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How to write an outstanding personal profile for your graduate CV

Book open Reading time: 4 mins

So you’ve aced your exams – result! Thrown your mortarboard in the air at graduation – winning! And are now faced with sprucing up your CV and jumping on the career ladder – eek!

No need to be afraid, graduates – despite 48.1% of UK workers stating that they cannot write an outstanding CV, CV-Library is here to ensure that you can.

In this article, you’ll learn how to write the elusive personal profile to make sure your CV is truly outstanding, ready to secure your first move on the career ladder.

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What is a personal profile?

Your personal profile sits at the top of your CV, just underneath your name and contact details. Essentially, it’s the introduction to you, explaining who you are, your skills and strengths, and your career ambitions (if you're still looking for a career path, take our career test). And since first impressions count, you’ve really got to make the sell in these initial four or five lines.

That’s right, only four or five lines to convince your potential employer to keep reading your CV.

Despite their daunting nature, personal profiles are easy to write as they’re simply a mini version of your cover letter. Just stick to the advised personal profile structure and you’re onto a winner.

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How to structure it correctly

There are three main points you’re going to cover in your personal profile: 

  • Who you are
  • What you can offer the employer
  • Your career ambitions

Who you are

In this first sentence, you simply need to state your professional status. Since you’re a graduate, it’s probably going to be something along the lines of:

“I’m a recent graduate with a first-class honours in Maths from Loughborough University, seeking a graduate role in…”

We recommend including your degree classification as it adds some extra credibility to your qualification. However, don’t feel you have to include where you graduated from, especially if you’re running out of room, because the employer will read this later on in the education section of your CV.

What you can offer the employer

This next section is your time to shine.

Your following sentence is your chance to big-up your most impressive skills, strengths and qualities. As a graduate, this could be anything from soft skills developed through studying, any work experience placements you’ve completed, or a particular ability or talent. 

If you want to seriously impress the employer, tailor what you can offer to the job spec. For example, if you mention you’ve got extensive experience using Photoshop, but you’re applying for a sales role, this information is unlikely to fit the bill.

In addition, try to provide evidence of your relevant skills to really show the prospective employer that you have this skilful repertoire. For example:

“During my time at university, I have developed excellent time management and organisational skills due to a series of close-knit coursework deadlines and exams. As a result, I am incredibility adaptable and able to work well under pressure effectively.”

Your career ambitions

The last part of your personal profile is highlighting your career ambitions. 

Before you engage panic mode – remember no one is expecting you to know what you want to do for the rest of your life right now. After all, you’ve only just graduated.

Instead, just explain what you want to do for the short-term, what career paths appeal to you and define any skills you want to develop. For example:

“I am looking to secure a brand new opportunity in an innovative, friendly workspace, where I can utilise my soft skills and in-depth knowledge in mathematics.”

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Top tips for writing an outstanding CV personal profile

1. Stay concise

While you’ve got around four sentences to play around with, don’t feel like you have to use the lot. Over-stuff your personal statement with more than your key selling points and you’ll dampen your impact. 

2. Write with purpose

Writing with purpose means two things. Firstly, you’ve got to make sure what you’re saying is relevant to the job you’re applying for. Secondly, you have to be confident in what you’re saying without being too arrogant. That way, the employer is more likely to be impressed with your truthfulness and gravitas.

3. Rein in the buzzwords

There’s absolutely no harm in saying you’re a “highly motivated individual” or that you have “extensive knowledge in x, y and z”. However, plug your personal profile with too many buzzwords is off-putting and reduces the value of what you’re saying, overall.

Personal profiles for your CV aren’t that difficult to write, especially if you’re a graduate. Just follow our simple structure, and you’ll have crafted the perfect intro to your CV in no time.

Ready to apply for that graduate opportunity? 

Now that you've got your personal profile in check, it's time to apply for that dream graduate role. Browse thousands of opportunities and take your first step towards a career you'll love.

About the author:  Laura Slingo  is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading job board,  CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their  Career Advice  pages.