What is a personal statement, and why does it matter?
Your personal statement or personal profile is often the first thing (and sometimes the only thing!) a recruiter reads when they look at your CV. As your opening paragraph, it’s vital to draw the recruiter in and gain their interest. Many recruiters will only read your personal profile and decide if you sound like a suitable candidate before reading anything else. Shocking, we know!
No matter the industry or career you choose, a strong personal statement is a necessary component of your CV. And it’s the fun part of your CV where you get to show recruiters your personality and skills!
A personal statement has many names: different people might call it a personal profile, personal summary, or even a professional summary. To be clear, these are all the same thing, and the output is the same. We’ll use all these terms on this page.
So, now you know why good personal statements are so crucial to your CV, let’s dig into how to write a personal statement that makes your CV stand out!
Tips on how to write a personal statement for a CV
Many people freak out when thinking about their personal profile because it’s the bit of their CV where they have to “think” the most. We have good news - there’s a straightforward approach to writing a personal statement that ensures you include all the best bits of your career and make the right impression!
The experience section of a CV shows what the applicant has done in past roles. The skills section of a CV shows what an applicant has. Then, your personal statement gives the hiring manager insight into who the applicant is. For example, in addition to listing “data analysis” in the skills section, the applicant might be described as “data-driven” in their statement.
The most important tip we can give you is not to go overboard. You want to keep your CV personal statement clear, fluff-free, and above all else, factual.
Another top tip: write in the third person and drop all pronouns (I, me, he, she, they, them). It’s acceptable to write in the first (I), but trust us, using the third person sounds more professional. All our examples will show you how to draft your statement in the third person.
Personal statements and CVs use an abbreviated sentence structure, which allows you to fit more information into limited space. We recommend following this format:
- Sentence 1 (Who you are): Opening statement including years of experience and career focus.
- Sentence 2 (What you can achieve): Results you can, or have accomplished.
- Sentence 3-4 (How you can achieve it): Your unique skill sets or areas of expertise.
Let’s get to it!
Step 1: How to start a personal statement
The first sentence of your CV’s personal statement establishes the years of experience you have and your career focus. It starts to build the foundation of who you're as an individual in the workplace.
Let’s look at some opening sentence examples:
Nurse “Energetic registered nurse with 10 years of experience caring for the elderly in care home environments.”
In this personal statement’s first sentence, we learn that the nurse brings energy to the position and has a mid-senior experience level. We can also see they’ve specialised in care home environments. It’s a concise, punchy opener!
Lettings agent “Wimbledon-based lettings agent with proven experience hitting targets of £10,000 per week in the residential property market.”
In this CV profile example, we can quickly see where the person is based, how they hit targets, and what they do. This is a strong statement opener that gives a recruiter a lot of information and - as this is a sales role - it’s key to include numbers.
Electrician “Licenced electrician with over 15 years of hands-on experience leading large-scale, commercial electrical projects.”
This personal profile intro packs a punch - in it; we learn several important facts about this individual. They’re licenced and highly experienced; this person is a project leader - we know they are senior. We also learn that they specialise in commercial projects.
Youth social worker “Passionate youth social worker with over 10 years of professional experience supporting individuals and families in crisis.”
This example clearly outlines the individual’s role and explains how dedicated they are to helping people.
Entry-level candidate “Confident and enthusiastic worker with assured customer service skills and a deep passion for the transport industry.”
A personal statement can feel extra daunting if you’re an entry-level candidate. Remember, you have plenty of transferable skills that you can mention and talk to in your personal statement - though it might not feel that way.
Plus, ALL your experience is relevant. You can also describe your personality and the soft skills you bring within your opening lines such as tenacity, attention to detail, passion, or commitment.
Step 2: What to include in the middle sentence of a personal statement
Your personal statement’s middle sentence will paint a picture of the things you’ve achieved in the past or are performing currently. Giving recruiters this information offers them a window into your capabilities.
Let’s look at some second sentence examples:
Nurse “Maintained medical needs for 20 residents, leading in times of high-stress, administering high-level medical care to all individuals.”
A great example, packed full of exciting detail. Already the hiring manager will have a rounded picture of this candidate.
Lettings agent “2016 & 2018 winner of prestigious ‘South London Lettings Agent of the Year award’, leading to promotion to senior lettings agent.”
Your awards and accolades are a fantastic way to show a hiring manager how you've performed in past roles. A manager promoted this lettings agent as a result, which offers a clear career progression. A great job!
Electrician “Responsible for Hightrees development which was given an industry award for low energy consumption.”
This example works if the hiring manager knows this project and can give them an idea of the scale of the projects the candidate has been involved with - this gives authority to their personal profile.
Youth social worker “Managed 5 members of staff, mentoring and training junior social workers ready for deployment into the field.”
This individual is presenting insight into their past role, using numbers we get an idea of the workload they can handle.
Entry-level “Exceptional communication and PR skills honed while editor on engineering faculty newspaper during university.”
This example shows how using experience or volunteer work helps showcase skills in your personal profile. Improve this statement with numbers - e.g. how many people worked in your team.
Step 3: How to end a personal statement
Your statement’s closing sentence is all about your unique skill set, including hard (learned) and soft (personality-based) skills.
When putting all of your sentences together, read through them and make sure you check that they all follow the same tense (either present or past), that the spelling is correct, and that the section flows well.
Let’s look at some final examples with all sentences stitched together:
Nurse “Energetic registered nurse with 10 years of experience caring for the elderly in residential home environments. Maintained medical needs for 20 residents, leading in high-stress times, administering high-level medical care to all individuals. Cool and calm at all times, ready to handle medical emergencies.”
Lettings agent “Wimbledon-based lettings agent with proven experience hitting targets of £10,000 per week in the residential property market. 2016 & 2018 winner of prestigious ‘South London Lettings Agent of the Year award’, leading to promotion to senior lettings agent. Adept at building lasting relationships with landlords and tenants.”
Electrician “Licensed electrician with over 15 years of hands-on experience leading large-scale, commercial electrical projects. Responsible for Hightrees development which was given an industry award for low energy consumption. Offering both practical and strategic project management skills.”
Youth social worker “Passionate youth social worker with over 10 years of professional experience supporting individuals and families in crisis. Managed 5 members of staff, mentoring and training junior social workers ready for deployment into the field. Trained in first-aid and confident in confronting situations.”
Entry-level “Confident and enthusiastic worker with assured customer service skills and a deep passion for the transport industry. Exceptional communication and PR skills honed while editor on engineering faculty newspaper during university. Hard-working and diligent with outstanding attention to detail.”
Why not have a go at creating your statement now with myPerfectCV?
Check out the top personal profile examples by PerfectCV
Art teacher personal profile example
In this example, Hannah has laid out her experience and specialisms when teaching art to students, giving the hiring manager an understanding of who she is, and how she brings value to any teaching post.
Web designer personal statement example
In this brief personal statement, Lydia outlines her expertise quickly. We learn how many years’ experience she has, plus her ability to work well in a team on both design and graphics projects.
In Joanna’s CV personal summary, she has told the recruiter quickly and concisely, what she does and how she inspires her clients to achieve their goals.
How to write your personal statement quickly
The myPerfectCV builder is created to make personal statements a doddle. See below how you can use our pre-written suggested content to fill out your personal statement, tweaking it as you need to. We offer a range of options for every job title. Why not check to see what gold we’ve created for your job title.
The below image shows the builder recommendations for a nursery assistant. It’s super easy to select a summary and edit the blue brackets to create a summary statement that is as unique as you.
Using our tailored recommendations, you can save time and get new ideas for how to create the perfect summary.
Avoid making mistakes in your personal profile by following these handy tips
Sound confidentProudly highlight your true capabilities - it's essential to present your achievements. This isn’t the time to downplay the importance of your experience and skills. Remember: this might be all the recruiter reads about you - make it interesting!
Mention numbersWhether you’re in a sales career or not, numbers help to show recruiters how much you're capable of. How many people you’ve managed. How many facilities you’ve run. How many awards you’ve won. Quantifying your experience with numbers is only ever a positive - do it wherever you can.
Use adjectivesGive your personal profile the energy it deserves by using adjectives to describe yourself and your abilities. A dull statement that reads like a list won’t turn heads.
Be clear and concise
The ideal length for a personal statement is 50 to 200 words maximum. Note how this accountant’s statement concisely details their fundamental skills, relevant work experience, and future aspirations in a short paragraph:
[Text Wrapping Break]“Dependable accounting professional acknowledged for reliability, integrity, and quick-learning ability. Highly skilled with an eye for identifying and correcting errors. Brings enthusiasm for solving client’s challenges and providing first-class financial services.”
Use short, punchy sentences.
Keep a neutral tone, taking care not to write in the first person. An example of this is shown in this excerpt from an academic CV:
“An ambitious and talented professional with a proven academic background in science and valuable experience in teaching and lecturing. Possess first-class academic written skills and is also an effective verbal communicator.”
Exceed 4 sentences
Though it can be tempting, keep your personal statement to a maximum of 3-4 sentences, depending on sentence length. You want to grab the hiring manager’s attention - but not bore them!
Tell the recruiter what you're looking forIt can be very tempting to write sentences like “seeking a new role in a fast-paced environment where I can thrive.” Why not? Because that’s what a cover letter is for, and also it’s just a waste of space where you could be talking about your capabilities and achievements.
Include jokesWhile you want to inject some personality into your statement, humour and jokes will undermine your professionalism, and may even offend.
Forget to use the spell-checkerThere’s nothing more off-putting for a recruiter than reading a personal statement that is littered with spelling and grammar mistakes. Take a moment to check over what you’ve written before hitting the ‘save’ button.
Copy someone else’s personal statementIf you’re stuck on what to write or are short on time, it may be tempting to copy a friend’s or a colleague’s personal statement. Don’t do it — a recruiter may notice that what's written in your personal statement doesn’t reflect what’s in your CV. This could lead them to reject your application.
Make it difficult to findA personal statement should sit at the top of the CV between your contact details and work experience.
Common questions about personal profiles for CVs
How long should a personal statement be?
A personal statement should be roughly 3-4 sentences or one paragraph in total. As your personal profile sits at the top of your CV, it must be short and concise, and not detract from the rest of your CV. If you want to tell recruiters more about your specific industry experience or your accomplishments, that should be included in your cover letter.
Personal statement examples can help you to find the right balance of information to hook the reader and make them continue reading. Our personal statement examples for jobs will help you find tricks and tips on starting your attention-grabbing CV topper!
How do you structure a personal statement?
The general structure of a personal profile is an introductory paragraph at the start of a CV. (You might also call it a professional summary, personal statement, or personal summary.) It offers an overview of the candidate's strengths and experience.It should:
- Only include facts that are relevant to the role.
- Focus on strengths and don’t mention weaknesses.
- Include keywords discovered by reviewing the job description.
- Work well with the content of the rest of the CV and your cover letter.
Is there a correct format for personal statements?
Yes! The general length should guide you through creating a concise elevator pitch that sets up who you are, what you do well, what you can bring to a business.
Following the sentence structure (find it earlier in this article), you can make the most of each sentence to ensure recruiters continue reading. An excellent personal statement structure uses each sentence to inform the reader of your positive attributes.
The rough structure sets up who you are, what you do and how well you do it. Imagine that your personal statement structure is a bit like the blurb on a book cover, revealing the very best of your experience.
Your personal statement format will always be the same - a paragraph in length written clearly and naturally. As for fonts and design, you can choose many different layouts in our CV builder.
Choosing from our templates, you can present your statement in different visual styles to suit your industry and personality, but you will write CV personal profile the same way.
What to include in a personal statement
Passion and positivity! Your personal statement needs to show you are enthusiastic about your industry or the industry you’d like to go into. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming knowing how to cut your statement down to one paragraph, especially if you have several years of work experience.
Try writing down all your accomplishments and best skills first and highlighting those most suited to the job. You can always have a few variations of your personal statement depending on the job description’s demands. Personal statement examples like ours can help you to understand the basics, like structure and word choice.
Create the perfect CV personal profile and get seen!
The key to a robust personal profile is to include as much information as clearly and as briefly as you can. With a perfect personal profile in place, you can be sure recruiters will want to keep reading your CV.
Hopefully, our tips have helped you to learn how to write a personal profile. Learning how to write a personal statement for your CV that grabs the reader’s attention has never been as simple!