That’s the average amount of time a recruiter or human resource person will spend looking at your resume, according to Business Insider. In those 6 seconds, recruiters and HR quickly scan your resume and focus on your Resume Profile (the section at the top of the first page of your resume). As they typically have to work through hundreds of resumes, the Resume Profile gives them a much needed bird’s eye view of your accomplishments and key contributions. The other sections of the resume are important – but only if the recruiter is compelled by your Resume Profile to review the rest of your resume.
Benefits of a strong resume profile
If you’ve been using the old standard “Objective” section at the head of your resume, ditch it for the Resume Profile. U.S. News advises candidates to shy away from the objective section, because “they’re all about what you want, rather than what the employer wants, which is what this stage of the hiring process is all about.” Instead, create a Resume Profile which focuses on how your strengths and skills add value to organizations. Here’s why:
- The Resume Profile positions you as a top candidate. Think of the Resume Profile like an elevator pitch. If you had 6 seconds to tell someone what you’re about, this statement should capture your “career essence” and how you’ve contributed to companies’ success. For example, if you were critical to growing sales to $15 million, lead with that information.
- Employers look for keywords in the Resume Profile. Technology has taken over the hiring process, with scanning software now reviewing resumes for keywords related to the industry or skills employees need to have – weeding out applicants that lack key qualifications. If you want your resume to make it through this stage, the Resume Profile section needs to note industry-related keywords. Build a robust profile by incorporating keywords noted in the job postings you are targeting.
- You have 6 seconds to grab the attention of hiring managers when presenting your resume. Make those seconds count by creating accomplishment-based statements which will ensure your Resume Profile stands out from your competition.
Great profile writing in action
As the Resume Profile plays a key role in helping you gain a critical advantage, moving forward in the hiring process, ensure your Profile is compelling. Here’s an example of a stellar Resume Profile section:
Visionary IT Executive
Agile IT Leader with a stellar track record of turning around technical operations, driving completion of complex infrastructure projects, and increasing system performance. Thrives in challenging environments with lean operating demands, complex infrastructure requirements, and restrictive operating budgets. Builds highly responsive global IT teams that consistently deliver results with substantial improvement to service delivery, standardization and business/systems performance.
Areas of Expertise: Project Management / Disaster Recovery / Business Impact Analysis / Business Continuity Planning / Vendor Management & Negotiations / Licensing / SOX Compliance, Planning & Auditing
Make your profile shine
Resume Profile statements that grab recruiters’ attention should:
- Highlight your extensive experience. Note how the above Resume Profile demonstrates this executive’s depth of expertise and says that he is not a newbie.
- Showcase your capability and know-how. In the sample, the executive shows his range of abilities and experience dealing with issues relevant to the role he is targeting. It says, “I’m not a one-trick pony. I’ve got a breadth of experience in many areas.”
- Identify your skills. From your technical through to your people management skills, show the range of your expertise.
- Feature your contributions. Valuable skill sets to include range from devising and executing strategy, implementing cost cutting initiatives, leading key projects, turning around operations, and driving results.
Get your resume to the top of the pile through creating an accomplishment and keyword-rich Resume Profile. Highlight your key skills and your track record of success. This will differentiate you from other candidates and make your resume stand out.
Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. Copyright JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.
Wishing you much career success!
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional