Are CV personal profiles effective?

Ok, lets consider whether CV personal profiles are effective or not. Firstly, the personal profile is a list or description of skills and abilities a candidate possesses, placed at the beginning (usually) or the end of the CV.

Why do people use personal profiles?

I think the main reason is an attempt to sell oneself. Displaying your talents like a peacock for all to see how fantastic you are seems like a pretty sound idea, doesn’t it? I mean, isn’t the point to let the employer know just how great you are? Its time to think about the goals of the personal profile and how effectively they are achieved.

1) Selling yourself

In essence every CV is a sales CV. You are the product and your aim is that the potential employer buys into you. The problem with the typical CV personal profile is it breaks the fundamental rule of the sale; give the customer what they want. In most cases the profile is not targeted to the skills and abilities of the specific role applied for, but instead a list of every skill the candidate possesses. It says more about a lack of ability to understand what is required than anything. This hit and miss strategy tends to throw up more misses than hits.

2) Impressing the employer

This is really the same as point one, but I wanted to tackle the aspect of writing style here. Describing how amazing you are might seem like a good idea, but reading about it is unlikely to capture the employers imagination.

There is more than a grain of truth in the saying that goes; “if you have to SAY you are, then you’re not”. Writing a CV personal profile is like that. After all, you must back up your claims, or that is all they are; claims. There is a perfect place to do that, of course, its your CV! The main body, that is.

You can and should be achieving the goals of the personal profile within the CV as you describe your experience. That’s where you tell them who and what you are, and how your skills and abilities, in practice, make you a match for the role. As in most areas of life, its deeds that matter, not words; least of all your own about yourself.

To learn how to write a CV - click here

3)Following the job search advice you got from your buddy

If someone is being helpful and suggests you write a personal profile, just remember this article. Then make an informed decision. Just remember, not all job search advice is created equal. Well meaning as it may be, sometimes its just not going to help you to follow it.

There is some job search advice you need to ignore.

So now what??

Well I’ve had a pretty good attempt at shooting down the CV personal profile. But I wont leave you hanging, there is a better way. Use the star technique and your knowledge of the role to describe yourself in a way that shows off your assets. Remember, the fundamental of the job search is knowing what the employer wants, then knowing how to give it to them. Taking the time to do so will put you way beyond the competition. You can leave the personal profiles to them.

What does it take to write the perfect CV?

Return from CV personal profiles to how to write a CV