1. Career Advice
  2. Resume & CV's
  3. How the right resume personal statement makes your career goals clear
How the right resume personal statement makes your career goals clear

How the right resume personal statement makes your career goals clear

Artwork by: Katya Vakulenko

  • What is a resume personal statement?
  • How to write a personal statement for a resume
  • How to craft a personal statement that lays out your career goals
  • Examples of a resume personal statement for some common professions
  • Key takeaways 

Putting the right resume personal statement together is not easy, but we’ll give you some good tips and show you some examples of how to craft a personal statement that will make your resume pop, as well as some great resume personal statement examples.

What’s the best way to grab someone’s attention immediately when they look at your resume? Have a great personal statement. The personal statement on a resume primarily gives your potential employer a fast preview of your qualifications and background. It is not only important to show your qualifications for the job, but you also need to make your long-term career development objectives clear. This will convince them you’re serious about the role and are in it for the long haul, not just a short-term career boost. 

Your resume will of course have your name and personal info at the top, but the personal statement (or professional summary) is the first place to really grab the employer’s attention. It’s your opportunity to make a good first impression. Otherwise, they’re likely to toss your resume and go to the next one.

We’ll go into more detail about what a resume personal statement is and how to create an effective one. This blog will show you:

  • What is a resume personal statement?

  • How do you write a personal statement?

  • How to include career goals on your personal statement

  • Examples of professional personal statements

What is a resume personal statement?

In the world of resumes, the personal statement goes by many terms. When you are researching how to write your resume, you may come across a number of references to the top section of your resume using terms other than a personal statement. You may also see it referred to as a resume, career, or experience summary. Or as a statement such as a resume statement or heading statement. 

Whatever you want to refer to it as, the personal statement provides the reader with a very brief overview of your skills, experience, and achievements. It always goes at the top of your resume. It gives a quick snapshot of what is in your resume. Furthermore, it should encapsulate your best qualities and why you are a great fit for the job.

However, none of these should be confused with an objective statement or resume objective. The objective statement has fallen out of favor for resumes because it is more focused on what you want versus what you can provide to the employer.

Today, the personal or resume statement not only states the applicant’s intention but it is primarily used to sell the hiring manager on you by highlighting your skills and career goals. It should be tailored, along with the rest of your resume, according to the job you are applying for.

How to write a personal statement for a resume

The best personal statement or professional summary on a resume should entice the person to continue reading. Make them want to learn more about you. Getting them to read your entire resume is the first priority.

This is no simple task. Recruiters and HR personnel read a lot of resumes every day. And resumes are generally pretty boring, so grabbing their attention is difficult. Being cute or funny in your personal statement might work, but it is risky because, in a business setting, that is probably not something a potential employer is looking for. So, keep it professional.

Let’s cover some key points to help you make a great personal statement:

  • Be concise. Your statement should be no more than a few sentences and under 200 words. Don’t include any fluff. Make every word count.

  • Write your personal statement last after you’ve fully crafted the rest of your resume. This will allow you to more easily summarize the key things from your resume or to include a point you may have missed.

  • Use keywords. Study the job listing and use the right keywords (nouns or phrases that best describe the job or skills). You should do this not only in your summary, but throughout your resume. ATS (applicant tracking systems) will look for these. Your first sentence should include your professional title, the title that you are seeking, or the title you are applying for. Don’t forget to mention how many years of experience you have. This will give the employer an immediate sense of your professional level. For example, “Certified Computer Information Security Professional with over 6 years of experience.”

  • Next, study your resume content and select three or four of the most impressive things on it. Take these and rewrite them into a captivating sentence or two. Did you earn any awards or recognition for great customer service? Perhaps you achieved outstanding results in sales or saved the company a lot of money. Use these things to get their attention. Don’t forget to include numbers. Hiring managers always look for quantifiable results. Without numbers, achievements don’t mean much.

  • End your statement with something about how you will add value to the new role, and mention how the job fits into your long-term career development.

How to craft a personal statement that lays out your career goals

A personal statement offers an incredible opportunity to give the recruiter a view of where you want to go in your career. It could mention short, medium, or long-term goals like promotions, change in direction, or learning new things. This provides your potential employer with a clear understanding of your objectives and how you plan to achieve them. Make sure your goals and plans are in good alignment with the job you’re applying for.

Here are a few examples of phrases you could include in your personal statement to highlight different career goals:

Goal: Promotion

“With a goal of being promoted from client representative to account manager in three years or less. Plans to do this included exceeding my sales goals by 15%, attend leadership conferences, and take on additional projects to build my skills and establish myself as a leader within the organization.”

Goal: Career advancement 

“Seeking to become a certified accountant within five years. With plans to complete experience requirements within the next two years, enroll in CPA prep courses, and continue to build my professional network of accounting professionals.”

Goal: Career change

“Looking to pursue a career change from staff assistant to sales representative. Steps to accomplish include enrolling in a sales management studies program and earn a certificate, find a mentor on the sales team to work with, and attending networking events related to the sales field.”

Goal: Gain new skills

“With a goal of becoming a lead for social media projects. Current planned activities involve examining current social media usage and collaborate with stakeholders about visions for the future, learning more about online advertising related to social media, as well as earning a certificate in project management.”

Examples of a resume personal statement for some common professions

Customer service 

“Performance-driven and motivated customer service representative offering over five years of relevant experience. Demonstrated ability to make customers comfortable and relaxed, leading to a 98% customer satisfaction score and over 25% more sales than the average rep. Eager to join the ABC team and contribute to the growth of the company.” 

Administrative assistant 

“Dedicated and detail-oriented administrative assistant with over ten years of experience performing various office management and administrative duties, such as managing company correspondence, coordinating meetings, maintaining calendars and schedules, and document management for executives and staff ranging from 10 to 30 people. A methodical and diligent performer with a solid work ethic and multitasking abilities seeking a career-advancing position as an Office Manager with ABC corporation.”

Data analyst  

“An astute and innovative graduate in Information Systems with three years of hands-on data analytics experience. Passionate about working with big data and creating usable management information and business insights to drive data-based decision-making. Highly motivated team player with a keen interest in data visualization and transforming complex datasets into easily understandable and appealing graphical presentations. Looking to build a career and take on new challenges as a data analyst with ABC corporation.”

Warehouse worker 

“Enterprising and dedicated warehouse worker with over four years of experience in receiving and inspecting incoming shipments, preparing and processing orders, and performing various logistical and administrative duties. Five-time Employee of the Month Award winner with strong attention to detail, focus on accuracy, and drive to achieve exceptional results. Offers excellent time management skills and the ability to work independently or in a team. Seeking a long-term career with advancement opportunities as a warehouse lead with ABC corporation.”

Project manager  

“Meticulous and proficient project management professional with over eight years of experience leading major projects and programs for a large multinational construction company. Driven and consistent leader with over 50 successful projects, managing over 100 direct and indirect reports, with project budgets running from $500k to over $5MM. Achieved a 97% on-time and on-budget record for all projects. Looking for a career-developing position as a senior project manager with ABC corporation.”


“Committed and insightful computer engineering student with demonstrated experience in developing user-friendly software applications, coding and testing features, and providing excellent engineering support. Certified in Oracle, Cisco, and Agile Development with extensive knowledge of multiple programming languages and software development tools including JavaScript, Python, Swift, and Kotlin. Outstanding problem-solving skills with the ability to perform well individually or as part of a team. Seeking a career-building role as a software programmer I with ABC corporation.”

Use the above examples as jumping-off points and inspiration for creating your own impactful personal statement for your resume.

Key takeaways 

  1. A personal statement is a good place to highlight your fit for the role

  2. Include something about your career development goals and opportunities for advancement

  3. Keep it short and concise

  4. Grab their attention with your best skills and achievements 

  5. Use numbers and quantifiable results

  6. Tailor it to match up with the job description

  7. Make it interesting

Share this article