Other than your name and contact details, your profile is the most important part of your CV. If you can’t keep the recruiter/hiring manager’s attention in this section, you have lost them and they won’t read the rest of your CV, however fantastic it may be.
But how do you make your profile so engaging that they will want to read the rest of your CV?
Your profile is an overview for you to highlight your key skills and experience. Don’t waffle. Use short sentences. Make it easy for the reader to see who you are, what you can do and how you have previously contributed to business success in no more than 3-4 lines.
Use third person and be specific ie ‘Dedicated and driven Data Analyst with 10 years’ experience providing innovative analytics solutions that drive client decisions’.
And no need to use the word ‘profile’ as a title. It wastes space and is obvious. Instead, include a target job title so the reader can immediately see your level and role.
In the past, CV profiles were more concerned with highlighting your professional objective eg ‘Looking to develop my career to become Sales Director within 5 years.’ This is no longer necessary. Your profile is where you highlight who you are, what you have done and what you can offer.
Tailor your CV and your profile to the role that you are applying for. You’re not expected to rewrite the whole CV for each role, but as a minimum, you should tailor the profile and the ‘Areas of Expertise’ section with keywords, ie the top third of the first page. Think of this as the most important real estate on your document. A vital source for relevant keywords is the job ad for the role you are targeting.
Your profile needs to be relevant to the role you are applying for, so be sure to edit it accordingly. Sending out a generic CV to different companies for different roles demonstrates a lack of commitment and professionalism that will not get you anywhere.
Including your years of experience pitches you as junior/senior and highlighting your key expertise and achievements immediately helps the reader to see if you fit in the role. Include qualifications if relevant and not too long ago (ie within the last 5-8 years).
You may be shy and introverted, but your CV needs you to sell you at your professional best.
For example, ‘HR Manager with 15 years’ experience helping teams.’ may be true, but it doesn’t show you in the best possible light.
Whereas, ‘Creative HR Manager with 15 years’ experience delivering innovative solutions to enhance individual and team performance that contributes to business success.’ communicates the same information, but in a much more engaging way. Remember, the challenge is to keep the recruiter/hiring manager interested enough to want to continue reading the rest of your CV – and invite you for interview.
It may seem like a minor thing, but make sure your profile, like the rest of your CV, is spelt correctly. You’re lucky if a recruiter/hiring manager reads your profile at all, so if they see a spelling mistake, they won’t read on as it’s an indicator of a lack of professionalism and attention to detail. If spelling is not your strength, use a spellchecking tool or an app like Grammarly.
In addition to the 3-4 line profile, it can also be effective to add three bulletpoints to emphasise who you are and what you do in a different way. For example, ‘Inspiring leader who motivates individuals and teams to collaborate for shared business success’ or ‘Resourceful problem-solver who excels at delivering first-class customer service to drive the business agenda’.
So, there you go.
Use three bulletpoints in addition to your 3-4 line profile.
If you would like help on writing your profile or even your CV, have a look at my other blogposts or get in touch with me at Career & CV Therapy.