How to write a perfect personal statement

Blog by Noel.

You have seen the perfect job. This is THE JOB for you.
You have an amazing CV that you’re really proud of.
You have been asked to submit a Personal Statement with your amazing CV.
Say what???

What do you do now?

Here is some guidance on how to make your application for a job stand out from the crowd and how Next Step Edinburgh can help you with this.

What is a Personal Statement?

Traditionally, a personal statement took the form of a letter that was submitted with your CV when applying for a job. Although this can still be the case, many employers accept an email with a CV.

Many recruitment websites also give you the option to include a covering letter or statement with your application.

Employers receive a great many CVs for positions, but are more likely to look at those with an accompanying letter or statement, as it shows that you are enthusiastic about applying for this job and that you are prepared to put the extra time and effort into this.

Whichever form this takes, your personal statement (or letter) should be something that not only sells your CV, but you as a person.

This to give the employer a summary of the skills, qualities, and experience that you have – and why you are the best candidate for the role.

The team at Next Step Edinburgh are here for you. Our experienced caseworkers can help you create a great covering statement which you can tailor to the different jobs you are applying for.

How long should a Personal Statement be?

“Time is money!”

Employers will receive lots of applications for jobs and it’s likely that they will not have the time to look at a really long statement. In fact, it is not likely to be looked at all.

Your CV should only be a maximum of two pages – and similarly your covering statement should be concise, factual, and relevant to the job that you are applying for.

If possible, make your statement one page maximum.

How to write a Personal Statement.

First impressions last

This is a good introduction to who you are and why you are the best candidate for the role.

When writing your statement, be polite, be formal and do not be over familiar.

Let the employer know the role that you are applying for and why you are the best choice for this. Not only is this a good opportunity for employers to get an idea of your skills and experience and what you can offer – it also shows how professionally you can communicate.

Next Step Edinburgh can help you with this. Very few of us are good at singing our own praises, so it’s good to have someone on hand to provide positive and objective advice.

What do you put in a personal statement?

1: First of all, let the employer know about you; what your experience is, what your skills are and why you are applying for the role. For example,

“I am currently working in the hospitality industry, where I have used my customer service, food hygiene and communication skills to great effect. I am keen to develop a career in the care industry and willing to develop new skills and undertake training to help me with this. I work effectively as part of a team, adaptable and can cope well under pressure.”

2: Next, you should let the employer know what you can offer to them. Let them know what you can bring to the party and why you are the best choice for the role.

An example of this would be,

“Having recently completed the Carpentry and Joinery Advanced Certificate Course at Edinburgh College, I am keen to start my career in the trades and construction industry. I have a full UK driving license and access to my own tools and PPE. I am reliable and have a strong work ethic and I have recently obtained my CSCS card. I pay attention to detail and take great pride in the quality of my work.”

3: One other thing you should cover in your statement is your own career goals and why working for this employer will help you achieve this. Again, this will show that you have put effort into your statement and it also shows that you have done your research too.

For example,

“After taking a break from employment childcare and family commitments, I am looking to return to full-time employment as a customer service adviser. From my previous role, I developed a good, professional relationship with the people I encountered and regularly gained positive feedback from customers and colleagues. I am also keen to develop my IT skills and I am impressed at the training opportunities that this role offers.”

What do employers like to see in a Personal Statement?

Next Step Edinburgh works with a number of employers who are recruiting staff. From their feedback, they are looking for employees who have a positive attitude to work and who are prepared to develop new skills through training.

This will make you a standout candidate.

Your covering statement should cover your skills, experience, and qualities, but many organisations also look for a values-based covering statement too.

Employers like to see that your personal beliefs reflect their own – particularly in the civil service, local government, and the charity sector.

Research pays dividends here, as all organisations in these areas have a competencies and values framework, codes of conduct or a corporate vision.

This can always be found on the organisation’s website – usually in the About Us section – and is a useful tool in tailoring your covering statement to a particular role or job.

Examples of this will be:

  • Being customer-focussed.
  • Honest and transparent.
  • Work well with others.

The list could go on and is different for every employer – but do your research and this will pay off!

Next Step Edinburgh are here to help you with all of this, and our experienced advisors are there to give you feedback, support and encouragement. We can help you tailor your covering statement or letter for any job that you apply for.

Together we will get that amazing CV right to the top of the pile.
Phone us now on 0300 365 0025 or email at and find out how we can help you get The Job.