How to Write Your Resume Personal Statement

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 November 2022

Published 26 May 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Your resume should usually describe your skills, qualifications and experiences, while your personal statement is a summary of these points. A resume personal statement is your chance to highlight the key points in your resume. Ideally, it should explain why you're the perfect candidate for the job position. A strong resume personal statement can help make a hiring manager's assessment of you positive. In this article, we take a closer look at what a resume personal statement is and how to write a successful one.

What is a resume personal statement?

A resume personal statement sits at the top of your resume and summarises the rest of the document. It is a concise, specific and straightforward paragraph of fewer than 200 words. It can introduce you and highlight your skills, qualification and experiences. Matching your personal statement to the job requirements is an excellent way of showing that you're an ideal candidate.

A resume personal statement is likely to be successful if it's engaging and grabs the employer's attention. An interesting introduction could encourage them to keep reading your resume with enthusiasm. An enthused hiring manager is a score for you and your application.

How to write your resume personal statement

Below are ten suggestions to follow that can help you write a strong resume personal statement:

1. Structure

The structure can help you break down your resume personal statement to make it an easier task. One way to structure it is to break it down into three parts. First, introduce yourself to your potential employer in a professional context.

For example, you could say 'A recent graduate with an Honours Degree in Physiotherapy from Monash University'. or 'Experienced structural engineer looking to progress into a more senior role'.

The next part can be a good time to describe what you can offer the company. Consider why you're suited to the role and how your skills and experience match the job description. If you lack work experience, focus on your education or qualifications and transferable work skills. For example, academic achievements can showcase your dedication and commitment. Likewise, casual jobs while having other commitments can prove your organisation skills.

You can conclude your personal statement with a sentence detailing your career goals. This can help the hiring manager understand your motivation better.

2. Review the job description

Review the job description before writing your resume personal statement. The job description usually explains the skills, experiences and tasks that the role requires. Understanding the job description can give you a good idea of what to include and how to position yourself as the right candidate.

Check whether each of the duties is a primary or secondary function of the position. Primary duties are usually specific and essential to the role. In comparison, secondary duties are vague and preferred requirements.

3. Include your skills and experience

Consider which of your skills are the strongest against the job description. This can be an important part of writing your statement. You can take this opportunity to highlight the parts of your resume that make you the right candidate. Select three or four experiences that relate to the role to focus on in your resume personal statement.

4. Provide evidence where appropriate

Evidence can make a big difference in the impact of your personal statement. If you can support your claims with an example, it becomes credible. A credible resume personal statement can make an employer feel confident in you and your ability to fulfil the open position. Some examples of evidence to support your claims are:

  • Specific results in your work history

  • Specific names, dates, job roles and projects

  • Years of experience

  • Quantified evidence

  • Achievements, awards and training

It's important to keep your sentences concise, even when providing evidence. If you find that including evidence makes your sentences hard to read, it's better to leave it out and keep it simple.

5. Keep it brief

A brief resume personal statement can be ideal for a busy hiring manager to read through. Try only to include important relevant information. You can simplify the words and the details in this section to make it powerful. Aim for under 200 words in your resume personal statement.

They're supposed to be a short and brief introduction, so it can be hard to know what to include and exclude. If you're unsure whether to include something or not, ask yourself if it's essential to the job description requirements. If it's not, it's usually a better idea to leave it out. The hiring manager can still read it in the resume later on.

6. Use simple words

Using simple words in your resume personal statement can help your reader follow along. If they can follow along easily, they should be comfortable to continue reading. A general rule in resume writing is to use as few words as possible. Employers want to learn about you without going through irrelevant information. Making it more manageable for them can be an excellent way to impress them. It can showcase your efficiency with the use of simpler words and short sentences.

For example, a complex sentence can look like the below:

I have experience managing teams from when I worked in project management, from 2011 to 2016.

The above sentence can be simplified by saying:

I managed a team of 12, working as a project manager for six years.

7. Write a new one for each role

Writing a new resume personal statement for each role that you apply for is a great idea. It will show that you know the company and what the position requires. Personalised statements are something employers usually look for in candidates. A unique personal statement can also show that you're specifically interested in their role. Showing an interest in the company and its specific position can be an advantage for your application.

When writing a resume personal statement, it's important to reflect the values and mission of the company you're applying to. Different organisations have different priorities and cultures. A similar position at another company can focus on other skills and values. This could require you to highlight different experiences to show that you're a good fit.

8. Use positive and confident language

Try to use positive and confident language when writing your resume personal statement. It can show that you're confident in your work capabilities and passionate about your professional history and growth. Employers usually look for candidates with a positive work ethic and a motivated attitude.

Using positive and confident language can position you as their ideal candidate. It can show them you're dedicated to achieving success. In turn, this can make the hiring manager feel positive and confident about you and your potential. It's also an excellent opportunity to communicate your passion and dedication to your work. Using words like "enthusiastic", "eager" and "ambitions" can show your confident and passionate professional side.

Below is an example of how you can avoid negative statements and frame them as positive. Instead of saying 'I haven't worked as a kitchen hand before', you can say, 'My long-term goal is to work as a chef, so I am excited about this opportunity to work as a kitchen hand.'

9. Be specific

You could also consider whether you're writing about your hard skills or soft skills. It's best to write about hard skills in the resume personal statement. Hard skills usually reflect the technical and professional skills that the role requires. This can help you stay specific in your writing.

Hard skills refer to technical knowledge or training through professional or personal experience. For example, data analysis, point of sale experience or knowledge of Microsoft Excel are hard skills. Soft skills are personal traits and characteristics that shape how you work. These can include interpersonal skills, effective communication or active listening, for example. Hard skills are usually more important to employers hiring for a specific role. Also, trying to prove that you have soft skills can be a lengthy task that could be best left for the actual resume.

10. Position it at the top of your resume

Positioning your resume personal statement at the top of your resume can encourage the employer to read it first. It can allow you to tailor their first impression of you.

Crafting a strong resume personal statement can put you in an ideal position to have your application progress into an interview. The main goal is to highlight your skills and experiences that best match the job description.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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