Today is another edition of the Sample CV Series. Last time on this series we talked about the Header/Heading and how it is important to the total CV. Today we shall go through the process of writing the Personal Statement (or Career Objective/Summary)
What is the Personal Statement?
The Personal Statement is a short statement that summaries your CV. It is a statement that sells a candidate’s qualities, experiences and career objective to an employer. The personal Statement is one of the most important parts of the CV. Sometimes, the employer/recruiter stops are reading the Personal Statement and do not go further to read the CV.
Missing it at the Personal Statement is very consequential because it is one of the only tools you have to sell what you have done and intend to do to the employer in few sentences.
Note: A Personal Statement for a CV is way different from a Personal Statement for a university application. Personal Statement for CV is shorter while that for the university application could take as much as two pages.
3 Characteristics/Components and Samples of the Personal Statement
It is important that you begin your Personal Statement with what sells you most out of the 3 components. The Personal Statement is like an advertisement; it is meant to ‘sell’ and not just ‘tell’. The Personal Statement
must should have the following components as basic.
Qualities/Attributes: Most Personal Statements begin with the qualities or skills of the person. It depends on the area of approach you will come from; starting with qualities/skills augurs well for graduate CVs as experience may not have been acquired at this point. Be careful not to use buzz words like ‘innovative’ and ‘creative’. This bores the recruiter, having probably seen it in 56 other Resumes. If you must use buzz words, do not leave them as stand alone.
An example of a Personal Statement that begins with personal qualities/skills is below:
An individual with sound knowledge of SEO mechanics, social media campaign strategies, and the total workings of the Microsoft Software package. I possess vast skills and the ability to influence and communicate with hands on experience of over 3 years in content writing and development, social media management and digital marketing. I’m a self-driven person with flair for a workplace that supports innovative thinking and allows for prompt input in company overall growth.
- Related Read: Types of CV or Resumes and The Right One for You
Experience: This is the number of years you have been on a particular profession. Usually, some really experienced professionals begin the Personal Statement with something about their experience because it sells them pretty well especially when such experience cuts across various industries. If you’re a fresh graduate, I’d advise not to begin your Personal Statement with experience because you virtually have none except for internship or volunteer activities which may not sell you as well as your qualities will.
An example of a Personal Statement that begins with experience is below:
A Human Resources professional with over 26 year’s industry experience that cuts across various corporate spheres such as Recruitment, Law, Information Technology, Integrated Services, Oil and Gas, Talent Outsourcing, Telecommunications, Marketing and Digital Services, Engineering and Insurance. A Talent Manager with an enviable writing skill and the ability to successfully integrate IT with best employee management practices and training/improvement.
Career Objective: The career objective states your expectation in your career in being part of the particular firm. Here you try to succinctly present your value to the company if employed and how it will help you advance your career. For most people, it is awkward to begin the Personal Statement with career objective and it is quite rare for anyone at all because it does not really fit. The mistake fresh graduates make on their CV is to use just the career objective as their personal statement. The best thing to do to sell yourself is to include both the qualities/skills with the career objective.
Drawing from the first career/personal statement, the last sentence is an example of how you could fashion out a career objective.
To conclude on this episode of the Sample CV series, I’ll like the following to be carefully noted when writing the Personal Statement for your CV
- Always know that for every job (except if is the same job position that requires the same skills) the personal statement should change
- Your personal statement must be targeted at a job and not just generic. This may not be the case for fresh graduates but I strongly advise you target the job skills you’re applying for (if the title is not Graduate Trainee or Management Trainee of which the role may not be known). For example, the first career statement was for a Social Media Manager/Marketer or Copy Writer/Developer while the second is for a Human Resources specialist
- Make it very short. Do not include all your skills in the personal statement especially as the next part of the cv is left for that
- You can write in the first person or in the third person; just don’t use both
- Use the job advert copy/ad to write the personal statement
Wheew! That’s all for this episode. Until next week, please do not forget to share this article with your friends. The comment box is free for all to use; questions, contributions, additions or subtractions… all are welcomed. But before I drop the pen, below is a screenshot of the CV Heading we treated last week and the personal statement/career summary, together.