Table of Contents:
- What is a Professional Profile?
- Difference Between Main Resume Intros
- The Four Points of a Professional Profile
- Add a Professional Profile to Your LinkedIn Page
- Download Our Professional Profile Template Pack
1. What is a Professional Profile?
Sometimes referred to as a professional summary, a professional profile is a detailed synopsis of your skills and expertise. Depending on your preference, it can be written in paragraph form or a bullet point list.
Consider these two styles for your profile:
We know what you are thinking! “Well, what’s the difference between a Qualifications Summary, Career Objective, and Professional Profile?”
2. What is the difference between a Career Objective, Qualifications Summary, and Professional Profile?
This is the million-dollar question. The beginning of your resume is essentially the “elevator speech” through which you introduce yourself to the hiring manager.
All three styles have the same purpose—to grab the attention of the hiring manager by highlighting your relevant qualifications.
However, the method by which they deliver this information differs slightly.
Elements of a Career Objective
- Customized to a specific job description
- Often styled as a statement of 2-3 sentences
Let’s compare a Career Objective and Professional Profile:
Elements of a Qualifications Summary
- Focuses more on your career achievements
- Consists of 5-6 bullet points that showcase your most impressive accomplishments
- Applicant-tracking system friendly because it targets specific keywords related to the job
Next, let’s compare a Qualifications Summary and Professional Profile:
Elements of a Professional Profile:
- A mix of both a career objective and qualifications summary
- Can be styled as either a paragraph or bullet point list
- Since they are not necessarily targeting a specific position, professional profiles are great when uploading your resume to job search sites and networking resumes
The profile is a bit more structured than the Career Objective or Qualifications Summary as it focuses on four key points.
3. The Four Points of a Professional Profile
Depending on how much experience you have, your profile can include an additional point.
That said, we recommend not going over five points in your professional profile because you risk losing the attention of the hiring manager.
To maintain readability, aim for 500 characters or less.
Point #1: Years of Experience or Education
You should begin by giving your years of experience in a particular position. Leading with your experience will garner the attention of the hiring manager and prove you can perform the position. Make sure to include your job title!
Here’s how the first point might look for an accountant:
- “A certified public accountant with 5+ years of experience in ledger processes and account reconciliations.”
For students or recent graduates with little to no experience, you should focus on extracurricular activities, relevant coursework, or volunteer experience.
Here’s how the first point of a recent graduate might look:
- “A recent graduate of the School of Accounting at James Madison University, with in-depth knowledge in corporate financing and operational accounting.”
Point #2: Specialty Area of Experience
The next point should mention a particular specialty within the industry that you possess. This will prove that you are an expert in your field.
If you can’t think of a specialty, consider adding a job duty that you excel at.
Here’s an example:
- “An expert at performing large enterprise audits of $100 million.”
Notice how the point quantifies the candidate’s specialty to give their point more weight and reassure the hiring manager.
Point #3: The Skills That Pay the Bills
In your third point, you should showcase the skills that you will be able to contribute to the specific job.
Research the skills your industry values the most and add those that you possess.
If you are changing your career path, consider skills that might contribute to your new career prospects. And if you have any certifications or licenses pertinent to your industry, add them here!
Check out this example from the accountant:
- “Possess comprehensive knowledge of database software, and strong oral communication in English and Spanish.”
Point #4: Achievements
Your final point should stress your career achievements. Remember that relevance is the key.
Stating that you came in first at the state fair’s hot-dog-eating contest won’t impress an employer looking for an accountant! Instead, add achievements that are applicable to the industry.
If you have multiple achievements, then feel free to add a fifth point to your profile.
Here’s what our accountant added:
- “Corrected errors within our annual budget analysis, which lead to a 15% reduction of costs.”
4. Add a Professional Profile to your LinkedIn Page
Just like with your resume, your LinkedIn page should also include an “elevator speech” to help employers navigate your experience. A LinkedIn summary provides an employer with a quick introduction that highlights your achievements and expertise.
The rules are generally the same as for the resume profile guidelines above, but there are a few specific tips to consider when structuring your LinkedIn profile:
- Target a specific audience
- Make it scannable/Break it up with headings
- Focus on quantifying your accomplishments
- Fill up the entire section
- Add graphics
The debate on how to begin your resume will rage on, but we hope these tips drown out the noise and allow you to make the right decision.
Adding these four points to your professional profile will create an effective and enticing introduction to your resume.
5. Looking for a Great Professional Profile Resume Template?
Check out our gallery of HR-approved, battle-tested Professional Profile templates. They are free to download and will help you land interviews faster:
Gatsby Brick Red
Trump Dark Blue
Johansson Brick Red
Washington Brick Red
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below.