What is a personal statement?
A personal statement is a brief description of why you’re qualified for and interested in the job you’re applying for. Your personal statement should tell employers why your training, education, experience, and career goals make you the best fit for the job.
You may include a personal statement at the top of your resume (similar to an objective statement or resume summary) or the employer may request that you attach a personal statement to your application (though this is not the same thing as a cover letter, which is longer and more detailed).
The 3 essential parts of a personal statement
1. The who
When writing your personal statement, start by telling the employer who you are as a professional. Maybe you’re a marketing consultant with five years of paid media experience, or maybe you’re a teacher with in-depth knowledge of diverse learning styles and the Montessori method.
2. The what
What skills, abilities, or qualities do you have that would be useful in the position?
3. The why
Use this section to share why you want the job you’re applying for or why you’re passionate about the industry or the population you will serve in the role. For example, if you’re applying for a social media manager job, you could mention that you enjoy running a platform that helps people stay connected and that you like coming up with new ways to engage online followers.
The why is particularly important for those pursuing a career change or career shift.
Read ore: How to List Work History on Your Resume
Tips for writing your personal statement
Do use a professional tone.
Don’t include personal information, like your marital status, ethnicity, or age.
Do include relevant skills, such as project management or data analysis, or qualities, like collaborative or flexible.
Don’t use the personal pronoun I if the personal statement appears on your resume. If it is a separate part of your application, you can use the first person I.
Do adhere to word count requirements if the employer stipulates them. Otherwise, keep it brief—roughly three to five sentences (or fifty to sixty words).
Example #1 - Personal statement that does not appear on resume
I’m an experienced copywriter with 10+ years of experience writing quality digital content and adept at conveying the unique tone of a brand across channels. In my previous role, I increased clients’ social media followers from 15K to 30K in less than three months. I’m excited about using my writing, editing, and content management skills to fulfill the senior marketing copywriter position with XYZ Marketing.
Example #2 - Personal statement that appears on resume
Web developer with wide-ranging knowledge of programming languages, including Java, HTML, Python, and SQL. Proficient in creating, maintaining, and improving user-friendly websites for B2B companies. Able to translate technical language and concepts to non-technical user groups. Eager to bring experience in UX/UI design, testing, and search engine optimization to a forward-thinking startup.
Example #3 - Personal statement for a career change, does not appear on resume
I’m a tenacious customer service professional who can balance competing tasks while maintaining service quality. I’m empathetic, focused, and detail-oriented, and I’m skilled at training customers on products and services and increasing client adoption. I am seeking a role in product management where I can use my experience in customer service, product use cases, training, and client retention to build tools that drive business.
Example #4 - Personal statement for a career change, appears on resume
Certified electrician with more than seven years in the field and five years as a manager seeking a role in maintenance project management. Experienced in contract work as well as staff positions with private companies and government agencies. Strong attention to detail that is useful when completing wiring installations, reviewing contracts, and performing quality checks. Prepared to bring a team-oriented approach to your organization.
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