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A guide to personal statements for public and civil service jobs: how to sell yourself, both on application forms and in person

A cartoon of recruiters looking at CVs for johs

Recruiting managers may have to sift through hundreds or even thousands of applications, while i nterviewers are likely to be meeting multiple candidates. So how do you ensure you stand out from the crowd? Writing a short but perfectly formed personal statement or selling yourself at interview in just a few well-chosen words could make all the difference. Danielle Littlejohn tells you how    

A personal statement is a summary of what you offer an employer whether you’re a school leaver, graduate, or an established career mover. By condensing your experience and skills into a few sentences, the aim is to highlight what sets you apart from others whether you are applying for a new role and writing a personal statement to go with your CV, or relaying your experience during an interview or more relaxed meeting. These days we need to be able to promote our professional worth in just one or two minutes.  

Be it a written or verbal personal statement, recruiting managers and interviewers are looking for a short, sharp clarification of who you are, what makes you stand out, and what makes you the best person for the job.  

Not everyone knows the term ‘elevator pitch’ but I have always quite liked the analogy. If you found yourself in a lift with the employer of your dreams and had only the time it takes to travel a few floors, how would you sell yourself? Ideally, you should incorporate your personal values, and unique selling point (USP), as well as skills and experience. It can be the clincher in an employer’s mind as to your organisational fit so it can be the perfect thing to say at the beginning of the interview when you are asked: “So tell me a little about yourself”.

These days, our careers and their progression can be quite fluid. When you’re looking to move forward, it’s advisable to hone your skillsets and have clear aspirations of where you want them to take you. To paraphrase the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, when she finds herself lost in the woods and asks directions: “If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to know when you get there?”

How to structure a written personal statement

Lucy Ventrice, senior HR business partner at Amazon, suggests you start by creating a ‘mind map’ of both yourself and one of your potential employers. By comparing the two, you will have something to build from and an idea of what they are looking for, enabling you to make the application bespoke.

In the opening sentence, you want to grab the reader so it should include your job title, number of years’ experience, expertise, and some positive or active ‘hook’ words. Your personal statement will obviously vary according to where you are in your career. If you have achievements that are relevant to the employer, it’s an idea to mention these briefly. It’s a good idea to give an idea of what you’re looking for in the closing sentence, for example, specific goals and why you would like to work for that employer.

Beyond that we want to keep the personal statement as concise as possible without jargon or repetition and with a real focus on grammar and spelling.

Pinning down your elevator pitch face-to-face

In the same way as written personal statements, an elevator pitch should be a quick synopsis of your background and experience but, as it is generally delivered face-to-face, it should be more relaxed and affords us the opportunity to inject a little more personality into it.

It is great to have something up your sleeve for job fairs, networking events and other professional activities as it sounds corporate, explains you in the terms they are after, and gives you a head start on something to say about yourself rather than getting tongue-tied.

As this is verbal, we need to think about our delivery and particularly not speaking too fast, so keep it short – ideally up to one minute.  

Ensure you have some intonation and that you’re not rambling. Be aware of our body language. You should be approachable without being overbearing – don’t frown, don’t slouch.

As with any public speaking, it is a good idea to have something practised and polished that can be adapted on the spot to suit the audience or individual you are talking to.

Dos and don’ts for personal statements

  • Do highlight what sets you apart.
  • Do make it relevant – tailor to the person or role in question.
  • Do be specific (on what can you offer) and succinct (two-three sentences).
  • Do make it engaging – think about your hook.
  • Do be passionate.
  • Don’t be negative.
  • Don’t exaggerate or embellish.

Like this story?  Sign up to Global Government Forum’s email news notifications to receive the latest updates in your inbox .

Danielle Littlejohn provides a range of professional development courses as part of Global Government Forum’s training portfolio. Courses she runs include Delivering Results at Work – Essential Success Skills for New Managers , Creating and Growing a Productive Team – Interviewer Skills and Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling .

national careers service personal statement

About Danielle Littlejohn

Danielle Littlejohn provides a range of professional development courses as part of Global Government Forum’s training portfolio. Courses she runs include Delivering Results at Work – Essential Success Skills for New Managers, Creating and Growing a Productive Team – Interviewer Skills and Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling.

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StandOut CV

CV personal statement examples

Andrew Fennell photo

If you want to secure job interview, you need a strong personal statement at the top of your CV.

Your CV personal statement is a short paragraph which sits at the very top of your CV – and it’s aim is to summarise the benefits of hiring you and encourage employers to read your CV in full.

In this guide I have included 17 CV personal statement examples from a range of professions and experience levels, plus a detailed guide of how to write your own personal statement that will get you noticed by employers

CV templates 

17 CV personal statement examples

To start this guide, I have included 10 examples of good personal statements, to give you an idea of how a personal statement should look , and what should be included.

Note: personal statements are generally used by junior candidates – if you are experienced, check out our CV profile examples instead.

Graduate CV personal statement (no experience)

Graduate with no experience CV personal statement

Although this  graduate has no paid work experience, they compensate for it by showcasing all of the skills and knowledge the have gained during their studies, and demonstrating how they apply their knowledge in academic and personal projects.

When you have little or no experience, it’s important to draw out transferable workplace skills from your studies and extracurricular work, to showcase them to employers.

Graduate CV personal statement (part time freelance experience)

Graduate with part time freelance experience CV personal statement

This candidate has graduated with a degree in biochemistry but actually wants to start a career in digital marketing after providing some digital freelance services to fund their studies.

In this case, they haven’t made much mention of their studies because they aren’t relevant to the digital marketing agencies they are applying to. Instead they have focused their personal statement around their freelance work and passion for the digital field – although they still mention the fact they are degree educated to prove their academic success.

CV builder

School leaver CV personal statement (no experience)

School leaver with no experience CV personal statement

This candidate is 16 years old and has no work experience whatsoever, but they compensate for this by detailing their academic achievements that relate to the roles they are applying for (maths and literacy are important requirements in finance and accountancy roles).

They also add some info on their extracurricular activities and school work-placements, to strengthen this student CV further.

    Top tips for writing a CV personal statement

  • Thoroughly research the jobs and companies you are planning to apply for to identify the type of candidate they are looking for – try to reflect that in your personal statement
  • Don’t be afraid to brag a little – include some of your most impressive achievements from education, work or personal life
  • Focus on describing the benefits an employer will get from hiring you. Will you help them to get more customers? Improve their workplace? Save them time and money?
  • If you have no work experience, demonstrate transferable workplace skills from your education, projects, or even hobbies

School leaver CV personal statement (part time experience)

School leaver with part time experience CV personal statement

Although this person has only just left school, they have also undertaken some part-time work in a call centre alongside their studies.

To make the most of this experience, they have combined their academic achievements with their workplace exposure in this personal statement.

By highlighting their GCSE results, summer programme involvement, work experience and expressing their ambitions to progress within sales, this candidate really makes an appealing case for hiring them.

College leaver CV personal statement (no experience)

College leaver with no experience CV personal statement

This candidate has left college with good grades, but does not yet have any work experience.

To compensate for the lack of workplace exposure, they have made their A level results prominent and highlighted skills and experience which would benefit the employers they are targeting.

Any recruiter reading this profile can quickly understand that this candidate has great academic achievements, a passion for IT and finance and the ability to transfer their skills into an office environment.

College student CV personal statement (freelance experience)

College student with freelance experience CV personal statement

As this student has picked up a small amount of freelance writing work during their studies, they have made sure to brag about it in their personal statement.

They give details on their relevant A level studies to show the skills they are learning, and boost this further by highlighting the fact that they have been applying these skills in a real-life work setting by providing freelance services.

They also include key action verbs that recruiters will be looking for , such as creative writing, working to deadlines, and producing copy.

Academic CV personal statement

Academic CV personal statement

Aside from junior candidates, the only other people who might use a personal statement, are academic professionals; as their CV’s tend to be more longer and detailed than other professions.

This candidate provides a high level overview of their field of study, length of experience, and the roles they have held within universities.

School leaver CV personal statement with and sports experience

School leaver with part time experience CV personal statement

Although this person has no work experience, they are still able to show employers the value of hiring them by selling their other achievements and explaining how they could benefit an organisation.

They expand on their sports club involvement to demonstrate their teamwork, leadership skills, communication and motivation, which are all important traits in the workplace, and will be looked upon favourably by recruiters and hiring managers.

They also draw upon their future plans to study business studies and take a part time job, to further prove their ambition and dedication.

History graduate CV personal statement

History graduate CV personal statement

This history graduate proves their aptitude for both academic achievement and workplace aptitude by showcasing valuable skills from their degree and voluntary work.

They do this by breaking down the key requirements for each and showing how their skills could be beneficial for future employers, such as listening, communication, and crisis management.

They also describe how their ability to balance studies alongside voluntary work has not only boosted their knowledge and skills, but also given excellent time management and organisational skills – which are vital assets to any employer.

Law graduate CV personal statement

Law graduate CV personal statement

This legal graduate makes the most from their work university work placements by using it to bulk out the contents of their CV personal statement.

They include their degree to show they have the necessary qualifications for legal roles, which is crucial, but more importantly, they showcase how they applied their legal skills within a real-life work setting.

They give a brief overview of the types of legal professionals they have been working alongside and the type of work they have been carrying out – this is all it takes to get the attention of recruiters and show employers they have what it takes to fulfil roles in the legal sector.

Medical student CV personal statement

Medical student CV personal statement

This medical student proves their fit for the role by showcasing the key skills they have gained from their studies and their work experience placements.

In just these few sentences, they are able to highlight the vast amount of experience they have across different disciplines in the industry, something which is particularly important in the medical sector.

As they have not graduated yet and are still studying, they have provided proof of their most recent grades. This can give the recruiter some indication as to the type of grade they could be graduating with in the near future.

Masters student CV personal statement

Masters student CV personal statement

This masters student has started by specifying their area of study, in this case, accounting, and given details about the specific areas of finance they are most interested in. This can hint towards their career goals and passions.

They have then carefully listed some of the key areas of accounting and finance that they are proficient in. For example, business finance, advanced corporate finance and statistics.

They have also outlined some of the transferable skills needed for accounting roles that employers will be looking out for, such as communication, attention to detail and analytical skills.

Finance student CV personal statement

Finance student CV personal statement

As this finance student has recently undertaken some relevant work experience, they’ve made sure to shout about this in their personal profile.

But more than this, they have included a list of some of the important finance skills they gained as a result of this work experience – for example, financial reporting, processing invoices and month-end reconciliations.

Plus, through power words and phrases such as ‘prevent loss’ and ‘ improve upon accuracy and efficiency’, they have also showcased how they can apply these skills in a workplace setting to benefit the potential employer.

Internship  CV personal statement

Internship CV personal statement

This digital marketing professional has started their personal profile by outlining their most relevant qualifications and work experience, most notably their freelance role as a content manager.

They have also provided examples of some of the key marketing skills that potential employers might be looking for, including very detailed examples of the platforms and tools they are proficient in – for example, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.

They have then closed their statement by giving a detailed description of the type of role or opportunity they are looking for. In this case, an in-house position in a marketing company.

Graduate career changer personal statement

Graduate career changer CV personal statement

Switching careers as a graduate can be tough. Especially when it comes to writing a personal statement that will attract employers in your new chosen field.

This candidate is looking to move from history teaching into journalism, so they have created a statement which briefly mentions their current workplace, but mainly focuses on highlighting transferable skills which are relevant to journalism. They achieve this by discussing the writing skills they use in their current role, and mentioning their hobby of writing – including some publications they have been featured in for extra brownie points.

Business management graduate personal statement

Business management graduate CV personal statement

This business management proves their ability to work within a junior business management position by swiftly highlighting their impressive degree (to ensure it is not missed) and summarising some of the real-life experience they have gained in management during their university placements and volunteering. They do not let their lack of paid work experience, stop them demonstrating their valuable skills.

PhD graduate

PhD graduate CV personal statement

PhD graduate roles attract a lot of competition, so it’s important that your CV contains a personal statement that will quickly impress and attract recruiters.

This candidate provides a short-but-comprehensive overview of their academic achievements, whilst demonstrating their exceptional level of knowledge in research, languages and publication writing.

By highlighting a number of skills and abilities that are in high-demand in the academic workplace, this CV is very likely to get noticed and land interviews.

How to write a personal statement for your CV

Now that you’ve seen what a personal statement should look like and the type of content it should contain, follow this detailed guide to one for your own CV – and start racking those interviews up.

Guide contents

What is a CV personal statement?

Cv personal statement or cv profile, personal statement format, what to include in a cv personal statement.

  • Personal statement mistakes

How to write persuasively

A personal statement is a short paragraph at the top of your CV which gives employers an overview of your education, skills and experience

It’s purpose is to capture the attention of busy recruiters and hiring managers when your CV is first opened – encouraging them to read the rest of it.

You achieve this by writing a tailored summary of yourself that explains your suitability for the roles you are applying for at a very high level, and matches your target job descriptions .

Personal statement positioning

One question candidates often ask me is , “what is the difference between a personal statement and a CV profile?”

To be honest, they are almost the same – they are both introductory paragraphs that sit at the top of your CV… but there are 2 main differences

A personal statement tends to be used more by junior candidates (graduates, school leavers etc.) and is relatively long and detailed.

A CV profile tends to be favoured by more experienced candidates , and is shorter in length than a personal statement.

Personal statement VS Profile

Note: If you are an experienced candidate, you may want to switch over to my CV profile writing guide , or example CV profiles page.

To ensure you grab recruiters’ attention with your personal statement, lay it out in the following way.

Positioning

You need to ensure that your personal statement sits at the very top of your CV, and all of it should be totally visible to readers, without the need to scroll down the page.

Do this by reducing the top page margin and minimising the space taken up by your contact details.

 Margins

This will ensure that your whole personal statement can be seen, as soon as your CV is opened.

We have a Word CV template which can help you to get this right.

Size/length

Your personal statement needs to contain enough detail to provide an introduction to your skills and knowledge, but not so much detail that it bores readers.

To strike the right balance, anything between 8-15 lines of text is perfect – and sentences should be sharp and to-the-point.

As with the whole of your CV or resume , your personal statement should be written in a simple clean font at around size 10-12 to ensure that it can be read easily by all recruiters and employers.

Keep the text colour simple , ensuring that it contrasts the background (black on white is best) and break it into 2 or even 3 paragraphs for a pleasant reading experience.

It should also be written in a punchy persuasive tone, to help you sell yourself and increase your chances of landing interviews , I cover how to do this in detail further down the guide.

Quick tip: A poorly written CV will fail to impress recruiters and employers. Use our quick-and-easy CV Builder to create a winning CV in minutes with professional CV templates and pre-written content for every industry.

Once you have the style and format of your personal statement perfected, you need to fill it with compelling content that tells recruiters that your CV is worth reading.

Here’s what needs to go into your personal statement…

Before you start writing your personal statement, it’s crucial that you research your target roles to find out exactly what your new potential employers are looking for in a candidate.

Run a search for your target jobs on one of the major job websites , look through plenty of adverts and make a list of the candidate requirements that frequently appear.

Job research for CV

This research will show you exactly what to include in your personal statement in order to impress the recruiters who will be reading it.

Education and qualifications are an important aspect of your personal statement, especially if you are a junior candidate.

You should highlight your highest and most relevant qualifications, whether that is a degree, A levels or GCSEs. You could potentially go into some more detail around modules, papers etc. if they are relevant to the roles you are applying for.

It’s important that you discuss the experience you have gained in your personal statement, to give readers an idea of the work you are comfortable undertaking.

This can of course be direct employed work experience, but it doesn’t have to be.

You can also include:

  • School/college Uni work placements
  • Voluntary work
  • Personal projects
  • Hobbies/interests

As with all aspects of your CV , the content should be tailored to match the requirements of your target roles.

Whilst discussing your experience, you should touch upon skills used, industries worked in, types of companies worked for, and people you have worked with.

Where possible, try to show the impact your actions have made. E.g . A customer service agent helps to make sales for their employer.

Any industry-specific knowledge you have that will be useful to your new potential employers should be made prominent within your personal statement.

For example

  • Knowledge of financial regulations will be important for accountancy roles
  • Knowledge of IT operating systems will be important for IT roles
  • Knowledge of the national curriculum will be important for teachers

You should also include some information about the types of roles you are applying for, and why you are doing so. Try to show your interest and passion for the field you are hoping to enter, because employers want to hire people who have genuine motivation and drive in their work.

This is especially true if you don’t have much work experience, as you need something else to compensate for it.

CV personal statement mistakes

The things that you omit from your personal statement can be just as important as the things you include.

Try to keep the following out of your personal statement..

Irrelevant info

Any information that doesn’t fall into the requirements of your target roles can be cut out of your personal statement. For example, if you were a professional athlete 6 years ago, that’s great – but it won’t be relevant if you’re applying to advertising internships, so leave it out.

Generic clichés

Cliches in CV

If you are describing yourself as a “ dynamic team player with high levels of motivation and enthusiasm” you aren’t doing yourself any favours.

These cliché terms are vastly overused and don’t provide readers with any factual details about you – so keep them to a minimum.

Stick to solid facts like education, skills , experience, achievements and knowledge.

If you really want to ensure that your personal statement makes a big impact, you need to write in a persuasive manner.

So, how do you so this?

Well, you need to brag a little – but not too much

It’s about selling yourself and appearing confident, without overstepping the mark and appearing arrogant.

For example, instead of writing.

“Marketing graduate with an interest in entering the digital field”

Be creative and excite the reader by livening the sentence up like this,

“Marketing graduate with highest exam results in class and a passion for embarking on a long and successful career within digital”

The second sentence is a much more interesting, makes the candidate appear more confident, throws in some achievements, and shows off a wider range of writing skills.

Quick tip: A poorly written CV will fail to impress recruiters and employers. Use our quick-and-easy CV Builder to create a winning CV in minutes with professional templates and pre-written content for every industry.

Your own personal statement will be totally unique to yourself, but by using the above guidelines you will be able to create one which shows recruiters everything they need.

Remember to keep the length between 10-20 lines and only include the most relevant information for your target roles.

You can also check our school leaver CV example , our best CV templates , or our library of example CVs from all industries.

Good luck with the job hunt!

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Writing the Personal Statement for Health Professions Applications

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🎥  Watch this short video

The personal statement gives you the opportunity to present a compelling snapshot of who you are and perhaps why you want to be a doctor. Use your personal statement to say what others can’t. The personal statement can be a tricky genre to master. On the one hand, you want to give the admissions committee a sense of your personality and who you are. On the other hand, you must sound focused and professional, which sounds like it might impede your ability to capture your personality.

But this does not have to be the case. What you need to do is figure out how to say what drives you to want to become a healthcare professional in as specific a way as possible. The more specific you can be, the more the admissions committee will feel as if they have a sense of who you are.

You don’t need gimmicks, jokes, artificial drama, or hyperbole to express who you are or why you would make a good medical student or doctor. All you need are carefully selected details that you can craft into a unique and compelling story that conveys a sense of purpose and motivation.

What Makes a Good Personal Statement?

  • There is no exact template for an effective personal statement. Often, however, strong personal statements combine a concise description of a personal experience with reflection on how this experience either led the writer to pursue medicine or indicates the writer’s character or commitment.
  • Good personal statements often have a strong sense of narrative. This does not mean that they read like short stories, though they can relate a few scenes or anecdotes from your life. They have a strong sense of narrative, rather, in how they convey the writer’s sense of dedication to medicine. Strong personal statements often give readers an idea of how applicants see their experiences as leading to the decision to pursue medicine.

How to Get Started

The personal statement is an exercise in self-reflection. Questions to consider:

  • Who are you?  I am driven to… I have learned to… I believe…
  • What are your most passionate interests or concerns?  What problem(s) most occupy your thinking and your efforts?
  • How did you develop those interests?  (Not just the story, but what drives you.)
  • What errors or regrets have taught you something important about yourself?
  • When does time disappear for you?  What does this tell you about your passions, your values?
  • What ideas, books, courses, events have had a profound impact on you?  How so?
  • To what extent do your current commitments reflect your most strongly held values?
  • When have you changed?  Consider yourself before and after; what does this change mean?
  • How do your interests and who you are relate to your goals in medical school and as a doctor?

Start a “shoebox”; a place to keep random notes for your personal statement; be ready to write at any time. Review these items occasionally; let them tell you more about what you want your personal statement to say. Start writing drafts, experiments; you will know when a paragraph begins to gel.

A Suggested Writing Process

Everyone writes differently, so these are potential strategies rather than rules.

  • Make a list of some of your most defining experiences – extracurricular activities, specific classes, volunteer work, research, hobbies, etc. Try not to include overly personal experiences (breakups, trouble with parents, illnesses in the family, and so on). It’s difficult to write about such things without being sentimental or cliché. You want experiences in which you did something and had to make a choice.
  • From this list, try to select an experience that particularly demonstrates your intellectual curiosity, your dedication to service, your composure under pressure, your leadership ability, or any other personal trait that you think is particularly relevant to your case that you would make a good doctor or medical student.
  • Start writing a draft based on this experience. You want to be specific, but don’t get bogged down with an abundance of anecdotes or minutiae. Try to use your draft to craft a succinct story that demonstrates your character and your motivations.
  • Set the draft aside for some time (a number of days or weeks), and then revisit it with fresh eyes. Be as honest with yourself as you can be: What works in this draft? What doesn’t work? What sounds cliché or unspecific? Would a reader who doesn’t know me at all get a sense of my personal character and dedication?
  • Revise, revise, revise: tighten the structure, add new things to make your point clearer, take away sentences or sections that now seem unnecessary, use the active voice as much as possible, and anything else that needs to be done. If what you have just doesn’t seem to be coming together, do not be afraid to start over.
  • Solicit feedback from a couple of trusted readers and revise again based on the suggestions that you find most useful. Don’t solicit feedback from too many people though – too many responses can be overwhelming.
  • Edit your work for grammatical mistakes, typos, clumsy repetitions, and so on. Make your prose impeccable before you submit your statement. Asking help from other readers can be especially helpful with editing, as sometimes it gets difficult to read your work with fresh eyes.

Things to Do

  • Use the experience that you describe to tell a story of personal progress, particularly progress towards your commitment to medicine.
  • Write with active verbs as much as possible.
  • Strive for concision.
  • Sound humble but also confident.

Things Not to Do – Common Pitfalls

  • Don’t talk in hyperbolic terms about how passionate you are. Everyone applying to medical school can say they are passionate. Instead, show your readers something you have done that indicates your passion.
  • Don’t adopt an overly confessional or sentimental tone. You need to sound professional.
  • Don’t treat the personal statement like a piece of creative writing.
  • Don’t put your resume in narrative form.
  • Don’t use jargon, abbreviations, slang, etc.
  • Don’t use too many qualifiers: very, quite, rather, really, interesting…
  • Don’t write in overly flowery language that you would normally never use.
  • Don’t include famous quotations. If you must quote, use something that shows significant knowledge.
  • Don’t write about yourself in an overly glorifying or overly self-effacing manner.

What to Remember

  • They are read by non-specialists, so write for an intelligent non-medical audience.
  • Actions sometimes speaks louder than words so give examples of experiences rather than describing them.
  • All information must be accurate – don’t pad, but don’t be falsely modest either.
  • The personal statement, in part, serves as a test of your communication skills.  How well you write it is as important as the content.

Writing Resources

  • AAMC: 7 Tips for Writing your AMCAS Personal Statement
  • Graduate Admission Essays: What Works, What Doesn’t and Why , Donald Asher, Ten Speed Press
  • On Writing Well , William Zinsser
  • Elements of Style , Strunk and White, Macmillan
  • Article :  2 Med School Essays that Admissions Officers Loved

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national careers service personal statement

Your CV is a document that allows you to summarise your education, work history, skills and experience which relate to the job you are applying for.  Your skills and experience will be scored against the essential criteria in the job advert so make sure your information is relevant to the job. 

Your work history can include paid work, volunteering work and/or work experience through school or college. You can also mention experience you have from school, college or hobbies and clubs you have been involved in.  For example, if you helped organise a school trip or arranged a charity event you can highlight the skills you used.

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How to write your personal statement

For some jobs you will be asked to provide a personal statement or statement of suitability. Here you can find information on how to show yourself in the best light.

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Assessments and interviews

The recruitment process, and what evidence is asked for, varies depending on the job you are applying for. Here you can read about the different stages of recruitment.

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GOV.UK hosts a huge amount of detailed guidance on the different elements of Success Profiles.

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Writing a personal statement

A personal statement should be a positive summary of you and your motivations for applying for an opportunity. It's an important section in this type of application form and will take the most amount of time to complete. This section normally appears with a large text box after you have filled in your basic information.

It is a good idea to draft your personal statement in a separate Word document. This enables you to keep a copy which will be important to reflect on should you be invited to an interview. It also enables you to proofread your work to check for spelling and grammar. If possible get someone else to proofread your personal statement.

Try to write concisely. Don’t make the statement too long with superfluous detail, but neither should it be too short. There should be enough to ‘sell’ yourself, without boring them. Stick to a word count if there is one.

How to structure your personal statement

When presented with an empty text box, it can be difficult to know where to start. If you are not given specific instructions about content, you should always aim to include the following:

Describe what motivates you and attracts you about the opportunity. Show that you have a realistic understanding of what is involved and can draw parallels with positive experiences you have already had, even if these have been in different settings.

Your background research will enable you to demonstrate your motivation more effectively. By knowing more about them you will have more to talk about, and will therefore be more effective in specifically evidencing your motivation and your understanding of the opportunity and the company. For example, their projects, values or personal development opportunities may have taken your interest. Whatever captures your attention, try to be as specific and authentic as possible. Generic statements do not tend to work well here.

Many recruiters use the person specification as a selection tool when reviewing your statement. For this reason, it is important that you evidence their criteria as clearly as possible. To achieve this you could:

  • Use the key competencies as sub-headings to signpost the recruiter to the relevant information
  • Theme different key competencies into separate paragraphs. Ideally, order these paragraphs in the order that they appear in the person specification so that it is easy for the recruiter to follow
  • Theme key experiences in separate paragraphs in order of relevance, e.g. a paragraph on your education, then your projects, then your work experience etc. Clearly demonstrate the relevant skills and experiences when describing these experiences.

If there isn’t a formal specification available, then write it against the competencies that they say they are looking for in the advert or from wider research.

You may find the STAR structure useful to refer to when presenting examples to demonstrate a competency:

Situation  – Provide some brief details about the situation so that the reader can understand the context of the example Task  – Explain the objective/purpose, i.e. what you were aiming to do Action  – Describe what you did and summarise your actions Result  – Finish with the outcome. Show that you met your objectives and, if appropriate, comment on what you learnt from the experience

This is the opportunity for you to demonstrate your relevant skills, attributes and specific knowledge, so make sure you sell yourself.

You might also use this section to set out experiences that you feel are of ‘secondary’ importance, i.e. things that are still relevant but which you haven’t written about elsewhere in the form. For example, you might write about interests, leisure pursuits or volunteering that are not directly relevant to the job but where you have developed some pertinent transferable skills.

You could also use this section to explain how you coped with any setbacks and refer to qualities such as determination and persistence. This can be helpful to explain re-sits, changing courses, lack of relevant experience or time gaps. Write positively about the experience, for example, what you learnt from it and what you have done to address the issue since then, if applicable.

Try to end on a high note with a positive concluding statement. You could reiterate your motivation and commitment.

1. Before writing your personal statement, make sure you have done your research into the opportunity and reflected on how you meet the requirements. For further information on how to do this, see Preparing to write an application form

2. Draft your personal statement in a separate document. This enables you to keep a copy of your responses, which will be important to reflect on should you be invited to an interview. It also enables you to proofread your work to check for spelling and grammar. It is also a good idea to get someone else to check your application for you.

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Best Personal Statement Writing Services

5 Best Personal Statement Writing Services (2024)

Find the best professional personal statement writing services. Compare writer costs and turnaround times of the top personal statement writers.

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2024 Winners: Add your badge to your marketing materials.

A personal statement, or statement of purpose, contains fundamental information about you.

Although it’s sometimes referred to as an admissions essay, a personal statement is different from an essay written on a general topic to assess your writing skills.

A personal statement lets the hiring manager or selection board read about who you are, what you excel at, and what your educational and professional goals are.

It’s perfectly fine to get some help with this.

Hire a professional personal statement writing service!

Of course, there are plenty of personal statement writing services out there and it can be difficult to know which one to choose.

We have done the heavy lifting for you and devoted countless hours to research.

Finally, we have come up with a list of the best personal statement writing services.

Best Personal Statement Writers

Best writers for personal statements.

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How We Choose Winners

Each of the personal statement writing services below was reviewed by a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) taking into consideration the following:

The cost of the service compared to other personal statement writers.

The speed at which the personal statement is completed.

Overall experience, awards, and certifications of the writers.

The design, style, and overall look of the personal statement.

Guarantees, number of edits, and reviews.

This list was hand-curated to serve all industries, professions, and career levels. Whether you are in finance, sales, HR, engineering, or any other role, these companies will provide excellent personal statement writing services.

Average Personal Statement Cost

Personal statement writer reviews.

Find My Profession

Find My Profession

Find My Profession is much more than a personal statement writing service. They are a global career services company whose work has been featured on sites like Forbes, Inc., Zety, Fast Company, and more.

With their team of elite resume writers who have experience in over 85 industries and professions, they can match you with a writer who understands your unique background and experience. Additionally, every resume comes with a one-on-one phone consultation with your writer.

Find My Profession has an impressive track record of successfully landing clients jobs at top companies such as Apple, Amazon, EA, Oracle, GM, Facebook, DoJ, Morgan Stanley, and Tesla. 

Their 900+ 5-star reviews speak to their commitment to delivering high-quality service. They also offer a 60-day interview guarantee and ensure that every resume created is Applicant Tracking System (ATS) compatible and highly customized to meet your specific needs.

You will work one-on-one with an elite and certified resume writer based in the U.S. Find My Profession is committed to ensuring that every client is 100% satisfied with their resume, which is why they do not limit the number of edits or time spent working with your writer.

Find My Profession is a virtual company allowing them to provide services worldwide. While they do not have a physical office for in-person visits, they ensure direct communication with your writer through email and phone calls.

4.9/5 based on 521 Trustpilot reviews 4.9/5 based on 319 Sitejabber reviews 4.9/5 based on 151 Google reviews 5/5 based on 52 Facebook reviews

3 – 5 business days with resume (can expedite to 2 business days)

$199 – $299 (as an add-on to a resume package)

(831) 888-0967 or [email protected]

Check out some of our 5-star reviews:

Alex on January 4, 2024

Resume & LinkedIn Profile

Belda Villalon on July 1, 2022

Michael on December 19, 2023

Exceptional resume

Michelle T on November 10, 2022

Professional Resume

Brigit on October 25, 2023

Highest quality of work

Beh on September 20, 2021

Professional. Experts…

Matt B on July 17, 2023

Excellent Experience

Chad B on May 2, 2022

Wonderful investment

Channel Resume

Channel Resume

Channel Resume is a Vancouver-based executive resume writing service founded by Milton Kiang. Milton is a writing expert with 15+ years of experience. He single-handedly manages the company. To fulfill orders, he helps identify your strengths and uses them to craft you an effective personal statement.

Milton is a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches, National Resume Writers’ Association, and Professional Writers Association of Canada. He has amassed enough training and experience to help meet his clients’ unique writing needs.

This company appears to be run by just one person. This could be a problem, as it may hinder the possibility for diverse input and even lead to a slow turnaround time.

5/5 based on 29 Google reviews

(604) 251-3203 or [email protected]

Best Companies That Help You Find a Job

Need Help With Your Job Search?

Did you know there are companies you can hire to help with your job search? Whether you need resume help or want someone to apply to jobs for you, we’ve reviewed the 20 best agencies to help you find a job.

The Resume Center

The Resume Center

The Resume Center is a virtual personal statement writing service with 24+ years of service delivery. The company was founded by James Innes and has been rendering writing services worldwide since 1998. It is made up of over 100 writers, who have written a combined 36,300+ papers since its inception.

The company sports over 100 qualified writers. So, there’d definitely be one who can attend to your unique needs. In addition, details of their personal statement writers can be found on their website.

The company’s website doesn’t explain what the differences in their personal statement packages are. You’ll need to contact the service for more information.

4.7/5 based on 43 Google reviews 2.5/5 based on 3 Yelp reviews

$120 – $275

(551) 356-8010 or [email protected]

Personal Statement Service

Personal Statement Service

Personal Statement Service is based in the United Kingdom, but renders services globally. In fact, they have a physical office in the United States. The company is made up of graduates from the UK’s top universities, and their services support undergraduates, post-graduates, Master’s and PhD applicants.

Depending on your package,  you get one-on-one video consultations with your personal statement writer. These video consultations allow you to discuss the requirements of your personal statement.

If you purchase their standard Gold package, you only have a one-time review option. Also, the details of their personal statement writers are nowhere to be found on their site.

4.7/5 based on 12 Facebook reviews

1 – 5 business days (can expedite to 12 hours)

(646) 568-9741 or [email protected]

Residency Statement

Residency Statement

Residency Statement is a personal statement service created by Dr. Musa in 2008. The company specializes in helping medical students craft personal statements for their medical residency application. Since its inception, they have crafted personal statements for over 20,000 medical residency applicants.

You can contact your writer personally through an established communication platform. They do not only craft compelling personal statements, but they also brush up your existing ones.

They only write personal statements for medical statements who are applying for medical residency. Also, details of their personal statement writers are not available on their website.

4/5 based on 9 TrustPilot reviews

7 – 10 business days (can expedite to 3 – 5 days)

(858) 221-8590 or [email protected]

Previous Years Winners

Personal statement winners (2023).

Find My Profession, Channel Resume, The Resume Center, Personal Statement Service, Residency Statement

Personal Statement Winners (2022)

Personal statement winners (2021), recommended career advice for you.

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national careers service personal statement

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    go to postgraduate study fairs, either in person or online. look at the career support on offer and ask what previous students have gone on to do. make sure the course is recognised, if you need it for the profession you're going into. check out your funding options. have someone check your personal statement and application form.

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    CV personal statement examples. If you want to secure job interview, you need a strong personal statement at the top of your CV. In this guide I have included 17 CV personal statement examples from a range of professions and experience levels, plus a detailed guide of how to write your own personal statement that will get you noticed by employers.

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  19. 5 Best Personal Statement Writing Services (2024)

    Best Writers for Personal Statements. Find My Profession Best Overall $199 - $299 More Details. Channel Resume 15+ Years Experience $495 More Details. The Resume Center Satisfaction Guarantee $120 - $275 More Details. 4. Personal Statement Service College Admissions Focus £79 - £169 More Details. 5. Residency Statement Medical Residency ...

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