How to Write a Prize-Winning CV Profile
Top Tips to Maximise the Impact of Your CV with a Powerful Profile
If constructed well, a CV profile can really give your CV the upper hand when it comes to standing out amongst a crowd. As you will know from our ‘The Art of a Fantastic CV’ blog, employers often spend no more than 10 seconds skimming through a CV so it’s important to grab their attention early on with a cracking profile!
The purpose of a CV profile
A profile or personal statement is essentially the blurb of your CV which you would normally position beneath your title and contact details. Its purpose is to introduce yourself concisely and effectively. Easier said than done?
True, a profile can demand a bit of creativity when it comes to squeezing everything into just one or two sentences but don’t let this turn you off. Here are the top tips from our team of experienced recruiters to help you kick-off your CV with a bang!
Short and Sweet – What to Include?
Don’t waffle! You only have a few lines for your profile so concisely summarise who you are, what you do currently, your main strengths/assets and what you’re looking for in terms of sector and position. Brevity is powerful so to avoid long, wordy sentences try constructing your profile around these 3 sections:
- Who you are – e.g. “A recent BSc Computer Science graduate from the University of Cambridge…”
- What you are looking for – e.g. “…seeking an entry level Java developer position within…”
- What you can offer – include some remarkable results, key skills or achievements e.g. “My experience across ‘X’, ‘X’ and ‘X’ has equipped me with a diverse range of skills including … and as a result I got my company shortlisted for a national award.”
Do not litter with Buzzwords
Trying to subtly intermingle a list of buzzwords that you think your employer is looking for will tell them nothing other than your skills at researching Google. Employers don’t need you to highlight buzzwords to them, they need you to PROVE how you’ve demonstrated such skills. For example, you may be “an excellent communicator with great tenacity and the confidence to lead”, but where’s the evidence? Instead, try “I have coached individuals through their professional development for three years as Company X’s .NET Desk Lead. I am now looking for an exciting senior opportunity in which I can excel as a tenacious, cooperative Team Leader.”
Utilise the Job Specification!
The job specification will be particularly useful when constructing the ‘What I can offer’ section of your profile as it clearly outlines what your potential employer is looking for from your CV. Tailoring this section by including your most relevant experience will go a long way and allow the reader to see that you have the skills they’re looking, after reading just your first paragraph.
Tell Them What You’re Looking For
If you know the type of role you want – tell them! It’s much more refreshing to see someone with direction and it will only make it easier for a recruiter to find you your perfect role. You don’t have to be subtle, be explicit; e.g. “I’m looking for a senior position within the .NET market, in particular, either a Team Lead or Project Manager position.”
- Make it fun – you want your personality to come across here
- Be purposeful – make sure every sentence you write is conveying a point or a purpose
- Proof read – we cannot stress this enough, too many CVs get thrown aside simply because they are poorly written. If you’ve got great skills, don’t let your grammar let you down. Have a grammar-savvy friend check it for you.
- Mix tenses – 1st or 3rd person, pick one! (We always recommend 1st person)
- Be generic – you’re trying to stand out not blend in. Stay away from generic phrases like “I’m passionate/ambitious”
We’re always happy to help you boost your CV with a few simple tips and tricks, so check out our sister guide to The Art of a Fantastic CV or simply pick up the phone and have a chat with one of our team. Just call 0117 4280600 now!