What’s a personal statement on a resume?
A personal statement on a resume or CV is a 2–3 sentence summary of your qualifications and career goals that goes under your resume header. This brief resume starter is also known as a:
Resume personal statements are often confused with:
- personal statements on job applications, which you usually fill out on the application form, following the company’s specified word/character limits
- personal mission statements, which you write for yourself to establish your lifelong goals
- personal statements for college admissions applications, which follow essay formatting and should be at least a few paragraphs long
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Resume personal statement examples
Here are five good examples of professional resume statements:
1. Entry-level applicant
Recent graduate with a BS in Audio Engineering and 2+ years’ experience interning at a local recording studio. Produced four EPs for friends’ bands, with three tracks receiving 20,000+ plays on Spotify and YouTube. Confident expertise in Pro Tools and music equipment setup will translate to success as an Assistant Audio Engineer at your studio.
2. Experienced applicant
Sales manager with 10+ years of experience training and supervising sales staff while planning and implementing sales strategies over a multi-state territory. Seeking to bring proven record in leading teams and launching successful marketing campaigns into a senior management position.
3. Nurse practitioner
Certified nurse practitioner with 5+ years of experience delivering compassionate care to patients. Instrumental in conducting patient assessment, physical examinations, and diagnostic studies. Eager to deliver high-quality, patient-centered health care as a Nurse Practitioner at [Hospital/Clinic].
4. Graphic designer
Senior graphic design specialist with 6+ years of experience managing the complete design process, from conceptualization to delivery. Skilled with Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), Microsoft Office, and web design applications (Dreamweaver, HTML). Able to stretch the boundaries of web design and digital storytelling to help your brand stand out.
5. College student
English major seeking to use research and writing experience in the role of Junior Research Associate at Wexford Inc. Awarded multiple honors based on merits and expected to graduate with a B.A. in English from UCLA in June 2023. Fast learning abilities, commitment to succeed, and relevant studies align perfectly with this position’s listed requirements.
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How to write a personal statement for a resume
Here are four tips for writing your resume’s personal statement:
1. Write it last
Although your personal statement goes near the top of your resume, you should write it last.
First, compile your relevant qualifications for your resume’s work experience section, education section, and skills section. Then pick the best, most relevant accomplishments to emphasize in your personal statement.
After the hiring manager notes your name in your header, their eyes automatically go to your personal statement. So ensuring your most relevant resume accomplishments appear in your introduction is key to your application’s success.
2. Start with your professional title
Open your personal statement with your professional title.
If you’re working on a resume with no experience and aren’t sure what title to use, here are some common entry-level options:
- Use your college major: “Recent graduate with a BS in Communications”
- List a relevant skill: “Confident communicator”
- Reference a volunteer position: “Volunteer organizer”
- Emphasize your work ethic: “Hardworking student”
Conversely, if you’re an experienced professional with multiple titles, use the title most relevant to the job you want.
For instance, if you’re an entrepreneur and CEO applying for a C-suite position, don’t include “entrepreneur” in your professional title. Otherwise, your target employer may worry your focus would be divided between your work for their company and your side hustles.
3. Consider your audience
Tailor every word of your personal statement to your audience — the recruiter, hiring manager, and anyone else at your target employer who might read your resume. To get inside their minds and determine what they’re looking for, read the job description, noting skills-based resume keywords.
Here’s a telemedicine nurse practitioner job description with the keywords highlighted:
If you were applying for the above position, this is what your resume’s personal statement might look like:
Nurse practitioner with 5+ years’ experience overseeing a team of health coaches and medical assistants. Developed a patient care program that provides personalized care and helps patients reach their health and wellness goals via telemedicine, and made maintaining accurate online charts easier for medical staff. Eager to wield proven telemedical expertise as a Telemedicine Nurse Practitioner at Parsley Health.
4. Finish strong
The closing sentence of your personal statement should:
- summarize your best qualifications
- express your goals for the position
- offer value to the company
Here’s a well-written final sentence for a personal statement:
Proven expertise and results in financial planning for rapidly growing companies are a perfect fit for your company as it undertakes aggressive international expansion.