As with any first meeting, the Introduction to your resume is the first impression the hiring manager will have to consider you as a prospective candidate. If organized and worded in a compelling manner, you will definitely gain the attention of the recruiter. Writing about yourself on a resume can be challenging. You don’t want to say too much or too little. Most recruiters spend as few as 6-8 seconds scanning a resume, so choosing impactful language is necessary to ensure that the reader will have a captivating impression of you. Being brief and effective is the best approach; always keeping it simple.
For starters, the hiring manager clearly needs to know who you are, where you are from and what you do. This information is included at the beginning of all resumes, to include not only name, city/state, phone and email information, but also your LinkedIn profile and a website link, when available. It is important that you list your proper name, one phone number and a professional email address. To ensure that the hiring manager knows what position you are seeking, a resume title or job objective may be added just below, or next to your name. By adding these details the recruiter will immediately understand the job to which you are applying, and the ATS system will pick it up, as well. For example a job objective might include language such as:
JOHN DOE, VP-Technology
City/State • Phone • Professional Email • LinkedIn profile
Solutions-driven software developer, with a B.S. in Computer Science. 5 years experience producing problem-solving results for technological issues in accounting. Seeking management role in a company where my data assessment skills will add immediate value.
Alternatively, a Professional Summary may be placed beneath your personal information, especially if you have extensive experience. Adding a Professional Summary will establish the tone for the rest of the resume. It is important that the introductory information is relevant to the position, matches keywords and demonstrates your viability for the position. The summary should include your current job title, years of experience, general expertise and one or two accomplishments. Make sure that the language added in the Professional Summary/Introduction aligns with the position to which you are applying. Always include Keywords and matching vocabulary to pass through the ATS System. It will be necessary in most cases to revise or edit your resume for each position to which you are applying so that the respective ATS algorithm and hiring managers will recognize you.
A Professional Summary/Introduction on a resume should include brief sentences or phrases: your identification; what you do; how you do it; and how your efforts have benefited a company. This is the formula to use throughout the resume. An example might be:
Detail-oriented Legal Assistant with 12-years-experience, providing administrative support to Managing Partners in top-tier global law firms. Achieved recognition for organizational skills and implementing new processes that enhanced operational efficiency. Or…
Established Real Estate Broker with over 10-years-experience, and an MBA, specializing in commercial leases in the greater (city) area. Oversight responsibilities for 7 professionals, etc. Or….
Motivated and results-oriented professional (title) with 5-years in project management. Proven track record delivering projects on time and within budget. Excellent risk management skills. BA in accounting with supplemental certifications in (xyz certificate)
If you are unemployed or just entering the job force, then adding language from your academic background or skills obtained while unemployed, will be appropriate, and provide the recruiter with a snapshot of your capabilities. Or, you can eliminate a Professional Summary and add a Career Objective and Skills List instead. In either case, A brief list of Core Competencies or Skills below the Header or Career Summary will complete the snapshot of a candidate’s profile, and will help the hiring manager assess your viability for a job right away. For candidates just entering the workforce or with no direct experience for a specific job, a Skills List might include accomplishments from your academic, community or volunteer background, which correspond to the job being considered, such as:
To the extent that some of these skills match the requirements of the job description, they should be transferable and included in a list with supporting examples of how a particular skill impacted the results. In this way your lack of direct experience may be offset by soft skills that are also valued by the employer.
Veterans Administration-Volunteer: Demonstrated excellent written and communication skills; wrote and distributed marketing brochures for the community. Recruited other volunteers with success; Collaborated with team members to streamline processes.
For more seasoned professionals, the Skills List should include demonstrated abilities that directly relate to the position description, such as:
These are just a few examples of skills to consider adding to the resume, beneath or adjacent to the Career/Professional Summary, which will introduce you as a candidate for a specific position. Again, with each item, a brief description of how that skill impacted the project or organization, with an example, will enhance the content. However, a skills list should only include a few important bullets - a combination of industry-related skills, along with a few soft skills, such as: leadership, work ethic, communication, etc.
Just as with any content, the introduction on the resume should establish the “thesis” for the remaining content. Everything that is added below the introduction should tie back to your introduction, and to the job description. The flow of the resume, regardless of format, should include skills, education, career experience, notable achievements, and outside activities, and all should be relevant to the position.
The introduction on a resume is the recruiter’s first chance to know who you are, and what you may offer for their position. The language should always be concise, and impactful, tailored to each job application. If written properly, the hiring manager will want to know more about you, continue reading your resume, and set you up for an interview. Always proofread your introduction for accuracy, ensuring that the vocabulary and information directly relate to the specific job. In this way, your Introduction will be sure to have an immediate impact on the recruiter.