What is a personal profile?
A personal profile statement is a critical part of your CV, if only because it nearly always appears immediately beneath your contact details and is the first thing a recruiter will read. A personal profile is quite simply a brief (up to six lines in one paragraph, no more than one hundred words) snapshot of you; so a good profile will portray the type of person you are, your attributes, skills, experience and qualities and possibly your current career objective.
Why does my CV need a personal profile?
A well-written and nicely presented profile deserves to catch the eye of a recruiter and entice them to continue reading. Personal profiles are particularly important when competition for a job is high, a good profile has the potential to be the sole determinant in your CV being shortlisted for interview if a human being is responsible for the process. Likewise, you need to factor in job specification keywords when writing your profile in order to accommodate the possibility of a recruiter relying on applicant tracking software to whittle down numbers.
Can I write a generic personal profile and use it every time I apply for a job?
Ideally you should tailor your profile for each employer and role, highlighting the areas of experience most relevant to the respective job specification and ensuring your career objective corresponds with the role on offer. Tailoring your profile does not mean tearing it up and writing it again, it is likely that only a line or a few words will require editing.
Of course there are bound to be occasions when you simply cannot tailor your profile, e.g. when you post your CV to a job site like Indeed. The best you can do is drive your profile towards a typical example of the type of job or organisation you are targeting.
What should a good personal profile look like?
This profile ticks a lot of boxes:
- Contains a clear header
- Well-written and delivered in a third person tense
- Less than one hundred words
- Clearly defines credentials and experience
- Clearly defines personal and professional attributes
- Clearly defines current career objective
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