How to Make an Impression with Your Personal Profile

ProfileAll buzzwords do, is get in the way of the important information that recruiters and hiring managers are trying to find” @animal

…pretty accurate statement that.  However in all the years I’ve recruited, I have observed most personal profiles resemble little more than a collection of buzzwords that tells us very little about the relevance of the application made and tend exist in the form of 4-5 lines of text and look a bit like this:

I am a dynamic, hardworking, reliable and responsible person who can work equally well alone or as part of a team.  I am very organised and presentable with good communication skills and have a friendly and helpful personality and can fit into any new working environment easily.  I am very honest and trustworthy with various experiences in many working environments.  I can lead as well as work on my own initiative.

The only achievement of this statement is the successful accumulation of a clutter of words that can sound relatively fancy, whilst requiring minimal attention for any future role the author decides to express interest in. The ambiguity of the statement makes it unclear to recruiters and hiring managers and we wouldn’t know whether you were applying to be an administrator or an astronaut.  This is a completely wasted opportunity.

How to construct a perfect pitch

Firstly, think of yourself in a business conversation, interview, networking event or even in a bar, would you open the conversation with a complete stranger with “Hi, I’m X, a dynamic, hardworking and conscientious employee who works well in a team or autonomously,” of course not, that just sounds ridiculous.

Instead, you must identify what the reader would want to learn about you, what you can add to his or her business/team and what problems you can solve.

Talk with your recruiter, refer to the vacancy description and construct an executive summary of your relevant experience from throughout your career in correlation to the job requirements.  This ensures the information is relevant to the reader; make it clear, concise, accurate and informative about your ability, experience and achievements that is pertinent to the problem the hiring manager is looking to resolve i.e. the vacancy.

With that in mind, if you are a competent solo worker and it’s relevant to your application that you say so then do say so but with more finesse and grace.  Court the reader by implying you work well on your own but without actually directly saying it and do so by giving examples.  For me, this works:

As the sole member of the direct marketing team, I have been responsible for establishing the direct marketing strategy for the business in line with the existing marketing and sales strategy, achieving a 200% increase in response rates to direct marketing campaigns as a result.

This way, instead of the buzzwords that really don’t mean anything, we have a coherent paragraph of information that tells us you can:

  1. work alone
  2. work as part of a team
  3. work with what is already in place
  4. take responsibility for setting new standards
  5. set achievable goals
  6. achieve goals set
  7. make a positive impact on the business
  8. identify areas for improvement
  9. get results

So next time you want to write about how dynamic and hardworking you are, show it by being more dynamic and work harder to prove, in one sentence how suitable you are for this role.

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