How to describe yourself in your CV

Andrew Fennell Andrew Fennell

When you submit your CV to a potential employer, you want it to speak volumes about your skills, qualifications and your personality. The problem is, describing yourself and letting your personality shine through on just one (or two) A4 pages can be tricky.

If this sounds like a familiar struggle, there’s good news! There are several things you can do to effectively describe yourself on your CV and boost your chances of landing your dream job – and we’re going to look at these below.

 

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Describe yourself in your CV profile

Sitting right at the top of your CV is your personal profile. Not only is this the first thing the recruiter will see, but it also offers you the perfect place to describe yourself.

 

How to describe yourself in CV

 

Your profile acts as an introduction; your elevator pitch, if you will, which is why it needs to grab the recruiter’s attention. It affords you the chance to highlight your key selling points and provide impressive facts and figures to back these up.

To describe yourself here…

  • Give readers the highlights: Talk about your most impressive high-level achievements, for example, what qualifications do you have? Or how long have you worked in your industry?
  • Sell yourself: Don’t be afraid to brag a little by using powerful verbs to describe your skills and expertise.
  • Describe the benefits of hiring you: More importantly than talking about yourself, is talking about how your work helps employers. For example, do you save them money? Boost profits? Or help them to improve services and products? This is what recruiters really want to know.

 

Example profiles

With so much riding on your personal profile, you want to get it right. Otherwise, you might find that your application is repeatedly passed over.

To help you create a powerful personal profile that effectively describes who you are and why you’re so great, we’ve pulled together a number of example profiles below:

 

Admin profile

Describe admin CV profile

 

This is an example of a great personal profile for several reasons. Firstly, by highlighting their key skills, which are relevant to the role this early on, they are helping the recruiter to quickly see that they are a good fit for the role. This is particularly important as they will scan over your CV in a matter of seconds. This is also a good technique in case your CV is going through an ATS or screening tool.

 

CV builder

 

Not only this but by talking about their fast-track promotions, they are able to show their professional growth. It also indicates that they are a dependable employee with a commitment to providing great work.

 

Customer service profile

Describe customer service profile

 

In this example, the writer leads with their experience and quantifies this in years to show the span of their impressive career in the customer service industry.

They also demonstrate that they are passionate about their career, in this case in technology and highlight the key skills that are relevant to the role throughout, which, as we know, quickly proves to recruiters that they are a good match for the position.

 

Student profile

Describe student CV profile

 

This student starts their profile strong by stating that they are bi-lingual, which is a highly sought-after skill in lots of professions.

They also talk about their extracurricular activities, which shows that they are proactively pursuing their personal passions, as well as doing all they can to bolster their knowledge in subject areas relevant to the role. This shows they are keen to learn, which is something employers are always looking for in an employee.

 

Describe yourself in your work experience

As well as your personal profile, your work experience section gives you another chance to describe yourself and showcase your best qualities.

Rather than simply listing your job title and employer, you have the chance to add context to your experience. You should use the following structure and to provide a pleasant reading experience and give recruiters all the information they are looking for.

 

Role description

 

Once again use facts and figures to increase the accuracy of your descriptions and highlight how you’ve added real value to past roles.

For example, rather than saying ‘managed the company’s social media accounts’, you could say ‘managed the company’s four key social media accounts, which led to a 66% increase in engagement and followers over six months’.

 

Power words to describe yourself

If you are struggling to describe yourself with impact, steal some of our power words from below to give your CV a boost.

 

Improved

Employers love to hire people who can make improvements to their team, business, products, systems or services etc.

Use this term to describe what positive impacts you have made for previous employers.

E.g.

“Improved the staff booking process by decreasing the amount of steps required to make a booking”

 

Reduced

Companies and organisations have limited resources, whether they are money, supplies, people, or anything else.

If you can reduce the waste of valuable resources, then you should be highlighting it in your CV.

E.g.

“Arranged new office supplies which reduced budget spend by 25% every month”

 

Coached

The ability to coach others is valuable in all lines of work, so try to include mentions of this key word in your CV, if you can.

E.g.

“Coached junior team members to improve their skills and increase work quality across team”

 

Developed

Good products and services start as ideas and then need to be developed by good people, to bring them to life.

Show your involvement in development wherever possible in your CV

E.g.

“Developed a new product feature which enabled users to decrease wastage by 20%”

 

Launched

Launching products and services is crucial for commercial businesses, so be sure to highlight your involvement in launches.

E.g.

“Launched 3 new products in year one and generated £900k in sales”

 

Accomplished

Accomplishments drive success, so be sure to show recruiters what you have achieved in your CV.

E.g.

“Led a major research project and accomplished a major discovery in the energy saving field”

 

CV builder

 

Trained

Training new staff is a crucial element of growing a business or team – showing instances where you have trained staff is always impressive.

E.g.

“Trained all new staff in the use of new IT systems and office processes.”

 

Influenced

The power of influence is a great way to drive productivity and results – if you are able to influence others and achieve positive outcomes, write about it in your CV

E.g

“Influencing colleagues to record more sales data by producing weekly “good news stories” emails”

 

Negotiated

Negotiation is a powerful tool in business, and not just for sales-people. Perhaps you have negotiated better terms from a supplier, or negotiated more budget from a stakeholder – any impressive negotiating you have done, is worth a mention in the CV.

E.g

“Negotiated longer payment terms with suppliers, freeing up short-term cash for other expenses”

 

Saved

Employers will always welcoming savings, whether they are financial savings, saving resources, or saving time. Use facts and figures to show any savings you have made in previous roles.

E.g.

“Saved 30 hours of writer resource time by introducing new article templates and guidance”

 

Leveraged

To leverage, means to “use something to it’s full advantage” – so use this phrase to give examples of your resourcefulness.

E.g.

“Leveraged existing customer relationships to gain referrals for new customers by launching referral reward scheme”

 

Secured

To secure something for an employer is an impressive feat. If you’ve secure anything for previous employers, whether it be business, data or exclusive rates, mention it in your CV.

E.g

“Secured top tier event venues for our marketing events for the next 3 years”

 

Liaised

Networking with colleagues, stakeholders, customers and suppliers can allow you to build strong relationships and generate better results from them.

E.g.

“Liaised with a number of large-account clients to discover more business needs and upsell services”

 

 

Delegated

If you are in a management position, you need to delegate tasks effectively, so that you can dedicate your time to high-value work.

E.g.

“Delegated admin tasks to junior staff, to allow senior team members more time for client management duties”