When we open a CV, one of the first things we should see is your Personal Statement, not where you went to school 25 years ago or how you enjoy walking your dog at the weekend. This useful summarisation of your skills and experience is aimed at drawing us, as the reader, in, encouraging us to quickly assess your suitability for the role and to get us to want to give your work experience more than just a glance.
It’s important to remember that a recruiter or HR Advisor may receive tens or even hundreds of CV’s a week. We recently advertised for a Finance Assistant role and had 67 applications over a 2-week period on one job board alone. On reading the CV’s whilst many of them had the basic skills required, it’s not possible to send over that many CV’s to the client. Our job is to select the ones that stand out ahead of the competition and sell themselves from the outset. We’ve even contacted people previously who don’t have the exact work experience the client has asked for, but, we’ve been intrigued and impressed by their personal statement so we’ve called them and given them the chance to persuade us they’re perfect for the role.
So how do you make sure your Personal Statement is both relevant and interesting? What should you include or exclude in this crucial paragraph?
Keep it short
We aren’t looking to trawl through a whole page of why you’re perfect for the role. We are wanting to see an easy-to-digest snapshot of you, your experience, what you can offer and your goals. It needs to be to the point, informative but not mind boggling, easy to read and allow the us to move quickly down to your work experience. So, look to write no more that several lines or two shorter paragraphs and you will grab our attention and we’ll see quickly what you’re all about.
What should you include?
This is where a “one size fits all” personal statement just doesn’t work. You MUST tailor it to the job you are applying for, this is crucial. When we read it, we want to see not only do you have the skill set as advertised but you also know exactly what you are applying for. We see far too many CV’s applying for Business Travel Consultant roles advising us how they are excited to pursue a career in Marketing…
We want to see:
A beginning: Who are you?
A middle: What are you going to offer the organisation?
An end: What are you looking for?
So, bear this structure in mind when you are writing your statement – it will help you keep it from crossing over in to covering letter territory.
How can I use the job advert to my advantage?
When you apply for a job and click the “send my CV’” button, we assume you have read the advert and understand the position. So, if you’ve taken the time to read the advert and matched yourself to the position, HIGHLIGHT those skills in your Personal Statement so we can see them as soon as we open your application.
If we’ve asked for someone with a strong sales background who has excellent knowledge of Excel, ensure they are mentioned in your opening paragraph!
What about that beginning, middle and end…
Getting started: Open with an introduction about yourself
“A competent Business Travel Consultant with 5 years reservations experience working for a multi- national Travel Management Company in London. Strong interpersonal skills, excellent Sabre knowledge and a passion for the corporate travel industry.”
Holding our interest: Continue with a summarisation of your skills
“A confident ticketer with specialist knowledge of net fares and route deals as well as the experience of training new starters on company systems.”
Closing the deal: End on a positive
“Looking to secure a position as a Senior Business Travel Consultant in a forward-thinking organisation where high service levels are of paramount importance”
Do you use “I”?
You’ll notice in the above examples we’ve not used the pronoun “I”. It’s up to you whether you want to, it doesn’t make the statement any more or less effective however you must ensure you use the same style throughout:
“I’m an exceptional Business Development Manager with a 10-year career spanning the travel, hospitality and leisure industry. I possess an innate ability to recognise and develop sales opportunities which has led to me bringing on over £2million in new business in the year 2017”
We would also say talking about yourself by name in the 3rd person can just seem a little strange and impersonal, almost as if it wasn’t written by you. It’s still so important to keep an element of “you” in your CV so stick to “I”, or 3rd person but no name.
We hope this has given you some helpful pointers in how to write an impressive personal statement! As always, if you haven’t written a CV for a while and would like some guidance and advice, we are on hand to help with some pointers on what to include. And of course, we are happy to give you feedback should you ask.
Good luck with any future job applications, if you are looking for a new role in the travel industry and would like a confidential chat, please contact Emma or Caroline at Urbanberry Recruitment and we’ll be happy to help.