On a CV after your personal details, the first section a recruiter or potential employer is going to see is your professional profile. What you say and how you present what you have to offer can be the difference between progressing to the next stage or being immediately rejected.
You might be wondering why your professional profile is so important. There are a number of reasons. I have already mentioned that it is the first thing a potential employer sees. Another reason why it is so important is that those reviewing your CV usually have a lot of applicants and limited time to go through them. It is also your chance to show right up front that you can present you and what you have to offer effectively.
And there are often some common mistakes candidates make when writing their professional profile. Sometimes it is way too bland and is just a series of words. At the other extreme it is just so over the top that it seems unbelievable, even if it is completely justified.
So how should you approach writing your professional profile?
Before you think about typing or writing anything, you have to do the groundwork. The first area you should focus on is in identifying your best skills. Next you want to identify your best attributes or qualities. Thirdly you want to by identifying your biggest achievements so far in your career.
If you have done these three things you will be ahead of the majority of people. However, that’s only partially completing the groundwork. The best candidates will go to the next level and find specific examples for each of their skills, attributes and achievements.
Of course finding specific examples to support your skills, attributes and achievements is going to take a lot of work. And perhaps that’s why the vast majority of candidates won’t go that extra step. It will however give you the edge when it comes to writing and also in the job interview if you make it to the next stage.
At this stage you will have done the groundwork to showcase you. However there is still much more to do. You need to be sure that what you present meets the requirements of the employer or recruiter.
By studying the job description, person specification and researching the organisation, you can get some real insights into the type of person and skills they are looking for. Once armed with this information and the information you have gathered about you, the more able you are to create an attention grabbing profile.
So what do I mean by an attention grabbing profile? Essentially a short summary in five or six sentences that lets a recruiter or employer know that you really are someone they should meet with.
Your profile should in essence say to a potential employer that I have the right skills, experience, knowledge and qualifications to do the job and make a real contribution to organisational success.
It should be written in benefits orientated language so that it is immediately obvious that you get what they need.
The Bottom Line: Writing a good profile is much harder than it seems. On the other hand if you are willing to give it the time and effort it deserves, then you are more likely to do it well and get invited to more interviews.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants and professionals to achieve more career success. Learn more here.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 6,000 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.