The One Line CV: How To Sell Yourself In Just A Few Words

16 September 2019

1843 Original

If you had one line to capture your prospective employer’s attention, what would it be?

Everyone is busy. Hiring managers are especially busy. As well as doing their day jobs, they’re sifting through piles of CVs (not literally, obviously – it’s not 1995) to decide which candidates to speak to.  

And if you’re a job seeker, it can be easy to get lost in the pile. So, what can you do to stand out?

Well there are certainly a few things you can do to make your CV more readable, succinct and attractive to prospective employers (check out our CV tips here). But there’s one part of your CV that you should really hone to make sure it’s the best it can possibly be. Yep, you guessed it – it’s the first line, the one hiring managers and recruiters are guaranteed to read first.

There’s some debate as to whether you should even have a personal statement or summary section on your CV or Linked In, and that’s a personal choice. But if you do, then follow our simple guide:

01 Make it short and snappy

A personal statement should be articulate and to the point, NOT long and waffle-ley. For a Linked In profile – 1 sentence. For a CV, you can get away with around 2-3 sentences. This should outline the domain you’re in, a comment on your experience and/or industry, and potentially a sentence about what role you are looking for. Such as:

“Digital product management leader, with 10 years’ experience spanning fintech and igaming. Have successfully managed cross-functional, international teams to rapidly build and scale innovative digital products. Seeking a leadership position in a high-growth environment”.

NOT

“I am an experienced manager within the field of product management, with over 10 years experience in a multitude of industries (including financial services across insurance and actuary, financial technology, broadcast media, and most recently within the online gambling sector) where I was successful in leading cross-functional teams stationed across the globe, managing a number of highly innovative digital products. Right now, I am looking to continue my career journey in a high-growth company, where I believe my skillset can be of substantial value to an organisation.”

02 Make it relevant (and real)

As a rule, your CV needs to be relevant to the role you’re applying for. Your ‘one liner’ is no different. Ie – if you’ve got a mix of marketing and product experience, and you’re applying for a pure marketing role, then describe yourself as a marketer. Better to say:

“Digital marketing professional, with experience in defining and executing on digital marketing strategy including SEO, paid social and UX. Highly analytical, as evidenced by my strong product background”.

Rather than:

“Experienced, creative professional with a background in product management and marketing, seeking a new role in digital marketing for my continued growth”.

It also needs to be real: don’t say you have a wealth of experience in JavaScript if that’s not true; you probably won’t do very well in the technical test at interview.  

03 Avoid cliché’s

If your CV one liner reads:

“Dynamic, creative, results-orientated professional, with strong attention to detail and an excellent work ethic, able to work both in a team and individually”

… then you’re probably not going to get the job, because you’ve used about every CV cliché in the book. Don’t try and use fancy corporate language to make yourself sound good, focus on the tangibles and lose the empty clichés hiring managers have seen a thousand times before.

Got your CV ready and raring to go? Browse our open opportunities here.

See how they basically say the same thing.