Thursday, 18 February 2016

Profiles and CVs

In the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of a profile is "a short article giving a description of a person or organization" whereas the definition of a Curriculum Vitae is"a brief account of a person's education, qualifications and previous experience" and is a Latin expression meaning "the course of life". The differences are that a profile can include details of one's personality, family, background, education, appearance, etc whereas a CV is facts only and is tailored for a specific job. It is written as a list with none of the fullness or show of personality observed in a profile. An online profile can include a fuller account of one's strengths and can be used to complement one's CV. Online profiling can include key words to allow for easier searching by a prospective employer.

I have always enjoyed updating my CV. It gives me the opportunity to look back and be proud of what I have done and to look forward to what I could do next. When I checked over my CV to apply for this course I noticed something. There was not a single mention of my academic education and I had omitted parts of my dance education, like singing. Why are my academic skills not essential to applying for a dance job? They show that I am educated and received grades in all manner of subjects, besides dance, that could be useful in a Managerial Position whilst being employed as a dancer. Why did I feel that this information was not essential to have on my CV? More interestingly, why is this information not needed by a prospective employer? I am there to be a dancer foremost, but, I have been hired as a Dance Captain and a Production Manager and have had to write emails to other departments on the ship and to people in the head office. Why wasn't my knowledge of English and grammar not essential to my position as Production Manager? I had to deal with bonus payments for my cast and payments of crew members performing in the amateur shows so, as Production Manager, it was essential that I could calculate basic maths correctly. I got the job without the company's being aware that I possessed these skills required for management but I cant help thinking that had this information been on my CV, could I have gained this position sooner?

Here are my CVs. My contact details are blacked out as are my company details for privacy reasons.

 Above is my new CV that I updated to include my education details. (I removed my height and weight details as these are not essential facts for studying and this CV was tailored to suit my application for this course. I shall re-enter them for dance employment applications.) Below is my old CV.

One will notice that my newer CV is longer than my old one. One will also notice that in both CVs I kept the colour and the head shot. I feel that using a coloured border finishes off the paper and prevents it from being another sheet of white on the pile of CVs. I used red to highlight my contact details and to header each section of my CV and bold font helped to show important details such as my ship's name (not specified in these CVs). I used my head shot next to my personal and contact details to bring a face to the writing and it also gave me the opportunity to give companies a body shot if they specifically asked for one photograph only. I used word because it was the program I was most familiar with and is easy to edit and print. I feel that my CV, because of my choice of using colour and my head shot, may show a small spark of my personality. I include links to my show reel as these help if, at an audition, it is impossible to sing or perform pointe work due to injury or illness. 

On using Google+ I notice that one can have all one's details in one place; photos, videos, CV, profile. This is a useful way for an employer to research a potential employee. The profile provides the key words to be found easily in a search engine, videos and pictures provide current visuals, the location shows where I am currently residing and work section shows if I am presently engaged in work or available; a useful tool for both employer and employee. 

However it also provides dangers if it is connected to one's private Facebook or other personal sites as sometimes Facebook can be used against one if there are inappropriate comments, photographs or posts that a prospective employer can see. It is better to keep business profile and personal profile separate.

In creating an online profile I can write a more descriptive account of myself and prove that I can use my education to write comprehensively about my experiences, and the knowledge and skills I posses. It is a way to prove that I am not only a talented dancer, but an educated woman. I have noticed that a lot of online profiles are written in the third person. Writing in the third person is more like a reference. Would a reference be more beneficial to a prospective employer? Writing in the first person leaves no doubts that I am writing about myself. Which would a prospective employer prefer? 


  1. Hi Nora,

    Wow very in depth and a lot to your CV! :) - I really like how you have set it out, clear precise easy to read! which is great! however personally I would not include your Advanced exams and results on your CV's. have you ever been asked if you have them and what grades you have? You have you're teaching qualifications there for showing that you are a high enough standard for you to be teaching. Now this is just my own personal opinion, but maybe a way to condense your CV down a little? just a thought :) also best of luck embarking on this course

    1. Hi Laura,
      Thanks for your comment and suggestions.
      My CV is not tailored to teaching, it is tailored for performance work.
      In my experience, I have been asked on several occasions about my ability as a classical dancer and tap dancer and found it easier to state my examinations and grades on my CV rather than them ringing or emailing to ask about my levels of skills.
      They are recognised professional qualifications, much like maths and English.
      There are people who do not take professional dance qualifications seriously and any syllabus advanced 2 is now recognised as equal to A levels and can actually help to get one into university.
      Also, I worked very hard to achieve these results and I feel that I should be proud of the fact that I managed to achieve distinction in both RAD and ISTD advanced 2 ballet.
      Finally, I am sure that when we both receive our BA, we will be very proud and please to be able to add HONOURS! :) We shall have earned it!

  2. Hello, Found your post and also your comments on Grace's CV really helpful when making changes to my own CV. I have made a post about the changes I made as a result, would lov your feedback!

  3. Hi Rebecca.
    Glad you found my comments helpful. :)