Think of this as your elevator pitch. Keep it short and sweet, perhaps less than 10 lines. It should be concise and to the point; there is plenty of scope to expand on this within your covering letter. Open with a strong statement that you can back up with an example. This should hit on one of your key attributes and be relevant to the role you are applying for. For example, when applying for a sales role, you might use
“A customer focussed salesperson, performing within the top five in the region for sales turnover this year and recommended to a friend by 92% of customers on feedback surveys last quarter.”
Once you have hooked the employer with a strong opening statement, keep their attention by explaining who you are, what you can do for them and what you want to achieve. You should link these back to the skills, experience or qualification requirements listed within the person specification for the role to make sure that you communicate exactly why you are a good candidate for the job vacancy.
Avoid generic phrases. I have said this already in this guide and I will say it again: do not write “works well independently as well as part of a team” on your CV. It really says very little about you and it appears in a lot of CVs. Anyone can say that they are reliable, go the extra mile for customers or have a good eye for detail, but it comes across as generic and without substance. If these are key attributes of yours and they are relevant to the application, give a good example to back it up. For example, you might have 100% attendance for the last five years, or you might be able to give an example of a time that you did indeed go the extra mile for a customer.
Further sections of our comprehensive guide to writing a CV: