How to write a focused personal statement for your resume

By Scot Herrick | Cube Rules Commentary

Feb 18

Are you in the situation where you need to write a resume and simply don’t know where to start? On top of this faced with the challenge of writing your own personal statement? We have the expert advice to guide you through this often-fraught process.

To get you to the top of the pile, we have gathered the best expert tips and techniques in personal statement writing. We also help you prepare answering some of those difficult personal questions at interview stage.

Open Colleges has consulted with career experts to put together a comprehensive guide on how to write a resume. Career coaches, business consultants, career counsellors and other professionals and authors have also contributed. You can follow this complete guide step-by-step or concentrate on the areas you need more help with to make your resume stand out from the competition.

The visual guide is divided into four main parts to help you through each step of the resume process, for example:

  • The introduction covers the first impressions, personal statement, cover letter and keywords and buzzwords.
  • The resumes section itself includes resume templates, resume format and layout, tips on how to stand out, resumes with no work experience, resumes dos and don’ts and common resume mistakes.
  • The interviews subdivision focuses on job interview tips and questions.
  • The social media section spotlights the social media role and using LinkedIn.

You can navigate though the complete guide on how to write a resume here and dive into those sections of your resume that you consider your weaknesses. The personal statement is one of those areas where most people find difficulties.

To be able to ‘sell yourself’ in a compelling way you need to be very confident and positive. It’s generally easier to say positive things about others than about us. You could try to ask people who know you well what is their opinion about yourself. This can give you some inspiration and some points to start working with.

In your personal statement you can briefly describe your personality, your attitude and motivations. But to make these points more attractive to the interviewer you can also relate them to how will you fit in with the company and the specific role you are applying to.

As in all other parts of your resume, when writing your personal statement you should avoid using out-dated language and meaningless buzzwords. However, it is important to use industry and job-specific keywords. To understand the difference between these two and how to use them correctly, you can refer to the keywords and buzzwords section.

Describing yourself as ‘hard worker’, ‘team player’ or ‘good communicator’ are definitely positive indicators but you shouldn’t forget to back up your ideas with some real life examples that show the interviewer you actually are all those things you are mentioning.

The infographic below visualises some tips that the experts recommend when writing your personal statement. Click here to get access the interactive version of this infographic and you will unlock more tips to help you stand out in your next interview.

How to write a great personal statement

How to write a great personal statement by Open Colleges


This is a guest post by Maria Onzain. Maria is a content marketing expert, focused in education, career and productivity. She is passionate about all things digital and loves technology, social media, start-ups, travelling and good food. You can find her on twitter @mariaonzain

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.