Bear in mind that you won’t be presenting your CV in person; it will go ahead in lieu of you. Therefore, you need it to shout about you when you can’t be there to toot your own trumpet.

The personal profile section on your CV is the ideal place to demonstrate what a great candidate you are. If used strategically, it can enhance the other sections of your CV too.

Use your personal profile section to quickly and efficiently tell the reader what it is that makes you the ideal candidate for this role. This is your one chance to make an impressive first impression.

This will be the hardest section of your CV to write because it has to be specific to each and every job that you apply for. Whilst your experience remains the same, the parts of it that you want to draw the reader’s attention to. This is to demonstrate your suitability for their job, will differ with each rewrite.

How do you make your personal profile section outstanding? We have five steps that you need to follow.

Keep it short and sharp, brevity is the key

Your profile needs to be concise to ensure it’s effective. You have limited space to sell yourself, so use it wisely. A block of text looks impenetrable, so readers tend to skip over it. You want yours to engage with it. If you can’t get your key messages across to the reader in 3-5 lines or less, you need to have a rethink.

Always write in the third person

Third person is punchy and avoids unnecessary pronouns. It also allows you to keep your sentences short and to the point. By starting with a verb, you clearly state that you did something effectively in the past, which is worth highlighting now.

Don’t just describe yourself, sell yourself

You have precisely as long as it takes for the recruiter to skim through your personal profile section to impress them enough, so they want to read the rest of your CV. Make it worth their while. Don’t use the same tired phrases as everyone else, be creative. You are unique, as is your experience and work history, so use it to your advantage.

Avoid overused words and clichés

Describing yourself as a team player or motivated, is redundant. It makes you appear as if you have nothing worth saying, and besides, employers take these things for granted in employees.

Instead use the space to highlight your past achievements. Employers want to know what you did and what benefit it brought to your last company, so that they know what to expect from your for their company.

Quote impressive facts

Caveat: as long as you did them, and they’re relevant, and you can quantify them with evidence. Tell the reader, in as few words as possible, what it was that you did and the impact it made i.e. did you increase sales, reduce costs, save time, add value somehow? Get the recruiter excited and want to find out more.

Spell out the benefits you will provide to potential employers if they hire you:

  • You increased sales – by how much?
  • You’ve worked for a big name city firm – name drop it.
  • You’ve generated sales – what was their value?

Don’t crowbar information in for the sake of it though. Make sure it fits with your narrative and that it’s something an employer would be looking for in a candidate.

Finally, keep it focussed, free of showy, unnecessary adjectives and make sure it is targeted to the specific employer whose job you are applying for. Remember to ensure you provide evidence for all claims you make. Link the achievements you described in your personal profile section to examples later on in the rest of your killer CV’s body.

About the author: CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job board. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.

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