a dynamic sales team."

  • Analysis : This personal statement showcases a recent graduate's passion and early success in sales. It emphasizes their eagerness to contribute to a team and references the valuable experiences that have prepared them for a sales role.

Mid-level: "Sales manager with five years of experience in the retail sector and a record of exceeding sales targets by up to 40%. Proven ability to build relationships and improve customer satisfaction. Seeking to leverage my skills to enhance profitability and growth in a forward-thinking organization."

  • Analysis : Here, the candidate highlights their successful sales track record and solid, relevant experience, key selling points for a mid-level position. The candidate also presents their goal, which aligns with the interests of prospective employers.

Senior-level: "Seasoned sales leader with over a decade of experience managing high-performing teams in the tech industry. Expertise in strategic planning, market research, and contract negotiation. Committed to driving revenue growth while fostering a supportive team environment."

  • Analysis : As a good personal statement, this example positions the candidate as a seasoned leader with significant industry experience. It emphasizes the candidate's commitment to revenue growth and team development, two critical areas of interest for employers at this level.

2) Marketing roles

Entry-level: "Creative and detail-oriented Marketing graduate with a solid understanding of social media strategies and branding. I have proven skills in project management from internships and campus activities. Seeking to apply my innovative thinking and leadership skills in a dynamic marketing team."

  • Analysis : This personal statement example communicates the applicant's foundational marketing knowledge, creativity, and leadership abilities. It hints at a well-rounded candidate with theoretical understanding and some practical experience.

Mid-level: "Results-driven marketing professional with six years of experience in digital marketing. Specialized in SEO and content creation, consistently increasing web traffic by 35%. Looking to leverage my expertise to drive brand growth and visibility in a challenging role."

  • Analysis : This statement reflects the individual's experience and accomplishments in the field of digital marketing. The candidate exhibits a clear specialty, proven results, and an ambition to drive growth, which is appealing for a mid-level role.

Senior-level: "Strategic Marketing Director with over 15 years of experience leading cross-functional teams in the FMCG sector. Proven track record in executing successful global marketing campaigns, driving sales growth, and building strong brand identities. Looking to leverage my experience to drive strategic growth in a dynamic organization."

  • Analysis : Here, the emphasis is on the senior role's leadership and strategic experience. The candidate effectively highlights their proven success in executing global marketing campaigns and driving growth, which is essential for senior roles.

Entry-level: "Organized and empathetic HR graduate with strong employee relations and recruitment knowledge. Successfully implemented a new employee onboarding process during an internship. Excited to apply my people skills in a dynamic HR team."

  • Analysis : This statement showcases the candidate's theoretical knowledge and some practical experience in HR, emphasizing their achievements during an internship and their enthusiasm for applying their skills.

Mid-level: "HR professional with five years of experience in benefits administration and talent acquisition. Expert in aligning HR strategies with business goals. Seeking to leverage my people-centric skills to drive employee satisfaction and retention."

  • Analysis : The candidate presents their expertise in essential HR functions and their ability to align HR strategies with business goals—key to a mid-level role.

Senior-level: "HR Manager with a decade of experience in creating and implementing HR policies and procedures. Proven ability to enhance organizational performance through implementing effective HR strategies. Eager to drive change management initiatives in a large-scale organization."

  • Analysis : This statement highlights extensive experience in HR management, demonstrating the ability to improve organizational performance. This strategic focus is ideal for senior-level roles.

Management roles

Entry-level: "Motivated business graduate with proven leadership skills acquired through student council and team sports involvement. Demonstrated ability in team coordination and project management. Ready to bring my strong decision-making skills to a promising management role."

  • Analysis : As a good personal statement this example offers a glimpse of the applicant's leadership and decision-making skills—critical attributes for a management role.

Mid-level: "Experienced manager with a strong record in managing teams of up to 20 in the logistics industry. Excellent problem-solving and communication skills that have been used to turn around underperforming teams. Seeking to leverage my managerial skills in a challenging new role."

  • Analysis : This statement presents the candidate's proven managerial and problem-solving skills, making them a strong contender for a mid-level management role.

Senior-level: "Dynamic executive with over 15 years of experience in strategic planning and business development. Proven ability to drive profitability and build strategic partnerships. Seeking to leverage my leadership skills to inspire and drive a successful team."

  • Analysis : Here, the focus is on strategic, high-level skills and achievements which are suitable for an executive role.

Entry-level: "IT recent graduate with strong theoretical knowledge in software development and database management. Completed an internship that honed my skills in network solutions. Excited to bring my technical skills to a dynamic IT team."

  • Analysis : This statement provides a solid base of IT knowledge with a hint of real-world experience, making it ideal for an entry-level candidate.

Mid-level : "IT specialist with over five years of experience in systems analysis and design, networking, and server management. Proven track record in resolving complex IT issues within tight deadlines. Looking forward to applying my problem-solving skills in a challenging IT environment."

  • Analysis : The candidate here showcases their experience and problem-solving skills, two significant selling points for mid-level IT roles.

Senior-level: "IT Director with a decade of experience in managing diverse teams and implementing IT strategies that support business objectives. Expertise in cloud computing and IT infrastructure development. Seeking to leverage my technical and leadership skills in a forward-thinking organization."

  • Analysis : The statement effectively displays the candidate's leadership skills, strategic abilities, and technical expertise, fitting for a senior IT role.

Each of these examples of personal statements for resumes should provide you with a framework to create and personalize your own. But if you need some help, there's always AI in your corner.

How to tailor your personal summary with AI 

Thanks to Teal's AI Resume Builder , creating the perfect personal statement has never been easier. Our built-in generative AI provides an excellent starting point, producing a draft tailored to your career level and role in seconds.

However, a personal statement shouldn't be a cookie-cutter paragraph— it needs to be uniquely you . 

Here's how you can make it happen with Teal .

1. Use AI to start: Type in your desired role and let the AI generate a custom draft. This provides a solid base, saving you time in getting started and providing a structure to work with.

Generate multiple versions of your personal statement with the use AI integration within Teal's AI Resume Builder

2. Implement a SWOT analysis: Recall our advice about self-reflection? Apply that here . Use the SWOT analysis to reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the desired job role. 

3. Revise the opening: Make the first line count. While AI provides a generic opening, you should edit it to make it more compelling. Remember, your opening line is your 'elevator pitch,' and it needs to stand out.

4. Tailor with keywords: Teal's AI Resume Builder automatically pulls critical keywords from the job description you're targeting, ensuring your personal statement aligns with what the employer is looking for. Just make sure these keywords naturally fit within your personal statement to maintain a coherent narrative.

In short, Teal is the easiest solution for creating personal statements as a unique resume personal profile .

Final thoughts

Crafting a captivating personal statement on your resume is your golden ticket to making a memorable first impression. It's not just about what you say but how you say it, and that's where the distinction lies between good and great.

And what's even better? You don't have to do it alone. 

The AI Professional Summary feature is here to be your personal writing assistant. Are you ready to let your resume make an impact? 

Give Teal's AI Resume Builder a spin to try out the Professional Summary feature and see how quickly it improves your personal statement. 

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CV Personal Statement:  Examples and Actionable Tips

Elena Prokopets

Fact: recruiters spend only 6 seconds reviewing each CV. So poorly organized CVs inevitably get discarded. 

Having an effective CV layout is the first step to attracting their attention. And the second step is topping that CV with a compelling personal statement (also known as a personal profile, personal summary, or executive summary).

What is a Personal Statement in a CV? 

A personal statement for a CV is a short and compelling paragraph that summarizes why you’re the most qualified person for the offered role. It tells the reader who you are and what valuable qualifications you will be bringing to their company.

NB : Opening statement, personal profile, personal summary, or executive summary are the other common names for a personal statement. 

Many believe that the work experience section is the most important element of a CV. Yet, it is your personal statement that can end up making or breaking the success of your job application. 

Because it provides the reader with a quick answer to one question they have on their mind: Are you qualified for the job or not? 

Remember: You’ll be directly competing with numerous other applicants with similar skills and work experiences. A compelling CV statement sets you apart by giving the reader a condensed snapshot of who you are as a person. 

Do I Need To Include a Personal Statement On My CV?

The short answer is YES! A personal statement entices the reader to read your entire CV by giving them a preview of your most valuable skills. It also helps you differentiate from other candidates by explaining your background, motivation, and personal character traits concisely. 

In essence, a personal statement helps you express why you are the right choice for the job in one condensed paragraph.

Where Should a Personal Statement Go in a CV?

A personal statement goes into the header area of your CV. Include it right under your name and contact details as a separate, highlighted area. A good personal statement is about 3-4 sentences long and occupies not more than 1/4th of the page. 

Alternatively, you can design a two-column CV and allocate the upper sidebar area for your personal statement. As a recent survey found, 77% of recruiters prefer two-column CVs to single-column ones.

Sample personal statement placement on a CV template

personal statement in resume

What Do You Write in a CV Personal Statement?

A compelling personal statement summarizes your professional and educational background; highlights the main skills and accomplishments. It can also express your career objectives and/or interest in the particular industry or subject if you’re a current student or recent graduate.  

Personal Statement Examples for CV 

To give you an idea of how to write your statement, let’s look at some examples.

Remember: You need to write a unique personal statement for your CV. Simply copying and using these examples may not be the best move because the sample CV statements won’t reflect your unique experiences and personality. 

Good CV Personal Statement Examples

Employers want to see experts. Therefore, your personal statement must speak directly to your most marketable skills. 

You should never come off sounding desperate or diminish your worth (even if you have been recently laid off ). Use a confident tone with first-person implied and strong verbs to describe your core competencies and other benefits you can bring to the workplace. 

General Jobseeker Personal Statement Example

Highly motivated, fully trained engineer with 15 years of experience in the telecoms industry. Worked with XYZ Telecoms Ltd, Cool Mobile Carrier, and Acme Telco as a field engineer and project team leader. Successfully managed large commercial telecom infrastructure installations. Currently unemployed due to the relocation of the company. Open to new opportunities in NOC. 

Personal Statement CV Example For an Administration Position 

Adaptable and resourceful facilities manager with experience in supporting enterprise-sized organizations in real estate, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing industries. Strong organizational skillset: Six Sigma, standardized method of procedure (MOP) policies implementation. Was responsible for facilities operations on 2.4 million square feet in a 20-building chemical manufacturing campus, serviced by a 20+ people team of building engineers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and cleaners.

Accountant Personal Statement CV Examples

Below are two samples for a senior and a junior accountant. 

Chartered Accountant 

ACCA-certified accountant for mid-market and enterprise-sized companies. Conducted due diligence and tax audits for FTSE 500 companies. Commenced for a 100% accuracy track record in financial reporting, as well as fast turnaround on complex analytical reviews. Provide on-demand advisory on trust setup, company incorporation, and tax deferrals. 

Account Assistant 

Detail-oriented, certified accounting assistant with experience in payroll administration. Familiar with Gusto, Xero, and Intuit software. Effectively process payroll, benefits, taxes, and social contributions for over 1500 employees per month. Possess a strong foundation in employee classification,  tax reporting, and financial management. 

CV Personal Statement Examples for Students

Whether you’re applying for an internship or looking for a part-time job , a compelling personal is a must-have for a student CV. 

Since your work experience history may be a bit “thin”, you need to persuade the employer via other means — your transferable skills, academic interests, and personal traits. A personal CV allows you to spotlight all of these. 

Remember that you are bringing your energy, dedication, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn to the table. As you will not have any employment history, you need to make sure to get your personality and your soft skills over in your statement.

CV Statement for a Student Looking for a Full-Time Summer Job 

Junior copywriter, enrolled in a BA Writing Program at the University of Manchester (graduation date: fall 2025). Alumni of the 2022 Copywriting Bootcamp program from Matters Agency. Well-versed in target audience analysis, brand positioning, and editorial campaign planning. Writing clips for eCommerce and SaaS brands are available in my portfolio.  

CV Statement for an Internship 

Second-year mechanical engineering student at the University of Leeds, seeking to apply theoretical knowledge in safety system design. Proficient in AutoCAD and completed a series of blueprints for fire and water safety systems as part of my coursework. Fast learner, self-starter, and team player, I’m excited to contribute my technical expertise to a dynamic engineering team.

CV Statement for a Student Looking for a Part-Time Job 

Junior front-end developer (React, Angular JS), seeking a part-time programming position in the Great London area. Current availability is 10-15 hours per week, preferably with hybrid work arrangements. Solid understanding of design systems and UX/UI best practices. Past work experience in finance and eCommerce sectors. 

CV Personal Statement Examples for 16-Year-Olds

Joining the workforce straight after high school makes sense if you want to take a gap year or pursue trade education later on. The wrinkle, however, is that most employers may be wary of your age and lack of experience.

The goal of a personal statement is to dispel those doubts by showing that you’re a serious, mature, and hard-working candidate, eager to learn and hone your craft. 

Personal Statement for a Barista Position 

Genuine coffee lover and frequent guest at Maddie’s Cafe, I would love to join the barista team. As a former head of the prom planning committee, I understand the importance of good teamwork, efficient planning, and following instructions. My main objectives are to learn more about beverage prep and deliver exceptional experiences to customers. 

CV Personal Statement Examples For A Graduate

Your personal statement should focus on your main educational attainments and experiences. If you are applying before you have had your degree results, it is fine to give a projected grade. You can also mention any specific modules you have studied that are relevant to the job on offer and how much you enjoyed working on them.

Remember: Your goal is to explain why you’re interested in this role and what you could bring to the table. 

Graduate Personal Statement Example

Business administration graduate with a 1:1 honors degree from XYZ University. Interested in an entry-level merchandising position within your Commercial Sales Department to expand my knowledge in retail merchandising, procurement, and inventory management. Looking to apply my analytical and data modeling skills for merchandising strategy optimization. 

Personal Statement for High School Graduate 

Energetic and enthusiastic high school graduate (June 2023) with top A-levels grades in English, Maths, and French. Seeking an entry-level role in sales, where I can make use of and develop my language skills. My long-term career goal is to further my language qualifications and position myself as a European sales manager living and working overseas for a global company.

Personal Statement Examples for CV With No Experience

Lack of experience in a particular role or industry should never discourage you from applying. Although you may not tick all the criteria boxes, you still have transferable skills and unique work experiences to showcase.

Moreover, ongoing talent shortages are prompting employees to reconsider their hiring criteria, plus invest more in new hire training and upskilling. Four in five companies now struggle to fill in open vacancies, which is the highest number in the past 17 years. 

So take your chances and apply even if you don’t have sufficient work experience. 

Personal Statement Example with No Relevant Work Experience 

Former front-desk hotel employee, looking for an opportunity to leverage strong service orientation and organizational skills in new roles (Customer Success or Customer Support). Familiarity with appointment booking software, digital chat apps, and CRM software. With my strong commitment to personal growth and my adaptable nature, I believe I could be a valuable asset to customer-centric teams.  

Personal Statement Example with No Industry Experience 

Self-starter with a BA degree in Communication and experience in corporate event management seeking a transition to music festival management. Experienced in organizing off-site events for 100+ people (including location scouting and travel coordination). I thrive in fast-paced environments and am eager to build a strong network of new partners. 

Discover even more personal statements from our collection of CV examples . 

CV Personal Statement For A Career Change

Career change is a big decision, but it can lead to a more fulfilling professional life. Besides, you’re not completely starting anew. Many of the hard and soft skills are quite universal. There is any number of different jobs that need the same set of skills that you have developed, so always try to lead with these and use real-life examples of your experience.

Career Change Personal Statement Example:

Working for the past 10 years as a regional sales manager has allowed me to develop keen skills in building strong working relationships and lucrative networks. Communication skills I developed during my time at my current employer enabled me to win vital contract wins that increased sales revenue by 20% over three years. I am now ready to take on a new challenge and want to work in the charity sector so that I can use my skills to give something back for the direct benefit of others.

How To Write A Strong Personal Statement for a CV 

An effective personal statement summarizes your skills and experience in a relevant way i.e., it indicates how you can be of help to the employer. 

In short, a compelling CV personal statement: 

  • Lists your most marketable skills and qualifications 
  • Highlights your industry knowledge and work experiences 
  • Mirrors some of the key phrases, used in the job description 

And here’s how to write a personal statement that makes a mark.

1. Review the Job Description Once Again 

As you go through the role description, pay attention to the words, used by the employer, to describe the candidate’s requirements, duties, and personality. Keep those in the back of your head. 

These are the keywords you’d want to use all around your CV — in the personal statement, work experience, education, and skills areas. 

2. Do a Mental Tally of Your Skills 

Try to remember the times in your previous work roles when you accomplished notable objectives, went above and beyond expectations , or otherwise did better than your peers.  

Note down everything that springs to mind including your years of experience in a similar role, challenges you took on and the positive results achieved, new projects you kick-started – anything that has close relevance to this new position.

3. Make a Draft Personal Statement 

Write down a sample personal statement. Don’t worry about the length – just put as many details as you’d like on paper. Once you’re done, revisit the job description. See how your personal statement compares to the description. Does it paint a picture of someone who would fit the role? 

4. Edit for Clarity and Briefity 

A good CV personal statement shouldn’t be longer than 3-4 sentences. Take a critical look at your draft version and condense it to the bare essentials: 2-3 main skills, a major accomplishment, and a note on your motivation and/or personal traits. 

Other things that don’t belong in your personal statement are:

  • Explanation of employment gaps or present unemployment status 
  • Information about hobbies or personal interest 
  • Any mention of references or recommendations 
  • Irrelevant skills or work experiences 

Want to stand out even more? Add a persuasive opening statement that highlights your strengths as a candidate. 

A compelling personal statement can be the key between your CV making the ‘yes’ pile or the reject bin. Take some time to get your statement right and always write a new one for each job you apply for by mirroring the employer’s language. 

Finally, to give your CV a polishing touch, try out one of our fancy, but free CV templates , coming in multiple styles: professional, modern, simple, and creative!

Elena Prokopets

Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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Writing a personal statement for your CV

CV personal statements are like the sales pitch of your CV, but not everyone thinks they're useful. Discover if they're really necessary, how to write a CV personal profile and templates for inspiration

What is a CV personal statement?

A CV personal statement is a concise paragraph or summary, which details what you can bring to a job or company. It's also known as an opening statement, personal profile, personal summary or executive summary.

Sitting at the top of your CV, it's your opportunity to sell yourself to employers and to highlight the relevant skills and experience you possess.

While effectively and succinctly convincing recruiters that you're a good fit for the role, a personal statement gives you the chance to show off your strengths and share your career goals.

'The focus of your CV statement should be to target your offer to employers - why should they hire you and how are you different to other graduates? Therefore, making your personal statement as unique as possible is crucial to ensure you stand out from the crowd,' explains Alex Proctor, careers consultant at the University of Bradford.

Do I need a personal summary on my CV?

Traditionally, almost all CV types include a personal statement but there is some debate about whether you actually need to include one.

Some recruiters and careers advisers believe that personal profiles are one of the most important parts of a CV, as they provide an easily accessible overview of a candidate's ability, while others feel that personal statements are a waste of valuable space and time.

The latter belief is often the case with graduate CVs, as some employers feel that those just stepping onto the career ladder don't necessarily have enough knowledge or experience to warrant a personal statement. Because of this, a graduate's personal profile runs the risk of being bland and generic and stating things that should be a given, such as, 'I'm hardworking and organised,' which is why some recruiters believe that they are best suited to more senior CVs.

So while your CV doesn't need a personal statement, employers spend only seconds looking at application documents. With this in mind, a CV personal statement gives you an invaluable opportunity to make your application stand out as quickly as possible.

Alex believes 'that a CV personal statement is a good idea, because employers often have so many CVs to read through and the personal statement, if clear and concise, can elevate your chances of getting through to the next stage of the recruitment process.'

If you'd like to include a personal statement on your CV it might be best, as a graduate, to focus on your educational background and the career path you'd like to embrace. If you have relevant experiences use these to make your personal statement unique. 'If you haven’t got much work experience, focus on what experience you can extract from your degree,' advises Alex. 'If you have taken part in various projects demonstrate what your role was. Alternatively, if you have written a dissertation, showcase your topic and what skills you have developed from this experience. Employers will value your individuality even if you haven't had masses of practical work experience.'

If you're struggling to give it context and get it right, make an appointment with your university's careers or employability service and ask an adviser to help you hone your writing. 

What should I include in my CV personal profile?

In terms of length, a CV personal profile should be no longer than 150 words. 'It should be short, impactful and aligned effectively with the CV content,' explains David Ainscough, careers consultant team lead and deputy director at the University of Cambridge.

'A personal CV profile should include details of your educational background, evidence of work experience, as well as your career aspirations. You ideally need to ensure you are telling the reader what you can offer skill-wise and don't be afraid to also share any accomplishments,' adds Alex.  

If you're struggling with what to write, break your personal statement down into three parts. Focus on:

  • who you are
  • what you can offer
  • your career aims.

Start by introducing yourself. For example, 'A recent graduate with a 2:1 in English literature from the Hillview University' or a 'Highly-skilled physiotherapist with five years’ experience…'

Next, detail what you can offer the company. Ask yourself why you're suited to the role and cover any relevant skills or experience. If you lack practical work experience instead draw attention to your academic achievements, such as contributing to university publications, which developed written communication, attention to detail and teamworking skills. Or how you applied skills learned on your physical therapy degree during your time as a physio assistant for university sport teams.

Conclude your personal statement by highlighting your career goals. For example, 'I am looking to start my career in the exciting world of publishing and to develop the skills learned through my university studies and internships.'

It's up to you how you present this information; there is no hard and fast rule. However, personal statements are generally displayed as a single paragraph, without a title or subheading. You'll need to keep it consistent with the rest of your CV formatting, meaning that the font size and type will need to be the same throughout your document.

Also, consider the voice and tense you'd like to use. Personal statements can be written in either the first or third person, but you'll need to maintain this voice throughout - don't switch between the two.

Take a look at  how to write a CV .

How can I make it stand out to employers?

  • 'Remember that first impressions count so make sure you're giving the recruiter a comfortable reading experience. Layout and clarity are crucial,' says David.
  • Tailor your CV personal statement (and CV in general) to each application.
  • Be honest. Untruths are easy to uncover and lying on your CV is a criminal offence.
  • Provide evidence of skills and experience but remember to keep it brief. For example, 'experienced event manager, who led a team to organise a charity ball for 150 people, raising £5,000 - a 20% increase on previous years.'
  • Use the job description to help form your CV personal profile.
  • Stick to the word limit.
  • Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. The personal summary sits at the top of your CV so any errors will be immediately apparent.
  • 'Keep it fresh. It needs to be reviewed in each application you make so consider something new to say each time,' adds David.
  • Read it aloud once you've finished writing to make sure it flows.
  • Copy and paste from your  cover letter or from online CV personal statement examples. Your personal summary needs to be unique and personal to you.
  • Include unnecessary personal information such as your age, marital status etc.
  • Use clichés, slang or jargon.
  • Use bland, empty statements like 'I work well independently and as part of a team'. This tells employers absolutely nothing about what you’re capable of.
  • Overuse buzzwords.
  • Include quotes from previous employers.
  • Ramble. Recruiters don't have time to read through waffle, so get to the point.

Think about the connotations of the words you use - 'currently studying' implies things might change, 'trying' implies failure, 'might' or 'maybe' sounds like you're not sure. The words you use have power so choose them carefully. You want to sound confident, positive and enthusiastic.

Find out more about the  top 7 CV mistakes .

CV personal statement examples

To help you get started take a look at the following CV personal profile examples.

As a recent graduate from the University of Townville, with a 2:1 honours degree in marketing, I have undertaken internships at industry-leading agencies such as Beyond Imagination and Noah Freemans. These placements have allowed me to develop sector knowledge and gain hands on experience, as well as expand transferable skills such as commercial awareness, communication and negotiation and analytical skills. My career aim is to gain a role which allows me to further my expertise and take on increased responsibility at a market-leading digital marketing agency.

I am a highly motivated 2:1 forensic science graduate from Groveshire University, looking to secure a graduate position that enables me to use and develop my analytical, attention to detail and communication skills. I have gained relevant experience in both scientific and hospital laboratories, which allowed me to build on my problem solving, concentration and team working skills. My career goal is to assume a role that enables me to analyse and interpret forensic data and to eventually move into crime scene investigation.

Remember; avoid copying and pasting ready-made examples. Instead use them as a guide to craft your own, tailored CV personal statement. Take a look at our  example CVs .

Find out more

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  • Get more advice on CVs and cover letters .

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what to write on your personal statement cv

What Is a CV and How Do You Write One?

Title: What Is a CV and How Do You Write One?

URL: /what-is-a-cv

Meta: Are you applying for a position requiring a CV? Continue reading for what to include, how to format it, and how to stand out.

So you are on a job hunt and looking for a new and exciting career. You have your resume ready when the hiring manager asks for your CV.

This causes you to panic because you have no idea what that is.

In today's job economy, job seekers must ensure they are prepared for any questions a prospective employer may ask them.

Continue reading for everything you need to know about what a CV is and how to write one.

What is a CV?

The term CV, Curriculum Vitae, is a Latin word meaning "course of life."

It is a document containing your academic credentials and previous work experience.

You typically don't require one unless you are applying to graduate school or have completed your master's or doctoral program and are now applying for an academic teaching or research position.

Related: These Tips can Help You Find the Right Job | Entrepreneur

What is the difference between a CV and a resume?

The key difference between a CV and a resume is that a resume is what you typically use when applying for a standard job application. A CV is used when applying for an academic program or teaching position.

The main point of a CV is to accurately depict any academic and research experience that you have acquired either through schooling, teaching experience or research and to provide this to potential recruiters.

This includes a detailed record of presentations and publications and tends to be longer and more detailed than a standard resume.

It is important to note that some employers use CV and resume interchangeably during job interviews.

This can be confusing, but the general rule of thumb is that if you apply for a position in academia , you will submit a CV.

If you are applying for a job outside of academia, you will provide them with your resume.

Related: 10 Tips For Writing An Impressive Resume | Entrepreneur

What should you include in your CV?

Now that you know the difference between a CV and a resume, what should you include in your CV?

Continue reading for everything a prospective employer, or a graduate program admissions committee, will look for in your CV.

Your personal information

Much like a typical resume, at the top of your CV, you can include the following contact information:

  • Your full name.
  • Your mailing address.
  • The best phone number to reach you at.
  • Your email address.
  • Your date of birth.

Education section

CVs are mainly used to apply for positions in academia, so this section of your CV is crucial.

In this section, you can list the educational programs you attended, the years you attended them, and the name of the institution where you attended.

You may want to break this information down using bullet points or follow a CV template to make it easy to read.

Some prospective employers may require you to provide more in-depth information, such as your grades for your completed programs.

They then use this information to determine whether your educational background matches the position you are applying for.

Related: 5 Components of an Attention-Grabbing Resume | Entrepreneur

Work experience section

When you add your work history to your CV, you will want to list all your recent work experience and any fellowships or internships you were a part of that relate to the position you are applying for in reverse chronological order.

For each of your previous jobs, you can include:

  • The name of your employer.
  • The specific role you had, including your job title.
  • How long you were employed at that specific job.
  • A detailed job description.
  • A list of any accomplishments or awards your employer awarded you.

Related: Not Enough Experience on Your Resume? Rise Above 'Requirements' | Entrepreneur

Any awards and honors you received

This is where you would include any awards or honors you have received while gaining professional experience at the academic level or during your previous employment.

These awards and honors may include:

  • Dean awards you were awarded.
  • Honorary degrees you received.
  • Presidential awards you obtained.
  • Professional certifications or awards.
  • Any awards you received from an employer for excellence.

List your relevant skills

If you have acquired a specific set of skills pertinent to the position you are applying for and haven't yet mentioned them in your CV, you can list them here.

These skills may include, but aren't limited to:

  • Language skills (such as being fluent in more than one language).
  • Computer skills you have acquired.
  • Advanced software skills you have obtained.

Related: 19 Best Skills to Put On a Resume That Employers Will Love | Entrepreneur

Your publications and presentations

If you were in school or working and published any academic or conference papers , you can list them here.

These include any papers that you wrote by yourself or co-wrote with other people as well as any papers that you helped contribute to.

You can include the following information regarding these published papers:

  • The name of the paper that was published.
  • The year it was published.
  • The names of any co-authors, if applicable.

You can also include any papers you have written and presented at a conference or association. Here you may want to include the following:

  • The name of the paper that was presented.
  • The name of the conference that it was presented at.
  • The date the paper was presented.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Writing the Perfect Resume | Entrepreneur

Any professional associations you are a member of

If you are a member of any professional associations, you can list those here.

This section is typically only required when you are applying for a position such as an accountant, engineer, surveyor or IT professional.

You can list all the associations you have an affiliation with here, as well as the current status of your membership.

How do you format your CV?

Now that you know what to include in your CV, you must ensure it is appropriately formatted.

Here are some tips and things to remember regarding your CV format.

Build your brand

You want to build your brand and stay consistent throughout your CV.

This is accomplished using the same font and formatting throughout your application for a cohesive feel. This can include:

  • Cover letter.
  • Reference list.
  • Research statement.

Emphasize only when necessary

Make sure only to use all capital letters, bold, underline and italics for the most critical information in your CV.

For example, you might want to bold the names of the schools you attended, especially if they are well-known, impressive institutions. But you wouldn't want to bold the dates you attended as this information isn't as important.

Separation is key

Separating dates from your other content using white space can make it easier for the reader to skim and take in the vital information.

You may even decide to line up all the dates on the right or left-hand side of the page to distinguish the more important parts for the reader.

Related: 13 Must-Have Words to Include In Your Resume | Entrepreneur

Make section headings easy to find

You can bold and use all capital letters to help distinguish your section headings and make them easier to find.

You can also strategically space them to help separate the different sections. This is typically done by entering two returns before a subheading and one return after.

Headers and footers

Having your name in a header or a footer on every page of your CV and other attached documentation is a good idea.

You may also want to include page numbers to ensure the pages don't get mixed up and out of order for the reader.

If you don't want a header or a footer on the first page of your CV, simply select "different first page" in the header/footer menu.

Listing your references

When listing your references, it is a good idea to include them on a separate page at the end of your CV.

You can list them one below the other or in two separate columns depending on the number of references you have and the look you are going for.

What is a personal statement?

Typically, admission committees also require you to provide a brief essay (anywhere from 500 to 2000 words) called a Personal Statement along with your CV. This is also known as a Statement of Interest or Purpose.

This is a crucial part of deciding whether or not you are a good fit for the job or program and also a good judge of your writing capabilities.

In general, what you may want to include in your Personal Statement includes:

  • Your research and professional interests.
  • What your future goals and career plan include.
  • How their workplace or program helps meet these goals.
  • What you will contribute to their organization.

Related: Use Your Personal Brand to Score Big at Job Interviews | Entrepreneur

How do you make your CV stand out?

There are a few things to remember to make your CV stand out from the rest .

Choose the proper format and font

Choosing the proper format and font can make a huge difference. You can't go wrong selecting a font such as Arial or Calibri for your CV.

Choosing a good, clean layout also helps you stand out and get noticed by potential recruiters.

Related: 8 Ways to Make Your Resume Stand Out From the Pack

Include a list of your soft skills

While a CV typically focuses on your schooling and work experience, list your soft skills to help you stand out.

These soft skills can include:

  • Communication skills.
  • Fast learner.
  • Emotional intelligence.
  • Resilience.
  • Team player.
  • Self-motivated.

Related: Soft Skills to Put on Your Resume | Entrepreneur

Explain any employment gaps

Did you take a year off of school or work to travel? Or maybe a family member became ill, and you took some time off to care for them.

Don't be afraid to explain why there is a gap in your employment history on your CV, as recruiters will notice this anyways.

Related: A Sabbatical Must Not Spoil your CV. Here's How you Can Explain the Gap | Entrepreneur

Remove outdated information

Before you start applying for any positions using your CV, ensure all the information on it is accurate and up-to-date.

This means taking off any old jobs irrelevant to the position you are applying for.

What have studies shown regarding CVs?

Studies have shown that a typical recruiter only looks at a CV for seven seconds before deciding whether a candidate is a good fit for the position.

This is why taking the time to make sure your CV is written clearly and professionally can make all the difference.

It has also been shown that 59% of recruiters will immediately reject an application if they find any typos, bad grammar or other spelling mistakes.

Showing you have gained knowledge and experience from your education and work experience can help you stand out. A recruiter wants to see that you have learned a lot and want to expand your knowledge as you move forward.

A recruiter will pay extra attention if you can show that you know the specific industry you are applying in, so always ensure your CV is up-to-date with any pertinent education or work experience.

Attention to detail matters

Whether you are applying for a graduate program or that dream job you have been working so hard for, ensuring you have a clear and concise CV is critical.

Ensuring your CV is formatted correctly, free of grammar and punctuation mistakes and includes all your relevant education and work experience can help you stand out.

Following the suggestions above and double-checking your CV once you have completed it, you may be on your way to landing that dream job.

Check out Entrepreneur's other guides and resources for more information about this topic.

What Is a CV and How Do You Write One?

More From Forbes

30 powerful resume keywords to beat ats in 2024.

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Using the right resume keywords ensures you are able to shine a light on your skills and experience

More than 90% of employers use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to initially filter out or rank middle-skilled and highly-skilled candidates for job postings, according to a 2021 global study conducted by the Harvard Business Review.

This means that there is at least a 90% chance that your resume will not make it past the screening software.

Applicant tracking systems rely on keywords to assess candidate suitability—and these keywords are the ones that are located within your resume. The problem is, many candidates do not know how to make a resume effective because they fail to include the most appropriate keywords for their industry and role they are applying to. Consequently, they never (or hardly ever) make it past the screening stage to secure an interview.

While there are several factors that determine whether your resume makes it past the ATS or not (although a few are beyond your control), knowing what skills to put on your resume and which resume keywords to include, are a few of the most critical steps you can take to ensure your resume beats ATS.

Why Use Resume Keywords?

"A recruiter will never see that candidate’s application, even though it might fill all of the employer’s requirements," continued the HBR study. Therefore, being the perfect fit for a role is not good enough. You might tick every box and fulfil all the requirements listed on the job description, yet fall short of being shortlisted for the role, all because your resume did not effectively evidence the criteria and skills the employer is looking for.

Here is a simplified example of how an ATS works from a recruiter's point of view:

  • You send your resume through a job portal.
  • When the recruiter is sifting out 1,000 applications, they'll enter a skill such as "project management," "Power BI," or an education requirement such as "MBA," from the job description.
  • This filters available resumes to 300 candidates.
  • If your resume is optimized to include the keyword they are looking for, it will show up; if not, it will never be seen and you've just lost the potential to land a career-boosting opportunity to an AI-powered gatekeeper—ATS.

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Matching keywords is an essential step to take before sending an application, or you could risk ... [+] being sifted out at the screening stage

Where To Find Keywords To Put On Your Resume

There are number of sources you can use to find keywords for your resume. The first and most obvious of them is the job advert itself. Taking a careful look at the job description, and the key requirements/person specification/ideal candidate section, carefully identify what are the core requirements that the employer is asking for.

You might find it useful to undertake a keyword highlighting exercise by copying and pasting the entire job description and person specification into a Word document, and highlighting the technical and soft skills that stand out to you the most, which are relevant to what you already have to offer.

For example, take a look at this sample job description from Workable for a cost analyst role:

"We are looking for a cost analyst to help us audit our expenses and find ways to make our operations more cost-efficient. You’ll be the go-to person for cost analysis and you’ll get to prepare reports to help management make better decisions. To do this job well, we’d like you to be well-versed in data and financial analysis, and have strong attention to detail. Ultimately, your job will be an integral part of our efforts to ensure profitability and business success."

It then proceeds to list the following responsibilities for the cost analyst role:

  • Gather and analyze financial data
  • Determine standard costs and investigate variances with actual costs
  • Prepare detailed reports, both periodically and ad-hoc
  • Help management make important decisions based on costs and benefits (e.g. investments, market growth, pricing changes)
  • Create and manage budgets, and monitor spending
  • Conduct audits on financial processes and transactions
  • Monitor changes in processes or methods to calculate effects on overall costs
  • Estimate product costs for existing and new products
  • Forecast and analyze costs of processes, labor and inventory
  • Suggest cost-reducing or profitable solutions
  • Conduct market research to support future business planning

And then the advert proceeds to list requirements and skills for the role (pay close attention to this):

  • Proven experience as a cost analyst, cost specialist or similar role
  • Experience in data, operational and financial analysis
  • Knowledge of accounting processes and software
  • Strong analytical skills
  • A business acumen
  • Great attention to detail
  • Good communication aptitude
  • Degree in Finance, Accounting or similar field
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) preferred

With the above job advert, how many keywords can you easily identify?

Considering the above data, some of the likely resume keywords and skills used for the job posting above, which you would want to incorporate into your resume for a cost analyst role, include:

  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Good communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Cost analyst
  • Accounting processes and software (and name a few)
  • Financial analysis/Analyzing financial data

You can incorporate these keywords into your professional summary, skills highlights, and work experience and education sections.

ChatGPT can help you analyze a job description quickly and can even provide guidance on how to ... [+] tailor your resume for that specific role

How To Use ChatGPT To Find Resume Keywords

One time saving method you could employ to find keywords from the job advert and interspersed them throughout your resume, is to solicit the help of ChatGPT. ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI, that has millions of users around the world—with one of the fastest, unprecedented technology adoption rates in history.

It uses LLM (large language models) to engage with you as any other human being would, providing you with timely information and shortening the length of time it takes to accomplish administrative and content writing tasks. While it is not wise to use ChatGPT to draft an entire resume for you on its own, it certainly can be helpful at key junctures in the resume writing process, for example, when analyzing and inputting keywords.

To use ChatGPT to find the best keywords to include in your resume, follow the below steps:

  • Provide ChatGPT with a copy or excerpt of a job description for the role you want to apply for, and then prompt: "I am tailoring my resume to apply for this role. Please select and suggest keywords and phrases from this job advert that I can put into my resume. Include any technical skills, software tools, certifications, industry terminology, and soft skills listed in the advert."
  • Now that ChatGPT has provided you with a list you can then begin incorporating these words and phrases throughout your resume, ensuring you proofread with each edit so it reads naturally and doesn't give the appearance of meaningless keyword stuffing.

Powerful Keywords To Include In Your Resume

Now that you have this background understanding, here is a sample list of some of the most common and essential keywords you should consider adding to your resume, for three specific industries—information technology, healthcare, and sales. These are categorized for ease of navigation and will provide you with an idea of what to look out for, as relates to your industry:

Resume Keywords For The Information Technology (IT) Industry

  • Programming languages (e.g., Java, Python, C++)
  • Cloud computing
  • Network administration
  • Agile methodologies
  • ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Machine learning
  • Data analytics
  • IT project management

Resume Keywords For The Healthcare Industry

  • Electronic Health Records (EHR)
  • Clinical research
  • Medical billing and coding
  • Telemedicine
  • Healthcare compliance
  • Health informatics
  • Medical imaging
  • Healthcare quality improvement
  • Health insurance
  • Healthcare technology

Resume Keywords For The Sales Industry

  • Business development
  • Account management
  • Client relationship management (CRM)
  • Lead generation
  • Prospecting
  • Sales cycle
  • Pipeline management
  • Value proposition
  • Sales forecasting
  • Competitive analysis

Keywords include a range of technical skills, soft skills, and education requirements—and even your ... [+] years of experience

Using the right keywords can help you effectively sell yourself and shine as a star candidate to employers, ensuring your skills and experience do not go to waste or escape their notice. Through highlighting your expertise in this way (without keyword stuffing) you increase your chances of securing an interview.

Rachel Wells

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