A profile statement is a great selling tool. It sets the tone for your entire résumé. So, why have so many job seekers missed its value? They mistakenly believe a one-size-fits-all profile statement is better. It’s generic, they say, and therefore can fit any job posting. But employers don’t agree. In their search for real talent, generic profiles or summary statements tell employers little about a job applicant. A finely honed statement, on the other hand, showcases a candidate’s true value. The best approach if you want to successfully land that dream job is to create a distinct résumé for each job to which you apply. And within that résumé, craft a profile or summary statement that highlights your key skills.
I’ll show you want I mean. Meet Sandy, Mike and Pat. Each of these job seekers needs to create an effective profile statement for their résumé. You’ll see how we crafted a statement for each of them. Although there are many ways to write a profile, always use word construction that advantageously highlights skills for each specific job posting.
Sandy’s contract as a project manager ended last week. Thankfully, project managers are in demand. But what types of projects does she manage? What is her track record? Does she have experience with budgets? How well does she manage a team or meet deadlines? If Sandy can articulate all of this, in other words, if she can “sell” her value, she will impress an employer. A generic profile that says “Experienced Project Manager with an ability to manage crews and come in under budget” sounds okay, but it won’t impress. Instead, she revised it to read “Certified Project Manager with 15 years experience in IT systems planning, implementation and execution. Proven ability to handle multi-million dollar complex projects. Consistent track record of on-time and on-quality delivery.” This revised version shows the depth of Sandy’s experience and gives an employer a great place to start a deeper conversation.
Mike is a car mechanic. He lost his job when his employer retired. Mike’s current résumé contains a two-line profile statement: “Skilled mechanic. Able to work on cars fast!” What does this mean, exactly? A potential employer will expect Mike to explain the extent of his experience. Has he been a mechanic 5, 10 or 15 years? When Mike says he’s “able to work on cars fast!” how fast is “fast”? Within a few hours, a day, a week? Does he have a specialty? His profile doesn’t say. Yet, with a few tweaks, his new profile statement reads “Diligent ASE Certified Automotive Master Mechanic with 5 years experience in the diagnosis and repair of complex automotive issues. Specialize in transmission systems and providing quality service within three days or less.” Do you think an employer will be more inclined to consider Mike now?
Pat is a middle school teacher. She’s worked at the same school for 10 years. For two years in a row Pat was awarded Teacher of the Year for the MAP test preparation curriculum she designed for 7th and 8th graders. Unfortunately, Pat lost her job due to budget cuts. Recently, she had several HR phone interviews and they went very well. But when two principals read Pat’s summary statement, they both dropped her résumé on the rejection pile. This is what they read: “Organized 7th grade educator who is able to meet deadlines, tutor and maintain effective classroom management.” Both principals specifically need an English teacher who can help improve MAP test scores, yet they have no idea that Pat is the right candidate. Her summary statement fails to show how well she does her job. Pat needs to turn up her sales pitch a bit. Consider this version: “Credentialed Educator recognized as National Teacher of the Year for developing successful MAP test prep curriculum for 7th and 8th graders.” Or this version, “Nationally recognized, credentialed English Teacher with expertise in increasing 7th and 8th grade MAP scores by 30 percent.” Which sounds better? It depends on what you want to emphasize.
Your résumé isn’t simply a piece of paper filled with words. It’s a sales instrument. And the profile or summary statement is a tool used to show an employer why you’re the best or better candidate for the job. Build your statement with specifics about your accomplishments and add numbers to show your effectiveness. With so much competition among job seekers these days, you can’t afford to be shy. As the saying goes, “Show them what you got,” starting with your profile. It’s an effective tool overlooked by too many job seekers. Just by crafting an effective profile or summary statement you and your résumé can rise to the top.
Need help crafting your profile statement or making your résumé pop? Let us know. We’re here to help.