How to write a CV profile

Although your CV profile is the first thing a recruiter will see, it should be the last thing you write. Putting together your CV will already involve a process of distilling your years of experience into a few bullet points and some choice keywords. Make it easier for yourself by leaving this section until the final step and write your CV profile at the end, after you have fully considered your experience, qualifications and why you are applying for that particular role.

1. Check the job description

Review the list for the skills and experience you have that are the closest match to the company’s requirements. Then review your skills and experience and pare them down to the ones that you think will make a hiring manager want to read the rest of your CV more thoroughly. 

Some recruiters will use software that picks out the most relevant elements of your CV and analyses your suitability for the role based on how well they match a set of specific criteria. Although this won’t be the only screening method, consider using keywords from the job description as a guide to what the employer wants to see in an application.

2. Choose your words carefully

Your CV profile needs to be concise, so you can immediately cut any phrase that will appear on almost every CV a recruiter reads. You may consider yourself a great team player with excellent communication skills, but it’s not an objective assessment of your abilities, so include more specific information. For instance, you can state specific awards you’ve received or note sales statistics. 

You can also avoid referring to yourself in the first person as a way to keep your CV profile short and to the point. This can help you to focus on the results you get and the key information from your CV without getting repetitive. The recruiter knows that your CV is all about you, so avoid starting sentences with “I did” or “I have.” This will save space and allow you to focus on what you achieved and the method you used.

3. Keep it short

Space is at a premium on your CV, so you should try and keep your profile to three to five lines. When a hiring manager is skimming a CV, they are looking for a few key terms that will indicate your suitability for an interview. Consider the appeal of your profile paragraph as you write it, and break up sections that would otherwise form a large block of text using bullet points or sub-headings. Avoid overly wordy details and complex sentence structures, and stick with something short and clear instead.

What should I write in my CV profile?

Your CV profile can vary depending on your circumstances and the job you’re applying for, so here are some basic guidelines: 

There are many ways to structure your CV profile, but most of the information you want to include will answer one of the following questions:

Avoid using clichés, and try to include skills that make you unique rather than standard items like citing your punctuality or your strong work ethic. Although these are impressive qualities, you want to make your application stand out, so include the skills are most likely to set you apart from the other candidates.

Using action words in your CV profile can help you to sound confident and show the recruiter that you are someone who gets things done. Avoid using passive voice, as it can undermine your achievements. When you have worked hard for something, let a recruiter know how you did it and the results you achieved. 

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