Consider Qualifications Summary or Profile on Resume

BUILD MY RESUME

You may wish to present a Qualifications Summary or Profile section on your resume. In addition to Profile and Qualifications Summary, these resume-topping sections go by numerous names: Career Summary, Summary, Executive Summary, Professional Profile, Qualifications, Strengths, Skills, Key Skills, Skills Summary, Summary of Qualifications, Background Summary, Professional Summary, Highlights of Qualifications. All of these headings are acceptable, but our favorite is Professional Profile. Twenty-five years ago, a Profile or Summary section was somewhat unusual on a resume. Career experts trace the use of summaries or profiles to include information about candidates’ qualities beyond their credentials to the publication of the late Yana Parker’s The Damn Good Resume Guide in 1983. For the last 20-plus years, resume writers have routinely included these sections; however, the age of electronic submissions has now caused the pendulum to swing the other way. On one hand, electronic submission means that hiring decision-makers are inundated and overwhelmed with resumes and have less time than ever before to peruse each document. That means that many of them do not read Profile or Summary sections. On the other hand, the age of electronic submissions has increased the importance of keywords so that candidates can be found in database searches. Even some of the hiring decision-makers who don’t read Profiles and Summaries advise including them as a way to ensure sufficient keywords in the resume. A vocal contingent of decision-makers, especially among recruiters, strongly advocate for a Summary section — but one that is quite succinct — a short paragraph or single bullet point. They want to see in a nutshell who you are and what you can contribute. For a detailed discussion of these sections, including guidelines for crafting them and samples, see Chapter 3 of our e-book, The Quintessential Guide to Words to Get Hired By: Your Professional Profile: Bullet Points that Describe Your Strengths in a Nutshell. And use our Resume Professional Profile/Qualifications Summary Worksheet to help you develop bullet points for this very important resume section.

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