Years ago, it was known as the Career Objective. It was a section in your Resume where you had the chance to explain where you were at in your career, or life at large, and also to explain where you were headed. These days, however, it is not what the recruiter wants to know. They have but a few seconds to glance over your Resume and, quite frankly, the story of your life can come later. Let’s cut to the chase and give the recruiter exactly who you are and what you bring to the table.
The Career Objective is now outdated. Besides, it was all about me-me-me and nobody wants to hear someone only talk about themselves. With the new and improved Career Profile, it gives a snapshot of just who you are in your career and it is veered more along the lines of serve-serve-serve. That is where this world is headed – towards a more collaborative consensus – and that is exactly the kind of language (not to mention, approach) that we should have.
So let’s get right into it. Here are a few tips on how to best write your Career Profile. This section does not need to be 6 to 7 sentences long (which makes for a hefty paragraph). Make this section as clear and concise as possible.
Here is your How-to Guide:
Sentence 1: Describe your position, how many years’ experience you have in that position, and any awards gained and/or certificates/education that you bring ‘to the table’.
Eg: I am an Office Administrator with 8 years’ experience and a Certificate III in Business Administration.
If you do not have a significant level of experience in your most recent role, I suggest stating what you have experience in. Eg: Let’s say that you have just graduated from a Certificate III in Administration but this will be your first time applying for jobs in Administration. Prior to that, you worked 5-10 years in Customer Service.
You could write: “I am an Administrator with 8 years’ experience in Customer Service and I have recently completed a Certificate III in Administration.” Or you could write: “I am an Administrator with a solid background in Customer Service…”
Sentence 2: Describe your Top 3 Skills and/or Achievements
Eg: (1) I am highly organised (2) with an acute analytical mind; (3) I am knowledgeable in all Insurance processes and policy.
Eg: (1) With my high attention to detail (2) and my passion for problem-solving, (3) I recently earned the Director’s Award for my excellence in customer service.
Eg: (1) I am completing a Bachelor in Hospitality Management, (2) I can serve up to 6 tables at once (3) and with my warm & friendly nature I ensure that customers feel immediately welcome.
Why is there a bit of a formula? Because, when it comes to writing anything, there is always a formula. Even if you wanted to write a book, or an essay, or an inspirational blog. The same thing occurs with writing to capture the recruiter’s limited time & attention. Quick, snazzy sentences in the right sections of your Resume (and Cover Letter) gives them the quick, snazzy answers they are looking for.
If you are changing industries, the best thing you can do is to choose your Top 3 Skills that relate to the new industry you are moving into.
Eg: You have a background in the Retail Industry but you now wish to work in Office Administration. In Office Administration, hitting sales targets is no longer vital. Neither is attractive merchandise display or layout of the store.
However, being highly organised is. So is having a methodical approach to your work.
While you were in retail, you probably had to be highly organised and methodical in order to reach those sales targets and have a welcoming design to your store.
Do you see how I’ve joined the 2 very different industries together?
Go ahead, write down your Top 3 Skills.
Sentence 3: Mention how you are looking forward to becoming a part of the team, contributing to the team, etc. at XYZ Company – make mention of the company you are applying for.
Better yet, do a quick little research on XYZ Company by visiting their website, go to their About section to see if they describe their company Values or Mission Statement. Have a look at what these are – these will be what is highly important to the company. Perhaps they are passionate about saving the environment or having a dynamic and successful team. (If this detail about the company does not excite you, then you may wish to reconsider whether applying to work here is worth your while. Will you be truly happy working for a company with values that you don’t care too much for?)
With the knowledge of the company’s values or Mission Statement upfront, not only should you ideally feel excited about working for this company, but now you can add a little pizzazz to Sentence 3.
You could write something like, “I look forward to contributing to a sustainable environment at XYZ Company” or “I look forward to becoming part of the dynamic team at XYZ Company.” Suddenly you are speaking their language, which means that your Resume will be easier to read and understand than others. We can always understand things better when they are written in our own language and when our own words are used – the same goes for recruiters.
(I totally love using the word “cool”, as in “that is so awesome.” And it irks me when someone comes along and says, “The movie was epic.” I don’t understand “epic” in that context. “Epic” just means “big” to me. Do you know where I’m headed with that? We need to speak the recruiter’s language in our job application!)
Overall, your Career Profile will be sweet & concise and it will look something like this:
I am an Office Administrator with 8 years’ experience and a Certificate III in Business Administration. With my high attention to detail and my passion for problem-solving, I recently earned the Director’s Award for my excellence in customer service. I look forward to becoming part of the dynamic team at XYZ Company.