Personal statements – help me stand out!
A question for all you job seekers out there from hr inspire resourcing … where have all the personal statements gone?
We have been noticing a growing lack of personal statements / profiles from you and we were just wondering, why?
Here’s a fact for you: Employers take on average 8.8 seconds to scan a CV.
Nowadays, it has become so important that you stand out from the crowd and that you sell yourself effectively. One of the best tools is to create a personal statement, summarising what you can offer an employer in relation to the job you are applying for.
But how does someone sum up their awesomeness onto a single A4 sheet?
How can you be sure you will be 100% on paper the employer/recruiter’s type?
So many questions … scroll down for some hr inspire resourcing answers!
Recruiters and employers like personal statements because they can easily see if you are a match in skills, experience and attitude to their job.
With over 100 applications for some vacancies this is a brilliant time saver. A recruiter will only read the rest of your CV if you’re personal statement signals you’ll add value.
You need to be able to sell yourself succinctly in your personal statement to stand out from the crowd.
So where to begin?
How to start a personal statement
While introducing yourself in a career summary format, your opening sentence needs to “hook your reader, compelling them to read the next sentence, and the next”.
The opening sentence of your personal statement should include:
- Your job title
- Number of years’ experience.
- A particular expertise you have.
- Active positive words or verbs.
- Example personal statement opening:
“Innovative Project Manager (Prince II Practitioner and Certified Scrum Master) with over 5 years’ experience managing complex IT projects for a FTSE 100 company operating across the UK, Europe, India and South Africa.”
How to end a personal statement
There are two ways to end your personal statement.
It would be helpful if candidates let employers know what they are looking for. It’s all part of the matching process. If you have a 5 year career plan or want to specialise in something later down the line – tell us!
If you are at a relatively early stage in your career, state your career goal. What you lack in experience you can make up for in ambition! Remember, your statement must relate to the role you’re applying for. No point in telling us how you want to pursue a career cake decorating in a business development role.
Do’s & Don’ts
Do sell yourself and highlight what sets you apart from other candidates. (What makes you so different?)
Do make it relevant. Tailor it to the job you are applying for. (We can tell when you have embarked on an application spree)
Do be succinct. Max 150 words or 2-3 sentences. (This is not a tell-all biography of your life)
Do use a career summary format showing what you have to offer.
Do make it engaging. It needs to be interesting to read. (Make us want to read more)
Do be specific. Avoid generic phrases that everyone uses.
Do show some passion, as long as it’s relevant.
Do make it about the employer. Show how you can do their job.
Do include number of years’ experience, specialist skills and expertise, relevant industries and personal qualities.
Do have a strong opening sentence to ‘hook’ the employer to read on. (We are not asking for Shakespeare but give it some pizzazz!)
Do end your statement by letting the employer know what you are looking for. (So that everyone is on the same page)
Do show you’re a good fit. Pay attention to the language used by the employer.
Don’t make spelling or grammar errors. (we cannot stress this enough!!)
Don’t be negative about yourself or a previous employer. (No one likes a Negative Nigel)
Don’t exaggerate or embellish what you can do. Be honest. (If you fib, you will look the fool after)
A personal statement should answer the question why you are the best person for the job. But we know getting started on a personal statement can be tough. Since every personal statement is about one particular individual’s suitability for working for one particular employer, every personal statement should, in theory, be unique.
So get typing and see what you can create, remember just be YOU! 😊