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CV personal profile: How to write yours
When writing your CV, there is often some confusion surrounding the CV personal profile, also called an executive summary or personal statement, and whether or not to include one. While they are not a mandatory must-have on a CV, they provide a quick overview of your abilities and suitability for a position, ideal for the busy recruiter or employer sorting through hundreds of applications.
However, writing the short personal profile at the top of a CV can prove to be quite difficult. The CV personal statement, or profile, is the first thing that will be read by potential employers and recruiters alike, so it’s important to take the time to create a concise yet well-written introduction to your qualifications, skills and experience.
The statement must be a brief snapshot of you as a professional. While it should only be a few lines long to summarise your CV and what you can offer the employer, it must also be unique to your skill set and tailored specifically to the role you are applying for.
Having spent over four decades working with individuals to create stand out CVs and reading through countless personal statements, we have developed top tips to help you write the perfect personal profile.
Top tips for writing a CV personal profile
1.Tailor it to the specific role
It’s unlikely that every role you apply for will be looking to hire a professional with exactly the same skills and experience. As a snapshot of your professional experience and suitability for the position, only the most relevant aspects of your CV should be highlighted in your personal statement.
2. Keep it brief
While there is no definitive number of words that this should be, your CV should be no longer than two pages, which means just a few sentences or a short paragraph to introduce yourself is plenty. It should be hard-hitting and get straight to the point, referring to your academic achievements and the industries you have worked within.
3. Focus on professional experience
You do not need to describe yourself as a person or what your long-term career aspirations are. Highlight your professional achievements and goals. Avoid using unnecessary adjectives such as ambitious, forward-thinker etc. as this will only distract from the core capabilities you should be aiming to showcase.
There are five key points you should aim to address in your personal statement: your academic profile and qualifications, the relevant industries you’ve worked in, the products and processes you’ve worked with that may cross over and the key job titles you have held. Information outside of these areas should be left out.
4. Use facts and figures
To ensure your profile isn’t just a paragraph of empty claims, be sure to back up your statement with facts and figures. Include your university grades, the amount of years’ experience within your area of expertise and any impressive results related to past projects.
Just like you should ensure your CV and cover letter are error-free and easy to read, your personal statement should also be properly edited, clear and have no spelling or grammar mistakes.
Overall your personal statement should be a unique reflection of your career to date. It should aim to tell the recruiter who you are, what you have to offer and what you are looking for. Depending on the stage you’re at within your career, the objective of your statement may differ. If you have recently graduated, you might be looking for an entry-level position or an internship. If you have taken time off for a career break, then you might be looking to get back into the industry or trying something new. If it isn’t clear what you want or what you can bring to the table, you might very well be overlooked.
“Having recently graduated from the University of London with a 2:1 degree in marketing, I have completed several internships within the retail and fashion industries. I developed a keen eye for detail whilst assisting in the production of global marketing campaigns. I excel in digital design and have received three student awards for my work since beginning freelance projects in 2014.”
“As a senior operations professional with over 10 years’ experience, I have worked within the manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, marine and commercial markets within leading-edge organisations. I am highly qualified and skilled in change management, lean manufacturing, continuous improvement, operational improvement and QCD quality cost delivery.”
There is no ‘one size fits all’ personal profile. No two statements should be the same and you should ensure you take the time to make it as unique and impactful as possible, to ensure you stand out.
For tailored advice on your CV or personal statement, please get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.