How to write a CV personal profile with examples and tips
How to write a CV personal profile with examples and tips
- · November 01 2022
- · 5 min read
Table of contents
Still unsure what a personal profile is or how to write one? Perhaps you want to improve your current CV so that it aligns with your career goals. This article breaks down the importance of a personal profile, how to write it, and where to place it with practical examples and tips. With CV Maker, you can choose from 20+ professional templates and use our CV building tool to create and manage your professional documents with ease.
Whether you are experienced or recently graduated, a personal profile is a must-have section on any CV. It is one of the most critical parts of CV writing and, often, the most misunderstood. Companies want to invest in people who know what they are doing and make an effort when applying for a job. In that case, you should see it as your first chance to grab the attention of recruiters or hiring managers since it is at the very top of your CV.
Before we go into more details on how to write a personal profile, one thing needs to be clarified. A profile summary has various naming conventions, but in the end, they all serve the same purpose. See alternative names for a personal profile below:
CV profile ummary
A personal profile is a small paragraph at the very top of your CV that serves as an introduction of yourself but, most importantly, your career goals. It must summarise your work history, education, goals, and strengths while remaining clear, concise, and relevant to your job and industry targets.
Writing a personal profile might seem like the first thing you should do. When in fact, it is the final step in writing a strategic, tailored CV. To create it, always start with a power statement - the first sentence where you specify your current title, years of experience, and main career objectives. Whether or not you are experienced or just starting your career, this is the best way to make your application stand out.
Refer to the job description you are applying for and aim to incorporate keywords such as 10+ years of experience, qualified marketing professional, or experience in fast-paced environments
The second part of creating a personal profile is to focus purely on soft skills. The purpose is to showcase your personal attributes relevant to your career goals, making you the best candidate for the role. Remember that you do not list hard skills in your CV as there is another section to do so. Refer to how to write a good CV and what skills to put on a CV for more inspiration.
Your first instinct might be to list as much as possible, but a personal profile for a CV is most beneficial when tailored to a specific job. As a rule of thumb, you should look for a block of text that is no less than four lines and no more than six. A typical font size means limiting your word count to no more than 120, ideally a little lower.
Still not sure what is most important? Let's recap, a well-written personal profile has two important parts. One, it needs a power statement and two, it needs to focus on soft skills rather than hard skills. So always make sure you are including both of these. More on this later with examples of how to write a CV personal profile section.
It shows the recruiter or hiring manager that you have taken the time to do your research by showcasing why you are the right person for the job.
It allows you to summarise your experience and goals into just a few lines rather than including too much information that isn’t reader-friendly or relevant to your career goals.
It gives the reader insight into your identity and motivation. As such, it will mention potential talking points that might come up in an interview.
Writing a generic summary with characteristics that fit any other candidate could be detrimental to your job search. The word 'personal' is used for a reason; the summary should only apply to you and be specific.
Spelling and grammar mistakes. Of course, you don't want any of these throughout your CV, especially not in the opening paragraph. Make sure to thoroughly check by reading aloud, running a spelling check through your document, or asking a friend to proofread your text.
Write in complete sentences and not one-worded bullet points. Note that bullet points will work in some instances but as long as you still use complete sentences. We highly recommend writing a short paragraph for a summary.
Using a lot of keywords but not saying anything. It could come across as unclear, so keep it concise.
It should not solely focus on the requirements in the job description. In the end, this piece can make you stand out. Yes, recruiters will determine whether you possess the required hard skills, but this can be addressed in another section on your CV.
Avoid writing in the third person; use first-person phrasing (Manage rather than Manages) with personal pronouns (I, me, they) omitted.
Of course, the more experience and skills you have built up during your career, the more you will want to include, but again, a personal profile is a summary. Alternatively, you may have little to say about yourself if you are at the start of your career. To address this, you need to research the job requirements and, once you have more clarity, include several sentences that will help you stand out from the crowd. Try to focus on your personal attributes more than your experiences, such as your ability to build professional relationships or strong verbal and written communication skills. These soft skills can also be transferable; skills gained from education or other past experiences such as volunteering.
We understand that writing a personal profile can be daunting, so we created multiple practical CV profile examples. Although the general rule of thumb is to have no less than four lines and no more than six, this section provides information on writing both a short personal profile and a long personal profile. Remember, the importance of strategic CV writing is to tailor it to your specific career goals and that a profile summary should only focus on relevant soft skills.
Mechanical Engineer CV profile summary
Qualified Mechanical Engineer with 5+ years of experience executing product designs from concept to production, including specification, design, prototyping, cost analysis, validation, and testing. Passionate about developing sustainable solutions by utilising cutting-edge technology to solve advanced business problems through data-driven and customer-focused techniques. Skilled in using computer-aided drafting (CAD) software to create full-scale and detailed designs of project proposals, including project work scope and end-user requirements.
Nurse CV profile summary
Registered nurse with professional experience in providing physical and psychological support to patients. Excellent interpersonal skills with proven success in collaborating with medical teams to establish compassionate, well-resourced, and healthy work environments. Professionally trained and experienced in assisting patients with acute to chronic conditions by creating, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive nursing care plans.
Sales Manager CV profile summary
Customer-focused sales professional with 15+ years of experience exceeding sales targets, spearheading new sales processes, and driving sustainable revenue growth in fast-paced environments. Influential leader, adept in delegating, training, and coaching cross-functional and performance-driven teams. Demonstrated track record in cultivating valuable business partnerships with proven success in implementing effective customer retention strategies.
Retail Store Manager CV profile summary
Ambitious and hard-working retail professional with proven success and experience enhancing store turnover and productivity. Well-versed in staff training, coaching, and developing performance-driven teams. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with proven ability to drive continuous process improvement.
Teacher CV profile summary
Dedicated and resourceful educator with professional experience applying hybrid learning theories and research-based pedagogy to drive student achievement in online and classroom learning environments. Skilled in teaching students from diverse backgrounds with proven success in developing creative, engaging, and robust lesson plans to achieve student satisfaction.
Customer Service CV profile summary
Motivated and detail-oriented customer service professional with 10 years of experience leading small and large teams in fast-paced environments. Track record of success in coaching, motivating, and guiding team members to achieve business and personal goals. Equipped to optimise internal processes by transforming insights into strategic business actions with strong problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skills.
Graphic Designer CV profile summary
Established graphic design professional with 15+ years experience in senior managerial positions within fast-paced, commercial environments. Dynamic leader with proven track record of motivating and managing team members to meet deadlines while guaranteeing quality, consistency, and brand alignment. Expert knowledge in blending creativity and technology to design and develop print/web-based solutions for clients from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies.
Project Manager CV profile summary
Goal-driven and innovative professional with over five years of experience in project management. Versatile and creative self-starter with solid record in driving service excellence to achieve organisational success while prioritising multiple projects across fast-paced industries. Collaborative leader who leverages emerging marketing strategies and forward-thinking methodologies to deliver consumer-targeted, timely, and on-budget projects.
Administrative Assistant CV profile summary
Administrative professional with four years of progressive experience supporting senior-level executives and board members in project coordination, calendar management, and event planning. Proven success in performing duties with utmost discretion, confidentiality, and professionalism while remaining responsive to changing business needs and delegating tasks to safeguard smooth operation.
Human Resources Business Partner CV profile summary
Goal-driven and strategic Human Resources (HR) professional with nine years of progressive experience in managing HR functions and driving new initiatives within a fast-paced, dynamic environment. Influential leader well-versed in coordinating various HR tasks, overseeing full employment lifecycle processes, and maintaining/developing long-term partnerships with key stakeholders to drive strategic change. Expert communicator, adept in providing strategic HR advice, solving complex employment issues, and training executives/employees in various HR, recruitment, and employee-related topics.
Insurance Agent CV profile summary
Self-motivated and ambitious Insurance Agent with experience in providing protection advice for clients. Strong communication skills with expertise in accident protection, income protection, life/critical illness protection, and home insurance. Skilled in developing and maintaining excellent relationships by carefully evaluating customer needs to propose insurance plans.
Student CV profile summary
Third-year Business Psychology student specialising in Human Resources (HR), ready to leverage strong administration skills to develop a career in HR. Excellent time management, communication, and people skills with proven ability to build and strengthen connections between different departments. Knowledgeable in employment law and essential HR practices with solid understanding of recruitment, compliance, and business operations.
Some people equate a personal profile to the information you might include in a cover letter. Still, as you can see from the above examples, it’s more specific, clear, and focused on particular career goals. Think of a successful personal profile as your chance to get across supporting statements about yourself that will help you to look good in the eyes of the reader. Remember that you should not be too sales-like in your approach or make exaggerated claims because these might be discovered as falsehoods in an interview.
Additional tips on how to write a personal profile:
If you don't know how to write about yourself from scratch, then find our examples above and use the most relevant as a guide.
Always complete this section last; to help you make sense of it, we recommend reading it aloud or asking a friend to review it.
Make sure you are very specific and can back up what you said in the interview.
In addition, we recommend asking yourself the following questions:
What are my career goals?
Are my career goals and soft skills clear in the personal profile?
Are my soft skills both true and relevant?
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Updated November 01 2022
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