A critical aspect of creating a CV that has a dynamic impact is writing a personal statement, sometimes called a profile or career summary that will enable the recruiter to quickly identify the strategic value you can add to their organisation. Your CV should be a self-marketing document aimed at persuading the recruiter to want to interview you and your personal statement is a critical part of making this happen.
Many candidates struggle with writing the statement part of their CV but it doesn't necessarily have to be a difficult as you may think. A well written statement can be between 50 and 200 words, although it is important not to ramble. Remember you always have your cover letter to include interesting and engaging information which will act as the gateway to them then wanting to read your CV.
It's important to read the personal specification of the job carefully and ensure not only that your skills and experience match but you reflect this in your statement. I am often asked whether a statement should be written in the first or third person and, while there are no definitive rules about this, my preference is always to write in the first person because the CV is all about you and your skill set. However, this doesn't mean that you have to add 'I' at the beginning of each sentence, the reader knows it's about you so avoid this type of repetition and keep the reader engaged in your value and transferable skills.
For example an opening statement without the opening 'I' could read:
As a highly-motivated and results orientated manager within the luxury hotel sector, I have a proven track record of providing exemplary levels of service to a broad range of guests, including VIPs and high-profile individuals.
This example reads naturally and flows for the reader, whereas if an 'I' was inserted at the start, while not hugely different, it would read more like a list and as you move forward with additional information it becomes difficult to break out of the format you have started.
As a general rule, it's best to break the statement into three sections:
Who you are
For example: As recent graduate from Durham University, with
a 2:1 honours degree in media communications, I have undertaken several internships within leading organisations such as Bertelsmann and Times Warner. These placements have enabled me to develop not only specific media industry experience, but also a valuable and transferable skill set in this fast-paced sector.
The above opening has allowed the recruiter to quickly identify, where you are coming from, that you have had industry experience (something that may be in the selection criteria) and core transferable skills. This in itself could be enough for your opening statement, but it can be expanded upon by adding some additional information.
What you can bring to the table
For example: During placement with Bertelsmann, I worked within the media division contributing to projects such as the award-winning China Max Documentary and managed my own research, liaised with various divisions, formulated media reports and participated in group project meetings. Utilising excellent communication skills, I developed and maintained successful working relationships with both internal and external staff.
Your career aim
Looking to secure a position in a media organisation, where I can bring immediate and strategic value and develop current skill set further.
An example of a poorly written personal statement
Tim is a recent graduate from Durham University, with a 2:1 honours degree in media communications; I have undertaken several internships within leading organisations. Tim is now looking to secure a position in a media organisation where I can develop my current skill set.
The mismatch of first and third person copy is not only confusing to the reader but it almost sounds like a profile about different people. It also lacks specific detail and proof of what value the candidate could bring to the company.
Key points on writing a dynamic and interesting personal statement:
* Get straight to the point: avoid lengthy descriptions and make your testimonies punchy and informative.
* Keep it between 50 to 200 words maximum.
* If you have enough space, use 1.5 line spacing to make you statement easier to read.
* Match person and job specifications with well written copy.
* Read your profile out loud to ensure it reads naturally.
* Don't mix first and third person sentences.