I’m often asked this when I am coaching and helping people write a CV, an my response has always been formed by my years as a headhunter… I never read those two line introductions. Well, that’s not quite true, I only ever read them if I couldn’t make any sense of the cv itself. That says it all? So on that basis the answer to the question would be no? well actually the answer is maybe; it depends what you put in the profile.
Given that we know that recruiters spend very little time looking at a CV before they make a decision whether to read it; (not the wording, carefully chosen) you need to make every word on that first page count. Every word needs to add value. So if you are applying for a senior finance role in a public sector organisation having spent 20 years working in finance in the public sector: what does it add to your CV to describe yourself as ‘senior public sector finance professional’? Nothing, the reader will see that from the jobs you have had (all nicely highlighted in bold so they stand out).
According to Linked In research the following are the most common words that people use to describe themselves:
Proven track record
Great words, which describe a great employee but if you string half a dozen of them together it will say nothing distinctive about you as an individual.
So is it worth while putting a personal profile on your CV at all? It can be if you use the space well: to add value. Firstly it can explain what you bring to the role if your career history does not explain that very clearly. But be careful, part of the reason that I ignored such statements was that they are assertion and public sector recruitment, or any recruitment using competencies requires evidence not assertion. Your body copy in the CV must support your profile statement.
Secondly this is the opportunity for you to promote your uniqueness, to spell out what makes you tick, to ensure the recruiter sees what will make you stand out from all the other ‘suitably qualified and experienced professionals’. This is your personal brand statement.
When I do career coaching with individuals I spend quite a lot of time working with them to identify what it is that they actually do bring to a role, what is different because you are involved in this work, what combination of skills and attribute make you worth employing. Personal branding is a growing element in job search. Using the common words will not make you stand out, having a very clear sense of yourself and what you can do for a new employer can attract the recruiters attention. They may not read it, but if they do and you’ve created a powerful message, it may tip your CV from the ‘bin’ pile to the ‘in’ pile.