In the job hunting world, speed and ease-of-reading is key when it comes to resumes. Hiring managers might not have time to read each and every one of your work experience/volunteer/key skills statements, so you need to get them invested from the beginning.
How can you give your resume the best chance of a thorough read through? A resume profile is a great option.
Placed at the top of the resume just under your name (and perhaps contact information), a resume profile showcases the highlights of an applicant’s skills, experience and specialties that make them a unique candidate for a role — the highlights of what’s to come further in the resume.
It’s like a mini cover letter, and quickly shows a hiring manager why you are the best person for the job!
A resume profile can include any of the following:
- Your years of experience
- Your specialty or area of expertise
- Your soft or hard skills that are relevant to the position (hint: look for those keywords in the job description and use them!)
- Any big achievements that brought in really significant results, and are relevant to the role you are applying to.
But how do write one that’s efficient and effective?
Let’s use my previous field as an example (sports media and communications), assume we are applying to a sports journalism/communications role, and work out an example.
1. Lead with experience in the position or field you are applying for:
Use the first sentence to note how many years of experience you have in that field or at that level of a role. If you don’t have direct experience in the level of employment of the position, think about combining previous roles:
“Experienced sports communications professional with 4+ years of experience.”
“Experienced professional with 4+ years combined experience as a communications/social media coordinator in the sports industry.”
If you are switching industries and have limited experience in that area, try leading with a job-specific skill or your education:
“Recent graduate of the Bachelor of Media Studies program at the University of British Columbia, with proven skills in writing, editing and team leadership.”
2. Point out what makes you unique
Think about what makes you different from everyone else applying. Applicants likely have similar technical skills, but is there something unique to your brand?:
“Specializes in profile writing and data-based, long-form features.”
3. Work in how you would benefit the company
Think about what you’ve already written, and how that would directly benefit the department or organization you are applying to. What does this all mean for them?:
“Makes sport easily accessible and relatable for all fans, from dedicated readerships to those just diving in.”
There! We’ve done it. The final product could look something like:
“Experienced professional with 4+ years combined experience as a communications/social media coordinator in the sports industry. Specializes in profile writing and data-based, long-form features. Makes sport easily accessible and relatable for all fans, from dedicated readerships to those just diving in.”
In just 1-5 sentences, you’ve highlighted how much experience you have that fits what a job requires, some skills that make you a great candidate for the role, and what it would mean to that hiring manager. Quick, easy, and hopefully keeps them reading further!
SOME FINAL TIPS:
- Keep your resume profile between 1-5 sentences, as noted above. It keeps it quick and easy to read.
- You can write the resume profile in either bullet points or a paragraph. But, if you already have a lot of one style in other parts of your resume, try mixing it up and using the other for your profile (i.e. if all of your work experience is in bullet points, use a paragraph for your profile).
- Make sure to consult the job posting and only include what the company is looking for — space is valuable on a resume, so use it wisely.
- Take out any unnecessary adjectives, transitions or pronouns. Keep it short and snappy!
~ written by Lucy Fox
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