How To Write A Killer CV Profile

December 07 2014 , 2 Comments

How to write a killer  CV profile

The profile is a crucial element of any CV

Being at the very top of your CV, it is the first element that an employer or recruiter will look at.  

If they are not impressed, they will not be compelled to read the rest of your CV; and may skip straight on to the next CV in their inbox.

 

Keep it short and sharp

Employers and recruiters are busy people and you’ve got a limited amount of their attention to reel them in with your profile.  

Make your profile a 3-5 line paragraph that highlights all of your high level experience, skills and knowledge without going into too much detail.

Profile on CV

 

Download free CV Template

 

Sell yourself

You need to sell yourself in your profile to get the reader interested in you initially.

Don't just describe yourself plainly like this;

“Retail Marketing Manager with 3 years experience”

Be creative and excite the reader by adding some persuasive terminology like the below.

“Expert Marketing Manager with a proven track record in driving consistent sales in the highly competitive retail industry”

If you can excite recruiters as soon as they open your CV, you will create a strong first impression and stand a much better chance of being shortlisted for roles.

 

Quote impressive facts

CV Facts

Employers love to see proof of your worth with facts, figures and stats.

Quantifying your value with figures shows employers how they can specifically benefit from hiring you. 

Perhaps you’re currently in charge of a multimillion pound budget?

Perhaps you've just graduated with a 2:1?

Perhaps you’ve worked exclusively for tier 1 banks?

Perhaps you’ve generated over £500k in sales this year?

The facts you use will differ depending on your industry and experience level but you should be able to include one or two.

Try to drop some figures like this in but don’t crowbar them… they should fit the narrative.

Think of what might impress an employer that was looking to hire somebody with your skill set.

 

Tailor for your CV audience

Remember the job your applying for and only include relevant information to that role in your profile because that’s what recruiters will be scanning for.

You may well have previously been a professional football player 10 years ago – but there's no need to mention that when applying for customer service jobs.

Browse through relevant job adverts to find out exactly what skills and knowledge your target employers are looking for - then pick out your most relevant attributes and make them prominent in your CV profile.

 

Download free CV Template

 

Don’t use generic CV clichés

CV Cliches

CV clichés or buzzwords are common phrases that are usually used to describe soft skills - see the examples below;

"Hard working team player"

"results driven thought leader"

"Strong communicator"

The problem with cliché phrases like these is that they are very generic and don't tell the reader any specific about you without facts to back them up.

Focus on facts like skills experience and knowledge when crafting your CV profile.

Check out my full CV writing guide for more advice on writing your CV profile and avoiding buzzwords.

 

Example CV profiles

Check out the example CV profiles below for some inspiration in writing your own.

Office Administrator CV Profile

CV Profile office manager

 

IT Project Manager CV Profile

CV Profile of IT project Manager

 

Social Media Manager CV Profile

CV Profile Social Media Manager

Check out some more effective CV profiles on our example CV page

Hopefully the advice and examples above should arm you with enough knowledge to write an effective CV profile to kick start your CV.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have about CV profile writing below in the comments section.

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Comments

Andrew on February 03 2016 at 02:01PM

Hi Meg

A better way of demonstrating your ability to work within a team is to outline your position within your employer’s organisation and show how your work feeds into their goals and actually give real life examples of your team work. Also show the kinds of people you work alongside such as customers, colleagues, suppliers and stakeholders – and how you interact with them.

I’ve actually written an article on buzzwords and how to avoid them that will be published via the Guardian soon. We will be posting on our social channels soon so watch out for it.

Thanks

Andrew

meg on February 02 2016 at 04:43PM

Hi Andrew, I found this site through a recent Guardian Q&A, and have found a lot of useful info.

Just a question regarding the above article. I understand you should avoid clichés like ‘works well in a team and individually’, but I always struggle with expressing this in my profile or cover letter – these are usually the key competencies that recruiters ask for in roles I apply for.

Do you have any suggestions for a succinct, less clichéd way to highlight these skills? (I have a lot of mixed experience so my CV tends to be skills-based). Thanks.

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