If, as the wise adage goes, people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses, then it should come as no surprise to learn that bosses don’t hire qualifications, they hire people.
When a company advertises for a position, they’re not simply looking for a set of skills. (Otherwise, they would’ve advertised for a robot). They’re looking for a human with a pleasant personality, a certain set of values, and the right attitude to add value to the company team.
And to find that right person, employers look to one specific place on a resume: your personal branding statement.
Personal branding is the packaging of your values, goals, and experience in a way that shows what unique solutions you can offer an employer.
Done right, your personal brand statement can make your resume stand out from the pile of sameness that floods your potential employer’s desk and put you first in line for that interview call everyone’s holding their breath for.
Why Most Resume Statements Don’t Work
How many times have you read the following phrases before, or something painfully close?
- “energetic and ambitious individual"
- “self-motivated and dedicated professional”
- “works well under pressure”
- “organized and detailed-oriented”
Many times, correct? You may even have a couple of these bland phrases decorating your own resume.
Now imagine how many times employers read these same commonplace phrases when sifting through hundreds of CVs looking for that special person for their company. And imagine also how un-special everyone sounds!
The problem with these phrases is that they’re too general to be meaningful. In an attempt to describe themselves in a way that pleases everyone, most job candidates end up using generic phrases that appeal to no one because they communicate nothing fundamental about the person behind the resume.
In order to craft a memorable and unique personal brand statement for your resume that shows employers why they should hire you (and not just your skills), you’ll have to dig deeper than superficial adjectives and communicate your true essence—briefly but convincingly.
3 Steps to Crafting a Memorable Resume Personal Statement
The trouble with crafting a unique and specific personal branding statement is that it can’t be formulaic. And so there’s no precise formula that everyone can follow.
Nevertheless, there are three basic elements that every successful personal resume statement should incorporate. These are the core consideration points for writing a unique and memorable statement about yourself:
1. Professional Values
Values play a big role in how we function in the world and in the decisions we make. None of us can work for very long in an environment that contradicts our core values.
If, for example honesty is one of your highest values, then you’d be miserable working for someone making money through deceit and manipulation.
What are your top professional values? What kind of conditions and environment allow you to perform your work at the best of your abilities and with the greatest happiness?
Do you value challenges in your work or a laid-back approach? Do you need creative freedom or do you perform best under guidelines? Do you value a strict timeline or are you better working with movable deadlines?
Write down a list of the values that you consider important, and then pick the one or two values that matter most to you. What value could you not work without?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. The important thing is to understand your true values so you can project them in your statement. If you do so successfully, you’ll appeal to employers who respect your values and can offer you a position where you feel fulfilled and appreciated.
2. Professional Goals and Aspirations
Finding a new job isn’t just about the present moment. Job seekers (not to mention employers) hope for a position that will last a few years. How would you like your career to progress in those few years (and beyond)?
Do you aspire to become the head of your department one day? Are you hoping to switch departments at some point in your career? Are you willing to be flexible with the tasks you perform or do you want to specialize on a very particular section of your industry?
Your professional aspirations directly speak to the value you can bring to an employer, and not just immediately, but also in the long run. A person who hopes “to manage the company’s creative department in the near future” appears much more valuable to a potential employer than a general “ambitious and energetic individual.”
Ambitious and energetic towards what end? Show potential employers how your specific professional goals and aspiration can benefit them in the future and they’ll be much more willing to give you a chance to get there.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What about in 10 years? What would you like to achieve professionally?
3. Past Experience In Relation to Your Goals and Values
Your resume will provide the details of your professional experience. What you want to do in your personal branding statement is showcase how specific past experiences reflect your core values and future goals.
Anyone can say that they’re creative, or organized, or ambitious, or systematic, or communicate well—but where’s the proof?
Think back on your professional career and pinpoint the moments that show how your creativity, timeliness, leadership skills, or your philanthropic nature added value to your past employers. What did you specifically accomplish in each situation that could have also benefited your future employer?
Resume Personal Brand Statement Examples
With your notes from the three steps above in front of you, you’re now ready to start putting together your personal brand statement. Although there’s no formula for a brand statements (because formulaic statements would defeat the purpose of personal branding), the important key to remember is that your resume personal statement should weave together all three of the elements we’ve uncovered in our exercise above.
To give you ideas on how you can structure a winning personal brand statement, let’s look at some personal brand statement examples and how they use each of the three elements:
Web Developer with extensive experience in wireframing and coding interactive websites and mobile apps for the startup world with a number of remote teams, who enjoys the fast-paced environment of the tech industry and being part of pioneering teams.
Values: Working remotely and being challenged. Goals: Work with innovative creative teams. Experience: Built websites and apps for startups working off site.
Having worked as a senior graphic designer for the last 7 years in ad agency organizing major campaigns and designing for multinational clients, I’m looking to offer my strong leadership skills to an innovating team working on cutting-edge design.
Values: Design innovation and experimentation. Goals: Department/team leader. Experience: Agency world and campaign organization.
Having studied photography and video editing, I bring a unique understanding to my current work as a freelance animator for educational companies. As a strong communicator, I enjoy working on projects with deeper messages and strong morals.
Values: Communication and moral education. Goals: Switch departments from video editing to animation. Experience: Freelance projects and educational material.
What’s Your Personal Brand Statement?
It’s your turn now to construct a succinct and powerful personal brand statement that will make you stand out from the competition and capture the attention of potential employers.
Consider these resume personal statement examples to work on putting together your own. Ask yourself how you'll weave your values, goals, and experience into a succinct and powerful personal brand statement for your resume? Give it a go in the comment section below!
We have a number of professional resume templates available for purchase on GraphicRiver—with advanced branding features and pro designs.
Form icon designed by Jason Tropp from the Noun Project.
This year two in five of the nation’s workers confirmed that they are unhappy with their current jobs.
If this is you, it’s time to spruce up your CV ready for your job search.
Putting together the core information of your CV, such as education and employment history, is a fairly easy task.
While you may think these components are all you need to market yourself effectively, you should probably add a personal profiletoo, to give your CV the extra oomph it needs to secure that job in 2018.
What is a personal profile?
A personal profile, otherwise known as a personal statement, CV profile or perhaps even a career aim, is essentially the blurb of your career portfolio.
This small paragraph sits at the top of your CV, concisely and effectively displaying who you are, your skills and strengths relevant to the sector or job role and your career goals.
Sounds like quite a mouthful, but personal statements are no problem to write, we promise. They’re actually really similar to cover letters, except you’ll be selling your best points to a potential employer in about four sentences, rather than an A4 page.
So, if you’ve spent all this time jazzing up your CV to hook, line and sinker that recruiter in your New Year job search, adding a personal profile ensures they grab the bait.
Not sure what a personal profile looks like? Check out these five winning examples.
Is a personal profile necessary in 2018?
Personal profiles are widely debated across the industry, with some experts claiming you need one to sell your skills, and others suggesting they’re a waste of valuable space.
The short answer is you don’t need to have a personal statement. However, a study revealed that on average recruiters spend 8.8 seconds looking at your CV, so rather than letting your CV get lost in this ‘Tinderised’ process, you should give them a reason to read on.
There are some genuine reasons why you might not choose to have a personal statement, but it shouldn’t be that you can’t be bothered to write one! It actually depends on your job search status – if you’re applying for a specific job role and attaching a cover letter to your CV, then you may actively choose not to have a personal statement.
As we’ve already mentioned, your cover letter is going to do a lot of the talking for you, so you may feel it’s best not to have another summary. Saying that, the whole point of a CV is to market yourself, so if you can include another piece of advertising, then why not?
If you’re a graduate, then it might be best to leave the professional side of the personal statement at bay until you’ve gained some more work experience – simply highlight the fact you’ve got a degree, and outline the career path you’d like to follow.
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While it’s not a bad thing to share your ambitions with recruiters, you’ll probably find the word count could be better spent discussing your final year project in more depth (just when you thought you’d never have to talk about your final year dissertation again!)
If, however, you’ve chalked up strengths and experiences during your time at university that anchor you to the job you’re applying for, you should highlight these in your personal statement, and make it clear to the recruiter that you will excel in this job role.
Personal profiles are also particularly handy if you’re trying to enter a competitive sector such as PR, advertising, film, music and publishing. As you can imagine, recruiters from these fields deal with hundreds of CVs on a regular basis and will simply flick past your CV unless they spot that competitive edge.
Personal profiles are the perfect way for you to grab their attention and persuade recruiters to continue reading your CV because you’re telling them from the off exactly why they should hire you. Of course, you’ll need to know how to write an effective statement first, but we’ll get on to that in a bit.
You should also consider writing a personal statement if you’re uploading your CV to a job board like CV-Library, as this gives you the chance to highlight your career goals and give your CV more context.
While this is valuable information for recruiters, it’s just as important for you to get it right, as your personal statement will enable recruiters to match you with the right job and ensure that the role is fulfilling.
If you’re not entirely sure what job you want, or if there are a few sectors you reckon you could enter with your particular skill set, then it’s probably best not to include a personal statement.
If your opening statement is too broad, you risk giving the impression that you haven’t done your research properly, or that you’re looking for any old job – not the best impression to make on a potential employer!
Check out CV templates
How to structure a personal profile
We know writing a personal statement can seem quite daunting but honestly, once you’ve started writing it, the rest will come naturally. Here’s a breakdown of the basics of creating your statement.
The most important thing to remember is that statements are usually around four sentences in length, and no more than six. Aim for anywhere between 50 and 200 words, and you’re golden.
Like the length, the grammatical person you’re writing in also has some flexibility. You could choose to write in the third person which can appear more objective, for example, ‘Project manager seeking… skills include…’ Or you could write in the first person which tends to be more personal: ‘I am a project manager seeking… My skills are…’
It honestly doesn’t matter which person you choose, just pick the one you’re comfortable writing in. As long as you keep it consistent, you can’t go wrong.
Does my personal profile need a title?
The simpler your CV layout, the better. The last thing recruiters want is to trawl through a bundle of words trying to pick out your good bits like they’re the orange ones in a packet of revels.
You don’t really need a title for your personal statement. It sits under your name and contact info, and before the first chunk of your job or education history, so it’s pretty obvious it’s an introduction to you.
Secondly, make the spacing a little bigger and try increasing it to 1.5. As it’s the first thing a recruiter will read, you want this to be as clear as possible – it’s often a real decision maker.
What to include in your personal profile
When drafting your personal statement for your dream job in 2018, split it into three sections: who you are, what you can offer the company, and your career goals.
TIP: Bullet point things you might mention under each of these sections, then list the qualities that position you as the ideal person for the job.
In the ‘who you are’ section you might state that you’re:
- A recent graduate with a 2:1 degree in Creative Writing from the University of Surrey seeking an entry-level position in…
- A highly-skilled mechanical engineer looking to resume a position in…
- An ambitious purchasing manager looking to progress into…
In the ‘what you can offer the company’ part, you’re selling your absolute top skills and strengths and backing them up with evidence. If you’re tweaking your CV because you’re applying for a particular job, use the job spec to create your statement. For example, if the employer is looking for someone with attention to detail and you’ve got experience meticulously proofing essays or presentations etc., then say so.
If you’re crafting a more general personal statement with a job title in mind, be sure you include achievements that are noteworthy and will make you stand out in that field. For example, if you’re looking for a position within graphic design and you’ve got extensive Photoshop experience working on a major campaign, not only can you claim you have these skills in your personal statement, but you can back them up too – perfect!
The important thing to remember here is not to litter your personal statement with a trail of buzzwords. You might well be an ‘extremely driven strategic thinker with excellent communication skills and extensive experience in marketing’, but all you’ve really done here is told the recruiter that you’ve worked in marketing with no proof of your other claims.
To top it off, you’ve also revealed this information in an extremely boring way that recruiters have heard a million times before; when it comes to selling yourself, you don’t want to write something as bland and soggy as overcooked rice; you want to lovingly craft a seafood paella.
Try to highlight real, relevant skills and back them up with evidence to make the statement strong. Try something like this for the middle section:
- During my degree, I have developed an excellent eye for detail due to the heavy demands of assignments and research. As a result, I am also able to work under pressure, especially when balancing my educational workload with my volunteering placement at local nursing homes.
- Knowledgeable engineer with a wide skill-set, including condition-based maintenance, through working on automated systems such as…
- Through utilising my communications skills when working in managerial positions at large corporations, I have developed successful working relationships and resultantly, an advantageous professional network.
The final section of the personal statement is to highlight your career goals. More than anything this shows the recruiter that you’re a professional worth investing time and money in. Take a look at these examples:
- I am looking for a challenging, fast-paced environment within media to utilise my written knowledge and develop my creative skill set further.
- Looking to re-establish a career in a progressive organisation which requires engineering expertise, after taking maternity leave to care for a new-born.
- I am looking to secure a challenging role in a market-leading automotive company where I can bring fresh strategic vision and value to the business.
Dos and don’ts
Here’s a quick breakdown of the key points to remember when crafting that all-important statement.
- Get straight to the point – recruiters don’t like to read waffle!
- Provide evidence of your skills and experience, but be brief! Offer just enough to hook the recruiter.
- Remember that you’re marketing yourself.
- Make the statement look purposeful – you need show you know what you’re talking about, without sounding too arrogant.
- Reflect the job specification in your statement.
- Be real! Recruiters ultimately want to know you as a person and what you can bring to the table.
- Proofread for spelling and grammar.
- Read it aloud to make sure it flows properly. Probably best to get someone else to run an eye over it too.
- Overuse buzz words – You might want to chuck a few in there, but a hyperbolic stream of empty qualities and meaningless words is just off-putting.
- Mix the grammatical person – remember either first person or third, not both.
- Be boring – you want to sound unique with noteworthy qualities.
- Copy from your cover letter or copy your cover letter from your statement – that’s just lazy.
Complete personal profile examples for 2018
Here are a few final examples of personal statements for you to gloss over. Hopefully, it’ll spark some inspiration for your own.
‘I am a recent graduate with a 2:1 degree in Creative Writing from the University of Surrey seeking an entry-level position in copywriting. During my degree, I have developed an excellent eye for detail due to the heavy demands of assignments and research. Over the last year, I have also balanced an editing position at Surrey’s media society, where I have devised content ideas and managed a small team of writers, proving that I have potential to excel within a professional writing field. I am looking for a challenging, fast-paced environment within media to utilise my creative knowledge and develop my writing skill-set further.’
‘A highly-skilled mechanical engineer looking to resume a position in industrial construction. Extremely knowledgeable with seven years industry experience. Possesses a wide skill set, including condition-based maintenance, through working on automated systems on large-scale building projects. Looking to re-establish a career in a progressive organisation which requires engineering expertise after a short career break to take care of a new-born.’
‘I am an ambitious purchasing manager looking to progress into a senior purchasing position within the automotive sector. I have developed communication skills when working in managerial positions at large automotive corporations, nurtured successful working relationships and, resultantly, possess an advantageous professional network. Due to over 12 years of experience within this industry, I am fully equipped with commercial awareness and product knowledge. I am looking to secure a challenging role in a market-leading automotive company where I can bring fresh strategic vision and value to the business.’