Creating A Great CV Part 3: Your Professional Profile

You know your CV and the impact it makes is important to you getting invited for a job interview.

Sadly despite all of the hard work that you put into your CV, you have a very small window to get the interest of those who are making the decisions on who to interview.

I’ve heard various times mentioned in terms of how long your CV gets looked at and it appears that it’s somewhere between 6 and 30 seconds.

In other words a very short time.  In that time the document is going to be scanned rather than read.

Starting your CV with a strong persuasive professional profile is likely to increase your chances of getting the invitation to interview.

In my experience of working with clients this is the hardest part of the CV to write.  It’s the part of the CV that is likely to require a number of re-drafts.  It’s also the part of the CV that will need most tailoring for each role that you are interested.

You can think of your professional profile like an executive summary or a billboard advertisement.

In essence your professional profile has to do the following in about a quarter of a page:

Showcase your experience and highlights those areas where you have depth of experience.

Demonstrate what you have achieved in your career so far.  Chances are that the majority of people expressing an interest in a role will be able to show that they can do the job to a technically proficient level.  Your achievements by contrast demonstrate your track record.

Highlight your best skills and best attributes.  These are in essence your major areas of strength.

Shows why you are ideal for the role.  The closer the professional profile meets the profile of the person that the employer is seeking to appoint the better.  At the same time remember that if you make claims to have particular experience, skills or attributes you are going to have to be able to demonstrate these in job interviews.

In theory this sounds simple, in practice it is really tough.  So how can you make the process slightly easier?

Look back through your performance reviews.  These will help you to identify patterns or areas were you are consistently getting good feedback and are even seen as the “go to” person for a particular area of work.

Review the job advert, job description and person specification meticulously.  It’s filled with clues and insights into what the recruiter is really looking for.  Remember too that it’s rarely technical ability alone that makes someone great for a job.

Get some help and support to create or revise your professional profile.  It might be a career coach.  You might get a skilled media person to interview you about your career and then use that interview to pull out the most important points for your professional profile.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

Leave a Comment: