How to write a professional profile to enhance your CV
Updated 30 September 2022
Your CV is typically the first impression you make on a potential employer, so making the document effective is vital. One way to enhance your CV and demonstrate why you're a suitable candidate for a job is to include a professional profile that summarises your skills and achievements. Understanding what to include in a professional profile, also known as a personal statement, can help you write one effectively. In this article, we explain how to write a professional profile for your CV, plus why including one is beneficial.
How to write a professional profile
If you're wondering how to write a professional profile for your CV, there are some steps you can follow. Writing the profile effectively and including relevant information can help to show employers why you're suitable for the job. Follow these steps when writing your own profile.
1. Write for the job you're applying for
It's important to tailor your profile and write for the job you're pursuing. Adapting your profile ensures the information is relevant to your application. This might mean you write one version of your professional profile and edit it for each job you apply for. Writing information that's relevant to the job you're applying for means recruiters are more likely to continue reading your CV after seeing the profile.
2. Introduce yourself and your background
You can start your profile by introducing yourself and your background. This can be quite concise and can indicate your recent work or educational experience. You can also mention any notable achievements relevant to the job you're applying for and explain how they contributed to organisational goals. This part of the profile can describe the type of work you're looking for or what you're now aiming to do in your career. It's key that this directly relates to the job you're applying for.
3. Include your relevant skills
You can then include a summary of the skills you have that are relevant to the job. It's usually a good idea to use the skills and strengths in the job's person specification as a basis for this part of your professional profile. This shows recruiters you have the skills and experience they're looking for, even if your previous work experience is in a different field. You can also briefly mention how you developed these skills.
4. Summarise your career goals
To finish the profile, you can briefly summarise your long-term career goals. This indicates to the recruiter how the new job fits into your long-term plans and can help you to achieve your goals. Including your long-term goals also gives you more credibility because it shows you're serious as a professional.
5. Proofread and edit the profile
Before adding the profile to your CV, it's essential to proofread and edit it if necessary. The information you include has to be clear and easy to understand and check for spelling and grammar errors. You might find it helpful to ask someone else to also proofread the profile and give you feedback. Your professional profile is often the first thing the recruiter looks at, so it's important that it's clear and well-written.
6. Make the profile visible on your CV
After proofreading your profile, you can add it to your CV. Often it's a good idea to include the professional profile at the top of your CV immediately beneath your contact details. You can then include other information like your work and education history underneath. Doing this gives your CV a professional format and makes it easier to read.
What is a professional profile on a CV?
A professional profile on a CV is an introductory section that typically tells potential employers more about you, your skills and your achievements. It gives you an opportunity to provide more information about why you're suitable for the position you're applying for. Whilst it's important that your profile is professional, it's also an opportunity to show more of your personality.
This section is usually concise because recruiters tend to initially skim CVs, especially when they've received a large volume of applications. To make the profile easy to read, you can choose how to format it. You might choose to write a brief paragraph or list the information in bullet points that are easier to scan. You can experiment with different formatting before you finalise your CV to decide what looks best and more effectively communicates the information.
Why is a professional profile beneficial?
Having a professional profile on your CV is beneficial because it can help to attract the attention of potential employers. It details your skills and experience in a more specific way and shows why you're suitable for the job. An effective introduction can encourage recruiters to continue reading the rest of your CV. This means they get a full indication of your skills and experience and might mean you're more likely to progress to the next stage of recruitment.
Professional profile tips
Knowing how to structure your professional profile is helpful, but there are some other tips that are useful too. These tips can help to make your profile more effective and increase the likelihood of recruiters reading it. These tips also ensure your profile is current and includes information that's useful for potential employers.
Make the profile concise
It's wise to make the professional profile concise. A lengthy profile makes your entire CV longer and might mean recruiters miss the necessary details you want to communicate. Once you've written your profile, it's usually sensible to read it again and take away any information that isn't essential. The aim is to communicate information but to keep the profile as brief as possible.
When you mention your past skills and achievements, it's key to be specific. It's a good idea to mention what the specific achievement is and how this contributed to overall organisational goals. This shows what you can bring to the organisation. This also means indicating in which roles you developed particular skills. You can also talk about how the skills contributed to your past achievements.
Update the profile when applying for new jobs
It's important to update your profile whenever you're applying for a new job. If you're applying for jobs for the first time in a while, your skills, experience and achievements might have changed. Updating the profile means it communicates accurate information. It's also worthwhile to adapt the profile each time you apply for a different job, so it includes information that's relevant.
Use clear language
Using clear language makes your professional profile easier to quickly scan and understand. Buzzwords and complex language make this more difficult and might make it harder for recruiters to recognise the main points you want to express. Reading the profile aloud can help you assess how easy it is to understand and whether it flows properly.
It's key that your profile is original rather than a copy of your cover letter. If you're submitting a cover letter for your application, it might be tempting to use the same text for both your profile and the cover letter. This can make it seem like you've made little effort, so it's important that both pieces of writing are different. You might use them to communicate similar ideas, but it's advisable to adapt the wording. As a professional profile is more concise, you might use your cover letter to elaborate on some of the points in the profile.
Professional profile example
Seeing an example of a professional profile can give you some more guidance on how to write one of your own. This can be a useful indication of the type of information to include, but it's necessary that your own profile is specific to you and the job you're pursuing.
Example: An ambitious and experienced buying manager aiming to progress into a senior buying position in the fashion industry. Having developed effective communication skills working in managerial roles at large retail brands, I've nurtured successful working relationships and developed a substantial professional network. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, I have extensive commercial awareness and product knowledge. My aim is to secure a challenging new role at a market-leading fashion retailer where I can bring a new strategic vision to the business.
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