A personal statement is a brief, eye catching statement that explains your reasons for applying while highlighting your key skills.

It should be the very first item at the top of your CV and should show that you know about the job you are applying for and why you would be good at it.

You might find this approach useful in other situations too.  For example, on an application form there might be a section called ‘Reasons for Applying’.

Always think about how you might tweak your statement when applying for new jobs.

It might seem a little daunting at first but with the help of some examples (see below) you will soon get the hang of it.

It will help to begin by asking yourself these questions:

  • what triggered your interest in the job?
  • what does the advert or job specification ask for?
  • why do you think you would be good at this?
  • what do you hope to do in the future?
  • what training are you keen to do?

You might want to include information about:

  • what you are doing now – for example ‘experienced sales assistant’ or ‘school/college leaver’
  • your key skills and strengths
  • your background or experience
  • what you are aiming for


This bit is important!

When giving your key skills, use one or two words that describe who you are as a person, so employers can get a sense of your personality and your strengths. Use words such as ‘reliable’, ‘friendly’, ‘motivated’, ‘energetic’. Make sure the adjectives are relevant to the job – and always truthful, of course.

It’s also good to use skills keywords that are mentioned in the job ad you’re applying for provided again that it is true!

Some examples

I am a college leaver who is looking for an apprenticeship in business administration. I have good
IT skills including word processing, email and working with spreadsheets. I am willing to work hard, gain qualifications and build on the general office skills developed through my work experience.

With good basic skills, I am looking for practical work in a wholesale or warehouse situation.
I am a motivated person who is willing to work hard and flexibly and can work alone or in a team. I am keen to learn and succeed.

A hardworking and reliable sixth former with good GCSEs, I am expected to gain C or D grades in my A levels this year and am seeking the opportunity to develop a career in accountancy. Keen to learn and gain qualifications, I always strive to achieve success.

A friendly and energetic person with good people skills looking for an opportunity to work in retail
sales. I am a quick learner, willing to work hard and complete training.

I am a highly motivated school leaver with good basic skills. I am a hard worker and am reliable, punctual and willing to learn.  I enjoyed my work experience in a local garden centre and am looking for an apprenticeship in landscape gardening.

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