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6 tips for writing an interview-winning CV profile

Sharmain Zain
Reading time: 4 min

Your personal profile is at the top of your CV and is the first thing that a recruiter or employer will read. If it doesn’t grab their attention right away, it’s unlikely that they’ll feel compelled to keep reading.

This is why it’s so important to get your profile right. It’s your once chance to introduce yourself and convince the recruiter to read on and find out more about you.

With so much riding on this one section, it can be understandably daunting when you sit down to begin writing.

But fear not – below, we share our six top tips for writing an interview-winning profile for your CV.

Keep it short and sweet

The most important thing to remember when writing your CV is that recruiters are very time-poor and will only spend a matter of seconds reading through your profile.

Because of this, you need to keep it short and sweet at around 5-10 sentences. The sweet spot is usually between 50-200 words – the aim is to hook their attention and gauge their interest.

Make your introduction snappy

You need to grab the recruiter’s attention from the moment they set eyes on your profile, so your first sentence needs to contain the most important high-quality details about you.

To do this, focus on answering the question ‘who is this person and what do they do?’. Some examples include:

  • Passionate sales assistant with 5+ years’ experience working in the insurance industry, with a background in the delivery of exceptional customer service.
  • Highly motivated recent graduate from the University of Leeds, with a 2:1 in Computer Science and consolidated experience in website design.

Follow up with key information

Once you’ve got your top-level information in place, you can begin to add more details about your skills, background and experience. 

It’s a good idea to use the job description to help you at this stage. Go through and highlight the most important skills, qualifications and background information that the employer has asked for.

You can then include the most relevant information about yourself in your profile, to prove you’re the perfect match. An example of your second sentence, if you’re a recent graduate, it might be:

  • During my recent work experience with {agency name}, I developed SEO and Google Analytics skills by planning and implementing a digital marketing campaign as part of a team, which resulted in a strong ROI for the client.

Share your impressive achievements 

If you’ve done anything particularly impressive in a previous role or during your time in education, be sure to shout about this in your profile.

This could be something like receiving an award, being published, helping to increase sales or creating a new product.

If possible, try to back this up with hard facts and figures, for example:

  • Improved a client’s web presence through social media marketing, increasing traffic by 25%.
  • Achieved an exceptionally high grade of 95% for my university dissertation.
  • Won best barista of the month for two subsequent months.

Always keep your target role in mind. Each CV you submit needs to be tailored to the specific company and role you’re applying for – and your personal profile is no different!

Be sure to keep your target role in mind at all times. This will help you to choose the most relevant information to include and, therefore, prove your suitability for the position.

Focus on selling yourself

Treat your CV like a marketing pitch. The overall aim of a job application is to sell yourself and your abilities – and your profile is your best chance to do this!

Before you start writing, make a list of what you believe makes you a great fit for the role and how you can add value to the specific company you’re hoping to join. Then, use this list to help you sell yourself throughout your profile.

Are you ready to land an interview?

Spend some time working on an impressive personal profile and the rest of your CV will fall into place.

Keep in mind that this is your chance to sell yourself and your profile should be packed with all the top-level information about what makes you a great candidate.

Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.