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How to write a catchy opening personal statement on your CV/resume

Updated: Jan 20

Guide: Crafting a Personal Statement

The personal statement is the introductory section of a CV that offers recruiters and hiring managers a concise overview of your professional profile or career aspirations. It comprises a concise paragraph often placed below your name and contact details at the beginning of your CV page. It is additionally acknowledged by several alternative terms, such as 'Executive Summary', 'Profile', or 'Opening Statement'.

Is a personal statement necessary?

Historically, the personal statement was a customary component of several CV formats, including graduate CVs. Nevertheless, there has been ongoing discussion in recent years on the necessity of include a personal statement in all forms of CVs. While some recruiters and employment specialists claim that the profile or personal statement is the most crucial component of a CV, providing a concise and comprehensive summary of a candidate's abilities, others contend that they are an inefficient use of valuable space and time. While this may be true for graduate CVs, it is even more crucial for experienced and highly skilled professionals, such as those in the Police Force. This is because employers and recruitment professionals typically spend only a few seconds scanning through CVs, searching for keywords that align with the job description. The applicant tracking system (ATS), commonly utilised in large organisations, exclusively selects CVs that align with the search criteria keywords relevant to the hiring manager's position.

Uncertain about the content to include in your personal statement?

A personal statement serves multiple purposes, such as being utilised for university applications or inclusion on one's CV. The main objective of this compelling introductory paragraph is to effectively promote oneself to the target audience. In addition to summarising one's abilities and expertise, it is imperative for a candidate to ensure that they are relevant to the specific post they are seeking for within the intended business or industrial sector.

How can you enhance the impact of your personal statement?

To ensure accuracy, we present our foremost recommendations to contemplate while composing your personal statement for your curriculum vitae:

Identifying essential transferable skills and expertise that are directly relevant to your chosen university programme.

What is the ideal length for a personal statement?

Optimally, your personal statement should not exceed approximately 150 words (equivalent to four or five lines of your CV). Exceeding this limit increases the likelihood of exceeding the number of pages, which should be limited to a maximum of two to three pages for your CV. When composing the summary, remember that it should be concise, pertinent, and focused, rather than resembling a cover letter.

What content should be included in a personal statement?

The most effective personal statements address the following inquiries: • What is your identity?

• What services or benefits do you provide?

• What are your professional aspirations?

An effective approach to crafting a strong personal statement involves generating an initial version and ensuring that all necessary elements have been addressed. Consider generating bullet-point responses to these inquiries. If you are lacking inspiration, refer to the job description for the position you are applying for. This will assist you in identifying the precise abilities and experience that the company is seeking. Utilise your own experience to aid in the development of your personal statement. If it is emphasised that the ideal candidate should possess exceptional business development skills, ensure that you address this aspect in your personal statement.

This can be summarised as follows: 'Possessing over a decade of expertise in sales and business development, with a focus on selling to the retail and FMCG industries. Proficient in negotiating and closing intricate agreements with high-level executives, including those in the C-Suite.' I am a highly experienced Police Officer with over 25 years of experience serving in the Midlands police. I am currently seeking a challenging opportunity that offers synergy.

Next, contemplate the subject of "What you can offer" to the company or employment role. Reflect on the traits and talents that you possess, which led you to believe that you could be well-suited for that position. Subsequently, you may furnish any pertinent abilities, training, qualifications, or experience that you deem applicable to this position. If you have limited experience, you can utilise your academic qualifications in writing for Police Publications, Articles, or any other relevant material. This will showcase your advanced written communication skills, meticulousness, and teamwork experience that you have acquired during your tenure with the Police Force.

Conclude the personal statement by emphasising your career objectives and ambitions. For instance, I aim to advance my career in the dynamic retail industry in order to enhance my extensive communication skills acquired during my service in the Police Force, by taking on an equally demanding customer service position.

Guide to Crafting the Personal Statement and Excluding Inappropriate Content.

When asked "who are you?", it is important to provide a concise introduction as the initial response.

An exemplary introduction for your personal statement might read as follows: 'A seasoned and passionate individual with extensive expertise in the field of A, boasting a remarkable track record spanning B years. Presently, I am actively seeking a C role to effectively employ my abilities and propel my professional trajectory to new heights.'

In which tense should it be written?

Consistency in person and tense should be maintained throughout the CV, allowing you to write your personal statement in any desired manner.

Avoid using words such as: 'I have recently completed my degree in business economics.' Exceptional aptitude for analysis and organisation. I am a very ambitious and self-driven individual that consistently puts forth maximum effort in all of my endeavours. Demonstrated history of achievements, regardless of the expenses incurred. Avoid utilising words such as 'I work well individually and as part of a team' wherever possible. According to James Reed of Reed, a resume does not effectively demonstrate your capabilities to an employer. However, if you include an example of your ability to work independently and as part of a team, it will provide more precise and pertinent information about your potential achievements in a role that demands these two skill sets.

What is the recommended duration for composing my personal statement?

It is essential to craft a unique personal statement for each curriculum vitae you prepare when applying for a particular position.

In order to achieve success, it is advisable to develop a fresh personal statement and revise your curriculum vitae for every application you submit. While it may require a significant amount of time to modify the document for each specific job position, your diligence in this matter will greatly impact your ability to impress potential employers, distinguish yourself from other candidates, and advance to the interview stage of the selection process.

Indeed, every occupation necessitates a slightly distinct combination of competencies and expertise, hence necessitating a varying degree of emphasis on one's abilities for each job application.

Utilising a generic personal statement will not yield numerous interview invitations unless it is specifically targeted to the position you are seeking. In fact, dispatching five or six meticulously crafted and customised CVs holds greater significance than distributing ten generic ones.

It is crucial to possess the ability to substantiate and furnish evidence when requested regarding one's talents, experience, and qualifications. However, it is advisable to maintain conciseness in this particular portion of the CV.

Lastly, meticulously review for any spelling or grammatical faults and recite it aloud to prevent these potentially catastrophic mistakes, as the personal statement holds a prominent position at the beginning of your CV.

Illustrative Personal Statement

A recent graduate in business economics, achieving a 2:1 honour degree from the University of X, seeking a position as a Graduate Commercial Analyst or similar role to apply my existing analytical abilities and knowledge. I aim to enhance and refine these skills in a practical and dynamic work environment.

My ultimate professional objective is to take charge of the examination and execution of all business-related information and actively contribute to the overall prosperity of any organisation I am employed with.

I possess extensive expertise as a Superintendent, having accumulated more than 25 years of professional experience in the field of law enforcement. I possess a demonstrated history of successfully guiding sizable teams and overseeing intricate operations. I possess extensive knowledge in strategic planning, risk management, crisis response, prevention, and professional standards. Furthermore, I possess expertise in legal and HR processing, as well as community participation. I am dedicated to providing exceptional services that effectively fulfil the requirements of the community. I possess exceptional communication aptitude and can efficiently cooperate with individuals from various backgrounds at all hierarchical levels within a company. I am passionate about creating a beneficial influence on individuals' lives and firmly think that my expertise and background can be effectively utilised and adapted to many domains and industry sectors.

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