Highlight Key Skills with a Personal Summary

Learning how to write a personal summary is one of the first steps we take when we enter our professional lives. Whenever we apply, it’s likely that clients will require a CV to highlight relevant skills and experiences. If you want to land your dream job, you need to learn a few basics. Knowing how to write a personal summary is one of the first things you must master.

This guide will explain personal summaries, their importance, and how to write them. Let’s start.

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

What is a Personal Summary?

A personal summary is a concise paragraph that outlines your professional life. It includes details such as your work experience, educational background, skills, traits, and achievements.

A personal summary is the first thing prospective employers see when they read your curriculum vitae. It is essentially a snapshot of your career, and it should intrigue and excite your readers to pay close attention to you.

Why is it Important?

A personal statement may seem redundant, especially when a resume can also provide prospects with a career snapshot. But the difference lies in their tone and style.

Resumes come in a bullet list format meant to expedite the process of determining whether you possess the skills required for a role. We write resumes with brevity in mind, and they fail to encapsulate a candidate’s personality and character. They are a bare-bones representation of your career life.

In contrast, a personal summary is a paragraph that allows candidates to show off their writing skills. There’s a lot you can do with a paragraph compared to a bullet list. There’s an opportunity for humor, empathy, and inspiration.

Resumes focus on your skills, while personal summaries focus on the manner you market your skills to potential clients and employers. It’s also why personal statements appear at the top of every CV. They give insight into your personality and character and help to tie together the work-focused parts of your resume. To that end, it follows that those with a well-written personal summary are likely to generate more leads than those written poorly. 

If you need help writing an attractive personal summary, read the following section.

How to Write a Personal Summary

Tailor Your Summary to a Client

Tailoring your CV to match a client serves two purposes. First, nobody likes the cookie-cutter treatment. These come off as insincere and lazy. Second, a tailored personal statement is an opportunity to show a potential client that your values match those of the company. Additionally, they add a personal touch to your summary.

Be Honest

Never lie about any detail in your summary. Lies and untruths are easy to uncover, and lying on your CV is a criminal offense. You also need to consider that you’d be robbing someone else of an opportunity that might have been rightly theirs. 

If you have negative points you don’t want your employer to know, it’s best to avoid mentioning them at all. You can also explain yourself if you have legitimate reasons for your lapse. 

For example, an employment gap will usually look bad. But if you had to go through one to take care of an ailing family member, your client may instead relate with you.

Provide Evidence of Your Skills and Accomplishments

Certificates, awards, and other paperwork will establish credibility and help your reader grasp your ability better. Make sure to include them in your personal statement. These details are a strong way to help people remember you. 

Stick to Word Limits

Many hiring managers add instructions for applicants. Word limits aren’t just a way to see whether an applicant can follow instructions. They’re meant to control the length of personal summaries they’re going to read through. 

This is especially important for jobs that attract hundreds of applicants. Word limits are a way to ensure that every applicant gets their fair share of attention. Respect word limits.

Proofread Your Personal Summary

Finally, once you’ve finished writing your personal summary, it’s important you read it aloud for any errors. While your application isn’t going to fail because of a grammatical mistake, it can hurt your credibility. If prospective employers can’t trust you with something as simple as grammar, it’s unlikely they’ll trust you with their business. 

Again, be prudent. Take the time to check your summary for any errors. Anything less than perfect simply won’t do. 

In Summary

We hope these tips help you learn how to write a personal summary that attracts potential clients. These tips are simple, but they are proven measures. 

Again, the benefit of a personal summary is that it gives applicants the opportunity to tell their stories. Make sure you tell a compelling and inspiring story by applying the things you learned here. Good luck with your job search!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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