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How to Write a Winning Personal Statement

Posted on 7th May 2015

Job hunting is tough! We know as much as you do, that when you apply for a new job role, the competition is rife! Most roles will have lots of other candidates hoping to land the same position, and a lot of these will have similar or comparable qualifications, skills and expertise as you. Therefore, you need to make yourself stand out from the crowd and give yourself the best opportunity to beat the competition!  

At The Maine Group, we have hundreds of applications for each role, and our team spend a lot of time going through CVs, so you must ensure that your CV and personal statement/cover letter is of the highest quality so it stands out to us! 

When it comes down to a document like a CV, like most things in the world of work, the first impression counts. In fact, it is this that will persuade us to give you a call to speak about the position further and potentially invite you in to register. If it doesn’t stand out, we will file it away for next time, but you could have missed out on a perfect opportunity! 

Your personal statement at the top of your CV is largely responsible for making or breaking the deal. It’s the first thing we read, and your first opportunity to speak to us! So knowing how to write your opening statement is really important. If it’s good, it will grasp our attention and put you on the right track to securing that all important interview! 

Include everything you need and nothing more

We would always advise you to put your personal statement first, as it’s the first thing we’ll read! It should come under your personal details section and should be a short profile of who you are as a professional. You don't need to repeat any information that can already be found on your CV, so leave out your name, age and current position. Instead, think of what you would say to an employer if they asked you 'why are you well suited for this role?'. After all, that's exactly what  we will be thinking when we look at your CV, so get yourself off to a good start by addressing this question. Focus on the skills, traits, expertise and experience that will set you apart from the competition! 

Keep it concise
This is what most people struggle with across their entire CV and it's most noticeable in your personal statement or profile section. It should be between 30 and 60 words, any longer and we might get put off (remember, we have a lot to go through!)!  We understand this can be really challenging, and it will probably take a few revisions to get it perfect. If you are struggling, try writing a tweet to describe yourself. This limits your word choice and can get you thinking in the right way. If social media isn't your forte, or you're more a Facebook kind of person, maybe ask a friend to describe you in a professional manner. Although this might not be perfect, it can give you something to work with.

Use industry-relevant terms

Whether you work in finance, marketing, IT or another sector, it is likely that there are industry-relevant terms for the skills, traits or experience you have. Try and use these where appropriate, although it's important to not have a CV full of jargon. Adding a few keywords will help your personal statement stand out against the other candidates and will attract  our eye to your details. It is always a good idea to adapt your CV to suit the role you are applying for. 

Other tips

  • Write the personal statement in the third person as it ensures we don’t think what you are saying is only your opinion.
  • Only use words, skills and experience that you are willing and capable of explaining should you be invited to an interview! 
  • Use the personal statement to set the tone for the rest of your CV, if you want to be seen as a professional make sure that comes across in this section

At The Maine Group, we are always on hand to help with any advice you may need - just drop us an email to – info@themainegroup.co.uk and we’ll come back to you as soon as we can.