Resumes & Cover Letters

What To Write in a Resume Profile (With Steps and Tips)

July 29, 2021

Writing a resume that fills the expectations of your industry can help increase your chances of success. In some industries, recruiters and hiring managers prefer resumes that include a profile summary at the beginning of the document. A personal profile summarises your experience and qualifications in the context of the role you are applying for. In this article, we discuss the definition and value of a resume profile, with steps you can use to write your own resume for your next job application.

What is a resume profile?

When preparing your application for a job, it can help to know what to write in a resume profile. A resume profile is a section that comes at the beginning of a resume that summarises the applicant's skills, qualifications and experiences. This section outlines these characteristics specifically in the context of a specific opening or job description.

Like a cover letter, a resume profile highlights the specific information from a resume that connects to a specific job description and requirements. Using a resume profile can simplify the review process and make it easier for a recruiter or hiring manager to identify specific traits that might make an applicant a good fit for a job.

Related: How To Write a Resume Summary With Examples

Benefits of a resume profile

While it varies from company to company, hiring managers can receive hundreds of resumes for each job opening. They often have only a few seconds to spend reviewing each resume before they make their decision regarding which candidates to consider for an interview. Adding an informative resume profile at the beginning of your resume can help hiring managers notice you as a candidate for the job.

Including a resume profile that describes your skills and experience related to the job opening allows hiring managers to quickly determine if you are a qualified candidate for the position. Your resume profile may also help your resume stand out among the many resumes that applicants have submitted for a job opening. Many employers use applicant tracking software to screen resumes for job openings. By including specific searchable keywords in your resume profile, you can make it easier for hiring managers using this software to identify you as an ideal candidate.

Resume profile vs. resume objective

A resume profile summarises an applicant's qualification for a job. This can include the applicant's skills, experience and goals and how they relate to a specific job opening. A resume objective is a brief statement about an applicant's career interests, how the position aligns with their goals and why they should be considered for the job. Overall, a resume objective focuses on what the applicant wants to achieve in their next role, while a resume profile explains how they can benefit a specific company or organisation.

What to write in a resume profile

Resume profiles are usually short, and include only the most relevant details. Understanding which information that might be can help you write a quality profile for your own resume. Many effective resume profiles include the following information:

Experience

The first sentence of your resume profile states who you are and how much experience you have in a specific role or industry. Having relevant experience for the position you are applying to can help you stand out among other applicants. It is also important to articulate the value and relevance of your experiences in the context of the role you are applying for.

Education

Next, state your educational accomplishments as they relate to the job opening. Cite the formal education you have received and the degrees you have earned. You might also briefly mention any certificates or licenses you have obtained, as well as any relevant professional training. This section might include educational honours and awards if relevant to the position you are applying for.

Areas of expertise

Communicating any areas of expertise that are relevant to the job opening can help get you noticed by hiring managers as a potential candidate. If there are any topics you are especially knowledgeable about or tasks you excel or specialise in, make sure to mention them in your resume profile. This may also include special projects or examples that might help persuade a hiring manager that you should be hired.

Industry-specific skills

Your resume profile also states any skills you have that are relevant to the job opening. This can include soft skills, such as communication skills, problem-solving skills and teamwork, as well as any industry-specific hard skills a job opening may require. Consider including years of experience with particular tools or specific skill certifications if you chose not to mention them earlier.

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples

Achievements

Many applicants focus on what they accomplished in their previous roles to help demonstrate the value they can bring to a company or organisation. Stating your achievements and accomplishments in your resume profile is an effective way to communicate to hiring managers that you are driven and excel in your roles. Be sure to connect the accomplishments you cite to the role you are applying for.

Related: What Makes a Good Resume?

How to write a career profile summary on a resume

If you want to add a profile summary to your resume, here are some steps you can use:

1. Carefully read the job listing

A resume profile summarises your qualifications in the context of a specific job or available position. Carefully read the posting and job description for each position you'd like to apply for. Make note of important required and preferred qualifications. Note the specific keywords each listing uses to explain the job requirements and duties, because it can be helpful to use these in your resume and profile later.

2. Review your resume

Next, scan your resume for key experiences and abilities that match what the employer is looking for. These connections may be direct and obvious. For example, if a job listing requires experience with a particular type of software, you might note a previous role in which you used those programs.

Other subtle connections may add value to your profile summary as well. For instance, if you worked as a receptionist, your customer service skills may transfer effectively to a new role in IT support. If you choose to use indirectly related experience, be sure to clarify how those skills will support your success in your new role.

3. Write your profile

Use the information you identify in your resume to write your resume profile. Clearly explain which of your experiences and qualifications are most relevant to the job you are applying for. Try to keep your writing concise, meaning you convey significant meaning using relatively few words. Profile summaries are often approximately one paragraph or a few bullet points in length.

4. Proofread and revise

After writing your profile summary, reread it carefully for voice and tone. Edit for conventions such as grammar, usage and mechanics as well. Clear and correct writing can help convey that you pay attention to detail and communicate effectively, which can be appealing traits for many roles.

Related: How To Sell Yourself in 25 Words or Less (With Tips)

Resume profile tips:

Here are some additional tips you can use when deciding what to write in your own resume profile:

  • Keep it brief. A resume profile should be short and concise, containing just a few sentences. Resume profiles can be written as a short paragraph or in bullet form to quickly communicate why you're qualified for the job.
  • Include only relevant skills for the job listing. You should only include skills and qualifications that are relevant to the specific job you are seeking.
  • Consider the future. Hiring new employees is an investment and many employers are looking for candidates that will help their companies grow and succeed. Study the job listing to understand what the employer is looking for in the long term use your resume profile to communicate what you can do to help the company achieve its goals.
  • Place your resume profile at the top. Remember to place your resume profile at the top of your resume page so that the hiring managers can see it immediately when they begin to review your resume. An ideal location for a resume profile is below the heading and the contact information and above your work history.
  • Proofread carefully. Error-free writing can help convey a sense of professionalism and attention to detail. Consider asking a trusted friend or mentor to read your resume profile and suggest changes if necessary.

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