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Writing a professional profile for your CV

Who are you in less than 100 words?

I always start a CV with a professional profile which describes who my client is, what they bring and how they do it. It's really important to get this right: it's the first section your recruiter or hiring manager reads (or skims in a just couple of seconds!) and it will determine whether they read more. If written well, your profile should introduce you, spark curiosity and set the right tone.

So how do you get this right?

This is the section where a professional CV writer should best demonstrate their craft, framing you objectively and helping you to avoid clichés. For many of my clients it's the part that really makes an impact when they read their new CV for the first time, and it is also the part of a CV I most enjoy writing: my challenge is to distill an individual's professional essence into one short paragraph after our one hour consultation!

If you're giving this a go, here are some of my tips:

Purpose: your profile is about selling yourself and what you uniquely bring, so don't focus on what you want or title it as "my career objective"; think of it as your sales pitch to the employer and write about what you can contribute to their organisation.

Length: keep it to a maximum of 6/7 lines, and definitely under 100 words; big blocks of text can be off-putting and take up too high a proportion of your all-important first page.

Style: although it might sound quite formal, you should write in the third person and avoid "I": say "a professionally accredited operations manager" rather than "I am a professionally accredited operations manager". You can give a more conversational outline of yourself using "I" in your cover letter if you need to.

Content: break this down into who you are, what you offer and how you do it. Keep it recent, aligned with the job description and avoid general buzzwords like "hardworking" and "enthusiastic". Say where your expertise lies, what industry your experience is in and the key skills you offer, backing this up with evidence.

Keywords: tailoring your CV for each role to which you apply is vital to a successful job search and your profile section is particularly important for this. Make sure you read the job description, identify what sort of person the employer is looking for and adopt these keywords into your profile.

Some helpful phrases to introduce your skills include: demonstrates, possesses, offers, applies, able to, with expertise in, specialises in...

Finally, proofread. Microsoft Word has a great 'Read Aloud' feature in the Review section and hearing your profile being spoken out loud, albeit by a bot, can be a really helpful way to listen to it more objectively and as your reader would. I always use this when I'm writing and it helps me to pick up errors that I might miss by scanning with my eyes!

Good luck! If you'd like me to do this for you please get in touch to find out more about my professional CV writing services.

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