CV Structure Part 2: Writing a compelling professional profile

Content CV guide 2

CV Structure Part 2: Writing a compelling professional profile

The positioning statement

The professional profile will usually go at the top of the first page of your CV just under the contact details. The profile acts as your introduction to the reader. The profile should position you in line with your target jobs. It should be a forward looking statement not a ‘summary’ of experience. It is about telling the reader about the expertise and skills you will bring to help you succeed in the role being applied for.

The first sentence

Position yourself in line with the job you are applying for in the first sentence. Describing yourself as a versatile ‘financial controller’ or ‘chief finance officer’ early on will grab the attention of the reader, help them see the relevance of your CV and read on with enthusiasm.

Keep it to a short paragraph of 4 or 5 lines

The whole profile should be in the form of a cohesive short paragraph of 4 to 5 lines in length. After positioning yourself in the first line, describe the scope of your expertise and your individual strengths. Include the personal qualities you bring. You want to give an insight into the qualities that will enable you to succeed in the job. So, align the skills to the role but be authentic to yourself.  Do not write generic recruitment phrases like ‘work equally well on my own or in a team’. This looks like wallpaper to recruiters.

Tailor your professional profile for different roles

You should adapt the profile for different roles. Shaping the profile each time you apply for a different role is going to give you that extra engagement that might just make the difference. This could be simply swapping the target job title – for instance from ‘financial controller’ to ‘finance manager’. Or it might need to be substantially re-written for a different type of job requiring different skills.  

Helpful hint: Include a tagline for further positioning and engagement

A tagline can sit in large prominent letters just under your name. This should mirror the target job title you are applying for. If you can use the same words and phrases an employer is looking for the reader will immediately connect with your CV.

This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.

CV Writers are the official CV partner to ACCA Careers.

In addition to a CV writing service they can help with careers counselling, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters and interview coaching. You can get things started with a Free CV Review.

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