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CV: “About Me” Section Tips and Guide

by
Matthew Williams

The “About Me” section is your chance to frame your qualifications, skillset, achievements, and goals in a way that benefits you. Spanning just a few sentences, this important introduction to your CV provides recruiters with a brief summary of your background and can help convince hirers to keep reading and pay closer attention.

While an About Me section tends to be somewhat more conversational, allowing personality to be expressed, it should still be professional in tone. Nailing this can be tricky, with many CVs adding too much or irrelevant information that can put off would-be employers.

To help you land more interviews and stand out from the crowd, we’ve put together a short guide below on writing a great CV About Me section.

What is an About Me Section?

The about me section (sometimes called a personal profile) typically sits right at the top of your CV, just underneath your name.

This short paragraph of 3-5 sentences serves as a way for recruiters to get the gist of your academic and professional life, with a dash of personality if possible.

A successful about me section will intrigue the reader and pique their interest in your CV, causing them to read with a little more care than they perhaps would do otherwise. With recruiters scan-reading dozens and even hundreds of CVs each day, your about me section is, in some ways, one of the most important aspects of your application.

What to include in your CV about me section

In order to see what we should include in an about me section, let’s begin with a serviceable example:

Motivated marketing professional with over 6 years of experience working with some of the UK’s biggest companies. I specialise in online advertising, novel brand activation strategies, and brand development with proven success including an 18% increase in revenue for one client. I am currently looking for roles that will allow me to continue learning and growing professionally.

The above example is short, comprising of three sentences, succinct, and maintains an air of professionality, while also giving a glimpse into the personality type of the individual.

Breaking it down, we can see, then, that an about me section should:

1.   Introduce yourself

In our example, the applicant has come straight out of the gate with their professional title “Marketing Professional” with the modifier “motivated” helping to shape the perception in the mind of the recruiter.

Your professional title should be a description of your current professional status. For those at the beginning of their career journey, this professional title should be accurately described so Applicant-Tracking Software (ATS) can pick up on important keywords.

While it can be tempting to describe yourself as a manager of some kind, this kind of terminology can filter you out of entry-level and lower-level jobs that you may be applying for early in your career. Including the word “junior,” when appropriate, might help your CV be seen by more recruiters. For example “Junior Data Analyst” is more appropriate than “Data Analyst Expert” when applying for entry-level jobs.

Similarly, those yet to begin their career should accurately describe their student status. There is no reason not to simply state “Economics Student of XYZ University,” for example.

2.   List specific skills or accomplishments

Your about me section should be short so you need to get to the point, quick.

When it comes to your skills and accomplishments, you need to narrow these down to your biggest, most relevant achievements, or consolidate them as much as possible. Recruiters do not have time to read 20 different proficiencies but, instead, want to see the most significant.

All CVs you send out should be tailored for the specific role you are applying for. The skills and accomplishments you list in your about me section, then, should be chosen to highlight why you are appropriate for that job.

You should also be specific about your accomplishments. If you’re applying for a Human Resource role and you’ve successfully onboarded and trained people for other companies, state exactly how many, highlighting how this has benefitted the company.

3.   Outline future goals

Lastly, your about me section should mention where you’re heading in terms of future professional goals.

Most companies want to employ people with drive and ambition. Detailing why you are applying for this role and how it can help you achieve your future goals gives recruiters a bit of insight into what makes you tick. Stating you are “seekings roles to expand my onboarding experience to develop effective training strategies,” for example shows you are looking beyond a pay cheque and towards a bigger vision. A realistic goal, for example, could be to achieve a leadership position or develop expert proficiency in your field.

Be careful not to make your goals sound overly competitive to your would-be-employer, however. Also, avoid making over-grandiose statements that may come across as naive or disingenuous. Recruiters are experts at filtering out the signal from the noise and will see straight through anything of this kind.

What not to include in your CV about me section

What not to include in your CV is as important as what you do.

●      Unprofessional tone: Your about me section is not a personal blog; extraneous details and unprofessional language should be excluded. This includes fluffy language and attempts to be funny. While some recruiters may appreciate some humour after sifting through hundreds of applications, your CV is a professional application and should be treated as such.

●      Falsehoods: It can be tempting to embellish your accomplishments, fudge statistics, and outright lie about your experience, especially when you’ve been applying for roles for a while without much success. Nevertheless, being dishonest on your CV is a big mistake with many horror stories of employers terminating contracts once discovered, even for employees who have been with a company for years.

●      Too much information: You only want your about me section to be a few sentences long as recruiters do not have time to read long-form text. Boiling down your accomplishments and skills, then, to a few powerful sentences, then, involves striking out anything that doesn’t pertain directly to the role you are applying for. While it might seem impressive that you were the leader of your debate team, for example, unless this is directly relevant to the position you’ll want to remove it.

Conclusion

The about me section is one of the most misunderstood sections of a CV with many people erroneously considering it unimportant. Instead, a well-crafted about me section can be the difference between landing a job interview and being remembered, and simply fading into the pile of other applicants.

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