Maximizing The Résumé Profile Section

Posted on April 21, 2009. Filed under: Resumes | Tags: , , , , , |

As a certified professional résumé writer (CPRW), l know I am supposed to say that the professional section is much more worthwhile than the vague objective statements of old that focused too much on the candidate’s needs and not enough on the fulfilling the desires of the potential employer. And for the most part, I do believe that. However, lately as I have been reviewing résumés, all done correctly with profile sections, I can’t help but think they are starting to sound the same. Thus, what was meant to make a candidate stand out ends up making him or her just like everyone else.

So I thought I would take some time today to generate a discussion on how this section might be improved. My goal when working on the profile section is to (1) make the client sound unique (i.e., what are the things in this client’s background that set him or her apart?), (2) embed important keywords and phrases, and (3) properly position the client for the target audience.

I’ve been challenging myself lately to use less adjectives and to get right to the point, kind of like a Twitter tweet in some ways, I guess. I’m just tired of seeing “dynamic” and “dedicated” and so on, which are so overused they have no meaning anymore.

I would love to hear how others approach this section. Do you agree/disagree that clients are all starting to sound the same? What are some tactics you employ to make this section more effective?

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3 Responses to “Maximizing The Résumé Profile Section”

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I agree. I also find it difficult to truly meet all the demands of the target audience (aka potential employer) when so many candidates shy away from having a narrowly focused resume. So instead of being directed, it ends up being kind of flat…and again too much emphasis gets placed on the candidate and less on how the candidate meets needs.

I completely agree. I would be an advocate for removing this section entirely unless, as you allude to, the candidate has some truly unique skill or experience that makes them stand out. Phrases like ‘proven team player’ or ‘demonstrated great communication skills’ are just too commonly used and mean nothing.

If someone has a unique qualification, skill, quantifiable experience that will make the employer go “wow, i need to read on or see this person” then a profile statement can be a good thing. Otherwise you are just taking up space.

I’ve recently started using a “KPI” (Key Performance Indicators) section to replace my profile. Two or three columns with 4-5 bullets each specifically noting position specs’ keywords & years experience / successes to each.

Keeps things short & to the point, in Twitter-like brevity.

So far I’ve had several positive comments and only one negative.


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