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Personal Profiles, Career Statements, Career Objectives… YAY or NAY?

I get this question all the time. Do I need one of those on my cv? Well, that is an interesting one. How long have we got?

Let’s see, do you need a potato peeler in your kitchen drawer? Some people would say no, since it’s just another item cramping your drawer, and a good knife does the same job. Other people would say it’s essential as it makes the job a lot easier. There’s no consensus. Well, cv personal statements, career objectives or whatever you want to call them are just like potato peelers.

Some employers like them. I have heard an employer say that, unless you have one, you can’t really tailor your cv to the job you are applying for. Other employers don’t even read them. When people ask my opinion, I say that personally I do like them. When competition is high, and you have something that gives you an edge, you might as well blow your trumpet loud and clear. This is what personal profiles do.

It’s your choice whether to have one or not. But please, if you do have one, make sure it works for you!

  • What DOESN’T work:

Whatever you do, avoid clichés. This doesn’t work: “A dynamic and enthusiastic individual, who works well in a team but also shows initiative, with proven record of highly developed communication skills…” I’ve lost interest already. Do you know how many people say that or something very similar? Other reason why it doesn’t work is that you are not giving any evidence. You wouldn’t be able to here anyway, as it has to be very short. So you might as well stick to the tangible facts!

  • What DOES work:

Instead, keep it short and simple. Say who you are (your education and experience, with relevant achievements) and what you want to achieve (this is probably the most immediately “tailorable” part of your cv). So something like this could work: “A final year Civil Engineering student, having kept an a 2.1 average and with 12 months experience in project planning in a construction company, looking for an entry level job in a services infrastructure business where I can further develop…”

The main thing is that, if you have one, it has to sell you. If you are unsure, you can always book an appointment for cv checking on our website. You might also want to have a look at our cv writing guide.

Good luck!

Estanis Bouza

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