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Should a CV include a Personal Profile – the current view!

Posted on: 29 Sep 10
Should a CV include a Personal Profile – the current view!

Summary

There has been some conjecture amongst professionals regarding the merits of a personal profile on a CV. This conjecture stems from the fact that many job seekers fill there personal profiles with irrelevant and mostly clichéd information.


There has been some conjecture amongst professionals regarding the merits of a personal profile on a CV. This conjecture stems from the fact that many job seekers fill there personal profiles with irrelevant and mostly clichéd information. Here at the CV & Interview Advisors, we offer free CV Appraisals, therefore see hundreds of CVs per week. I recently reviewed 5 CVs back-to-back and was interested to find that all 5 people considered themselves to be dynamic and innovative with excellent communication skills. Having spoken to all 5 individuals, it confused me as to why 5 people, who didn’t know each other, could include almost word for word, the exact same phrase in their CV. I would guess that all 5 had found these skills on job specs and felt the need to include these words in their CV.

The problem with this theory is two fold: firstly, everyone does it and Recruiters are not stupid, they realise job seekers copy info from job specs regardless of whether they really have these skills or not; and secondly, the CV is not the vehicle for pushing behavioural competencies - that is what the interview is for!

Perhaps the confusion stems from the phrase “Personal Profile” which alludes to information about one’s personality. We would recommend that job seekers have a Professional Summary which outlines the profession in which one works, followed by 4 or 5 key areas of expertise which are aligned with the roles being applied for. See below for an example:

An experienced Project Manager (PRINCE2) with a track record of delivering £multi-million IT infrastructure projects. Areas of expertise include: understanding complex business requirements to define and execute effective project plans; the ability to manage disparate stakeholder agendas across large organisations; assembling and leading teams of up to 100 people across international jurisdictions; and extensive experience within software development and infrastructure architecture. Seeking contract-based IT Project Manager roles.

The idea is to provide a statement which “does what is says on the tin”.

Conversely, we would not recommend behavioural skills. The most commonly used phrases have become rather clichéd and include the following:

The ability to communicate at all levels of an organisation; excellent communication skills; honest, reliable and trustworthy; hardworking; dynamic self-starter; can work in a team as well as an individual; good attention to detail; can work under pressure and to tight deadlines.

If you are unsure about the relevance of information in your CV, why not contact us for a free CV appraisal. You can email your CV to appraisal@cvandinterviewadvisors.co.uk; call us on 01274 408 222; or visit our website at www.cvandinterviewadvisors.co.uk.

Matt Craven

Last updated on: 07/10/2010 11:08:40

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