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Stand out to your hiring panel with a personal value statement

September 1, 2022 - 13 min read

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What is a personal value statement?

Where to share your personal value statement

Finding the sweet spot

How to write a personal value statement

Personal value statement examples

Getting the job

You’re a strong job applicant. You have exceptional skills and this seems like a job you were born to do. But how do you capture a hiring manager’s attention? Start with a personal value statement.

Your personal value statement serves as a roadmap for potential employers that guides them through what’s most important to you and what you’re best at. Like any good set of directions, it shouldn’t be too long or wordy.

While distilling your best qualities down to a short statement sounds like a challenge, the process is actually much faster than writing a cover letter.

And we’re here to help. Read on to learn everything you need to know about personal value statements and look at examples to use as a template when writing your own.

 

What is a personal value statement?

A personal value statement is a short letter that outlines your career goals, skillset, and background to recruiters. Your goal with this document is to convey why and how you’re the best candidate for the job. 

A personal value proposition is your opportunity to explain your short-term and long-term goals, guiding principles, and values. How do you align with the company’s mission and add to its culture? Because it contains such vital information, your personal value statement should stand out on your resume or in your application package.

Use impactful but concise language and sprinkle in some action verbs. 

A personal value statement isn’t something every candidate thinks to include, so be sure to highlight the statement in your formatting so the recruiter can’t miss it.

Remember that statement isn’t the same thing as a cover letter. Instead of diving into the nitty-gritty of your experience and work history in a page or two, your personal value statement or proposition should only be a few paragraphs at most.

An effective statement is well-rounded. It doesn’t focus entirely on your skills or only on your life goals. If you’re stuck in the brainstorming phase, try to find someone you can talk to about your personal and professional values, like a mentor or loved one.

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Where to share your personal value statement

Your personal value statement can find a home in a few different places. Since these statements are usually short, ranging from a few sentences to a couple of paragraphs, you can incorporate yours in several spots throughout your hiring package and application. 

Not all of the information in your resume needs to be sentence fragments and bullet points. If your statement is only a few sentences, slip it into your resume in the summary or objective sections. Your LinkedIn profile is like a digital resume, so you could also include your personal value statement in your “About” section for the recruiters scrolling through your profile.

woman-working-on-her-resume-personal-value-statement

You can also use your statement during an interview. If the hiring panel asks, “Tell us a bit about yourself?” ground your response with your personal value statement. It’s a good jumping-off point to discuss your background and what you’d bring to the company. You can emphasize how your values align with the company’s mission and the job’s requirements.

Applying for a role that doesn’t require a cover letter? A robust personal value statement can be submitted in its place. Keep it to a few paragraphs and attach it as a separate document alongside your resume. Going above and beyond with a personal statement will make a positive impression on any recruiter reading through your package.

Finding the sweet spot

When writing your personal value statement, you need to strike the right balance between highlighting your skills, background, competencies, and work values — all without making your statement look jumbled. But coming up with positive self-descriptors can be difficult, especially if your mind is drawing a blank. 

This is where bolstering your self-knowledge comes in. Before you begin writing, take the time to ask yourself some questions to narrow down your purpose, mission, and vision for the role you’re applying for.

The type of questions you ask yourself matters. Studies have shown asking “why” questions can cause you to focus too much on problems and negativity, but “what” questions spark curiosity and motivation. Remember to approach these questions open-mindedly and invite yourself on a journey of self-discovery.

young-men-writing-a-cover-letter-personal-value-statement

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What do you offer this position and company?
  • What impact will you make on the team?
  • What motivates you to achieve your professional goals?
  • What personal goals support your career development?
  • What does this company need right now?

How to write a personal value statement

After asking yourself some personal questions, it’s time to put your answers into words. Here are six tips for writing your personal value statement:

1. Brainstorm your values and assets

Before you begin writing, take the time to contemplate your most in-demand skills, proudest accomplishments, and relevant work values. Which of your transferable skills would be the most useful to the company? What accomplishment of yours would wow the recruiter? Think these answers through and have them handy.

2. Be authentic

Nobody can speak to your personal values but you. Convey you’re comfortable being your authentic self to the hiring team. But remember: authenticity isn’t static, it’s constantly changing and developing. Acknowledging this demonstrates you have a growth mindset, which is an asset.

woman-thinking-and-writing-personal-value-statement

3. Stay present

You’re in the here and now. While a resume discusses your previous work experience, a personal value statement shouldn’t only dwell on the past. Use the present tense in your writing and emphasize your current skills and core values.

4. Keep it concise

Even if you’re opting for a letter format, your statement shouldn’t be a full page. A strong personal value proposition is between 50–250 words. Don’t be afraid to use bullet points to explain your points more succinctly.

5. Tailor it to the position

In your statement, there isn’t room to ramble. And don’t copy-paste. Be specific and tailor your strengths to the position you’re applying for. That way, you can address the skills and experience the recruiter seeks.

6. Use action verbs

Recruiters who see repeats of the same boring words and phrases won’t stay focused on your statement. To keep the reader engaged, use action words that pack a punch. Pair them with measurements of success. For example: “I directed a successful fundraising campaign that raised over $16,000.” Avoid clichés like “I’m a perfectionist” and “My biggest strength is organization.”

Personal value statement examples

It’s one thing to read about what a personal value statement should look like, but looking through examples is the best way to get inspired for your own statement. 

Whether you want your statement to be short and sweet or a few hundred words, example personal value statements will help you visualize the formatting and style. Remember: the length of your statement will depend on your needs.

If this replaces a cover letter, it needs to be lengthy and thorough. If you’re squeezing it into your resume, it should be brief and packed with information. Our example statements can serve as a template for you to customize or a source of inspiration.

Here are two personal value statement examples to guide you:

Short example

Working for a non-profit has always provided me with the most meaningful work, and (company name) is an organization I’ve long admired for its thoroughness, care, and dedication to the community.

Should you hire me, my years of experience as a communications director will help me carry out my duties in this role — and I’ll have the opportunity to learn new skills along the way. I’m a self-starter who’s always itching to brainstorm creative solutions, and I’d love to be part of your team.

man-smiling-while-working-personal-value-statement

Long example

Dear (recruiter),

The job description for (position) grabbed my attention as soon as I saw it, and I knew I needed to apply. As a management consultant with over eight years of experience, I’m comfortable breaking down information and charting new ways of interpreting research.

I also enjoy thinking outside of the box when it comes to problem-solving. Even if some of my ideas don’t work out on the first try, I see the process as a learning opportunity helping me get that much closer to solving the puzzle.

As a consultant at your firm, I’ll add the following to your team:

  • A positive and encouraging attitude
  • Strong collaboration skills with team members
  • Extensive experience in complex problem-solving
  • Expert knowledge of federal laws and regulations

You’re a new company that’s already making its mark on the industry. I admire your trailblazing, especially in environmental research. Your team will benefit from having a seasoned and experienced consultant onboard who can help you take your products to the next level.

I’d love to talk more about this position and how I plan to positively impact on your company.

Sincerely,

(Your name)

Getting the job

Now that you know how to write a personal value statement, you’re ready to add one to your hiring package to land your dream job. 

Self-promotion rarely feels natural, but you’ve put in years of hard work to be where you are. Your personal values are strong and guiding. Tell recruiters in your job search to show them why you’re the best fit for the role.

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Published September 1, 2022

Maggie Wooll

Managing Editor

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