A CV needs to have a Profile that clearly states what you are.
Many CVs that I review don’t have a Profile and the recruiter needs to dig into your career history to understand what you are. This is making their job harder. Imagine having to go through dozens of CVs and quickly identify if an applicant has the basic background you’re looking for. Put this at the beginning and you are more likely to be noticed.
How to write a Profile
Firstly, it needs to be short. No more than 2-3 lines or it will not be read. Within the first 3-4 words you need to say what you are, e.g. Sales Manager, Logistics Planner, Retail Shop Manager, Call Centre Agent etc. This should directly appeal to the Job Title specified in the job advert and the recruiter can immediately see that you are what they are looking for.
If your experience includes time spent in the specific industry that the role is in, then you should make sure this is included in the Profile. For example, if the role is in a Call Centre for an Insurance company you might describe yourself as “An experienced Call Centre Agent with in-depth knowledge of the insurance sector and it’s regulatory requirements”.
This can then be expanded on to make it 2-3 lines long by adding in some of the experience they’re looking for. If, for example, the job advert mentions a fast-paced environment operating 24-7, then tag this onto the “what you are” sentence.
Things not to include
Do not put how many years experience you have – they will be able to see this when they get to the career section. If you have many years of experience in a sector they might gloss over you for being too old (I know this shouldn’t happen, but it does), and equally if you have limited experience then they may be put off. Do not add lines like “looking for my next opportunity”. They know that, you applied for a job!
Do not talk about personal traits such as “good timekeeper”, “good sense of humour”, “self-aware” or “well-presented”. These should all be a given, and putting them in a CV is just padding. There is an exception to this which is when it is specifically mentioned in a job advert, and your Profile is the only sensible place to put this.
Do not include your Key Skills in this section. That should come immediately after the Profile and be tailored to the skill set the advert says the employer is looking for.
A Profile is simply a quick way of saying to the recruiter or employer that you are what they are looking for, and that they should read the rest of your CV. Tell them this in 2-3 lines and keep it objective.