What is a Personal Statement: Definition and Examples

Knowing how to create an engaging personal statement is a helpful career skill that you can utilise throughout your life.

If you understand how to write an attention-grabbing personal statement, you can vastly improve your chances of successfully earning a role.

Your personal statement should be a concise overview of your experiences, qualifications and skills.

Below we learn more about ‘what is a personal statement’, show tips for creating a personal statement and provide an example you can use.

What is a personal statement?

A personal statement is an overview of your professional development so far – demonstrating how your skills, qualifications and achievements relate to the role you’re applying for.

Your personal statement is vital for providing a good first impression with your employer, as it quickly explains why you’re a good fit for that role.

If you’re thinking about writing a personal statement, break it into individual elements that you can then tie together in a more cohesive statement.

How to write a personal statement

You’ll commonly write a personal statement that is bespoke to the position you’re applying for, offering specific context relating directly to the job description.

Since this means you’ll probably be writing several at a time, it’s a good idea to have a step-by-step process that can help you do it quickly and effectively.

If you want to write a good personal statement, there are 3 core steps that you can follow below: 

1. Run through the job description and guidelines

The best place to start when you’re writing a personal statement is with the job description. Read through it carefully and use it as a set of guidelines to inform your personal statement.

The job description will highlight skills, requirements and positive points that you can directly answer in your personal statement.

You should always have the job description in the back of your mind when you’re creating your CV and personal statement – think of it as a cheat-sheet from the business that highlights exactly what they’re looking for.

Related: How to Write a Personal Statement

2. Write an engaging introduction

A great way to start your personal statement is with a brief introduction that explains who you are, where you’re at in your career and what you’re applying for.

Depending on your current or previous role, you may highlight the relevance it has with the new role. Consider providing examples of what you enjoy about that role and the qualities or success that you’ve found that could be applied to the new position.

An example of this is: “As a motivated marketing executive, I specialise in email marketing and how it can help a business improve its lead generation, brand awareness and engagement, supporting other marketing channels such as SEO and PPC.”

3. Highlight your value proposition

As soon as you’ve introduced yourself, it’s time to show what you can offer to your new employer.

This part of your personal statement should highlight your key achievements and the skills that apply to this position. Consider re-reading the job description before you create this section so you can address each point.

During this section, it’s also worth providing as much context as possible. ‘Show, don’t tell’ really applies here and can help you position yourself as the best choice for the role. If the position needs specialist knowledge or technical skills, this is where an example can help you show a deeper understanding.

An example of this is: “In my previous role, I was responsible for managing email marketing within the company. I employed my knowledge in lead generation, targeting and copywriting to deliver an engaging and effective email campaign. I was also directly involved in the development of a new lead nurturing campaign that ensured a positive relationship with customers and led to a long-term increase in leads.

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4. Expand on your talents and experiences

After you’ve demonstrated your values, you may want to expand on your experiences and how they contribute to your strength as a candidate. 

Explain why you feel you’d be a good fit for the company, how your experience could help push the business forward and what ‘soft skills’ you’ve used in the past that you can apply to this role.

It’s best to use the single most relevant experience you have available, to ensure that you keep your personal statement as concise as possible. 

5. Demonstrate your career objectives

The last section of your personal statement should reinforce why you’ve applied for the role and any long-term career objectives you have.

This needs to be a brief section as it doesn’t offer as much value as your skills, experiences or qualifications. Concentrate on explaining your development goals and how that fits in with the role you’re applying for.

An example of this is: “I am looking to become an email campaign manager and expand my knowledge around the management of an email marketing team, which aligns with your business objectives of increasing lead generation and customer nurturing.”

Related: 5 Personal Statement Examples

Tips on Writing a Personal Statement

Below is a roundup of tips that you can follow when you’re creating a personal statement: 

Use real examples

When you start referencing a skill or concept, use a real and provable example that you can back up with evidence.

This not only shows that you understand the impact of your abilities and thought-process but it also helps the reader contextualise your example in terms of their own business, which is a valuable link to build.

Adopting this approach can help you avoid using vague buzzwords that don’t offer any value.

Write a concise statement

As you’re writing your personal statement, you should always aim to be as concise as possible. The personal statement should be informative but still brief enough for readers, especially during the screening stages of the application process.

For most situations, your personal statement should be around four sentences, which is plenty of time to get your point across while still being brief and engaging.

Use consistent formatting

One of the most overlooked elements of creating a professional document is formatting. While the content is the most important part, it’s just as important for that content to be formatted properly.

Use a consistent tone of voice, bold important information and make sure that each section is spaced out properly. 

Your personal statement should be separate from your CV and can use the first-person perspective to create a more personal overall statement.

Personal Statement Example

Below is an example of a personal statement that you can use when you’re writing your own:

“I am a motivated, highly-experienced marketing executive with experience in email marketing and graphic design. I have a degree in Marketing and over five years of experience managing email channels for an in-house marketing team.

I currently work as a member of a larger marketing team, where I’ve helped the company increase subscribers to their newsletter by 30% in the last 6 months, alongside building a complete nurture experience for leads that improves sales generation and customer experience.

I’m looking for a campaign manager role that will allow me to build my management experience while helping a business reach its long-term email marketing objectives.”

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