One of the most important things you can do to make your resume attractive to employers is to start it off with a short, powerful Profile Statement. This profile statement is meant to take the place of an ‘Objective’, which is no longer considered proper ‘resume etiquette’. The reason for this is that an Objective states what you (the jobseeker) want. A good Profile statement, however, sums up what you have to offer, and that’s what an employer really cares about.
So, how do you craft a great profile statement that shows off your ‘best stuff’ for the job? Follow this simple, 3-part format and you’ll have a winning profile statement in no time:
- Part 1: Your experience / education / job-specific skills.
When it comes to catching an employer’s eye, nothing works better than proven ability to do the job. Always, always lead with your experience in the position or field you’re applying for. Here’s an example of what that may read like for a retail manager position:
“A dedicated professional with 3+ years experience in retail management.”
What could you do if you don’t have direct experience as a full manager, but have some as an assistant manager? Consider combining all years of your experience together, as shown below:
“A dedicated professional with 5+ years combined experience as a customer service professional / assistant manager in retail and hospitality environments.”
If you have no experience whatsoever, leading with education and / or job-specific skills is still strong. Consider this example:
“A recent graduate of the Retail Management Certificate Program at Vancouver Community College, with proven experience in scheduling, inventory management, and Human Resources.”
Tip: Don’t think that you can’t apply for a job because you lack all the years of experience the job posting is asking for. Often times, that is not a hard requirement and you can total up your combined experience in related positions or working environments / sectors.
OK, now that we’ve got the experience and / or education out of the way, let’s move on:
- Part 2: Your specialty or area of expertise.
This next part of the profile statement is used to separate yourself from the competition. When applying for a job, you should always be looking for an advantage over other applicants, and pointing out that you are an expert in one or more areas of the job is a great way of doing that. Here’s an example for our retail manager:
“Specializes in maximizing site profits through employee retention and efficient inventory control.”
The great thing about this part of the profile statement is you probably already have an idea of what your specialty is. Chances are, there’s one part of your work that you have a ‘knack’ for, and that you enjoy more than your other duties. That’s your specialty, and you can demonstrate this area of expertise with stories and examples during an interview.
Tip: If you can find a way to mention how your area of expertise will benefit the company (or their customers), work it in. It makes you stand out from the competition even more.
Let’s move on to the final (and easiest) part of your profile statement:
- Part 3: Your desire to contribute to that specific employer.
Remember how we said at the beginning of the article that Objectives weren’t acceptable because it was too much about what you wanted? Well, here’s how to still get your objective across, but in a way that an employer wants to hear:
“Now seeking to contribute my experience, skills and expertise to the management team at Barry & Bob’s Coffee Hut.”
See how easy that was? Instead of stating what you want, make the last sentence of the profile statement all about your desire to contribute to the employer. And since it’s a simple matter of ‘cut and paste’ to put a specific employer or company name at the end, you now have a profile statement that can be customized for every position you apply for.
So, combining all three parts, here’s the completed profile statement for our retail manager:
Profile: A dedicated professional with 3+ years experience in retail management. Specializes in maximizing site profits through employee retention and efficient inventory control. Now seeking to contribute my experience, skills and expertise to the management team at Barry & Bob’s Coffee Hut.
And there you go: A simple profile statement that positions you as a winning candidate for the job. Give it a try on your resume!
- Try to make your profile statement no longer than 4-5 lines long. The goal is to make it short and powerful.
- Paragraph-style or bullet-style? Either works, but if you’ve already got a lot of only one style across your resume, try the other style for your profile statement. The goal is to keep your overall resume attractive and readable.
- Remember to carefully read the job posting to see what skills and experience you should be writing into your profile. Don’t waste space mentioning things they’re not looking for!
- Try to keep ‘soft skills’ or personality-based skills, to a minimum on a profile statement, unless those are the main skills the employer is looking for. At this early stage, they want to know you can do the job, not that you have a good attitude (that’s what the interview is for). So, stick to job-specific skills on your resume profile statement.