What A Professional Summary Should Look Like

The professional summary portion of your profile might not look very special as you register, but it can be one of the most important parts of your profile to fill out properly.

A professional summary is a paragraph that usually appears at the top of your resume, or as part of a job application. On NORTHFORCE, it appears on your profile and aids the job matching process. If you choose to make your profile public, it can also be a deciding factor for employers considering you for an opening.

Think of it as your chance to tell your professional story. It’s an opportunity to highlight exactly what it is that makes you right for a specific position, as well as important points that can’t be communicated through the rest of your resume, such as:

  • Personal characteristics
  • Professional accomplishments
  • Core competencies

Maybe you’re friendly and focused. Maybe at your last job you broke a sales record or surpassed a goal by 25%. Details and numbers like these are great to include. Feel free to format them as a bulleted list: Bullet points can be a great way to organize this section.

A few other guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Write in the third person (avoid the words “I,” “me,” or “you”).
  • Keep it no shorter than three to five sentences, and no longer than one or two solid paragraphs
  • Be as industry-specific as possible, and use industry-specific terminology
  • Focus on your main area of interest, and if possible, an exact position

The person who reads your professional summary should be able to tell what you do for a living — and what you want to do next. A great professional summary also conveys a bit of your personality and what it would be like to work with you. It testifies to your motivation and why you’ve chosen your field.

Here’s an example of a professional summary:

“Driven and goal-oriented professional with over three years of experience in sales and retail with a passion for finding ways to improve workflow. Seeking a team management role that involves improving communication and boosting morale in a fast-paced IT environment.”

You can see the example above follows this basic formula:

Experienced XYZ professional seeking to leverage the X years of ABC experience into a new career in the LMN industry.  

Give it a try and fill in the blanks with your own details! For more pointers on how to write your own professional summary, reach out to us — we’re happy to help.

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