If your resume is stuck back in 2013 and you need a quick fix because that dream job application is due tomorrow, what's the one thing you can do to help bring it up to standard?
Apart from change the font (try Calibri Light in very dark grey), the number one thing you can do to improve your resume is to add a Professional Profile.
A Professional Profile is also known as an Executive Summary, Summary and Profile Statement.
Adding a profile statement will modernise your resume and help the reader understand who you are and what is special about you.
So, what's a resume Professional Profile?
First of all, it's not a Career Objective! But it is similar to an elevator pitch.
Your professional profile should clearly explain who you are (in terms of job titles and your experience) then weave together your top 3-4 skills or unique selling points.
The end result will be a paragraph that succinctly tells the reader who you are and what skills you bring to a role or organisation.
How do you write one?
For the first sentence of your profile, start by figuring out what to call yourself (job titles) and brainstorming a few adjectives that describe you. You might also wish to talk about your sector experience.
Example: A strategic and results-driven project officer and policy advisor with 10+ years supporting major projects in the government sector.
Then it's time to brainstorm your unique selling points with a friend or colleague. These will form the remainder of your profile.
To do this, start with your skills, then think about how you use these skills to help an organisation.
Your top skill might be leadership.
Your unique selling point might be leading teams through change and ensuring they feel supported and remain engaged.
Once you have come up with 3 unique selling points, type them up and try to weave them into a paragraph.
Where can you use your profile?
You can use your professional profile on the front page of your resume (top of page 1) and in your LinkedIn About section.
You can also weave aspects of it into your cover letter, in particular the first paragraph.
It will help you to answer the 'tell us about yourself' question at a job interview.
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