Tutorial: Crafting a personal statement for a CV

Reading time: About 5 mins

It’s right at the top of your CV – a few lines which help you introduce yourself and what you have to offer. Your CV personal statement (sometimes called a CV personal profile or career objective) acts like a taster for what follows. It should give an employer a sense of who you are, what you can do, and your ambitions.

So, where do you start?

Think about the job (or type of job) you're applying for

Examine the job description and make a note of any skills the employer is looking for. Your personal statement should be the first indication that you have them. 

If you’re preparing your CV without a specific job to apply for, think about the type of jobs you’re interested in, and what employers might want from you.

The Skills section in your account helps you think about this.

Jot down some notes

Write down the things about yourself, your strengths and your experience that you’d like to mention – for example, ‘good communicator’, ‘sales project’, ‘work experience’. Think about how these line up with the job description notes you have from step 1.

Structure it

Now that you know what you want to include, tidy it up. Try and have a sentence about yourself and your experience so far, one about your skills or strengths, and one about what your goals are. If you wish, you can present these as bullet points rather than a paragraph.

Your personal statement should only be a few lines long – around 50 to 100 words. Sharpening up your sentences will help you cut it down – for example, you can say ‘Languages student with…’ rather than ‘I am a languages student…’. 

Add value

Read over your statement and see if there’s anywhere you can make it have more impact. Just saying you’re a good communicator doesn’t prove that you are – could you add any facts and figures to back up what you’re saying?

Read it out loud

This helps you figure out if your statement flows well and says what you want it to. Think about whether there are any gaps or anything you can cut out.

 

Need some more pointers?

Check out our CV personal statement examples: