How to Write a Personal Statement: Definitions and Examples

Understanding how to write a personal statement is a long-term career skill that can help you at various stages of your professional development.

By having the skills to write an attention-grabbing personal statement, you can not only improve your CV but also increase the potential to have a successful application.

A personal statement should cover your experiences, qualifications and skills in a concise and engaging manner.

Below, we explore how to write a personal statement, provide tips for creating a personal statement and provide an example for you to use.

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement is a brief overview of your professional development that explains your skills, qualifications and achievements in relation to the position that you’re applying for.

Your personal statement is key for making a good first impression on an employer whilst explaining why you’re a good fit for that particular role.

If you’re starting a personal statement, break it into several sections as this can help you link them together to create an engaging, cohesive statement.

How to Write a Personal Statement

It’s critical that you create a well-written, attention-grabbing personal statement that is bespoke for the position you’re applying for. If you want to start writing a good personal statement, there are 3 steps that you can follow to create an effective personal summary: 

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1. Read the job description and guidelines

Depending on the position you’re applying for, there may be specific guidelines for creating a personal statement. Read the instructions carefully before you begin and once you’ve finished and ensure that you’ve met the rules.

Regardless of whether there are guidelines or not, it’s critical to read the job description so that you understand the points you need to be referencing within your personal statement.

2. Write an engaging introduction

The best place to start a personal statement is by highlighting who you are and where you’re currently at in your career. You may provide an overview of your professional development and a brief description of your long-term career goals. Depending on your current role and how relevant it is to the position you’re applying for, you may provide examples of what you enjoy about the role and the qualities that make you ideal for the new position.

An example of this is: “As a motivated and experienced marketing executive, I specialise in social media marketing and how it can help a business improve its reach, revenue generation and engagement, alongside other marketing channels such as SEO and PPC.”

3. Highlight your value proposition

Once you’ve introduced yourself, you then have to demonstrate the value that you can provide for a business. This element of your personal statement has to highlight any key achievements or skills that are relevant to the new position. It’s a good idea to re-read the job description before you start writing this section, as it can help you properly focus your personal statement on the position.

When you’re showcasing your achievements, select any past experiences that directly relate to the job description. By taking this approach, you can establish yourself as the best choice for the role and highlight your potential. If the position requires specialist knowledge in a certain technique or concept, this is where an example can help you demonstrate a deeper understanding.

An example of this is: “In my last role, I was responsible for managing the social media channels within the company. I employed my knowledge in paid advertising, targeting and social media platforms such as Hootsuite to deliver a cohesive and effective social media campaign. I was also directly involved in the development of new social guidelines and workflows to ensure a regular and effective social content calendar.”

4. Expand on your talents and experiences

Depending on your reasoning for writing the personal statement, you may expand on your experiences, the skills you’ve developed during these experiences and how they might apply to the company’s future goals.

At this point, you can also explain why you feel you’ll fit into the company and where you may be an asset going forward. During this section, you may consider explaining how you want to expand your skills or further your employer’s position.

5. Demonstrate your career objectives

The final major section of your personal statement should reiterate your reasoning for applying to the role and your long-term career objectives. This should be a relatively brief section as you don’t want to spend too much time on your skills, abilities and qualifications. Instead, concentrate on explaining your development and how that aligns with the company’s values and mission.

An example of this is: “I am looking to become a social media manager and expand my knowledge around the management of a social media team, which aligns with your business objectives of increasing the overall reach and effectiveness of your various channels.”

Tips on Writing a Personal Statement

Below is a roundup of tips that you can follow when you’re looking to create a personal statement:

Use real-life examples where possible

When you reference an experience or any example relating to the job description, use a real-life example that you can also support with evidence. This not only demonstrates that you understand the impact of your thought process and abilities but also helps the employer contextualise your experience in terms of their business. This also helps you avoid using vague buzzwords that don’t offer any real value.

Write a concise statement

The most important thing to consider is being concise at each opportunity. Your personal statement should be informative but still short enough for an employer or recruiter to screen during the early stages of the application process. In most instances, it’s suitable to limit your personal statement to around 4 sentences, as this is typically enough space to get your points across while still being concise.

Use consistent formatting

While the subject matter of the content is the most important aspect of your personal statement, it’s just as important to maintain consistent formatting. Use a consistent tone of voice and proper formatting to make your personal statement easier to read for any employers or recruiters. Your personal statement should be separated from the wider CV and utilise the first-person tone of voice to create a more personalised overall statement.

Personal Statement Example

Below is an example of a personal statement that you can use when you’re writing your own:

“I am a motivated, highly-experienced marketing executive with an extensive background in social media marketing and SEO. I have a degree in Marketing and over five years of experience in managing a range of social media channels for an in-house marketing team. I currently work as a senior member of a larger social media team, where I’ve helped the company increase engagement on their social channels by 30% in the last 6 months, alongside building experience in using software platforms such as Hootsuite. I’m looking for a social media manager role that will allow me to build my management experience while helping a business reach its long-term social marketing objectives.”

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