Sorry. But there’s no escape. Even if you work all on your ownsome. You’ll still need a well-written profile – for the About Us section of your website, sales credentials, proposals or professional association membership. Follow these top tips for profiles with pizzazz:

  • Don’t give your competitors a plug. If you’ve head hunted the head of marketing from your arch rival, well done. But it’s best not to name your competitors. Instead try alluding e.g. ‘Wayne brings with him experience gained working for a big five firm of accountants, running their Sydney office and building the taxation practice…’. Established businesses can rise above cheap point scoring.
  • Mention your competitors. Businesses in emerging categories or start ups may benefit from association with an established business. Better to have name recognition by proxy than none at all. If your kitchen table start up has hired Richard Branson, the Virgin name will raise your profile faster than ‘Kitchen Table Top Sauces & Pickles’.
  • Sell skills. Clients, customers, colleagues all want to know what you bring to the role. You are an unknown quantity. Make it known. ‘Brian brings skills as a dog washer, bringing fresh skills to our expanding pet portfolio.’
  • Don’t be professional. Only list awards and qualifications above and beyond the call of duty. Or where reassurance is important. We want to know our dentist is fully trained and qualified. We take it for granted that our hairdresser has been trained.
  • Leave it out. Unless it’s relevant to your current role. Apart from any particularly unusual achievements – rowed to the pole recently?
  • Keep it brief. 100-135 words max. Even the Queen has a summary version of her biography.

Follow the 3 steps and a bridge formula:

  1. Education and early career history – from University/early 20s onwards.
  2. Professional experience – positions held and expertise gained.

Bridge:       How steps 1 and 2 has led to the candidate being the best person for the appointment today.

  1. The appointment – title, position, responsibilities – and what the candidate has been brought in to do.

For example

A graduate in English, Beryl spent 10 years in professional service marketing before retraining as an airline pilot. She joined Fly Me To The Moon in 2000, bringing experience in loop the loop and emergency landings. Newly appointed as a flight crash dummy, Beryl offers passengers and crew a unique insight into the evacuation procedure. She has been brought in to improve Fly Me To The Moon’s safety record and strengthen the relationship with Air Traffic Control.