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Secret 1
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The Big Three
Bragging 101

The Resume Debate
Free 2 Change
Ready, Aim, Fire
5 Steps

November 18, 2009

How to Create the Perfect Profile

#3 of The Big Three: The Top Three Elements Every Resume Must Have...and Very Few Do!!

The job search can be frustrating, no doubt about it.  Often, it seems out of your control.  But there is good news! 

You have more control than you think...

...over how you are perceived by recruiters, employers, human resource personnel and those with whom you network.  That's because they forge a perception of you based on the information you choose to present in your resume and cover letter.  

Every fact, date, job title and organization name you choose to include contributes to that perception.  Every skill, talent, accomplishment and achievement you choose to describe suggests what you can do for your next employer.  Every word, sentence and bullet point you choose to incorporate will either add to or detract from their overall impression of who you are, whether and how you can be of use to their firm.  

Seize control and you seize a valuable opportunity.

It's critical that you take control by managing The Big Three -- those three elements critical to an effective resume: Format, Content and Profile:  

  1. Format - Because recruiters and employers are inundated with resumes, it's critical that you design your resume for at-a-glance impact.  Strategic formatting helps ensure that they see the key points YOU WANT them to see even if they spend only 30 seconds on your resume.
  2. Content - In those 30 seconds, your readers will forge an impression of you based on the details you present: previous employers, job titles and responsibilities, strengths, accomplishments, volunteer work, summer jobs, awards, education, even e-mail and social networking addresses.  So choose wisely!
  3. Profile - Perhaps the most important part of a resume is the information at the top of Page One -- below your name and above your past job experience.  Introduce yourself to the reader by describing what you do...and what you do exceedingly well. 

In previous issues, we've explored strategic formatting and content selection.  Now, let's take a closer look at your Profile - what experts call "the most valuable real estate on the page."   

Your Profile: most likely to be read,
read first and believed. 

A well-written profile may be all your readers need to see of your resume.  So be certain that it introduces your special skills and accomplishments...and describes unusual strengths, fluencies and awards that distinguish you from other candidates.  You may want to include the title of the job you're applying for to make that connection for your reader. 

A strong profile enhances the credibility of the data that follows.  Once your readers continue to the body of your resume, they'll be more likely to perceive it as support points for the "promises" you made in your introduction.  For example, state that you possess "in-depth Quality Management expertise" and readers will believe it when they see related job titles and TQM certifications that follow.  Present your "ability to identify and develop overlooked new business opportunities" and your readers will believe the growth figures and percentages you include below under each of your previous jobs. 

Your Profile is your paragraph to shine!  So don't be shy.

  • Use narrative phrases instead of bullets - they're easier to read.
  • Describe uncommon qualifications - they're more likely to get you noticed.  
  • Describe benefits you offer so that they relate to profitability, productivity, morale, teamwork or leadership - they'll prove far more meaningful...possibly irresistible to your next employer. 

Don't miss this important opportunity to take control of your resume and you search.  And remember, we're here to help whenever you choose!