How to write a great personal profile
When I receive an CV enquiry I always ask the person to email me a copy of their current CV along with links to the types of jobs they’re looking for so I can see if their CV matches what their potential employer wants. I rarely see a decent CV but, without a shadow of a doubt, the shonkiest section is always their Personal Profile. It’s actually a really hard section to write… so how do you write a good one?
Here’s how the whole getting-a-job thing works:
- Your covering letter is so good someone bothers to read your CV
- They immediately read your Personal Profile which outlines your incredible value to a company and is interesting enough for them to bother reading down to your Key Skills/Skills Summary section
- Your Skills Summary section outlines your most important skills, they match the job you’re applying for, and the recruiter bothers to read page two of your CV
- Satisfied that you meet their requirements, the recruiter (or more likely an assistant) puts your CV in the ‘people my boss might want t0 interview because their CV is easy to read and matches what we asked for’ pile
- The person who might hire you then properly reads your CV and asks you to come in for an interview
Without giving all my tricks away (that’s what I get paid for remember!) here are some tips to help you get a better understanding of how to write a personal profile so a recruiter will even bother to read the rest of your CV.
3 tips on writing a great personal profile
1) Don’t write generic nonsense - a profile should be a factual statement about what you can do and not just about your personality. Sure, you can say “I’m an energetic Events Manager” but don’t go on about how you’re ‘hard working and reliable’ because everyone says that and that’s just your opinion of yourself. Your CV should then contain supporting evidence of whatever you’ve just claimed in your profile.
2) Write the profile last - write your career history backwards. By the time you”ve finished writing your Career History then listing your Key Skills, you’ll have a much better idea of what you do best, what your USP is, what your career has been focused on actually doing and therefore what your value is. Your profile should then be quite easy to write as it’s simply a summary of the things you do best.
3) It’s a nutshell – your personal profile is a summary statement of what you do, how you do it, and to what result – so a good example would be: “I’m an award-winning Senior Sales Executive with over 12 years key account handling experience in the auto industry. A persuasive negotiator with excellent communication skills, I have a proven track-record of combining a strong product knowledge with exceptional levels of service to maximise opportunities and drive sales in a competitive target-based environment.”
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