Get your personal profile right so recruiters read the rest
A personal profile is a short, sharp paragraph that sits at the top of your CV and is your opportunity to describe why you’re perfect for the job.
Creating an effective personal profile is a key part of your career success. Our tips and CV builder make it quick and easy.
How to write a personal profile: 10 top tips
An excellent personal profile, also known as a personal statement, plays a key role in making your CV successful. It captures what you have to offer in 50-200 words, connects to your cover letter, and sets the tone for the rest of your CV.
These top tips will help you to gather the right material and build a powerful profile that appeals to prospective employers.
Brainstorm before you write
Don’t assume you can just sit down to create a generic profile. Each application requires a customised approach based on the job description. Jot down ideas that pop into your head to give you a pool to choose from.
Look at CV examples from your peers
Your peers' examples are a valuable resource. Note what they’ve included - and what they’ve left out. Pay attention to the clear, simple language used and how they quickly grab an employer's attention.
Use a CV builder to guide you
Shaping all the raw material into a short, impactful paragraph is challenging. Our CV builder makes it easier, providing structure and suggested copy to help you succinctly make the points you need to make.
Keep it short
Your profile is the hook that will persuade employers to read the rest of your CV. They only have 6 seconds to scan the whole document, and only a short summary will do.
Use keywords from the job description
70% of companies now use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems): software that scans a CV for specific keywords. If your CV doesn’t include these job-specific keywords, it'll be discarded before employers see it. Read the job description carefully and ensure that relevant keywords feature in your profile.
Your profile sells you as the perfect candidate, so use positive language throughout. Focus on your strengths, and don't refer to weaknesses. Choose adjectives like accurate, confident, and responsible. Use dynamic verbs like completed, achieved, and implemented.
Choose one voice
Write your profile either in the first person ('I am a qualified Chef...') or the third person ('Qualified Chef...'). Either tense is fine - just be consistent. Swapping between then makes you look careless and unprofessional.
Check you haven't missed anything important
Review the job advert and your profile side by side, checking that you've addressed all the key points and used the appropriate keywords.
Ensure your personal profile matches your full CV
Because an excellent personal profile persuades employers to read the rest of your CV, you need to ensure they're well matched. Do this by customising your CV for each job. Really stand out by making sure it's also well matched with your cover letter.
Many candidates forget this simple step, and their CVs are discarded as a result. Research shows that as many as 90% of applicants are rejected because of spelling mistakes. Don’t just rely on software - take time to also manually check and recheck your CV, slowly and carefully.
20 of the UK’s best CV personal profile examples
An effective personal profile creates a positive, memorable impression on recruiters, persuading them to read your full CV.
Good personal profile for CVs
Best personal profile for CVs
Short personal profile examples
Online CV personal profiles
General personal profile examples
2019 CV personal profile examples
Generic personal profile
Interesting CV personal profile
Self-starter CV personal profile
Creative personal profile examples
Basic personal profile examples
What makes a good CV personal profile
A good CV personal profile makes employers want to read your CV. It summarises your strengths in a relevant way, packing a load of detail into just a few short sentences.
Is your profile any good? Here's what you should think about:
Strategically choosing content
Each word has to work to earn its place in your profile. It's short, and the rest of your CV will build on the achievements, knowledge, and skills that you've already mentioned. Only mention career goals and skills that have an excellent bearing on the position you're applying for.
Choosing the right voice
Both the first or third person are acceptable choices for your profile. The choice is a personal preference. The first person creates a more personal connection. Third person creates a more formal tone. As a first step, look at what your peers have chosen in their writing.
Keeping it brief
Your profile is like a promo for a TV show: short and enticing. Show you know your strengths by limiting yours to 50-200 words. Only include what's most important - be ruthless and avoid padding it out with unnecessary information.
Your profile is so short that it has no room for lies or dishonesty. Only highlight skills and work achievements that are truthful. Recruiters are quick to spot exaggeration and lies, and even quicker to discard CVs that are dishonest.
Using keywords wisely
Figure out what the keywords are for a particular application by carefully reading the job specification. Don't 'keyword stuff' by over-using them - just use a few of the most prominent to make your point.
3 common questions about CV personal profiles
1. What is the definition of a personal profile?
The definition of a personal profile is an introductory paragraph at the start of a CV. It offers a brief summary of the candidate's strengths and experience. It should:
- Be 50-200 words long.
- Only include facts that are relevant to role you're applying for.
- Focus on strengths and not mention weaknesses.
- Include keywords discovered by reviewing the job description.
- Work well with the content of the rest of the CV and your cover letter.
2. How do I write a personal profile?
Write a personal profile by summarising your most relevant experience, qualifications, and skills into a short, powerful paragraph. First, complete the rest of the CV, then:
- Look through the employment history, education, and skills sections and pick out the most important facts.
- Edit those points to the shortest possible form.
- Make sure the tone and voice are consistent, and that you've chosen relevant keywords.
- Refer to your cover letter to make sure the profile relates well to it.
3. How can I tell if my CV personal profile is well written?
You can tell if your personal profile is well written by comparing it to profiles for similar jobs. Still not sure? You can:
- Ask friends to read it and give an honest appraisal.
- Read it out loud to see how it flows and how the grammar sounds.
- Proofread it for spelling mistakes and typos.
Want to see well written personal profiles? View examples in our CV builder.
How to structure your CV’s personal profile
A strong structure helps you build a powerful personal profile. We've broken it down into 3 parts:
1. Who you are
Do: Get straight to the point. Frame the description to meet the job advert: A qualified hairdresser. A hedge fund manager with 25 years’ experience. An English Literature graduate.
Don’t: Include irrelevant information. If it doesn't relate to the advertised job description in some way, it's unnecessary.
2. What you have to offer
Do: Tell the truth. Exaggerating or lying wastes everyone's time, and reference checks will reveal the truth.
Do: Briefly refer to your most relevant qualifications and experience. If you're award-winning, say so.
Don’t: Use clichéd phrases like ‘works well as part of a team’. Recruiters expect this as a minimum, and it wastes valuable space.
Don’t: Start each sentence with ‘I’. It turns a compelling paragraph into a boring list.
Do: Carefully choose the skills you mention, customising them for each specific role.
Don’t: Forget to include a mix of hard and soft skills, as long as they're related to the role.
Build a perfect CV from the first paragraph
Writing a great CV is about making an instant impact. Your personal profile needs to persuade the recruiter to take the time to read about your professional achievements.
Our online CV builder makes it quick and easy to craft a personal profile that gets results. Take the next step in your career - build your perfect CV personal profile now!