Career

How to: Write a CV Profile

3-minute read

 CVs are a very important part of what we do and we can appreciate (more than most) that translating your experience in a clear and concise way is hard. It’s what engages the reader. It’s your hook. So here’s our advice on how to make it good.

The purpose of a CV Profile is to allow you to introduce yourself as an individual, as opposed to a candidate. What we mean by that is that it should be a snapshot of your personality, your charisma and drive. It sets the scene on you rather than acting as a summary of your professional life. Finally, and most importantly, it’s the first part that gets read.

Don’t

  • Write your career history – that’s what the rest of your CV is for.
  • Use clichés like ‘team player’, ‘can-do-attitude’, ‘thrive under pressure’ – they are not unique and won’t help you.
  • Use a thesaurus on every word – simpler language is often more effective. CVs need to be concise so make sure what you’re using language efficiently.
  • Ramble – short and sweet is best. We would recommend creating a paragraph of around 3 or 4 lines.
  • Lie, fabricate or bend the truth – this will come back to haunt you, probably in the interview.

Do

  • Write in the first person – referring to yourself in the third person often is viewed negatively by prospective employers as it can sound pretentious.
  • Showcase your personality and interests – culture fit is just as important as skills/experience, and your CV Profile is the best place to show who you are.
  • Be genuine – this way you will provide a fair representation of yourself. It will make talking about yourself much easier in the interview.
  • Say something unique that captures attention – maybe you’ve worked all over the world, maybe you’ve won a D&AD pencil, maybe you have an impressive new business track-record. These gems will provide good talking points and will make you memorable.
  • Show direction – use this to show the direction you are aiming for in your career.

Useful questions to frame your profile

What do you do outside of work?

What inspires you?

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

What are you looking for in your next career step?

Why are you interested in this industry?

What has been interesting about your life so far?

Alex
I’m a Founding Partner of Bamboo Crowd. I help our clients invest better in people and scale through Engine. I solve recruitment challenges and help our clients source the best talent across operations, business development, programme management, and technology. Ask me about good films, beards and hip hop.