Being true to yourself is key to personal profile

Q: I have been trying to ‘bump up’ my personal profile section at the start of my CV, but everything I say seems to be cheesy. How can I write it without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet? I work in sales and am applying for a job in a different sector where opportunities are better. (Mary, email)

A: First off, Mary, the reality is that, whether you like it or not, a CV is a place where you must blow your own trumpet. It’s your stage, so to speak, and you’ve got to put on a performance.

But, it need not be cheesy. We always emphasise to candidates that they must be comfortable with the language used throughout their CV. So if it doesn’t sound right to you to say “I am arguably the greatest salesperson your company has never had”, don’t write it. Be true to yourself.
If you are self-conscious about what you are writing, perhaps you are trying to force it too much. Maybe you’re Googling away there and finding other personal profiles that are, in the vernacular, ‘a bit too pumped’ for you.

Might I suggest something like: “Determined and driven salesperson, with extensive experience in the {name your sector}, now seeking an opportunity to transfer my skills to the {name new sector} Confident I can bring real value to your organisation. Am keenly aware of the key elements of the salesperson’s role: building rapport, creating long-term relationships, after-sales service and follow-up.”

In that profile, you are not talking yourself up too much. But you are addressing key elements of the job. It is important that you write only what sits well with you – you will be obliged to support the words during the interview itself, so best not to create a profile that will not be consistent with your approach in the interview.

The other key point is that you must be able to back up what’s in your personal profile with real, tangible evidence. Outlandish claims will be quickly exposed as just that. So make sure the claims you make are supported by evidence from previous jobs, education, and the like later in the CV.
In the interview, too, you will be required to back up what you’ve claimed with in-depth examples.
Best of luck. And don’t be too self-conscious: every other CV will have people talking themselves up too. That’s the nature of the job-seeking arena.


Featured image courtesy of Pixabay.


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