How to Write the Best Personal Statement For a CV 2023
How to Write the Best Personal Statement For a CV {YEAR}

How to Write the Best Personal Statement For a CV 2023

Updated November 20, 2023

By Edward Mellett
Edward Mellett

What Is the Importance of a Personal Statement in a CV?

A well-crafted personal statement in a CV can significantly impact your chances of success in landing a job or gaining admission to an educational program.

It is your opportunity to make a compelling case for why you are the best candidate and to show your potential employers or academic institutions how you align with their needs and values.

A personal statement in a CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a crucial element that serves several important purposes:


It provides a brief snapshot of who you are and what you can bring to the table, allowing potential employers or admissions committees to quickly understand your qualifications.


A personal statement allows you to customize your CV for a specific job, industry, or educational program.

It helps you tailor your application to the specific requirements and expectations of the role or institution.

Highlighting Key Qualifications

Your personal statement is an opportunity to emphasize your most relevant skills, experiences, and achievements.

It enables you to showcase your strengths and expertise to make a strong first impression


It sets you apart from other candidates with similar qualifications and experiences.

Your personal statement is where you can convey your unique qualities, passions and perspectives, helping you stand out in a competitive job market or admissions process.

Demonstrating Your Motivation

A well-crafted personal statement can convey your enthusiasm for the position or program.

It's a chance to explain why you are interested in the role or institution and how your background aligns with their goals and values.

Addressing Gaps or Weaknesses

If you have any employment gaps, career changes or areas where your qualifications might not be immediately obvious, a personal statement allows you to address these issues tactfully and present yourself in the best light.

Personal Touch

It humanizes your application by providing a glimpse of your personality, values, and long-term goals.

This can help potential employers or academic institutions assess cultural fit and long-term compatibility.

Comprehensive Overview

While the rest of your CV is primarily focused on factual information like education and work history, the personal statement offers a broader perspective.

It provides context and helps reviewers understand how your experiences have shaped you.

Communication Skills

Writing an effective personal statement demonstrates your communication and self-presentation abilities, which are often crucial in many job roles and educational settings.

Conversation Starter

During interviews or discussions, your personal statement can serve as a reference point for further conversation.

Interviewers may ask you to elaborate on points you've made in your statement, allowing you to showcase your qualifications in more depth.

Pre-Writing Preparation for a Personal Statement in a CV

The pre-writing preparation is a crucial phase in crafting an effective personal statement.

Self-assessment helps you identify your strengths and experiences, while research ensures that you understand the context and requirements of the opportunity you're pursuing.

Gathering materials enables you to have a comprehensive overview of your qualifications and achievements, making it easier to select the most relevant content for your personal statement.

Identifying Skills, Experiences and Strengths

Reflect on your academic and professional journey to identify the skills, experiences and strengths that are most relevant to the job, educational program or institution you're applying to.

Consider your technical skills, soft skills and any specific achievements or projects that showcase your qualifications.

Understanding the Job or Program You’re Applying For

Thoroughly research the specific job or educational program to which you're applying. Understand the requirements, responsibilities and expectations associated with it.

Identify the key skills, qualifications, and competencies that the role or program values. This research will help you tailor your personal statement to align with these requirements.

Knowing the Company or Institution

Research the company or educational institution to gain insights into their culture, values and goals. Understand what sets them apart and what they look for in candidates or students.

Familiarize yourself with their mission, vision and any recent achievements or initiatives that may be relevant to your application.

Gathering Relevant Documents and Achievements

Collect and organize your CV, academic transcripts, certifications, awards and any other relevant documents that showcase your qualifications and experiences.

Make a list of your significant achievements, projects, or experiences, whether in your academic, professional or personal life, which you can potentially reference in your personal statement.

How to Write a Personal Statement for a CV

If you want to learn how to write a good personal statement for a cv, you need to remember that a strong personal statement should be well-structured and contain several key components that effectively convey your qualifications, experiences, and motivations.

Here's an overview of the essential elements:


Begin with a compelling and attention-grabbing opening that provides a hook to engage the reader.

Here are some effective hooks:

  • Anecdote – Begin with a brief, relevant story or anecdote that illustrates your journey, passion, or a pivotal moment in your life.
  • Quotation – Use a thought-provoking quote that relates to your field, career goals, or personal philosophy.
  • Question – Pose a rhetorical or intriguing question that piques the reader's curiosity and sets the tone for your statement.
  • Statistical Insight – Share a surprising statistic or fact related to your field or experiences.
  • Personal Revelation – Start with a personal revelation or reflection that connects with the central theme of your personal statement.

It offers an initial introduction to the reader, giving them a snapshot of your qualifications, motivations, and unique qualities.

Concisely introduce yourself, including your name and relevant background information (for example, your current position or academic status).

For example:

In the realm of digital marketing, where the landscape is ever-evolving, I've found my calling by blending creativity with analytical precision. As a Digital Marketing Specialist with over 6 years of experience driving successful campaigns for diverse industries, I have honed my ability to identify trends, devise strategies, and deliver tangible results. My name is Alex Smith, and I am passionate about helping brands navigate the digital sphere, leveraging data-driven insights to craft narratives that resonate and engage.

Personal Motivation

You can use the personal statement to explain your motivations for pursuing the opportunity.

This helps potential employers or admissions committees understand your passion and long-term goals

Explain why you are interested in the job, educational program or institution. Highlight your motivations and aspirations related to the opportunity.

Here's how to do it effectively:

  • State Your Purpose – Clearly state why you are writing the personal statement. For example, 'I am writing to express my interest in the [position/program] because...'.
  • Highlight Your Passion – Express your passion and enthusiasm for the field, role, or area of study. Let the reader feel your genuine excitement.
  • Link to Your Background – Connect your motivation to your background or past experiences. Explain how your journey has led you to this point.
  • Show Alignment – Demonstrate how your personal and professional goals align with the goals and values of the job, program or institution.
  • Be Specific – Avoid vague or generic statements. Instead, be specific about what motivates you. Share particular aspects of the opportunity that resonate with you.
  • Be Honest and Sincere – Authenticity is key; write sincerely about your motivations and avoid exaggeration or insincerity.

For example:

From the first moment I laid hands on a computer, the intricate dance of code and its power to breathe life into machines captivated me. My name is Jordan Taylor, and I am deeply passionate about software development, not just as a technical discipline, but as an art form and a means of problem-solving. Pursuing the position of Software Engineer at XYZ Tech isn't merely a career choice for me, but a chance to be part of an institution renowned for its innovation and commitment to pushing technological boundaries. My motivation extends beyond the allure of new projects; it's rooted in my aspiration to contribute to tools and platforms that redefine user experiences and empower societies. At XYZ Tech, I see not just a job, but a platform where my skills, passion, and the company's groundbreaking initiatives align in harmony, leading us to a future where technology serves as an enabler, not just a tool.

Highlighted Qualifications

Clearly state your relevant skills, experiences, and qualifications. Focus on what makes you a strong candidate for the position or program.

Use specific examples and achievements to support your claims. Provide evidence of your abilities.

  • Highlight Key Requirements – Identify the critical qualifications or competencies listed in the job or program description and emphasize how you possess them.
  • Use Keywords – Incorporate keywords from the job posting or program requirements to demonstrate alignment.
  • Provide Evidence – Back up your claims with specific examples and achievements that prove your qualifications.

For example:

Navigating the complex world of corporate finance requires not only a strong analytical foundation but also the ability to foresee market shifts and adapt strategies accordingly. I am Madison Rodriguez, a Certified Public Accountant with a Master's degree in Finance from Stanford University. Over the past eight years, I've spearheaded financial projects at leading firms, including a $5 million budget allocation for ABC Corp that resulted in a 15% ROI within a year.

My stint as Lead Financial Analyst at Global Enterprises saw the development and implementation of a predictive analysis model that reduced operational costs by 20%. These experiences, coupled with my expertise in financial software like QuickBooks and Oracle, make me a robust candidate for the Senior Financial Strategist position at XYZ Ltd. My track record reflects not just my knowledge of numbers but an intrinsic ability to leverage them for strategic business growth.

Fit with the Role/Program/Institution

Demonstrate how your experiences and qualifications align with the specific requirements and expectations of the job, educational program or institution.

Show that you've done your research by referencing their values, goals, and culture.

Create a clear connection between your past experiences and the expectations of the role or program:

  • Relevance – Emphasize the relevance of your experiences to the position or program. Explain how your background has prepared you for success.
  • Transferable Skills – Highlight transferable skills that you've gained in previous roles or educational settings and explain how they apply to the new opportunity.
  • Demonstrate Growth – Describe how your experiences have led to personal and professional growth, making you an even better fit for the role or program

Show that you've done your homework and understand the values and goals of the company or institution:

  • Research – Demonstrate your knowledge of the company or institution's mission, values and long-term objectives. This can be done by referencing their website, publications or recent news.
  • Alignment – Explain how your personal and professional values align with those of the company or institution. Showcase how you can contribute to their goals and culture.
  • Specific Goals – Discuss how your own career or educational goals align with the larger objectives of the company or institution.

For example:

In today's digital age, crafting meaningful narratives that engage audiences requires a unique blend of creativity and analytical insight. I'm Alex Thompson, a Digital Content Strategist with over 5 years of experience in multimedia storytelling and audience analysis. Joining the Content Creation Team at WebNarratives Inc. feels like the next logical step in my professional journey. I've long admired the company's commitment to delivering authentic and impactful digital narratives, a philosophy I've embraced throughout my career. My experience in using advanced analytics to tailor content for target demographics aligns seamlessly with WebNarratives' mission to create personalized user experiences. Furthermore, the company's emphasis on fostering a collaborative and innovative workspace mirrors my own belief in teamwork and continuous learning. I am confident that my skills and ethos, combined with WebNarratives' revered industry reputation, will result in compelling digital content that resonates and engages.

Unique Qualities

Showcase your individuality by highlighting what makes you unique. This could include personal anecdotes, passions or extracurricular activities that relate to the role or program.

Emphasize the qualities or perspectives that set you apart from other candidates.

To make a memorable impression, you must first identify your unique qualities. Here's how to do it:

  • Self-Reflection – Reflect on your background, experiences, and skills to identify what sets you apart from other candidates.
  • Strengths and Weaknesses – Recognize your strengths, as well as any challenges or weaknesses you've overcome, as these can be unique qualities.
  • Feedback – Seek input from mentors, peers or colleagues who can provide an outside perspective on your distinctive qualities.

Personal anecdotes and passions can make your personal statement more engaging and demonstrate your individuality. Show how your unique qualities will benefit the organization, program, or institution you're applying to.

For example:

In the sprawling world of graphic design, where creativity knows no bounds, I've always believed that our personal journeys shape our artistic expressions. I am Riley Patel, a Graphic Designer with a flair for merging traditional art with contemporary design. Growing up in a multicultural household, with an Indian father and a Spanish mother, I was exposed to a tapestry of colors, patterns, and stories. This rich cultural heritage deeply influences my design palette, allowing me to introduce diverse aesthetics in my projects. I've often found inspiration in the intricate patterns of Indian mandalas or the vibrant hues of Spanish mosaics. Outside of my professional life, I volunteer at community art workshops, sharing my love for fusion art with budding artists. This distinct blend of personal experiences and passions brings a unique flavor to my designs, offering fresh perspectives that stand out in today's saturated visual market. I am eager to bring this diverse and inclusive visual storytelling approach to the Creative Team at ArtFusion Ltd.

Addressing Weaknesses or Gaps

If there are any weaknesses or gaps in your qualifications, address them tactfully.

Explain how you've worked to overcome challenges or how they have contributed to your growth.

Present a positive and forward-looking perspective on any shortcomings.

For example:

Navigating the dynamic field of product management requires both technical acumen and a deep understanding of user needs. I am Jamie Lin, a Product Manager with a strong foundation in software development and a passion for user-centric design. While my academic background in Computer Science provided me with the technical prowess, I took a two-year hiatus from my professional journey to explore the ever-evolving domain of user experience. During this period, I undertook a comprehensive UX Design certification and worked on grassroots projects, gaining hands-on insights into user behaviors and preferences. While this gap might seem unconventional, it was a calculated decision to round out my skills and truly bridge the worlds of development and design. Today, as I seek the Product Management role at InnovTech Solutions, I bring a unique blend of technical know-how and a genuine understanding of user-centric design, turning potential weaknesses into strengths, ready to build products that truly resonate with the end-user.

Providing Concrete Examples

Concrete examples substantiate your claims and make your personal statement more persuasive.

Here's how to provide specific examples effectively:

  • Use the STAR Method – When describing your experiences, use the Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR) method to provide context, explain the actions you took, and highlight the outcomes or impact of your actions.
  • Show, Don't Tell – Instead of merely stating that you possess a skill, show how you've applied it in real situations. Describe specific projects or scenarios where you demonstrated these skills.
  • Use Specific Achievements – Mention specific accomplishments, awards, or milestones that showcase your competence in a particular skill or field.
  • Tell a Story – Craft a narrative around your experiences that engages the reader and illustrates your capabilities effectively.

For example:

I'm Daniel Martinez, a Sales Executive known for revitalizing challenging territories. At ABC Tech, I inherited the Western Region, lagging in sales for three years. By deeply analyzing client needs, hosting brand events, and refining sales pitches, I boosted sales by 35% within a year, surpassing company averages. This transformation earned me the 'Sales Turnaround of the Year' accolade. Such specific achievements underscore my dedication not just to targets but to building meaningful client relationships. Ready to replicate this success at DEF Corp, I bring a proven track record of exceeding expectations and forging lasting partnerships.

Long-Term Goals

Discuss your long-term career or educational goals and explain how the opportunity you're pursuing aligns with those goals.

This demonstrates your commitment and vision.

For example:

Embarking on a journey through the world of biotechnology, I've always been captivated by the potential of cellular therapies in revolutionizing healthcare. I am Dr. Evelyn Rivera, a Molecular Biologist with over seven years of research experience in regenerative medicine. My ultimate goal is to lead innovations that make regenerative treatments accessible and affordable to global populations. Joining the Advanced Cell Therapy team at BioTech Innovations is not just a step in my career; it's a leap towards that vision. I recognize BioTech Innovations as a pioneer in cellular therapies, and being a part of this esteemed organization aligns perfectly with my aspiration to be at the forefront of groundbreaking medical solutions. Together, I see us shaping a future where debilitating diseases are not just treated but reversed, bringing hope and healing to countless lives.

Strong Closing

End your personal statement with a strong conclusion that summarizes your key points and reinforces your enthusiasm and qualifications.

Leave a lasting impression that compels the reader to consider you as a top candidate.

For example:

In the multifaceted realm of architectural design, where form meets function and aesthetics intertwine with utility, my journey has been one of continuous evolution. I am Adrian Fletcher, an Architect with a decade's experience, having orchestrated projects from compact urban spaces to sprawling commercial complexes. My designs are not just structures but stories, each narrating tales of innovation, sustainability, and cultural resonance. As I seek the Lead Architect position at UrbanDesigns Inc., I am driven by the vision to craft spaces that transform landscapes and enhance community experiences. My portfolio, a testament to my versatility and commitment, encapsulates the essence of contemporary architecture with a nod to timeless traditions. In this ever-evolving field, I am not just looking for a role but a platform to sculpt visions into realities. With unwavering passion and a keen eye for detail, I am poised to bring a blend of creativity and technical precision to UrbanDesigns, crafting landmarks for the future.

How to Identify the Target Audience of a Personal Statement in a CV

A personal statement in a CV is directed towards a specific target audience, and it's important to understand who this audience is to tailor your statement effectively.

The target audience for a personal statement in a CV can vary depending on the context, but some common audiences include:


When applying for a job, your primary target audience is the employer or hiring manager.

Your personal statement should focus on how your qualifications, experiences, and skills make you an ideal candidate for the position and how you align with the company's goals and values.

Admissions Committees

If you're applying for an educational program, such as a college, university or graduate school, the admissions committee is your primary audience.

Your personal statement should demonstrate why you are a suitable candidate for the program and how your academic and extracurricular background aligns with the program's requirements and values.

Scholarship Committees

If you're seeking a scholarship, your target audience would be the scholarship committee.

Your personal statement should highlight your academic achievements, career goals and how the scholarship would help you achieve them.

Professional Organizations

In some cases, you might be applying for membership in a professional organization.

The organization's committee or governing body would be your target audience.

Your personal statement should emphasize how your professional background and goals align with the organization's mission and values.

Grant Reviewers

Researchers or individuals in academia applying for research grants often need to include a personal statement. Grant reviewers are the audience in this context.

Your statement should explain the significance of your research, its potential impact and why you are the right person to conduct it.

Networking Contacts

If you are using your CV for networking purposes, individuals within your industry or professional network are the target audience.

Your personal statement should provide a brief summary of your skills, experiences and career goals to engage potential collaborators or mentors.

It's important to research and understand the specific needs, expectations and values of your target audience when crafting your personal statement.

Tailoring your statement to the right audience will increase your chances of making a positive impression and achieving your goals, whether that's securing a job, admission, scholarship or any other opportunity.

How to Write The Best Personal Statement For a CV
How to Write The Best Personal Statement For a CV

Structure and Format of a Personal Statement in a CV

Personal statements should typically be concise and focused.

The ideal length often ranges from 50 to 200 words, but this may vary based on the specific requirements of the job or educational program.

Use a clean and professional font in a legible size (for example, 10 to 12 point). Ensure proper formatting with consistent margins and spacing.

Present your personal statement as a well-organized paragraph or set of bullet points.

Common Personal Statement Formats

Paragraph Format

A well-structured paragraph format is the most common approach. It begins with an engaging opening and flows into a cohesive narrative that highlights your qualifications, motivations and fit for the role or program.

It's important to use clear and concise language to maintain the reader's interest.

Bullet Points

Some personal statements are structured as a series of bullet points. This format can be effective for highlighting key qualifications and achievements in a succinct manner.

Each bullet point should be a concise, impactful statement.

Hybrid Format

A combination of paragraph and bullet points can also work well.

Use paragraphs to provide context and narrative, and then incorporate bullet points to emphasize specific skills or achievements.

Writing Style and Tone

Professional and Formal Tone

Maintain a professional and formal tone throughout your personal statement.

Avoid slang, jargon or overly casual language.

You are presenting yourself as a serious and qualified candidate.

Positive Language

Use positive language to convey your enthusiasm, motivation and confidence.

Emphasize your strengths and achievements.

Cliches and Generic Statements

To stand out and a good CV personal statement, it's important to avoid cliches and generic statements:

  • Be Original – Avoid using common phrases or cliches that lack originality. Create a unique and authentic narrative.
  • Avoid Overused Adjectives – Steer clear of excessive use of adjectives like 'hardworking', 'dedicated' or 'passionate'. Instead, let your examples demonstrate these qualities.
  • Tailor Language to the Audience – Customize your language to the specific audience. Avoid using jargon or terminology that may not be understood by the reader.
  • Show, Don't List – Rather than creating a bulleted list of skills, weave them into the narrative. Use your experiences to demonstrate your abilities organically.
  • Avoid Empty Statements – Stay away from vague or empty statements that don't provide specific information or insights into your qualifications.

Clarity and Conciseness

Be clear and concise in your writing.

Avoid unnecessary jargon or complex sentences.

Get straight to the point and use simple, understandable language.

Active Voice

Use the active voice to make your statements more direct and engaging. For example, say, 'I managed a team of five' instead of 'A team of five was managed by me'.


Thoroughly proofread your personal statement to ensure there are no grammatical errors, typos, or awkward phrasing.

Ask others to review it as well to gain a fresh perspective.


Tailor the writing style and tone of your personal statement to the specific role, program or institution you are applying to.

Some may prefer a more formal tone, while others might appreciate a touch of creativity or personal expression.

Remember that the structure and format of a personal statement should effectively convey your qualifications and motivations while adhering to the guidelines provided by the employer, institution or application instructions.

Additionally, your writing style and tone should reflect professionalism and align with the expectations of your target audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

A strong personal statement should be tailored to the specific job or program you're applying for.

While there is no one-size-fits-all example, it should typically include your qualifications, motivation, and how you align with the role or program's needs.

Here's a general example:

'A results-driven marketing professional with a proven track record of boosting brand visibility and revenue through innovative digital strategies. I am passionate about driving growth and am eager to contribute my expertise to an organization that values creativity and measurable impact.'

To craft an impressive personal statement, consider your audience, focus on your qualifications, provide specific examples of your achievements, express your motivations, and tailor the statement to the job or program. Keep it concise, and proofread for clarity and correctness.

Including a personal statement on a CV is common, but it's not mandatory. However, it can significantly enhance your CV by providing a brief overview of your qualifications, motivations and fit for the role or program. It helps make a strong first impression.

To sell yourself effectively in a personal statement, emphasize your strengths, showcase relevant skills and experiences, and provide concrete examples of your achievements. Tailor your statement to demonstrate alignment with the specific job or program, and use a confident and professional tone.

A strong opening sentence for a personal statement should be attention-grabbing and set the tone for the rest of the statement.

For example, 'With a passion for innovation and a proven track record in project management, I am excited to bring my expertise to a team that values creativity and impact.'

A professional personal statement might read, 'A highly skilled and certified IT professional with over a decade of experience in network administration. I have consistently delivered robust, secure, and efficient IT solutions for organizations seeking top-tier performance.'

Final Thoughts

Personal statements in a CV are a valuable tool for making a strong impression and differentiating yourself in the competitive job market or during the admissions process for educational programs.

Remember that a well-crafted personal statement can significantly enhance your chances of success in your job search or academic pursuits.

It's a valuable opportunity to make a compelling case for why you are the best fit for a particular role, program, or institution.

With thoughtful preparation and a focus on relevance, you can create a personal statement that stands out and makes a positive impact.

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