Wednesday, 24 August 2011

CV Workshop - 'Profile' heading

Last week in my blog post ‘CV Workshop – Top 5 Headings for your CV’ I discussed a possible layout template for your CV, which incorporated useful headings to try and get the most out of it. The first heading I spoke about was the ‘Profile’ heading, which I think is one of the most significant headings of all.
For some reason, I’ve found that a ‘Profile’ section doesn’t even exist on some people’s CV, but I would highly recommend it – here’s why.

The main aim of your CV is to sell yourself to the employer. Usually, they won’t waste time taking hours and hours analysing your CV - so make sure it is succinct. Be careful with the size of your ‘Profile’ section as you won’t want it to be more than 4/5 lines long. The point of the ‘Profile’ is not to waffle on, but instead to talk a little bit about your personality – after all a CV is personal. Without a ‘Profile’, imagine your CV, amongst 6 others including 5 which have profiles and yours that doesn’t. In a way, it is like reading a blank form - and probably easily eliminated by an employer if the other 5 CV’s are amazing. It’s a small touch but in my eyes very significant. So, what do you need to write?

Start off writing around 4 lines about how you would describe yourself to a potential employer. I would like you to include any of the keys word that would be essential to any company, for instance a skill like ‘team player’. So your very first line could be something along the lines of ‘I’m a recent Sports Graduate with a warm personality and above all else a team player’. On the surface, this looks like a pretty decent first line, you’ve introduced yourself as well as put in a key word/skill that you feel best describes you. However, lets play the imagination game again and imagine that you’re an employer with 6 CV’s that all have variations on this first line and so essentially are all the same. Now how can you distinguish yourself? 

So at the moment you have your first line, which now seems to be a bit empty and not very original. A great way to stop using generic and empty phrases such as, ‘I’m really hardworking’ is to think about the specifics and to always try to be as specific and succinct as possible. So now I can easily change the beginning of my first line. Instead of ‘I’m a recent Sports Graduate’, change it to ‘I’m a recent 2.1 Sports Graduate with professional contacts’, by adding only a couple more specific bits of information, you have already a better sentence that will distinguish you amongst other CV’s. Then you can add your key words with slightly more meaning, for example, ‘I’m a recent 2.1 Sports Graduate with professional contacts and have learnt, above all, the significant value of being a team player’.

I hope you found the above useful. Remember the above examples are simply a guide as to what you could do with your CV. Stay tuned for the next CV Workshop on the ‘Education’ section of your CV.

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