Why is having a career profile statement in your resume so important to the success of your job search?
The answer is pretty simple. Unless this initial piece of information in your resume hooks the reader's attention there is every chance your job application will be overlooked.
Think about the reading of your resume from an employer/recruiter perspective:
So how can you hook the reader's attention?
The very first thing you can do is to use the "Career Profile" heading at the top of your resume.
Why does this work so well?
There are two reasons:
Which is the correct heading to use for writing your profile?
It doesn't really matter. Any of the following headings will help attract the reader's attention:
While the heading you isn't important....what you write under the heading is!.
The term "personal brand" is now commonly used in job search circles and in job search coaching.
The concept of "brand" is borrowed from professional marketers of products and services.
It refers to a name, sign, symbol, slogan, or anything that is used to identify any product, service or business. And, as you will realise by now....the process of job search is all about self marketing.... so the use of branding concepts in job search is quite relevant.
Personal branding in relation to job search really refers to self packaging or self positioning - it's about creating an indelible impression in the employment market place.
It's a means for you to differentiate from other professionals (or brands) in the market place when you are actively job seeking.
When you are writing your resume professional profile, you are basically describing a version of your personal brand.
Even for experienced resume writers putting together a career profile statement takes some work and experimentation.
The easiest way to get started is to brainstorm some of the resume key words that you want to include in your statement.
Play around with ideas first, then work on your grammar and descriptions.
Your aim is to produce a professional resume profile that makes lively, engaging reading about you - something that will make a real impact on whoever reads your profile.
Oh.....by the way, it also needs to be tailored to the selection criteria for the position and also be relevant to the employing organisation.
Get some blank paper and use the following headings to help you to really explore all the elements of your personal brand:
The final heading on your worksheet relates to describing the potential contribution you can make.
Describing the contribution you can make is pointing out to the reader the benefit to them of employing you.
It shows that you are focused on their needs and problems and are keen to be a part of the solution.
What sort of contributions do employers want?
Depending on what type of work you do, and the organisations you are targeting in your job search think about some of the common need areas in organisations and your ability to influence these types of outcomes:
Now that you've done some serious reflection and examination of your past career you are ready to summarise this in a professional career profile statement.
There are many ways of constructing your career or professional profile. The most common options are :
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Here are some examples of career profile narratives:
Charismatic, energetic and results focused with extensive general management experience in a diverse range of fields including tour wholesaling, the conventions industry and the hospitality sector.
Adept at developing people, managing and maintaining strong client relationships, and sourcing sustainable and profitable new business.
Highly organised and dedicated management professional with extensive background in client service and administration. Achieves service excellence by focusing the team on getting the little things right. Also excels in documenting work flows and developing user friendly operations manuals for the purposes of training staff and to assist in implementation of quality controls and continuous improvement initiatives.
While strongly task focused is also known as a people person. Has a highly engaging interpersonal style which enables the development of excellent working relationships with the team, and with both internal and external clients.
Public relations professional with over 10 years experience in the not for profit and community welfare sectors. Has a demonstrated track record of success in relation to:
Specialist project manager in the Information and Communications Technology field. Significant experience in managing project teams in large scale government IT development projects. Areas of strength include:
In terms of overall impact, the bullet points with narrative, and bullet points alone styles don't have as much punch as the other two options.
This style of profiling is more applicable to people who are early in their career and where their experience is a bit on the skimpy side.
The narrative, or narrative with supporting bullet points styles tend to more strongly sell managers and professionals with a few runs on the board.
You can no doubt see that this format of career profile enables you to elaborate in more detail on the breadth and depth of your experience.
Your career profile statement is perhaps one of the most important parts of your resume. It will be the first piece of information that you will be giving to the reader about you.
Be prepared therefore to spend the time to experiment and re-work your profile until the language you use leaps off the page at the reader!
Your profile is that important!
Check out these links for other really useful resume writing hints and tips