Skip to main content
Audiences, Established Professionals, In Transition, Job Search, Job Search Materials, New Grads, Rising Professionals, Topics

Resume Profiles: Dos and Don’ts

Did you know that many employers decide in the first 6 seconds whether or not to keep reading your resume? It’s important that you capture their attention from the start to get them to keep reading, and include the most critical information high on page one of your resume so it can be easily seen.

The best way to do this is through a strong profile. Also known as a summary of qualifications or summary, this section appears at the top of your resume below your contact information and gives employers an overview of your qualifications as they relate to the job you are applying for. The profile serves as the table of contents for the rest of your resume.

Dos and Don’ts for resume profiles:

  • DO: be concise; up to 4 bullet points or 3-4 lines in paragraph form
  • DO: tailor the profile to the job, every time
  • DO: include the employer’s words to catch their attention or get through applicant tracking systems
  • DO: put your skills in a context that will resonate with the employer
  • DON’T: use an objective statement; focus on the employer’s needs and how you can meet them
  • DON’T: use the first person (I, me, we) or possessives (my, our)

Most job postings include an overview of the position before diving into the list of specific duties and responsibilities. This section is helpful in crafting your profile, as it usually sums up the key areas of responsibility for the role. You can address those areas and any other overarching skills from the responsibilities and qualifications sections of the job posting in your profile.

Then, use your job experience bullets below to support the strengths you just listed with specific related accomplishments.

A strong profile is key in capturing the employer’s attention. By focusing on connecting your skills and accomplishments to what the employer cares about, you increase the likelihood of your resume getting a closer look.

For more on how to successfully capture an employer’s attention through your application materials, please check out these webinars: Winning the War for Talent: Thriving in a Competitive Employment Market and Key Strategy: Targeted Resumes.