By | Namrata Harish | www.jobsforher.com
How Important is a Profile Summary and How to Write an Impressive One
You’ve probably heard from all kinds of sources that the profile summary is the most important part of your resume. And they’re right!
It’s vital that you put your best foot forward, and a profile summary is the best way to do that.
What is a Profile Summary
A profile summary is a concise paragraph or two at the beginning of your resume that encapsulates your experience, skills and background for your recruiter.
You may be tempted to speak at length about each job experience, certification or skillset, but a profile summary has to be short, crisp and to the point.
On the other hand, you also have to make sure you’ve included the most important points for your recruiter to notice. Don’t sell yourself short — ensure that your most impressive skills make an appearance on your profile summary.
By the end of this article, you will be able to craft your own profile summary to impress potential employers.
How to write a profile summary
Writing a profile summary is not a simple task, but it’s not impossible either. To help you write yours, we’ve roped in the expertise of JobsForHer mentor Poornima Matthan.
Poornima has worked in the line of Communications and PR for over 20 years. Her most recent role was as Head of Communications for India and South Asia at Lenovo for more than 11 years. Now, she works as a freelance writer and mentor, and has also delivered guest lectures at Symbiosis School of Media & Communication, Christ College and ISBR Business School.
In a special Expert Chat on JobsForHer’s Groups, she spoke about the importance of taking time to upgrade one’s skills. “I took some time off from full-time work and used it to upskill myself. And it’s a great idea for women to do that,” she says. Poornima encourages women to take breaks, introspect and work on self-development. “Upskilling is very critical, because once you do that, you can go back to work and reintroduce yourself and people will always value you for it,” she adds.
And it is skills like these that you must highlight in your profile summary, according to Poornima.
“Use your profile summary to speak about your break, what you did during that time and how you benefited from it,” she explains.
Read more about how to use the JobsForHer platform to create a complete professional profile here.
How to fit your profile summary into your resume?
Poornima also described how a profile summary should enhance and enrich your resume.
“Don’t write an epic resume that goes on for many pages. Stop at two pages and keep it crisp. And here’s another tip: add your social profile links to make your resume interesting. If you’ve been vocal about issues and have an active social presence, it’s vital to show that side to your employer as well,” Poornima emphasises.
Your profile summary should naturally flow into your resume. For this, you should only highlight the important skills sought by the recruiter for that particular job, and then move on to the basic details of your job experiences and background.
“The recruiter wants to know how you will add value to that particular job. While talking about the skills you’ve gained, you also need to show how you’ve grown over the last couple of years,” Poornima explains. “It’s about how you shape your narrative — make it concise, precise and attractive to the recruiter,” she adds.
Want more tips on how to build a great resume? Read here.
What can freshers put in their profile summary?
Poornima also clears doubts about profile summary for freshers. Most people who are applying for their first jobs will be at a loss for what they can include in the ‘skills’ section of their resume, and could also wonder whether they should put in a profile summary at all.
Poornima emphasises that it is a must. “Keep it brief and talk about the value you bring to the job because of your experiences outside the college. Talk about your certification courses, internships, projects, hobbies and how you’ve given back to society. All of these show the recruiter more about you as an individual than your academic data could,” she says. “You could also include all the soft skills you’ve gained from these experiences — teamwork, decision-making, troubleshooting, crisis management, strategy building, being detail-oriented, etc.,” Poornima adds.
Read more about how to show work experience on your resume here.
For more insights on profile summaries by Poornima Matthan, watch this video of her Expert Chat below:
Have you written your profile summary? What are the key points you’ve included in it? Tell us in the comments section.
Read more about crafting the perfect resume in our blogs here.