How to Write a Personal Statement for a Resume (with AI 🤖)
You're skilled, ambitious, and ready to seize new professional opportunities. But so are many other job seekers.
So how can you stand out in a sea of applicants and make a lasting impact on hiring managers? That's simple: crafting a unique "Personal Statement" resume section that captures who you are as an individual—the "you-ness" that makes you an irresistible candidate.
The problem is that "simple" doesn't always mean "easy."
Luckily, by the end of this post, you'll be able to confidently write a resume personal statement for any opportunity that comes your way.
3 key takeaways
- Learn how to craft a personal statement that defines your career goals, skills, and professional narrative.
- Discover the importance of tailoring your personal statement to a specific role.
- Understand how to leverage AI tools like Teal's AI Resume Builder to create and polish an effective personal statement.
Understanding personal statements on resumes
A personal statement is a concise paragraph or summary, similar to a resume headline, at the top of your resume. Its purpose is to articulate your career goals, highlight your skills, experiences, and what you can bring to the role.
This is a valuable opportunity to make a lasting first impression on the hiring manager or recruiter and stand out among the endless number of applicants you're likely competing with.
While building your resume, you may have also heard of a "professional statement" (sometimes called an "opening statement") or a "resume objective." Though similar, they are subtly different from personal statements.
Here's a breakdown:
Your resume's personal statement is a comprehensive declaration that outlines your career objectives and highlights your skills, experiences, and the unique value you can bring to a role. It provides a fuller picture of you as a professional, making it a great choice for experienced candidates with various skills and achievements they want to draw attention to.
A resume professional summary, or short professional bio, is a concise summary that specifically targets your industry expertise and key achievements. It draws attention to your relevant professional experiences and successes.
Typically, the resume summary statement is the ideal choice for seasoned professionals with a history of tangible results and accomplishments in their field.
A resume objective highlights your qualifications, but it's typically a straightforward declaration of your career goals, too. It's usually a bit shorter and focuses on what type of role or industry you want to work in. Resume objectives can benefit those who are at the beginning of their career or going through a career change, such as re-entering the workforce or transitioning between fields, and don't have an extensive track record to showcase.
The choice between a resume personal statement, professional statement, and a resume objective ultimately comes down to your career path and the specific requirements of the job you're eyeing.
Once you've decided to write a compelling personal statement, you need to know the right way of going about it.
How to write a personal statement for a resume
You'd think that writing about yourself would be easy. After all, who knows your past experiences and future ambitions better than you?
And yet, it's those "About Me" resume sections and resume personal statements that are one of the most frustrating pieces of writing a resume; they're often the most impactful, too. Because, again, they're the hook that introduces the very uniqueness of you.
Consider the following tips for writing a standout personal statement:
1. Self-reflection: Look at your career goals, skills, resume achievements, current position, and any special value you bring to an organization. Reflecting on these aspects provides a solid foundation for your personal statement.
You might find it helpful to use a mind map or SWOT analysis to organize your thoughts. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and it's a strategic planning tool used to evaluate these four aspects of a project or personal development.
This exercise will help you identify your resume strengths and selling points, providing a solid foundation for your personal statement.
2. Start with a strong opening: Your opening sentence should be compelling and immediately convey your professional identity. Think of it as your personal "elevator pitch." Here are some examples:
- Strong opening: "As a seasoned Project Manager with a decade of experience in the tech industry, I specialize in leading cross-functional teams to deliver complex projects on time and under budget."
- Weak opening: "I'm a hard-working professional looking for a project management role."
The strong opening immediately establishes the individual's professional identity, highlighting their experience, industry, and key skills. On the other hand, the weak opening is vague and doesn't convey the person's unique value or area of expertise.
3. Align with the job description: Your personal statement should align with the role you're applying for. Read the job description carefully, then tailor your summary statement to highlight the skills and experiences most relevant to the role.
Leveraging the power of AI, Teal extracts and prioritizes the critical keywords, both hard and soft skills, present in the job description you're targeting.
Then, you can use AI to automate your personal statement:
Create multiple versions of your professional summary using Teal’s AI integration feature within the AI Resume Builder.
Note: This feature is called "Professional Summaries," but it allows you to beat the blank page quickly. You can then tailor this to be more aligned with a professional statement to help you stand out.
Not only does this help you shape a compelling personal statement much more quickly, but it also gives you an edge with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Hiring managers often use ATS software to prioritize candidates based on keyword matching (though it's worth mentioning that this software never filters out applicants altogether).
By using Teal's AI Resume Builder to incorporate the necessary hard skills, soft skills, and keywords into your personal statement, you increase your odds of standing out in the crowded job market.
4. Keep it concise: A personal statement should be brief and to the point. Aim for no more than 150 words or three to four sentences. The best way to approach this is to draft your personal statement without any word limit, then review and revise it, cutting out any fluff or unnecessary details.
Ask yourself if each sentence is critical to the narrative and truly adds value. Remember, every word counts. Writing an effective personal statement requires careful thought and attention to detail.
However, advances in generative AI can help streamline this process.
What to avoid when writing a resume personal statement
When writing a personal statement, it's just as important to know what to steer clear of as it is to know what to include.
So, here are some key points to keep in mind:
1. Being vague: Remember, your personal statement is your unique story. Generic phrases like "hard-working professional" or "team player" won't help you stand out. Instead, aim for specific details about your experiences and achievements that demonstrate these traits.
2. Using complex jargon: While you need to communicate your industry knowledge, a personal statement loaded with jargon can be off-putting and difficult to understand. Keep your language clear and concise.
3. Writing an autobiography: A personal statement isn't a full personal profile. It's not meant to be a comprehensive rundown of your life story. It should focus on relevant skills, experiences, and goals that align with the position you're applying for.
If it doesn't add value to your application, leave it out.
4. Using third-person language: Your resume personal statement highlights your qualifications, experiences, and skills. Opt to write a resume personal statement in the first person point of view using words like "I," "my," and "me" to provide a more personalized and authentic perspective.
5. Ignoring the job description: Tailoring your personal statement to the specific role is crucial. If you're not aligning your skills and experiences with the requirements mentioned in the job description, you're missing an opportunity to demonstrate how well you fit the role.
Again, this is something that Teal's AI Resume Builder helps you with natively.
6. Negativity: Your personal statement should reflect positivity and enthusiasm for the role you're applying for and the value you can bring. Avoid mentioning negative experiences or failures unless you can highlight what you learned from them.
Here's an example of a negative vs. a positive personal statement:
- Negative: "After a string of unsatisfying jobs and a career path that lacked direction, I'm now looking for an opportunity in a company that values its employees and provides clear career progression."
- Positive: "With a passion for employee engagement and a track record in driving positive workplace culture, I'm eager to bring my experience and enthusiasm to a forward-thinking company that values innovation and employee development."
In the negative example, the focus is on past dissatisfaction, which can give a negative impression to the reader. But the positive example emphasizes enthusiasm, experience, and a clear vision of what the applicant can bring to the role and company.
It also subtly communicates past success (i.e., a track record in driving positive workplace culture) without explicitly resting on your laurels.
Resume personal statement examples
So now that you know the best practices for crafting a resume personal statement, let's take a look at a few personal statement examples broken down by industry and role level. We'll explore personal statements for job examples in the following fields:
Let's dive right into writing personal statements for sales roles.
1) Sales roles
Entry-level: "A recent graduate of Business Administration with a passion for sales and demonstrated customer service skills. Earned top sales honors during internship experience and eager to bring my dedication and drive to a dynamic sales team."
- Analysis: This personal statement showcases a recent graduate's passion and early success in sales. It emphasizes their eagerness to contribute to a team and references the valuable experiences that have prepared them for a sales role.
Mid-level: "Sales manager with five years of experience in the retail sector and a record of exceeding sales targets by up to 40%. Proven ability to build relationships and improve customer satisfaction. Seeking to leverage my skills to enhance profitability and growth in a forward-thinking organization."
- Analysis: Here, the candidate highlights their successful sales track record and solid, relevant experience, key selling points for a mid-level position. The candidate also presents their goal, which aligns with the interests of prospective employers.
Senior-level: "Seasoned sales leader with over a decade of experience managing high-performing teams in the tech industry. Expertise in strategic planning, market research, and contract negotiation. Committed to driving revenue growth while fostering a supportive team environment."
- Analysis: As a good personal statement, this example positions the candidate as a seasoned leader with significant industry experience. It emphasizes the candidate's commitment to revenue growth and team development, two critical areas of interest for employers at this level.
2) Marketing roles
Entry-level: "Creative and detail-oriented Marketing graduate with a solid understanding of social media strategies and branding. I have proven skills in project management from internships and campus activities. Seeking to apply my innovative thinking and leadership skills in a dynamic marketing team."
- Analysis: This personal statement example communicates the applicant's foundational marketing knowledge, creativity, and leadership abilities. It hints at a well-rounded candidate with theoretical understanding and some practical experience.
Mid-level: "Results-driven marketing professional with six years of experience in digital marketing. Specialized in SEO and content creation, consistently increasing web traffic by 35%. Looking to leverage my expertise to drive brand growth and visibility in a challenging role."
- Analysis: This statement reflects the individual's experience and accomplishments in the field of digital marketing. The candidate exhibits a clear specialty, proven results, and an ambition to drive growth, which is appealing for a mid-level role.
Senior-level: "Strategic Marketing Director with over 15 years of experience leading cross-functional teams in the FMCG sector. Proven track record in executing successful global marketing campaigns, driving sales growth, and building strong brand identities. Looking to leverage my experience to drive strategic growth in a dynamic organization."
- Analysis: Here, the emphasis is on the senior role's leadership and strategic experience. The candidate effectively highlights their proven success in executing global marketing campaigns and driving growth, which is essential for senior roles.
Entry-level: "Organized and empathetic HR graduate with strong employee relations and recruitment knowledge. Successfully implemented a new employee onboarding process during an internship. Excited to apply my people skills in a dynamic HR team."
- Analysis: This statement showcases the candidate's theoretical knowledge and some practical experience in HR, emphasizing their achievements during an internship and their enthusiasm for applying their skills.
Mid-level: "HR professional with five years of experience in benefits administration and talent acquisition. Expert in aligning HR strategies with business goals. Seeking to leverage my people-centric skills to drive employee satisfaction and retention."
- Analysis: The candidate presents their expertise in essential HR functions and their ability to align HR strategies with business goals—key to a mid-level role.
Senior-level: "HR Manager with a decade of experience in creating and implementing HR policies and procedures. Proven ability to enhance organizational performance through implementing effective HR strategies. Eager to drive change management initiatives in a large-scale organization."
- Analysis: This statement highlights extensive experience in HR management, demonstrating the ability to improve organizational performance. This strategic focus is ideal for senior-level roles.
Entry-level: "Motivated business graduate with proven leadership skills acquired through student council and team sports involvement. Demonstrated ability in team coordination and project management. Ready to bring my strong decision-making skills to a promising management role."
- Analysis: As a good personal statement this example offers a glimpse of the applicant's leadership and decision-making skills—critical attributes for a management role.
Mid-level: "Experienced manager with a strong record in managing teams of up to 20 in the logistics industry. Excellent problem-solving and communication skills that have been used to turn around underperforming teams. Seeking to leverage my managerial skills in a challenging new role."
- Analysis: This statement presents the candidate's proven managerial and problem-solving skills, making them a strong contender for a mid-level management role.
Senior-level: "Dynamic executive with over 15 years of experience in strategic planning and business development. Proven ability to drive profitability and build strategic partnerships. Seeking to leverage my leadership skills to inspire and drive a successful team."
- Analysis: Here, the focus is on strategic, high-level skills and achievements which are suitable for an executive role.
Entry-level: "IT recent graduate with strong theoretical knowledge in software development and database management. Completed an internship that honed my skills in network solutions. Excited to bring my technical skills to a dynamic IT team."
- Analysis: This statement provides a solid base of IT knowledge with a hint of real-world experience, making it ideal for an entry-level candidate.
Mid-level: "IT specialist with over five years of experience in systems analysis and design, networking, and server management. Proven track record in resolving complex IT issues within tight deadlines. Looking forward to applying my problem-solving skills in a challenging IT environment."
- Analysis: The candidate here showcases their experience and problem-solving skills, two significant selling points for mid-level IT roles.
Senior-level: "IT Director with a decade of experience in managing diverse teams and implementing IT strategies that support business objectives. Expertise in cloud computing and IT infrastructure development. Seeking to leverage my technical and leadership skills in a forward-thinking organization."
- Analysis: The statement effectively displays the candidate's leadership skills, strategic abilities, and technical expertise, fitting for a senior IT role.
Each of these examples of personal statements for resumes should provide you with a framework to create and personalize your own. But if you need some help, there's always AI in your corner.
How to tailor your personal summary with AI
Thanks to Teal's AI Resume Builder, creating the perfect personal statement has never been easier. Our built-in generative AI provides an excellent starting point, producing a draft tailored to your career level and role in seconds.
However, a personal statement shouldn't be a cookie-cutter paragraph—it needs to be uniquely you.
Here's how you can make it happen with Teal.
1. Use AI to start: Type in your desired role and let the AI generate a custom draft. This provides a solid base, saving you time in getting started and providing a structure to work with.
2. Implement a SWOT analysis: Recall our advice about self-reflection? Apply that here. Use the SWOT analysis to reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to the desired job role.
3. Revise the opening: Make the first line count. While AI provides a generic opening, you should edit it to make it more compelling. Remember, your opening line is your 'elevator pitch,' and it needs to stand out.
4. Tailor with keywords: Teal's AI Resume Builder automatically pulls critical keywords from the job description you're targeting, ensuring your personal statement aligns with what the employer is looking for. Just make sure these keywords naturally fit within your personal statement to maintain a coherent narrative.
In short, Teal is the easiest solution for creating personal statements as a unique resume personal profile.
Crafting a captivating personal statement on your resume is your golden ticket to making a memorable first impression. It's not just about what you say but how you say it, and that's where the distinction lies between good and great.
And what's even better? You don't have to do it alone.
The AI Professional Summary feature is here to be your personal writing assistant. Are you ready to let your resume make an impact?
Give Teal's AI Resume Builder a spin to try out the Professional Summary feature and see how quickly it improves your personal statement.