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Who are you? Nailing your professional profile

So, who are you? It might sound like a silly question, but an employer needs to understand who you are, and they need to figure it out fast.

If an employer has to read four pages of detail to figure out who you are and work out if you could do the job, it's pretty likely that they won't bother and you'll end up in the rejection pile. To ensure you get an interview you need a killer professional profile.

A professional profile is a statement that captures who you are and what skills and experience you can bring to a job. You can (and should) tweak your professional profile for each job, but to start with you need to work out your key skills and attributes, as well as a way to describe who you are.

It's good to start this process with a brainstorming session with someone; it's best to get help with this as people are notoriously bad at seeing their own skills and achievements!

Note down all the different ways you could describe yourself. Are you a teaching and learning professional? An experienced project officer? A marketing manager? And which industry or field do you specialise in?

Next you need to work out your key skills. List them and then work out how your skills help the organisation. For example, do your excellent interpersonal skills ensure that you build successful stakeholder relationships within and outside the organisation?

Finally, you need to bring it all together into a paragraph (3-4 sentences). You can start it with 'I am a policy officer' or just say 'A policy officer' (writing in fragments) then say what you are experienced in. Next, highlight your key skills and how they help an organisation.

You can use your professional profile on your resume, your LinkedIn profile, and adapt it for your cover letter. It will help any employer reading your CV quickly figure out if you are suitable for the job, and hopefully get you an interview!

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