Profiles and personal statements

The statement or profile section at the beginning of the CV should state what you have done in the past, what you want to do next and the skills that connect the two. It should sum up the whole document and explain to the reader why your application is relevant to them. Keep it simple and specific. Mention the industries you have worked in, even some of the companies if they are well-known. Think along the lines of: What do I have to offer? What makes me stand out? Why is my application relevant to this job?

Remember to always tailor your profile to each individual job specification. If you have a lot of skills in various industries, emphasise the ones relevant to the job you are applying for. But don’t just copy and paste sections out of the job specification. This looks unprofessional, and shows that you can’t be bothered. Employers will notice!

So, you could start along the lines of, “A confident, versatile and enthusiastic customer service assistant, with 11 years’ experience working in a retail environment, including shops such as Next, River Island, and Marks & Spencer. These companies are recognised global brands, so are worth mentioning if you have worked there.
Alternatively, if you have had experience in a local shop, you could say, “A confident, versatile and enthusiastic customer service assistant, with 11 years’ experience working in a local retail environment.”
Then go onto mention what you are looking for now. An example could be “Now looking for a senior role within a similar remit.” Or, if you are looking for a complete change, “Now looking to move into a hospitality environment.”

After this, you could mention what skills you have to offer, for example, “acknowledged as a focus and committed manager/team leader/individual, with the ability to motivate teams towards the successful delivery of a project within timescale and budget. Possesses strong communication and problem solving skills, liaising with appropriate personnel to achieve successful outcomes.”

How long should your profile be? There is a lot of conflicting advice on this. My advice is no longer than 10 lines. I know it is tempting to put everything in, but you are not writing a novel. You need to learn how to dissect the important points from the waffle. A profile should hook the reader, making them want to find out more about you. You can expand your knowledge in the next section, Key Skills, Knowledge and Expertise.

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