Top CV/Resume Tip: How to write an attention-grabbing Personal Statement

My headline advice for anybody writing their CV/Resume is to get your punches in early and grab the readers attention with your Personal Statement. It should also follow these basics:

  • Make it no longer than 5 or 6 lines
  • Include your ambition
  • Make every word count
  • Don't be bland and dull - avoid obvious statements ("great team player" etc) - BE ORIGINAL!

And don't be frightened to get a reaction - it's better than no reaction at all - That's when you get left on the "maybe" pile to languish there collecting dust (along with your career!)

My Top Tip for Top People is to get a free psychometric at Personality Profile. The profile takes less than 10 minutes online, and it'll come back with some really useful phrases. You can pick and choose something that gives real pep and verve to your opening statement.


So, for an example, here's my opening statement from my CV (it's for real):

I seek a senior role in a sector where service is the main differentiator. I lead individuals and teams (large and small) to growth through my lively personality and management style. Occasionally I am unorthodox, but only where it accelerates the result. I can be entrepreneurial, but am never wild about risk. I enjoy challenging situations, am competitive by nature, and am normally focused on profitable sales growth and a wide scope of operations.

It doesn't try to cover everything. It simply shouts "look at me!". You might hate it, or you might like it. I just hope you don't get bored by it. Some of the lines are direct quotes from my psychometric assessment.

And as a further example, here's what I'd write for David Cameron (in the unlikely event he gave me the chance - sorry I am from the UK).

I seek a high profile position. I like to lead and be seen doing so. I can take tough decisions when they have to be made, but can be pragmatic when needs demand. I prefer to engage my audience and have them follow willingly, rather than push them along a path of high resistance. My educational background in philosophy, politics and economics has been rounded by commercial exposure in the communications sector. I don't give in easily, but neither do I become stubborn when the battle is already lost. I have led some big, strong teams and love a challenge.

I've never met the bloke, but I've tried to write what might help him get a hearing at an interview.

Anybody else want to have a go?

Written by Martin Ellis -

Also read:

Top CV/Resume Tip - How to get your skills noticed

Top CV/Resume Tip - Show you know how to get things done

Top CV/Resume Tip - How to write your CV Career

Top CV/Resume Tip - The finishing touches that make all the difference


Views: 4693

Comment by Stephen on December 7, 2012 at 10:22am

Hi Martin,

Solid points here and more passion should be written into profiles, background briefs and opening statements on resumes to grab attention.  You are missing some key components to ensure this statement is not just a bunch of power words strung together, which end up as only feature based statements . The real focus should be on what is in it for the reader if he hires this professional, you should add the benefits to the features you have written to highlight the results they can expect.  You need to put measurements in this piece, size of teams and results, what effective communications resulted in, etc. I agree this should be short but should also have a strong client focus and not just a PR statement but much more of a feature benefit statement.   


Comment by Martin Ellis on December 7, 2012 at 10:49am

Hi Stephen. You're right. I'd only point out that you're looking at the Profile in isolation, and the benefits, in my format at least, should appear in Skills and Experience (partially) and Career Highlights in particular. These should appear as bullets and be dated and quantified.


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