What Does Your Profile Statement Say about You?
Empower yourself and get the job too
Actually, it says YOU in just a few characters, words, lines. How long did it take you to create your profile for twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and what about Medium? Did you figure it out in one take, or did you try a number of word and sentence combinations? Were you thinking about the story you were conveying, the eloquence of your words, packing a punch? Did you have the larger context of your personal brand in mind?
I, myself, worked over my words several times. I always know if they aren’t quite right and then go back and keep at it until I can sit with it for a long period without warning bells surfacing from my subconscious telling me something has to change. It is also a good idea to look at other examples and that is inevitable if you are participating in your different platforms.
For instance, my Medium bio is directed more to Medium readers and writers and a broad personal brand:
Barbara L. Ciccarelli, Ph.D.
Faculty, writer, lifelong learner and entrepreneur. You can find more of my blogs at my learning website TheWayLearningWorks.com. Twitter: @BLCiccarelliPhD
I looked at many examples across the Medium platform before I settled on this version in which I make a short list of what represents who I am. Others are even more marketing directed.
Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship www.timdenning.com
Some take a stand for a cause with a website like the recently signed up Colin Kaepernick whom we all know from that historic moment in football when he took a knee during the national anthem.
However, for Twitter, I try to channel my profile statement more towards customers for my learning business.
Share not an apple, but a tweet. Learner and teacher of life/work/school. Wannabe changemaker set on mobilizing job getters through thewaylearningworks.com.
As you can see, my business is showcased here as well as my role and purpose for the business wrapped up in what I think is catchy verbiage. Of course, the profiles of people like Michelle Obama are even better.
Girl from the South Side and former First Lady. Wife, mother, dog lover. Always hugger-in-chief. #I am becoming.
In a simple statement Michelle Obama emphasizes the importance of where she came from in relation to how far she’s come. She also keeps it down to earth by mentioning things like “dog lover” and makes us smile with “hugger-in-chief,” letting us know what really matters in the world. Finally, she tags on a bit of marketing with a hashtag and reminds us of her recently published book.
This brings me to my next question. How does your profile statement for your CV, same idea in presenting you in a nutshell, contribute to your personal brand? Is it just a reference to some of your personality traits like “hard worker” or “self-starter” or does it contribute to a larger picture or image that emerges from the combination of all your employment documents and social media as well as that interview impression that you give in person or in a virtual meeting? After all,
when a company advertises for a position, they’re not simply looking for a set of skills. (Otherwise, they would’ve advertised for a robot). They’re looking for a human with a pleasant personality, a certain set of values, and the right attitude to add value to the company team. And to find that right person, employers look to one specific place on a resume: your profile statement.
The CV profile statement is a good place to start developing your personal brand, and developing your personal brand is more important than ever because there is a call for a revolution in the job market. Furthermore, having strong communication skills is necessary for the personal branding needed for this job revolution.
“There are many subtleties in communication that can influence others; the best communicators strengthen their personal brand” by knowing ““’when silence is golden’ and how to ‘read between the lines.’”
Knowing when to omit things is especially true when writing CV profile statements. You shouldn’t include everything but rather that which contributes to your pitch for the specific vacancy. If you have grocery store experience as a bagger but the job is for an accountant, then you can safely leave reference to that experience out of your statement.
There is also the practice of reading between the lines. This might apply when you are making a case for being suitable for the position. Here is where you can be very creative but within reason. In many cases and some countries, a free-lance role can also be considered the same as having your own business or being an entrepreneur. If you go in that direction, there are a lot of skills and qualities you can draw on and develop in your statement.
Your CV personal brand statement delivers on the definition of personal branding then through a combination of the format, content and wording. If you are successful, then your communication skills can empower you while also landing you the job. Why is this? Because “personal branding is the packaging of your values, goals, and experience” according to Melymbrose,
Regarding how the CV profile statement more specifically contributes to your personal brand and thereby your empowerment, the first question to ask is what does the CV say about your professional values. I had a discussion with one of my classes about what it was that tore people apart. I thought of habits first, but then a student quickly corrected me and said values were more the issue. The same can be said when an employer decides to keep or discard a CV.
My CV conveys my professional values more than what my work habits are although in either case it is clear that I have a strong work ethic. The fact that I stayed in the same sector for an almost 30-year career suggests that I am focused, know who I am, and go after it. However, the gradual upward trajectory of my career suggests that I like to challenge myself with new things or ideas, basically, that I am not averse to change. You can imagine how much an employer can surmise from just one small aspect of your CV let alone the thing in its entirety.
Another issue is how do your goals meet with the goals of the company and how is this projected as part of your personal brand in your statement? Do you have ambition and aspirations, or do you just want to keep a seat warm and collect a paycheck? I think it is safe to say from my CV that I’m a doer with professional development in mind as that is what appears on my CV. I think my CV and part of my personal brand is that I want to constantly keep growing and, when considering an open position, to discover whether I see that I can grow with the company and vice versa for the company. Is the company looking for a person of ideas who can jumpstart an initiative?
Another issue is, how can your past professional experiences show that you can add value to the new employer? This might be a tricky one to include in your personal brand statement but may be what clinches the interview for you. What you are doing is showing the employer that you have evidence of performing the role already or aspects of it and they can rest easy that you will transition well. After all, in these changing economic times, employers doubtfully want to go with a longshot.
Now that you have items to consider and include with your personal brand statement the important thing is to write them in a way that makes them and you stand out while fitting in with the overall personal brand you want to project. With this in mind, one of my profile statements for a CV, one that specifically targeted a job vacancy leaning toward business or marketing and English, might be:
University teacher of 27 years with experience teaching Global Branding and Personal Branding, especially through collaborative online domestic and international projects, who enjoys being part of team teaching and team projects in the simulation of real-world problems.
The values conveyed would include working remotely, welcoming challenges and change. The goal might be workingwith teams. The backbone of the experience offered is teaching the subject of branding.
A high profile example would be from Elon Musk, an influential tech entrepreneur, who champions the one page CV.
Aiming to reduce global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing “the risk of human extinction” by “making life multi-planetary” and setting up a human colony on mars.
Musk goes beyond what he does, about which most of us know by now, and tells us what he aspires to achieve with a hint of a promise that indeed he will make his dreams happen.
So the advice is, make every word count and don’t shortchange yourself. It only takes a few of your many descriptive words on your CV to make you stand out and get you that interview!