Practical Tips for Writing a Perfect Personal Statement [+5 word-for-word examples]

Updated: Jul 2

Personal statement (also called personal or professional profile, profile summary or career overview) is a short paragraph at the top of a resume that summarizes a candidate’s relevant experience and skills in three to six sentences.

Considering that employers make decisions about candidates in a matter of seconds, this section determines how much time an employer will be willing to spend reading your resume.

Think about it this way:

If a resume is a movie, then this paragraph serves as a trailer for what’s about to come.

If the trailer is interesting, the chances are that the audience will be interested in watching the whole movie. Seeing this short preview won’t be enough to satisfy their curiosity.

On the other hand, if the trailer is slow, boring or something they've already seen a hundred times, the audience will yawn and skip to the next movie available.

The same works with resumes.

Those first sentences need to be the crown of your CV. They need to be informative, tailored to the job you’re targeting, and they need to do justice to your skills and experience. In other words, they need to convince employers that you fit the profile they’re looking for.

Sure, the personal statement itself cannot guarantee an interview invite, but surely it can increase the amount of time that a reader will be willing to spent with your resume. Consequently, this may lead to better chances of being invited to present your experience in person.

In the next 5 minutes, you’ll get:

  • Practical tips on writing your best personal statement ever

  • General guideline on do’s and don’ts when writing this statement

  • 5 personal statement examples

>> All our resume templates already have a designated place for a personal statement at the top of a resume. Download a template, edit the text and you’ll be ready for your next job application in no time! <<

1. Write a personal statement at the end

It’s hard to summarize something until you know what is the content that needs summarizing.

That’s why it’s best to save writing a personal statement for the end. So first write down the entire overview of your experience, education and skills. When this is done, go through the whole document and pick the things that stand out – especially in terms of achievements. That’s the content that deserves a place at the top.

2. Customize it for each job you’re targeting

The general version is a great starting point. It helps you structure all relevant information in a concise way.

But that is not enough. When it comes to personal statements, one size doesn’t fit all.

Even an inexperienced recruiter will be able to recognize a generic introduction that has been sent out to every company in the city. If this is the impression you kick off with, the chances are that none of them will give you a call back.

This is a more time-consuming solution, but it's one that can translate into a significant number of interview-invites coming your way.

To make your life easier, you can prepare a couple of versionsone for each career path you’re considering. Still, this might not entirely fit the bill, so always cross-compare your resume with the job description, to ensure that you have all the main requirements covered.

3. Make it concise

Keep the personal statement short and sweet. A good measure to consider is that it should range between 30 to 75 words.

If you are not sure about having a block of text in your resume, you can use a bullet pointed list.

Feel free to play with formatting, but either way, the personal statement shouldn’t take up more than four to five rows in a document.

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4. Include numbers

If there is one thing that can set your resume apart from other candidates in those first sentences, this is quantifying your achievements.

The majority will vaguely describe their experience and career aspirations. But that’s not exactly what employers want to see in a resume. You might be surprised, but this section is not about you. It’s about employers and how they can benefit from hiring you.

Since the previous experience is often considered to be the best predictor of future success, the best way to show your value is to present what you’ve been able to achieve in the past.

Tell them what you have accomplished be