Some job application processes can feel never-ending. 4-page application forms, cover letters and situational tests – there can be a lot to do! Now, imagine putting yourself through all of that, then having your application rejected on the basis of a few lines at the top of your CV. A poor CV profile can instantly ruin your chances of getting the job, so you need to make sure that yours leaves a good first impression. Want to find out how?
When you’re at a job interview, you’re likely to be asked “Why should we hire you?”, at which point you can dazzle them with your skill set and work experience. However, to get to that stage, your CV needs to bring the reasons to recruit you to the forefront of the reader’s mind. That’s where your CV profile comes in.
Think of your CV profile as an introduction; it’s a personal statement allowing you to introduce yourself to a potential employer. What do they need to know about you? Why would you be the perfect next hire for them? A strong personal profile will hook whoever is reading your CV, ensuring that they read the rest of it and that they remember you.
There are CV profile faux pas that are likely to land your CV in the ‘bin’ pile. Take a look at the most common CV mistakes seen by recruiters and make sure you don’t make the same errors!
“I’m a hardworking team player with excellent communication skills.” Great… So is everyone else. It’s always worth remembering that your CV is definitely not the first and only one a potential employer has read. They’ve seen enough generic, cliché filled CVs to last a lifetime. So, while it’s essential to keep things factual, try to show what only you can offer the employer. What makes you stand out from the other applicants?
Your CV profile needs to read well, too, so that you don’t bore people! Mix up the sentences and try not to start every sentence with “I…”.
There’s nothing wrong with giving your CV profile a bit of personality – employers love to see that! However, don’t compromise your professionalism. This is a formal document, after all; it needs to present you as a professional.
A CV profile that’s too casual or colloquial can portray you as unprofessional, immature and unintelligent. These are three things that can destroy your chances of getting the job. Also, remember that some employers have a super keen eye for detail, so try to avoid any spelling or grammatical errors.
Injecting personality doesn’t mean that you need to talk about your wife and three cats. A CV profile should only contain information that is relevant to your application. Stick to your attributes, skills and experience – simply put, only include things that will make employers take note.
Don’t waffle. Get to the point as quickly as you can. You need to strike the balance between giving all of the relevant information and remaining concise. A CV profile should be one paragraph long, consisting of 5-6 lines. Any longer and a potential employer will switch off.
Keeping things relevant is key here. There’s no point listing a wide range of skills or abilities if none of them have anything to do with the job you’re applying for. For instance, if you’re applying for a Project Manager role, you don’t need to talk about your two years’ experience working as a Waiter ten years ago! Similarly, your organisational skills might not be best suited to a fast-paced factory job. Irrelevant information will just bulk up your profile unnecessarily.
One liners are for comedians, not CVs. You can’t wow an employer with a one-line profile. If you’ve worked for a big industry player, work well under pressure and build excellent working relationships, shout about it! A CV profile that is too short raises concern for employers. Maybe you’re lazy, perhaps you don’t really want the job or there could just be nothing more to be said about you… Not good!
Everyone’s CV profile will vary. However, there’s a formula you can follow to ensure yours hits the mark. As long as you cover the following points, your personal statement will tick all of the right boxes.
Avoiding common pitfalls and including the information employers want to see in a concise and professional CV profile will help you seal the deal! For more great job search and career advice, visit our blog!