There has been some conjecture amongst professionals regarding the merits of a personal profile on a CV. This conjecture stems from the fact that many job seekers fill there personal profiles with irrelevant and mostly clichéd information. Here at the CV & Interview Advisors, we offer free CV Appraisals, therefore see hundreds of CVs per week.

I recently reviewed 5 CVs back-to-back and was interested to find that all 5 people considered themselves to be dynamic and innovative with excellent communication skills. Having spoken to all 5 individuals, it confused me as to why 5 people, who didn’t know each other, could include almost word for word, the exact same phrase in their CV. I would guess that all 5 had found these skills on job specs and felt the need to include these words in their CV.

The problem with this theory is two fold: firstly, everyone does it and Recruiters are not stupid, they realise job seekers copy info from job specs regardless of whether they really have these skills or not; and secondly, the CV is not the vehicle for pushing behavioural competencies – that is what the interview is for!

Perhaps the confusion stems from the phrase “Personal Profile” which alludes to information about one’s personality. We would recommend that job seekers have a Professional Summary which outlines the profession in which one works, followed by 4 or 5 key areas of expertise which are aligned with the roles being applied for. See below for an example:

An experienced Project Manager (PRINCE2) with a track record of delivering £multi-million IT infrastructure projects. Areas of expertise include: understanding complex business requirements to define and execute effective project plans; the ability to manage disparate stakeholder agendas across large organisations; assembling and leading teams of up to 100 people across international jurisdictions; and extensive experience within software development and infrastructure architecture. Seeking contract-based IT Project Manager roles.

The idea is to provide a statement which “does what is says on the tin”.

Conversely, we would not recommend behavioural skills. The most commonly used phrases have become rather clichéd and include the following:

The ability to communicate at all levels of an organisation; excellent communication skills; honest, reliable and trustworthy; hardworking; dynamic self-starter; can work in a team as well as an individual; good attention to detail; can work under pressure and to tight deadlines.

If you are unsure about the relevance of information in your CV, why not contact us for a free CV appraisal. You can email your CV to appraisal@cvandinterviewadvisors.co.uk; call us on 01274 408 222; or visit our website at www.cvandinterviewadvisors.co.uk.

By Matt Craven – Managing Director of The CV & Interview Advisors