The career profile is probably the most challenging section to write on your CV. It’s a very important introduction to who you are in the workplace. If it doesn’t immediately grab the reader’s attention or fit the job it’s likely to go into the “No” pile.
It’s got to satisfy the reader you can do the job. They also want to know you have the right characteristics to fit the company culture. It’s a lot to get across in a few sentences. So you’ll need to decide what message you are trying to convey.
What is the career profile?
The career profile is the first paragraph on your CV. It’s approximately 5 to 6 sentences describing you in the workplace to the reader.
In my opinion, it’s better to write in the third person – see examples below. If you write in the third person then you can write concisely. Every sentence should start with a different and powerful word.
Grab their attention
The first sentence must be powerful, relevant and concise. There’s a lot of pressure on the first sentence. It’s got to give the reader an idea of who you are in the workplace.
The first sentence needs to describe your key characteristics. Who are you in the workplace?
It must include what you bring to the role that’s relevant. A well-written profile will entice the person to read the rest of your CV.
- Job Title: Ensure this is a meaningful title
- Characteristics: Select your highest and most relevant values
- Key and relevant experience and skills: Focus on the most relevant for the job as you only have a few sentences
Career profile examples:
- A highly professional and personable Management Accountant with in-depth commercial experience and knowledge in the Financial Service Sector.
- An energetic and enthusiastic Personal Fitness Instructor with experience and knowledge of weight loss and control and a Qualified Nutritionist.
- Qualified Prince2 Project Manager with extensive experience and knowledge within the construction industry and NEBOSH certified.
- A dedicated and committed Customer Services Manager with several years experiences within Retail.
Applicant Tracking System ATS
Most CVs these days will go through the companies Applicant Tracking System (ATS). If you apply online it’s often going into this ATS. Your CV is initially likely to be screened in or out by keywords.
The recruiter or hiring manager will type in some keywords (criteria for the job) and let the system filter in the candidates that match the essential requirements for the job.
However, at some point, your CV will be read by a human and that’s why it’s important to please both.
If you’d like to know how to cheat the Applicant Tracking Systems, click here!
Here are some suggested topics for the sentences that make up the career profile:
1. Characteristics, job title and industry or sector
2. Experience, give some flavour of what type of experience you bring
3. Key strengths and skills with a little detail
4. Specialist knowledge or professional membership
5. Career aspiration or next move
Tailor your career profile
There’s often a misunderstanding that tailoring your CV is only concerned with the main content – career history etc. However, you need to tailor the whole document to match the requirements and the level of the job.
You may need to change the order or expand or reduce some of the experiences depending on the criteria of the job.
Visit my YouTube Channel for more information: How to write a powerful CV.
- How to start a new career at 50 - 18th February 2021
- How to use LinkedIn if you’re a student - 29th December 2020
- 5 Reasons to include a Cover Email - 21st December 2020
- The Best Exit Interview Questions - 18th December 2020
- How to write a LinkedIn summary with no work experience - 15th December 2020
- Reverse chronological or Functional CV? - 7th December 2020
- How to handle a Public Sector Interview - 5th December 2020
- How to start your CV from scratch - 27th November 2020
- What is the role of HR professionals during a crisis? - 26th November 2020
- 5 Mistakes to Avoid on Telephone Interviews - 9th November 2020