Your CV can be a valuable tool in helping you secure a job, placement or internship but there is a lot of conflicting information available about the best way to produce one. This is especially true of the Profile (or Objective), which is often seen as an optional extra, but can also give your CV a boost.
This Monster article states that “Your personal statement is your first opportunity to (sell yourself). It is perhaps the single most important part of your CV”, but this TARGETjobs post is not so enthusiastic: “Graduates’ personal statements usually sound bland – and one is very much like another’s”.
But ultimately, how you format your CV is up to you, so to help you decide here are some of the pros and cons of including a profile on your CV:
It grabs attention: a short and engaging statement stating who you are, what you can offer and what you are looking for can set you apart from the crowd. Make it personal and unique, and avoid buzzwords or generic phrases.
It shows how you fit the job: As with all applications, you should tailor your CV to the specific job you are applying for, and the profile can be a good place to reflect some of the terminology used in the job description and person specification.
Explain a change of direction: This may be of use to mature students or anyone with a varied work or educational history, to contextualise and clarify your position if your experience might raise questions with a recruiter.
Add keywords for online jobseeking: if you upload your CV to job websites, including your key skills in a profile can help recruiters find you. This is also true of LinkedIn, where you have up to 2000 characters to sell yourself in the Summary section of your profile, so include searchable terms (but keep it interesting!).
It can ruin your CV: This is the major one. If your profile is badly written with spelling and grammatical errors, is unfocused, generic or boring, it will put you in a bad position from the start. If a recruiter isn’t put off immediately, it may leave a negative impression of you that means you don’t get shortlisted, even if your skills and experience are suitable for the job.
It is potentially unnecessary: If your skills, education and experience are all clearly presented, why do you need to repeat them?
It’s information that should be conveyed in a covering letter: It’s likely you will get the chance to include a covering letter with your CV, so take the opportunity to highlight your achievements and how you fit the criteria here, with reference to key points of your CV.
Hopefully these points are useful in weighing up the options for your CV, but if you are still undecided we are here to help. Firstly, check out our CV pages, and there is lots of helpful information on our Build My Career resource. You can also come and see us in Careers, we have drop in sessions for CVs every weekday from 10-12 and 1-3, or you can book an appointment by calling us now on 01274 234991.