When it comes to CVs, there’s one element that’s guaranteed to get people talking – your personal profile.

Usually located at the very top of your CV, your personal profile might only be a few sentences long – but it’s extremely important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s your chance to set the rest of your CV up and entice a potential employer to read on. And secondly, it allows you to give the potential employer an insight into what you’re all about as a candidate.

Now, when it comes to personal profiles on CVs, just like many other things in the recruitment process; getting them right is easier said than done. Whether it’s tone, style or word selection; with personal profiles there’s lots of room for error – and unfortunately, in this instance, one little mistake could send your CV straight into the ‘no’ pile.

So how do you get it right? Well luckily for you we’ve come up with a handy list of our top five Dos & Don’ts which should help to point you in the right direction.


Do: Be Honest

When it comes to your personal profile, it can be tempting to bend the truth a little and slightly exaggerate your skills and experience – but I’d urge you to reconsider. As we’ve said before, when it comes to applying for jobs, lies always have a way of catching up with you – and normally at the worst possible time – so I’d say it’s just not worth the risk. If you really are a great candidate who’s really serious about the role, there should really be no need to lie in your personal profile, should there?! Definitely something to consider…

Don’t: Use Clichés

‘Team Player”, “Initiative”, ”Ambitious”, “Hard Working”; you name it, they’re all clichés that are present on practically every CV and should be avoided at all costs. When it comes to your CV, you have the chance to set yourself apart as a candidate – so by using these cliché phrases, you run the risk of blending in with the other candidates. Try and think about what really defines you as a candidate – and try and ensure this is reflected in your personal profile.

Do: Tailor It To Each Application

Yes, we know we keep going on about tailoring your CV and cover letter for each application – but the same applies for your personal profile too. Be sure to study the job advert and tweak your personal profile to reflect the skills and experience they’re looking for (if you have them of course!).

Don’t: Go Over The Top

OK, so your personal profile is your chance to entice an employer in to read the rest of your CV – but that doesn’t mean you need to go over the top! By all means talk yourself up (while still being honest!)… but be careful not to go overboard! For example, saying you’re “keen to progress in your career and make a difference to a company” is fine…. but saying “you’re destined to become a millionaire and take over an existing business” isn’t. Why? Because it’s a bit extreme and suggests you could be willing to be pretty ruthless to achieve your goals – two attributes not every employer is necessarily looking for.

Do: Consider Not Including One

Now, this point might sound like a bit of a contradiction to the rest of the blog, but sometimes including a personal profile is not always the best option – and including one is by no means essential. As I said earlier, when it comes to personal profiles, there’s so much room for error that sometimes it’s not worth taking the risk. If your skills, experience and work history are that great, they should really speak for themselves – so you shouldn’t really need a personal profile to back them up. And don’t forget – you’ll also have a cover letter in which to make your case!

So there you go; five key Dos and Don’ts to consider next time you update your CV. Think I’ve missed anything out? Feel free to leave a comment below.