by Michael Cheary
OK, so putting a personal statement together is never easy…
But even if you’ve written one before, how you write a personal statement will always depend on your current situation. In other words, what you write as a school leaver will look a lot different to someone who has many years of previous work experience.
To help you find the right one for you, here are some real personal statement examples – and how you can use them to make your CV stand out:
Free CV Template
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University personal statement
First things first: personal statements aren’t just for your CV.
They’re also a key part of the UCAS application process, and a way to sell yourself to prospective universities. However, they will be much more detailed – and longer – than the one you write for a job application.
We’ve covered everything you need to know about personal statements for university here.
School leaver personal statement example
All personal statements should be tailored to the role in question. No exceptions.
Start by answering the following three questions: Why do you want to work in this industry? What skills make you right for the role (hint: use the job description)? And where do you want to go in your career?
However, school leavers should always focus on the latter – and what you can bring to the business, as well as focusing on the knowledge and skills gained through education, rather than employment history. Soft skills are also a great place to start.
A highly motivated and hardworking individual, who has recently completed their A-Levels, achieving excellent grades in both Maths and Science. Seeking an apprenticeship in the engineering industry to build upon a keen scientific interest and start a career as a maintenance engineer. Eventual career goal is to become a fully-qualified and experienced maintenance or electrical engineer, with the longer-term aspiration of moving into project management.
School leaver CV template
Graduate personal statement example
Similar to a school leaver personal statement, but with extra attention paid to specific things you’ve studied during higher education.
Once again, try and explain why you’re applying and where you’d like to go in your career, as well as the specific skills or knowledge you can offer. But try and drop in a few more details on your degree (projected grades are fine), as well as particular modules that have inspired you to work in this profession – if possible.
And remember: a personal statement written for a CV differs greatly from one written for a university application. If you haven’t written one before, you should start by reading our tips on how to write a personal statement.
A recent business economics graduate with a 2:1 honours degree from the University of X, looking to secure a Graduate Commercial Analyst position to use and further develop my analytical skills and knowledge in a practical and fast-paced environment. My career goal is to assume a role which allows me to take responsibility for the analysis and interpretation of commercial data for a well-respected and market-leading leading company.
Graduate CV template
Unemployed/redundancy personal statement example
Dealing with redundancy is never easy. But when dealt with in the right way, it needn’t be a hindrance when making applications.
Put the main focus on your employment history, and provide further information for your break in your cover letter. You don’t even necessarily need to mention it again, if you’ve already explained it elsewhere.
Remember, your personal statement is intended to sell yourself. So emphasise your positives rather than apologising for a negative.
Driven Retail Manager with over ten years’ experience in the fashion industry. Proven track record of success, including managing the top performing store in the region, and having the lowest staff turnover rate of all UK outlets. Currently out of work due to company closure, looking for the right opportunity to bring my expertise to a well-established fashion brand in an upper management position.
How to: Deal with redundancy
Redundancy CV template
Career break personal statement example
There are many good reasons someone may need to take a career break.
Some possible examples could include parental leave, caring for a family member, plans to travel or long-term illness. However, whatever the reason for your own break, it’s never something you should feel the need to justify to a prospective employer.
In fact, knowing how to explain a gap in your CV is mostly about confidence. So leave any extra explanation for your cover letter and focus your personal statement on your career before the break – and any skills learned during your time off which may be applicable to the role.
A highly motivated and experienced PA, currently looking to resume my professional career after dedicating the last five years to raising a family. Excellent admin skills, thorough knowledge of all Microsoft Office programs, as well as proficiency in minute-taking and extensive experience liaising with clients. After volunteering for one day a week with a local charity to refresh my skills, now fully committed to continuing my career on a full-time basis.
Career break CV template
Career change personal statement example
If you’re changing industry completely, think about any transferable skills and applicable to the sector you’re moving into.
Any numbers you can give to demonstrate your success could be crucial – even if you’re moving into an area where your expertise may seem slightly different. So always aim to back up your claims with real examples.
Focus on one or two achievements, demonstrate the impact they had, and you’ll instantly start adding value to your application.
As an experienced sales manager, my tenacious and proactive approach resulted in numerous important contract wins. My excellent networking skills have provided my team with vital client leads, and my ability to develop client relationships has resulted in an 18% increase in business renewals for my current organisation. After eight years in sales, currently seeking a new challenge which will utilise my meticulous attention to detail, and friendly, professional manner.
Changing careers: What you need to know
Career change CV template
If you’re still not sure of what to write, don’t panic.
Crafting a winning personal statement will take time, especially if you haven’t written one before. Use these examples as a loose structure to follow, and you’ll be able to add to them as your experience grows.
And remember: you should always aim to edit your personal statement for each role you apply for. That way, you can ensure you’re really selling yourself to their role, rather than simply sending the same generic statement for each application.
It should only take a few more minutes to complete. But if it’s enough to attract an employers interest, it will be time well spent in the long run.
How to write a personal statement
Personal statement dos and don’ts
Read more CV help & tips
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A personal statement is a well laid out extension essay about you during an application. It can be used in CV’s or when applying for University entry or even in workplaces. The primary objective of the statement of purpose is selling you to the reader for the purpose of winning whatever your application talks about. The aim of writing a personal statement is to differentiate you from other people in a similar application category leaving the reader with a great impression increasing your chances of getting what you want. It is a platform where you can flaunt your impeccable achievements, strengths or even share your aspirations in cases of careers without being cliché or filling clutter.
It is the same case with students who apply for vacancies in different courses. Students can perfectly express their thoughts, show their skills and experiences and stand out when the admissions tutors go through their personal statements. Whatever is written there determines who got the chance and ho misses. However, there are certain guidelines that you need to follow to come up with a perfect personal statement.
10 things you must have in your Personal Statement:
- Give reasons for wanting to take a particular course
You are expected to be straightforward and specific from the word go. You should write about what motivates you to take the chosen course at the university level. Talk about the growth of your interest in that particular field, the inspiration you draw from your current studies and what you doing or have done to pursue it. It is vital to show enthusiasm and be reasonable not to deviate from the main subject.
- Give valid reason showing the course is right for you
Here, you are required to provide evidence that illustrates that you are fit for the course. Also, it’s time to show your prowess in research by making the admission tutor understand that other than meeting the selection criteria, you have done a prior research of the course and understands the involvements of the course. It is similar when it comes to a profession. You apply the same tactics and understand what is required and what the profession entails.
- Show your achievements outside the class
Explaining how far you have gone to pursue interests in your chosen course beyond your syllabus increases your award chances. It could be further readings you have taken on the subject. Writing a list won’t give you extra points and therefore giving reflective opinions and critical views really count. Your source of information could be websites, journals, documentaries, films, books, periodicals, newspapers, radio programmes, lectures, and blogs among other channels. It is necessary to avoid the obvious kind of reading because everyone else will have it mentioned.
- Show relevance to your course
Here, you have to reflect on past experiences. You have to explain what you have gained from m them and how helpful they have been in nurturing your interest in the given subject. Whatever the experiences, they don’t have to be overly fancy. They could be volunteering activities, theatre or gallery visits, math’s challenge, work experience, outreach programmes, summer schools, travel, and university taster sessions, local courts visits, archaeological digs or museums.
- Show relevance to your chosen profession
Reflecting on relevant observations and experiences is necessary for various professional courses where in some cases you are as well expected to apply for a career course. A mere description is not enough; therefore, you have to reflect on your experiences in depth. Explain the relevant skills the [profession requires and talk about how you have come to learn about them. Also, explain how you have developed the said skills.
Talk about the different environments, what spotted and the experiences in regards to the profession. You can also give an observation of carious qualities exhibited by profession staff and how helpful they were in fulfilling effective engagements with clients, service-users or their patients.
- Demonstrate transferable skills
The admissions tutor will be glad to hear about your transferable skills. Such skills could be:
- Impeccable organizational skills
- Good leadership skills
- Good listening and communication skills
- Ability to work independently
- Good time management skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Expound on your relevant skills
You just don’t make a list of every skill you think you have without thinking about its relevance. You have to think about the skills that readily relate best to the chosen course or profession. Demonstrating how you have developed them, used and you are continuing to strengthen them will be a plus for you. Specific examples are relevant and that’s what most admission tutors will want to hear. Such are:
- The role you played in projects and assignments and the positive outcome drawn from them.
- Your positions of responsibilities, your achievements, and boost of your self-confidence
- learning Experiences derived from drama, music or sports, and how it was working as a team
- Talk about your biggest challenges and how you overcame them
- Show the skills you have demonstrated when doing a part-time job or volunteer activities. You can talk about your observations and the extra skills gained.
- Show your critical thinking skills
University gives way to free and independent thinking and therefore, showing you are an independent and a critical thinker is a big bonus for you. You can talk about how your various A-level subjects have made you think critically. It is not only limited to that, it can be additional subjects you are taking such as EPQ, a place, an assignment and anything else that has helped you develop the kind of thinking you got. If you are taking extra subjects like extended project qualification (EPQ), it is important to state that because University takes such kind of study.
- Your long-term plans
It is critical to talk about your long-term goals and objectives. You can lay them down in an interesting way which will require you to that a specific path. Whichever way you choose, make sure you show some aspects of imagination and individuality. Find a way to make you stand out from the crowd. Just mentioning what career expert you want to become plainly won’t add you any point.
If you are not sure, don’t write any irrelevant thing that might cost you a chance. You can talk about your expectations in the university and what you desire to gain from the varsity life.
When applying for a deferred entry, it is vital to state the period you intend to take out. Most courses appreciate when a student takes a gap year, however, they will want to know about your plans during the gap year.
Getting started on your personal statement can be a hassle. It should not get you in a panic mode or anxiety. Begin writing about your strength, be enthusiastic about the course and have a positive vibe about yourself.
Personal Statement Examples and Personal Statement Templates
As mentioned earlier, Personal statements give you a limelight to shine, show your achievements, strength and share your profession aspirations with a hiring-board or manager. Having boring business speak or filling the whole personal essay with clutter will be termed as a common type of personal statement and end up sounding like everybody else out there.
It is necessary to take some time and research on the dos and don’ts and create a perfect personal statement. They can be written in different scenarios. Listed are examples of personal statements from different angles. They can be helpful in assisting you to come up with an outstanding personal statement.
Career Break Personal Statement
People have different reasons as to why they would want to take a career break. It can be due to a long-term illness, traveling or parental leave. One can find it a hassle to put down such in a CV. However, the worst mistake that you can make is to leave it out in your CV. Failure to address such issues on a CV is a mistake that can cost you.
When coming up with a personal statement, you can answer the following questions:
- Who you are
- Why you have chosen that career
- Skills and important things you can bring to the company
A career break can be mentioned in this section, however, taking a lot of space is not recommended. Your cover letter is the place to give detailed information about it. You can use your personal statement to explain and focus on your career’s success before taking your break.
Career Break Personal Statement Example:
“I am an experienced (put your role) and currently seeking a chance of getting back to my career after taking the last (Insert a number of years/ duration) as a dedication to raise my family. Having worked for (X) years as an (insert your previous role) helped me gained great knowledge, experience, and skills valuable in this industry. I have further taken and completed (state a course or work experience) to refresh my skills and therefore am fully committed to continuing with my professional career full time.”
Personal Statement Example
A personal statement is important when you have decided to make changes in your career path. It gives you a chance to market your transferable skills that are relevant to your new role or in the industry. It is vital to make sure talk about your primary skills, give reasons for the career change and show enthusiasm to the new career.
Personal Statement template for Job:
“Am an enthusiastic professional person who has chosen to take a new challenging career after working for (X) years as an (insert profession/role) I am a hard worker and achieves to give the best in the designated areas. I am open to learning new skills and eager to grasp positive things and advance in my profession. I have taken a course (talk about work experience or a course) and successfully completed as a preparation for my career change. I am keen and eager to build on skills, knowledge, and experience in this sector. Being a self –driven individual, I will follow my aspirations of becoming (insert new job/career) within this n industry.”
School Leaver Personal Statement Example
It is critical to note that personal statements are tailored according to the given situations. Using 50-150 words, you need to explain to the hiring manager the reason for wanting this role, why you are interested in this industry, your career aspirations and what skills you possess to perform the role diligently and effectively.
As a school leaver, coming up with a personal statement might be a hard task. You may be stuck at the previous employment/ work experience and achievements part. Instead of taking the space and emphasizing and relating a job you did after school to the new career, it is recommended that you pay more attention to your academic achievements and skills gained throughout your school and education life.
School Leaver Personal Statement Template
“I am an enthusiastic school leaver who has achieved five GCSEs and is seeking for an apprenticeship in the (mention career/job) field. I possess excellent verbal and goof writing skills and an interest in (field) which has geared my interests in the field further. (You can mention and explain about the achievements you have had in your various subjects or projects that are relevant to your desired industry or career.)”
Graduate Personal Statement Template or Ph.D. Personal Statement Template
A graduate personal statement and a school leaver personal statement are similar in that they tend to focus more on the education part and not the employment history. However, a graduate personal statement should lay more emphasis on skills gained at the university level as well as your higher education.
As a graduate, you have to make sure that your personal statement catches the attention of recruiter quickly through an easy identification of your transferable skills as well as your education.
Graduate Personal Statement Example or Ph.D. Personal Statement Example
“I am a recent graduate from (X) university having attained a 2:1 honors degree in (Mention your course) I have done my internships in( mention organizations) that are leading organizations in the industry. During this time, I gained knowledge and experience on the industry as well transferable skills that are relevant in this sector. My career objective is to pursue a role that allows me to gain, more skills and knowledge as well as become more responsible in an innovative an market leading company. “