CVs & Cover Letters

What Is a Personal Profile on Your CV?

May 12, 2021

When you're sending out your CV, it's important that it's as strong as it can be. One way to improve your CV is to add a personal profile. It's a great way to get the hiring managers attention and summarise your CV to make it easier for them to choose you. It also lets you control the narrative and highlight the skills you want them to see. In this article, we discuss what a personal profile is, the benefits of adding one, how to write a personal profile, some tips for writing and give examples of a personal profile.

What is a personal profile?

A personal profile is a small section of your CV that acts as an introduction to you and your skills. It acts as a summary of your strengths, accomplishments, professional goals and experience. A strong personal profile on your CV can increase your chances of getting an interview. A personal profile can be the first impression a hiring manager gets of you, your personality and your work ethic. Having a personal profile at the top of your CV gives them an understanding of who you are and lets them decide if you're the type of candidate they want to hire.

There is a variety of ways to use a personal profile. You can choose which aspects you want to focus on. For example, if you are going for a high-level position, you can use the personal profile to emphasise the experience and skills you will bring to your new role.

Benefits of a personal profile

The main benefit of having a personal profile at the top of your CV is that it allows the hiring manager to quickly assess you as a candidate. Hiring managers often have a lot of CVs to look at, so your personal profile is a quick way for them to assess you. It gives you a chance to capture their attention and leave a great first impression. It's beneficial to have a personal profile because it gives the hiring manager a sense of who you are and adds more of your personality to your CV.

What should a personal profile include?

There is no fixed format for a personal profile. However, using a standard short two to three paragraphs will work well in most cases. The vital part of the personal profile is the information that you put into it. Your first paragraph should describe where you are in your career, along with your education and qualifications. Be sure that the qualifications you list are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Your second paragraph is to highlight any specific achievements you have. Use the last line in this paragraph to tie it in with the position you are applying for. Add a reference to the direction you want your career to go and how it will further that for you.

Your last paragraph can invite them to continue reading your CV to see your other skills not mentioned in the personal profile.

How to write a personal profile

Before you get into the information to put into the personal profile, there are a few decisions to make. Choosing which style you are going to use is essential. For example, if you use the first-person but then later one refer to yourself in the third person, it will show the employer that you are not consistent.

A personal profile should be no longer than six to ten lines long, with each paragraph being two or three lines each. It doesn't need to be long to convey essential information. It allows you to take over the CV's narrative and direct the reader to your most desirable skills.

Here are the steps you need to follow to write a great personal profile:

1. Describe yourself

2. Education and qualifications

3. Skills and abilities

4. Career goals

1. Describe yourself

This is not a personal description but a professional one. This section explains where you are in your career or, if you are unemployed, mentions your most recent job. If you are a recent graduate, specify your degree here instead.

2. Education and qualifications

Many positions will have specific educational requirements. Mentioning your education and qualifications early on will save them having to search for your degree and qualifications. It will also let them know that you meet the educational requirements for the role.

3. Skills and abilities

Next, focus on the skills and attributes you think are most relevant to the position. Be sure to use action verbs to make your profile stand out. Action verbs are an effective use of language and can help increase your chances of leaving a good impression on the hiring manager. Treat this like the first interview and mention your strengths.

4. Career goals

Companies are always looking for a long term employee. Let them know what your career goals are and how you would like to advance. Tie them in with the position you are applying for so that you make the connection for them.

Tips on how to write a personal profile

Now that you have the basics of writing a personal profile, there are a few things to remember when writing one. Here are some tips when you are writing a personal profile for your CV:

Keep it short

A personal profile shouldn't be too long. You only need a few sentences in each paragraph to highlight how you will be an ideal fit for the role. Be as concise as you can without weakening the impact of any necessary details.

Tailor it each time

For every job you apply for, your personal profile should reflect the specific role. Certain parts won't change, such as your education or your position in your career, but it is best to tweak it each time. That way, the employer knows that you took the time to tailor your CV to them.

Professional formatting

You want your personal profile to stand out yet still be professional. Fonts such as Times New Roman, Calibri, and Arial are typical for official documents. Use either italics or bold when writing your personal profile to emphasise specific points. It will draw the eyes and help you highlight key details

Edit it down

When you write your personal profile, don't focus on anything besides putting down what you feel is necessary. Once you have it written down, edit it. If you can use two sentences to explain something, rather than four, then re-word them and cut it down. Eventually, you will get it down to the perfect size. Then you can add your formatting.

Do's and don'ts of writing a personal profile

Here is a small checklist of do's and don'ts to use when checking over your personal profile. These will help keep you on track to writing an impressive personal profile.

Do

  • Get straight to the point
  • Provide evidence of your skills
  • Make the statement purposeful
  • Read it out loud to make sure it flows well
  • Mention the job specification in your statement
  • Proofread for grammar and spelling

Don'ts

  • Overuse buzz words
  • Mix the grammatical person; use the first or third person, never both
  • Copy from your cover letter

Personal profile examples

Each personal profile will be different, but the formatting will stay the same. Here are a few examples of content from a personal profile to help you develop your own:

  • Confident and highly organised with 15+ years as an administrative professional. Graduating from UCD with a degree in business and qualifications in administrative work, reception environments, and rapidly assimilating and learning processes applicable to in-house operations.
  • With a friendly and approachable persona, I can advise on data collection and presentation. With my passion for technology, I can set up and maintain records and critical information.
  • Irish language-loving graduate of Saint Pats looking for a job teaching adults the Irish language to put my skills to use. My MA in Irish has given me a deeper understanding of the language, and my out-going personality helps me give lessons that are both informative and fun.
  • Software Engineer with six years of experience looking to establish a long term career in your organisation. Core skills include code writing, game development and creating network systems. I'd like to bring my abilities to this role to further my career while advancing your engineering department.

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