Optimising your personal statement

I wanted to write a quick blog about personal statements as they seem to cause a lot of our candidates confusion. A personal statement in this context goes at the top of your CV. Not to be confused with the type of personal statement you were asked to write when you applied to university (these for example – https://www.personal-statement-examples.com/).

It is about 3 or 4 lines long and it has a simple goal: to tell an employer you’re the perfect fit for their job. Hence, you write it with reference to their job advert.

Take care though – don’t simply list off everything they have asked for. Instead, you need to show them why / how you have the skills they want.

“To ensure your profile isn’t just a paragraph of empty claims, be sure to back up your statement with facts and figures. Include your university grades, the amount of years’ experience within your area of expertise and any impressive results related to past projects.”
Michael Page

So, for example:

INCORRECT:

“I am a strong leader and a competent trainer”

CORRECT:

“I have led a team of around 5 paralegals for the past 4 years, delivering all training leading to their admission as trainee solicitors”

INCORRECT:

“I have strong sales skills and regularly meet and exceed my targets”

CORRECT:

“For the past three years I have met my target month-on-month, exceeding my target by 15 – 25% for over half those months.”

You’ll see the correct approach is to be specific.

“Provide evidence of skills and experience but remember to keep it brief.”

Prospects.ac.uk

I hope this quick guide has thrown some light on what a personal statement is and how it can be valuable to job seekers. I believe it is the most powerful part of your CV and should not therefore be wasted on fluffy statements. It’s your chance to really sell yourself to the employer and boast that you’re exactly the person they’re looking for.

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