In a Personal Statement you write about your personal qualities, skills and achievements.
There are different kinds of personal statements:
- Personal Statement on job applications. These are usually a blank box on an application asking you to write about your skills and achievements
- Personal Profile for your CV. This is the short paragraph at the top of a CV summarising your skills
- Specialist Personal Statements for applications to higher education courses
How to write personal statements for job applications
A personal statement for a job or course application is usually a blank box asking you to write about your skills, strengths and experience in detail.
So, how do you start? What do you put in the personal statement?
For job applications make a note of what the employer is asking you in the job description. Think of examples from your life that would show you have those skills -employment, school, college, education, work experience, hobbies and volunteering.
Build your personal statement by answering these questions.
Explain your Experience
Be specific. Look at the job description and use examples that are relevant.
- What do you do on a typical day in your work, work experience or volunteering?
- What IT software, machinery or technical equipment have you used? How did you use them in your job?
- What new skills have you learned to do from your work, work experience or volunteering?
Speak about your Skills
Write about the skills you have that employers will be interested in, things like:
- When have you spoken to other people to explain something to them, and they have clearly understood?
- When have you stayed polite even in a difficult situation?
- When have you listened well and had a caring attitude?
- Have you been in a sports team, or in a group where you have had to work together?
- How did you feel about working in a team?
- What did you do in the team?
- What contribution did you make to the team?
- What can you tell us about the times when you made sure you were on time, and attended regularly?
- Have you got an example of when you stayed working at something until you got it right?
- What do you work hard at to achieve?
- What goal have you set for yourself and achieved?
- What new skill have you learned?
- What do you enjoy about learning new skills?
- When have you motivated yourself to learn something new?
Learning new skills
- When were you flexible in helping someone out even when it was inconvenient?
- When did you plan and prepare for something that worked out well?
- How did you organise things?
- When have you come across a problem and been successful in working out a solution?
- How did it feel to find a solution to a problem you faced?
How to write a personal profile for your CV
On a CV you usually need to write a short paragraph that summarises your skills and personal qualities.
On CVs this introduction is called by different names including:
- Personal profile
- Personal Statement
It is a good idea to write your paragraph first then decide what to call it. If you are very unsure then simply call it ‘Profile’. You can even call it nothing at all. If it is at the top of the CV, under your details, an unnamed paragraph is fine.
What do I put in to a CV personal profile?
Think about it as a short introduction to your CV. It goes at the beginning of your CV under your contact details.
- Summarise your strengths and personal qualities.
- Keep it short and to the point.
- Sound enthusiastic, confident and keen.
- Write about what makes you suitable for the job role.
Look at examples of other peoples profiles but write your own. Never copy anyone else's personal profile
What is the difference between a profile on a CV and a covering letter?
A profile or personal statement is a short introduction to your CV. A covering letter is a one page letter or email where you go into much more detail about why you think you are suitable for a job.
Get some ideas by looking at examples of CV personal profiles and covering letters in our CV Booklet.
Personal Statement Example - Alex
- Take a look at Alex's Personal Statement for ideas on what to write in your own personal statement.