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Personal statement: do’s and don’ts

Paystream News

Michelle Derungs

Friday 6th Mar, 2015

Having a CV that packs a punch when it comes to impressing potential clients is essential, but if you're personal statement isn't up to scratch your CV won't make it further than the bin.

Writing a personal statement can be a tricky task, that is why we have outlined some do's and don'ts to help you make the most of your CV.


  • Check for spelling - An obvious but crucial point, if your personal statement contains spelling errors, it will be dismissed immediately.
  • Structure - Organise your personal statement so it's well-structured and coherent.
  • Keep it concise - Make sure you keep it short, snappy and to the point, using no more than 100 - 200 words.
  • Answer crucial questions - Who are you? What is your professional goal? What will your skills bring to the role? Use these basic questions as a guideline for your content.
  • Stand out - Make sure your statement is as personalised as possible. Avoid cliche quotes such as 'excellent communicator and hardworking individual', which recruiters and clients will have seen time and time again.
  • Tailor your statement - Although tedious, every job you apply for should have a tailored personal statement. Use the job description to highlight certain skills you possess which make you an ideal candidate for the role.


  • Focus solely on yourself - Although it is good to highlight your personal skill set, try and focus on how your skills and attributes will benefit the company and role you are applying for.
  • Start sentences with I - Yes It's okay to start a few sentences with 'I' but avoid doing it for every single one.
  • Forget to read-proof it - Before you send your CV off to recruiters and clients, read through it a couple of times. Reading aloud can really help you to see if it flows and reads well.
  • Mistake it for a cover letter- Remember, keeping it concise is key so don't try and list every career achievement you have made. Sentences such as "IT analyst with 7 years' experience" work perfectly in a personal statement. Keep your examples brief.
  • List your attributes - Make sure your 100-200 word count flows rather than listing short and sweet attributes "I am ambitious. I want to excel my career in sales. Etc..."

Remember, never underestimate the importance of your personal statement, it is the first thing recruiters and clients will read so you need to make sure it helps you to stand out from the crowd. These simple tips will help to give your CV the head start it needs when seeking your next contract.

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