How To Write the Perfect Personal Statement for Your CV

With many healthcare workers confirming that they are unhappy with their current jobs and see working abroad a way to boost your career and financial standing. 

 

If this is you, it is time to spruce up your CV ready for your job search. And a personal profile could set you up for success.  Putting together the core information of your CV, such as education and employment history, is an easy task. While you may think these are all you need to market yourself effectively, you should probably add an introductory profile too. This will give your CV the extra oomph it needs to secure that desirable job.

 

 

What is a Personal Statement?

A personal statement, otherwise known as a personal profile, CV profile or perhaps even a career aim, is essentially the blurb of your career portfolio. This small paragraph sits at the top of your CV. It concisely and effectively displays who you are, your skills and strengths relevant to the sector or job role and your career goals.

 

Sounds like quite a mouthful, but personal statements are no problem to write, we promise. They’re actually really similar to cover letters. Except, you’ll be selling your best points to a potential employer in about four to six sentences, rather than an A4 page. So, if you’ve spent all this time jazzing up your CV to hook, line and sinker that recruiter in your Endorse Jobs profile, adding a personal profile ensures they grab the bait. Not sure what a personal profile looks like?

 

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Is a Personal Statement Necessary?

Personal statements are widely debated across the healthcare industry. Some experts claim you need one to sell your skills and others suggest they’re a waste of valuable space. The short answer is you do not need to have a personal statement, especially if your core skills are clinical as this will come out within other parts of the CV. A study revealed that on average recruiters spend 8.8 seconds looking at your CV. So, rather than letting your CV get lost in this ‘Tinderised’ process, you should give them a reason to read on.

 

There are some genuine reasons why you might not choose to have a personal statement. But it should not be that you can’t be bothered to write one! It depends on your job search status. If you are applying for a specific clinical job role or a managerial role that may need a little more detail about your characteristics that may not come through your employment experience. If you’re a graduate, then it might be best to leave the professional side of the personal statement at bay. Only until you’ve gained some more work experience. Simply highlight the fact you’ve got a degree and outline the career path you’d like to follow.

 

While it’s not a bad thing to share your ambitions with recruiters, you’ll probably find the word count could be better spent discussing your final year clinical experience in more depth. Just when you thought you’d never have to talk about your final year dissertation again! If, however, you’ve chalked up strengths and experiences during your time at university that anchor you to the job you’re applying for, you should highlight these in your personal statement, and make it clear to the recruiter that you will excel in this job role.

 

Personal profiles are also particularly handy if you are trying to enter a competitive clinical discipline. As you can imagine, recruiters from popular clinical fields deal with hundreds of CVs on a regular basis. So, they’ll simply flick past your CV unless they spot that competitive edge.

 

Personal statements are the perfect way for you to grab their attention and persuade recruiters to continue reading your CV because you’re telling them from the off exactly why they should hire you. Of course, you’ll need to know how to write an effective statement first, but we’ll get on to that in a bit. You should also consider writing a personal statement if you’re uploading your CV to a job board like Endorse Jobs. This gives you the chance to highlight your career goals and give your profile more context.

 

While this is valuable information for recruiters, it is just as important for you to get it right. Your personal statement will enable recruiters to match you with the right job and ensure that the role is fulfilling. If you’re not entirely sure what clinical job you want, or if there are a few health sectors you reckon you could enter with your particular skill set, then it’s probably best not to include a personal statement that is too specific. Instead, focus on your key values and characteristics that make you the ideal employee.

 

How to Structure a Personal Statement

We know writing a personal statement can seem quite daunting. But honestly, once you have started writing it, the rest will come naturally. Here is a breakdown of the basics of creating your statement. The most important thing to remember is that statements are usually around four to six sentences in length, and no more than six. Aim for anywhere between 150 and 400 words for clinical staff and up to 600 for healthcare executive or management staff.

 

Like the length, the grammatical person you’re writing in also has some flexibility. You could choose to write in the third person which can appear more objective, for example, ‘Matron seeking… skills include…’ Or you could write in the first person which tends to be more personal: ‘I am a Matron seeking… My skills are…’

 

It honestly does not matter which person you choose, just pick the one you’re comfortable writing in. As long as you keep it consistent, you can’t go wrong.

 

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What to Include in Your Personal Statement

 

When drafting your personal statement for your dream job, split it into four sections:

  • Who are you?
  • What are your values and strengths?
  • What you have to offer to the prospective employer?
  • What are your career goals?

 

Section One– ‘Who are you’

  • ‘A recent graduate with a 2:1 degree in Nursing from King’s College London University seeking an newly qualified preceptorship position in Oncology at ………’
  • ‘A highly-skilled respiratory physiotherapist looking to resume a position in………’
  • ‘An ambitious Clinical Manager looking to progress into………’

 

Section Two- ‘What are your values and strengths’

You’re selling your absolute top skills, values and strengths. You should also back them up with evidence. If you’re tweaking your CV for a particular job, use the job spec to create your statement. For example, if the employer is looking for someone with the ability to teach others and you’ve got experience supporting students or graduates etc., then say so.

 

If you are crafting a more general personal statement, be sure you include key achievements that make you stand out. For example, if you’re looking for a position as a Clinical Instructor and have an additional teaching qualification, not only can you claim you have these skills in your personal statement, but you can back them up too – perfect!

 

The important thing to remember here is not to litter your personal statement with a trail of buzzwords. You might well be an ‘extremely driven strategic thinker with excellent communication skills and extensive experience in staff management’, but all you’ve really done here is told the recruiter that you’ve as a Ward Manager with no proof of your other claims. Don’t try to ‘cut and paste’ the job spec and claim it to be your own personal statement, recruitment will see right through this and try to find someone a little more genuine.

 

To top it off, you have also revealed this information in an extremely boring way. Recruiters will have heard a million times before; when it comes to selling yourself, you do not want to write something as bland and soggy as overcooked rice; you want to lovingly craft a seafood paella.

 

Try to highlight real, relevant skills and back them up with evidence to make the statement strong. Try something like this for the middle section:

  • ‘During my degree, I have developed an excellent eye for detail, due to the heavy demands of assignments and research. As a result, I am also able to work under pressure. Especially when balancing my educational workload with my voluntary placement at local nursing homes.’
  • ‘Through utilising my communications skills when working in nursing positions at large acute hospitals, I have developed successful working relationships and resilience, an advantageous professional network to ensure high patient care.’

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Section 3- ‘What you have to offer to the prospective employer’

Many job seekers get carried away within personal statement, listing why they are so great, they forgot to mention what commitments and prospects they have to offer to the employer. Many managers will tell you that it is easy to find clinical staff who can provide technical skills, however very difficult to find colleagues to can turn up every day with a positive smile on their face and the ability to drive confidence and calm across the department.  Therefore, when writing your personal statement, remember who you are, why you entered the profession and what you can offer to the department of hospital you’ll be working. This alone may set you apart from the competition.

 

Section 4- ‘What are your career goals’

The final section of the personal statement is to highlight your career goals. More than anything this shows the recruiter that you are a professional worth investing time and money in. Take a look at these examples:

  • ‘I am looking for a challenging, fast-paced environment within the Emergency Department to utilise my clinical knowledge to deliver compassionate care to me patients.’
  • ‘I am looking to re-establish a career in a progressive organisation which requires haematology, after completing the BSc module in Blood Cancers.’
  • ‘I am looking to secure a challenging role in the community as a District Nurse where I can bring fresh strategic vision and value to patients in the community.’

 

Dos and don’ts

Here’s a quick breakdown of the key points to remember when crafting that all important personal statement.

 

Do

  • Get straight to the point – recruiters don’t like to read waffle!
  • Provide evidence of your skills and experience, but be brief! Offer just enough to hook the recruiter
  • Remember that you’re marketing yourself
  • Make the statement look purposeful – you need show you know what you’re talking about, without sounding too arrogant
  • Reflect the job specification in your statement
  • Be real! Recruiters ultimately want to know you as a person and what you can bring to the table
  • Proofread for spelling and grammar
  • Read it aloud to make sure it flows properly. Probably best to get someone else to run an eye over it too

 

Don’t

  • Overuse buzz words – You might want to chuck a few in there. But, a hyperbolic stream of empty qualities and meaningless words is just off-putting
  • Mix the grammatical person – remember either first person or third, not both
  • Be boring – you want to sound unique with noteworthy qualities
  • Ramble!

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 [CV Template / Executive CV Template]

Complete personal profile examples

Here are a few final examples of personal statements for you to gloss over. Hopefully, it’ll spark some inspiration for your own.

*****

‘Employed as a Registered Nurse since 2005, my clinical experience has been within the perioperative setting in private and public hospitals in Australia and New Zealand. Living in Australia since 2010, I have worked in the operating rooms as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, Clinical Facilitator, Registered Nurse and Perioperative Nurse Educator. Currently working full-time as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in the operating rooms at Canberra Private Hospital. Areas of interest include, Nursing leadership, Orthopaedic, Vascular, Urology and Plastic Surgery.’ I am now registering with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council and aim to work in the United Kingdom from April this year. I can offer my future employer a passionate nurse that has the proven ability in providing compassionate care to patients and the loyalty to represent my employer as an ambassador to all.

*****

‘As a seasoned and astute Clinical Nurse Manager, I am offering 28 years’ experience and a long track record of directing, organizing and supervising the day-to-day activities of registered nurses, licensed practical nurses combined with administration oversight and staff leadership. In my recent role as a matron for a large critical care unit, I can work in high-performing medical units ensuring the delivery of exceptional quality and high service standards. Managing a nursing team of 60, I have motivated and supported my colleagues through team coaching, and clinical debriefs in dealing with stressful clinical situations and events. After completing my Advanced Critical Care Training and consequent leadership training, I have developed clinical expertise and knowledge in specialty nursing practice and versed in applying critical reasoning and professional judgment to nursing practice issues and decision making. I am very exciting about the prospect of working abroad and have passed my NCLEX and hope to live and work in Florida, USA.’

*****

‘Dynamic speech pathologist with two years of experience and solid reputation for organization, compassion and attention to detail. Always enthusiastic to take on new cases and support patients’ speech and communication goals through creative and effective treatment planning. Highly personable and productive clinical professional. Experienced in management of aphasia and apraxia issues with specialty in ASD patients. Proficient researcher with skill in study design and dedication to furthering scientific understanding and therapeutic abilities. I hope to continue my career as a Speech Pathologist as a migrate to Canada.’

*****

‘Forward-thinking and patient-focused Nurse Manager with proven experience in nursing recruitment and development, ward management, budget and finance management, and patient care and satisfaction within UK health care sector. Outstanding leadership and analytic skills with technology savvy for aligning health care operations and programme objectives with regulatory standards and patient needs. Adaptive self-starter with strong organisational skills for managing multiple portfolios, innovative problem-solving, and streamlining of processes for optimized outcomes. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills for team leadership and training, patient education, and forging of relationships for delivery of high-quality patient care. I speak multiple languages including English, French and Chinese. I wish to continue my career as a Nurse Manager and wish to gain a similar position in China’

*****

‘Senior Registered Nursing Leader with 20yrs experience across the health and social care sector. Successful track record in operational and strategic management, leadership of quality improvement, quality monitoring, risk management and safeguarding of services. Committed to maintaining evidence based, efficient and cost effective services, which are quality driven and continuously informed and improved via staff and citizen partnership working. I am now pursuing opportunities abroad and invite expressions of interest from employers in Singapore or Australia.’

*****

‘I am the matron for the Critical Care Unit (CCU) who demonstrates strong leadership and management in directing, inspiring, developing and motivating a team of CCU nurses at all levels. As a CCU manager I continue to ensure that the departmental budget is under control with adequate staffing, patient charges, business planning and use of medical equipment for a positive patient experience and safety. With my extensive critical care background at all areas, I have also worked as a critical care outreach and have always been supportive for all staff in teaching and education, bed management/clinical site practitioner and the MacMillan telephone patient triage services. I have conducted various clinical research and audit and presented on international conferences. I am passionate in progressing my career abroad and therefore seek opportunities in either the UEA or Saudi Arabia.’

 

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