What is a career objective or personal statement?

There are many different terms for this statement. Here are the most common:

  • Career objective
  • Personal statement
  • Personal profile
  • Career profile
  • Professional profile

No matter what you decide to call yours, this statement can play a vital role in introducing yourself and CV credentials.

What should my personal statement contain?

In short, the career objective or statement has three functions: to tell the prospective employer who you are, to explain exactly how you meet the main requirements of the role, and to indicate what it is that you’re looking for.

These are the three essential ingredients that combine very nicely to create an introduction to a CV. So instead of allowing the employer to get straight to your skills, experience and qualifications, it will put a more personal touch to what is typically a very formal document.

Keep it brief and to the point

Your career objective/statement should be kept short and punchy – so try not to take up too much valuable space from your CV. Your statement doesn’t need to be any longer than a total of three sentences, covering the above three points. Any longer and you could bore the employer and put them off from reading the rest of your CV.

A one paragraph objective makes for a more engaging read, and should leave the hiring manager wanting to know more about you. It should serve as a great introduction to your CV, providing a brief overview of what you have to offer before your CV goes into more detail.

Don’t be generic and fluffy

Keep your statement honest and specific to the role you are applying for. A generic statement is not going to impress an employer. If you’re not focused upon their role you are not going to impress.

Your ambitions for the future need to align with the role and the company, and be specific to the role and address what the employer is looking for. A well tailored statement and CV will grab the reader’s attention and make them quickly see how great you are for the role.

Don’t make a mistake

It is extremely important that your statement is free of any spelling or grammatical errors, as this will be the first section the employer will read. Although your CV should also be free of any errors, the importance of an error free objective is even more vital as it will be setting the scene for your CV and either making or breaking your chances.

Your chances of making a great first impression will rely heavily on your personal statement, so don’t underestimate how important this section is to your CV and your chances of success.