Your Professional Profile is one of the first things a hiring manager sees on your resume. Before we get into its function and importance, we’ll explain what it is, and other resume keywords you’ll need to know in order to understand the Professional Profile. If you’re new to writing resumes, to job hunting, or are just unfamiliar with the most current language being used to discuss resumes, it’s a good idea to review these key terms. There are proven ways to improve your resume, but in order to utilize the nuanced advice from expert resume writers, you’ll need to become familiar with the terms they use.

First, we’ll break down the sections in the top portion of your resume. We do so more in-depth in our “Anatomy of a Perfect Resume” module, but we’ll stick to some shorter working definitions here. The Header is the first section of your resume, and it contains basic information about you: your name, contact information, city and state, and often social media links. The Professional Profile is the section just below the header.

The Professional Profile is prime real estate on your resume. That’s why it’s crucial to thoroughly understand its purpose, so you can optimize the material you place there. We liken the Professional Profile to an “elevator pitch” of your professional self to hiring managers. Imagine you walk into an elevator to the top of a skyscraper, and you realize that the hiring manager recruiting for your dream job is standing right next to you. In the 30 seconds of face time you have with that hiring manager, what aspects about yourself do you want to highlight to them? The Professional Profile offers hiring managers a highly condensed glimpse of you, probably their only opportunity to see who you are on paper before deciding whether or not it’s worth it to meet you in person.

One component of your Professional Profile is the Key Skills section, which we’ve blogged about in the past. The section that immediately precedes the Key Skills section is your Summary Statement. The Muse defines the Summary Statement as, “a few pithy and strong statements at the beginning of your resume that help summarize your skills and experience in order for a prospective employer to quickly get a sense of the value you could offer.”

We at Resume Yeti generally believe that there are two ground rules to writing a Summary Statement:

1) Less is more

A Summary Statement should not be longer than a few sentences. As this information is highly condensed, including too much of it will be overwhelming and seem superficial to the hiring manager reading your resume. As The Balance puts it, a good Summary Statement should concisely answer the question “What can this applicant offer the employer?”[LINK TO:  ]

2) Customize your statement to the position you’re applying for

Your summary statement does not have to be the same for each job you’re applying for. Sometimes you’ll notice that elements of your statement that seem essential to highlight for one position seem superfluous for another. Additionally, you may find that certain positions will require you to be more specific in your statement. For example, take a look at these two summary statements written by the same job applicant, for two jobs in distinct industries:

Marketing/Business Development/Promotions:
“Highly accomplished, creative and multifaceted marketing and business development professional with comprehensive, managerial experience in corporate sales, promotions, advertising, operations, strategic planning and brand management. Exceptionally focused and results-oriented, supporting complex deadline driven operations with high profile clientele. Extensive background in communications and project management.”

Events and Meeting Planning:
“Highly accomplished, creative and multifaceted event management professional with comprehensive experience in the planning, operations, and sales sides of the industry. Exceptionally focused and results-oriented, supporting complex deadline driven operations with high profile clientele. Detail-oriented with experience in creating and maintaining client and vendor relationships. Extensive background in marketing, communications and project management.”

The first Summary Statement is for a position in Marketing/Business Development/Promotions, and the second is in Event and Meeting Planning. We’ll break down the differences below:

The first difference is the type of professional the applicant is. The marketing summary focuses on her versatility and her extensive experience in marketing and business development. The event planning summary focuses both on her versatility as well as her skills in operations and sales. This would be important to point out in the Summary Statement because not all applicants to event planning jobs would necessarily have that experience in sales and marketing, as this applicant does. Including it in her Summary Statement will make her stand out to hiring managers.

The second difference is how the applicant highlights her professional personality. In the marketing/business development summary, she wanted to feature her ability to focus in complex situations, how she excels even under the pressure of deadlines and high profile clientele, which would be crucial for someone in marketing or business development. In the event planning summary, she wanted to highlight her knack for details and nurturing relationships between clients and vendors, skills that would be essential for event planners.

The last difference is in how she describes her background. The two sentences are identical, with the exception of one word: “marketing.” The marketing/business development/promotions summary does not include the applicant’s background in marketing, while the event planning summary does. This is because it is assumed that an applicant applying for a job in marketing would have a background in marketing. Since the applicant would want to keep the summary as concise as possible, including the word “marketing” in this Summary Statement would be superfluous. However, in the Event Planning summary, she needed to highlight her background in marketing because, again, many applicants for a job in event planning may not have had that experience in marketing. 

Now that you’ve learned more about the Professional Profile section of your resume and how to write an excellent Summary Statement, you can put your knowledge into action and begin customizing your resume. Prepare to see a difference in response from hiring managers once you implement these changes and tweaks on your resume!


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