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How to write a great resume profile

A vibrant and well written profile statement can make your resume come alive. Learn everything you need to write an outstanding profile statement of your own!

What is a profile statement?

A profile statement, also known as a 'career summary', 'summary of qualifications', 'personal profile statement' or 'profile summary', is an essential element of the modern resume. Use your profile statement to grab the reader's attention and provide a snapshot of the unique qualities you bring to the role.

A profile statement is really a distilled version of your cover letter, designed to articulate your strongest and most relevant skills and achievements in a compelling and vibrant way, to help you stand out from other applicants.

Apply the same principles to the creation of your profile statement as to your resume:

  • Articulate your strongest and most relevant skills and achievements
  • Use crisp, concise language to clearly articulate why your value offering is unique
  • Describe your professional experience and make clear the position you are seeking

Infer your career objective

The inclusion of a career objective in a resume is the subject of some debate amongst practitioners. While one side argues that it is quite acceptable, the other argues that including a career objective can make you sound self-absorbed. Employers typically do not care what you want; they are concerned with what THEY want.

An alternative is to infer your career objective in your personal profile statement. Consider how the opening sentence from this profile grabs your attention and summarises this candidate's career focus, while also capturing the candidate's career objective succinctly, in a subtle way:

  • 'Target-driven sales director, proven to outperform budgets and grow revenues...'

This statement implies that the candidate is seeking a role as a sales director or similar, where she can contribute to increasing revenue (music to the ears of most employers!).

Profile statement example

Here is an example of a well written profile statement for a sales director applying for similar role in a related industry:

  • 'Target-driven sales director, proven to outperform budgets and grow revenues. Demonstrated ability to adapt to new industries and dramatically improve revenues in underperforming sales teams. Motivated to deliver exceptional customer service proven to result in successful business outcomes'

Apply this formula to write a powerful profile statement

  • Describe what you want by communicating who you are and what you can offer 'target-driven sales director...'
  • Communicate your functional attributes and outcomes you can deliver 'deliver exceptional customer service', 'grow revenues'...
  • Highlight personal characteristics but always provide examples to support your claim
  • Use active language (verbs that communicate action, such as 'delivered, adapted, attained, coordinated, effected etc.)

An example of a poor profile statement

  • 'My objective is to secure a sales director role in a medium-sized business in the health sector. I am seeking career advancement and opportunities to improve my skills. I have extensive sales experience and have led teams. I am highly motivated to succeed'

Note how this profile Summary sounds flat and lifeless. Generic skill claims such as 'highly motivated' have no power if not supported by outcomes and evidence. The focus on what 'I' want sends very different message to the first candidate's focus on 'what they can deliver' to their employer.

Include a hard-hitting, attention grabbing profile in your resume and show the reader what you'll bring to their organisation.

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