Guest Blog - CV Library: How to write a snappy CV profile
You may have found putting together the employment history and education sections of your CV an absolute doddle.
However, now you’re faced with writing a snappy CV profile that effectively markets your abilities from the very beginning.
While this section is daunting, it’s easy to write if you break it down into three simple parts.
Here are our top tips on writing a stand-out CV profile.
What is a CV profile?
A CV profile has various names, such as personal profile, personal statement and professional profile, but they all point to the same thing.
A CV profile sits right at the top of your CV, just underneath your name and contact details, and is a short introduction to who you are, your skills and your career goals.
Most experts would encourage you to include a profile as it’s the opportunity to tell the recruiter what you’re all about as soon as they pick up your CV. However, profiles aren’t essential and you may find the space would be better dedicated to other key sections in your CV.
Profiles are only a few lines long, therefore they need to be as punchy and persuasive as possible.
Here’s exactly how to write one.
How to structure it
In your CV profile you should cover three main areas:
- Who you are and what you do
- The skills you can offer
- Your career goals
Who you are and what you do
The first line should be an introduction to your professional status. For example:
- “A digital marketing professional with over 5 years’ experience, specialising in SEO.”
It’s important to tailor this first line to the job you’re applying to as much as possible. This will help show the recruiter that you’re suitable for the job.
If you’re unemployed, have been made redundant, or are experiencing a career break, lead with your most valuable experience that makes you a professional. After all, your personal statement is about selling yourself. For example:
- “An ambitious sales professional with 10 years’ experience in the automotive industry, currently looking to resume a position in…”
- “A highly-skilled and experienced retail manager looking to progress into…”
The skills you can offer
The next part is your chance to concisely say what you can offer the company and why you’re a great fit for this vacancy.
To seriously impress the employer, target your skills towards the job description, and try to support your claims with specifics and numbers where possible. This will add weight to your abilities. For example, if the vacancy requires someone who has a 2:1 degree or above in mechanical engineering and you have this, say so.
This line obviously needs to be as punchy and impactful as possible to convince the recruiter to keep reading your CV. Therefore, it can be tempting to heavily bolster your skills with a range of buzzwords, such as “extensive experience”, “extremely motivated” and “proven track record”. It’s OK to use a few buzzwords here and there, but don’t go overboard.
Here are some neat examples:
- “A knowledgeable and practised developer, specialising in a range of programming and operating systems including…”
- “My 5 years’ experience within the industry and excellent communications skills have developed my professional network, resulting in continued press coverage, averaging at 200 clippings monthly.”
Your career goals
The final part of your CV profile should highlight what your career goals and ambitions are, whether that be for the long or short-term. Recruiters are generally interested in where you want to head because it will give them a good idea of how well you’ll fit in with the company and how long you’ll last.
If you have experienced a career break of some description, this line is an opportunity to address it. Just remember to focus on the positives over the negatives.
Here are some examples:
- “I am looking for a new opportunity in senior retail management within a fast-paced and friendly workplace, where I can utilise my valuable industry experience.”
- “Looking to re-establish an exciting career full-time in aggregates manufacturing after taking a short career-break to care for a family member.”
And that’s all there is to it!
When approaching your CV profile, simply break it down into these three sections to make it easier to handle. As you write, bear in mind that recruiters don’t want to read waffle; they want a clean and concise overview of what you’re all about. Do this effectively, and you will have created a great first impression and prompted them to continue reading your CV.
Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.