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Would it be good practice to include a personal statement letter along with you CV and cover letter ? How would a recruiter feel it ?

The purpose would be to highlight your motivations in relation with your cursus, and the way you see professionnal life. It differs from cover letter as cover letter puts in relation your interest for the company and your cursus.

  • I was going to try and edit but I realized I dont know what you mean by cursus – JasonJ Sep 13 '16 at 12:28
  • @JasonJ cursus is intented to mean what I've done previously. As for me, it"s mainly an academical thing. – Blue_Elephant Sep 13 '16 at 12:30
4

Would it be good practice to include a personal statement letter along with you CV and cover letter ?

No, it's wasted effort and potentially detrimental.

What would a hiring manager think about it?

Any of the following:

  • you aren't aware of hiring conventions
  • you are any combination of: old1, antiquated or out of touch
  • you can't follow instructions: most applications will tell you what they want: a cover letter and a resume, nothing else

Note that with all this, I don't even care what your "personal statement letter" is. If I'm hiring I want to see your resume and usually (though not always) I want to read a cover letter. I don't want a personal branding website, a portfolio that I didn't ask for, references that I didn't request, a gift, or anything else.

You say you want to "highlight your motivations in relation with your cursus, and the way you see professional life". I don't care. If I'm looking for a Java developer I want to see your resume to figure out what experience you have with it (at past jobs or in college). I want to know what interests you about the role and why you think you'd be a good fit, which I can read in your cover letter. The fact that you're applying to a full-time programming job in Java tells me that you want to continue your career in that role.

Send me your resume and a cover letter. I don't need anything else from you.

Will including this mean that I won't even look at your application? No. But this is a red flag for your application because it's something that excellent candidates simply don't do. You're associating yourself with a group of people who don't understand hiring conventions and that's a group that only rarely produces good employees. Graduates are somewhat of an exception to this as many don't know better, but even in that group following industry conventions will automatically put you in a separate category from the people who mail in a physical resume or call before being called.


1 - I'll clarify this since it's a controversial topic: it's not being old that's a problem when you're job searching, it's conforming to old stereotypes that you want to avoid. I don't have a problem hiring someone well into his fifties, I have a problem hiring someone who's too set in his ways to consider that he's going against conventions. Now I'm going to wonder if this person will struggle with new techniques or tools as well.

  • Suppose the person just graduated, would it be different ? Also, what are hiring conventions one should know about ? – Blue_Elephant Sep 13 '16 at 12:59
  • @Blue_Elephant See the last paragraph. As for hiring conventions, that would be a very broad question. It's basically "how things are done in hiring" which includes things like: check your application for typos, use a professional font, don't call unless you're called first and more. A lot of it is common sense that follows from typical workplace practices and it all boils down to being professional and considerate of others. Your best bet if this is all new to you may be to google "what not to do" when job searching or "how to apply for jobs", but remember to critically evaluate your sources. – Lilienthal Sep 13 '16 at 13:49
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This will depend a lot on country, it is definitely a more European/CV-centric thing to do, but it does seem similar to a Resume's Summary.

It is supposed to be a high-level summary of your professional skills and how they fit in with the Company, but particularly for the company. Not so much a self-aggrandizing blurb about how much of a consummate professional you are.

A quick Google search came up with a ton of resources like this one here: How To Write a Personal/Professional Statement In Your CV with the following example:

As a highly-motivated and results orientated manager within the luxury hotel sector, I have a proven track record of providing exemplary levels of service to a broad range of guests, including VIPs and high-profile individuals.

As for a recruiter? That is primarily opinion based and I couldn't tell you, I have hired and interviewed a decent amount of people throughout my career and I like to see a strong Summary statement in their Resume, whereas your cover letter will be a little more informal and personable.

  • So that an extensive resume summary in a separate document (what I've called personal statement in that case) wouldn't be appropriate ? – Blue_Elephant Sep 13 '16 at 12:32
  • @Blue_Elephant I do not think as a separate document, as it would technically belong IN your CV/Resume. The only exception to this rule I have noticed is online applications sometimes have an area where the Client/Employer wants you to write a little "tell me about yourself" blurb into it. Other than that, just the two are fine. And the summary/statement should be 150-200 words/a paragraph at the most - bit too small to even consider separating IMO – VaeInimicus Sep 13 '16 at 12:34
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As a hiring manager reading through hundreds of application for each job opening, I want only two things from each applicant:

  1. A cover letter (3 paragraphs) with a brief introduction and a summary of why you would be good for the job.

  2. A resume (2 pages) with work history highlighting relevant experience (not a skills grid!)

Anything more than that is wasted effort on your part, and is annoying to me as additional paperwork to manage. Particularly, 10 page resumes, but also additional supporting documents.

However, your personal motivation is relevant - and this can be included in your cover letter to support your statements about your suitability for the role. I like to see what you expect from a role - if you really enjoy building relevant solutions, then say so in a sentence in your cover letter.

You can also include a general career objective in your resume - but that can have less impact (and be careful that it does align with your job role). Particularly, if your career objective is something like to become a team leader, and you're applying to a single team house, then they might pass you over since they're not looking to promote anytime soon.

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