Writing an effective Professional Profile
The professional profile acts as an introduction to your CV. It should be placed after your contact details and before anything else in the CV. In the form of a short paragraph, in the first line you should position yourself in line with the roles you are applying for. This should then be followed by a few sentences on the personal qualities that make you good at what you do. Don’t fall back on recruitment clichés, say something original about yourself that will spark the interest of the reader.
A profile, not a summary
Your profile should be forward looking. It is about what you will bring to a future employer. There is a tendency with some job seekers to write a backward looking ‘summary’. This might include the number of years in employment. It might include the different industries worked in or different roles undertaken. All of this should already be in the career history. Do not repeat information unnecessarily and keep the profile looking ahead, not behind you.
Inject some personality into the CV
Some job seekers fall back on recruitment clichés such as being a ‘good communicator’, ‘highly organised’ or ‘works well equally within a team as on my own’. This looks like wallpaper to a recruiter. The profile is an opportunity to say something about the real you. Be genuine and original. Values and personal qualities are increasingly important to employers to ensure the right cultural fit.
Focus to your target roles in the first line
By positioning yourself clearly in the first sentence of your profile, for example, as a ‘tax accountant’ or ‘financial analyst’ you are going to get an immediate connection with the reader. Naturally, as the first line of the CV, you are going to ignite the readers interest as they will understand the relevance of your CV.
Keep it short
Keep your profile to a short paragraph of 4 to 5 lines. It purely acts as an introduction, and with less than 30 seconds spent reading a CV, you want the reader to quickly start focusing their attention on your career history and achievements. Whilst your profile is important in introducing you, that is its only function so don’t include any information on achievements relating to specific employments.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.
CV Writers are the official CV partner to ACCA Careers.