How to Write a Compelling Profile Summary Statement

completing a job application form

Writing a Profile Summary Statement

A profile summary statement (also known as a career summary) is a concise summation of the key points of your resume. The goal of a profile summary is to emphasize the awesome value you can provide to your target audience. You would do this by letting your target audience know specifically how you can use your knowledge, skills and expertise to solve their problems and enhance their business. Depending on your preference, you can write your profile summary in paragraph form or a bullet point list.

Aim to get your profile summary statement down to a series of laser-focused sentences of between 50 and 200 words. These words should represent the strongest elements of your most relevant accomplishments and accolades a professional.

What to Avoid in Your Profile Summary

There are certain things you’ll want to avoid including in your profile summary.

For example:

  • Proficiency in software packages. Your profile summary is for your most impactful strengths and accomplishments. Proficiency in software programs such as Ms Office doesn’t make you stand out and is not unique or important enough to place in the opening paragraph of your resume. Furthermore, most HR managers expect you to already have familiarity with it. Keep these types of competencies in the technical skills section of your resume.
  • Long sentences or boring adjectives. If you describe yourself as “creative, motivated and responsible with a proven track record”, the problem is, so does everybody else. These words appear on so many resumes that they have completely lost their meaning.

Overused Buzzwords

Research suggests that these words are actually a turn-off to potential employers. Career strategists suggest these words are so overused, they have lost their meaning to employers, and can make you come across as “predictable”. In fact, they may actually put the employer off engaging with you.

Here are the worst buzzwords to avoid using on your resume:

  • Creative
  • Dynamic
  • Go-getter
  • Motivated
  • Driven
  • Synergy
  • Think outside of the box
  • Passionate
  • Best of breed
  • Track Record
  • Innovative
  • Responsible
  • Analytical
  • Team player
  • Hard worker
  • Proactively
  • Extensive experience
  • Outstanding
  • Organized
  • Enthusiastic
  • Goal-oriented
  • Self-motivated individual
  • Results-driven
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Exceptional skills

Guiding Principles

  • Write in complete sentences. To separate yourself from the competition, write in complete sentences, beginning each sentence with an action verb. Use facts to create credibility and strong adjectives that differentiates you out from other candidates applying for the job.
  • Use facts and figures to demonstrate your skills and abilities rather than ostentatious statements that anyone can make. This will help you establish credibility with the reader and stand out from the crowd.
  • Showcase meaningful results. Employers love to see measurable results. They don’t want to hear you describe yourself as dedicated or results-oriented, because that is what appears on almost every resume that recruiters and hiring managers come across.
  • Quantify your achievements. You will score bigger points by providing evidence that shows you are a results-oriented individual. So, instead of describing yourself as a “driven, focused and results-oriented professional” (like millions of other people), say that you “Met and exceeded monthly sales targets by 100-250% on a consistent basis for three consecutive years”.
  • Cite quotes. If you have been praised for your customer service skills, rather than describing yourself as having “outstanding customer service skills”, state that you were “Recognized as the top customer service executive for 9 months in a row for resolving problems diplomatically.”

Alternatives to Overused Buzzwords:

Here are strong adjectives to consider as alternatives to overused buzzwords.

  • Motivated

Alternatives: inspired, spirited, energized, vigorous.

  • Responsible for:

Alternatives: cultivated, achieved, improved, mentored, resolved, guided, shaped, orchestrated, facilitated, pioneered, spear-headed, launched, collaborated, enabled.

  • Creative

Alternatives: talented, inventive, original, imaginative, ingenious

  • Track record

Alternatives: credentials, performance history, accomplishments, achievements, attained, showcased, won, sold, under budget

  • Effective

Alternatives: competent, constructive, functional, capable.

  • Organized

Alternatives: orchestrated, chaired, improved, spear-headed, collaborated, influenced, volunteered, managed, created, increased/decreased, negotiated, pioneered, commissioned, established

  • Enthusiastic

Alternatives: energetic, spirited, vivacious, vigorous

  • Responsible

Alternatives: accountable, astute, virtuous, authoritative, exemplary.

  • Innovative

Alternatives: ingenious, original, inventive, inspirational, elite.

  • Analytical

Alternatives: perceptive, clever, astute, talented.

  • Extensive Experience

Alternatives: expertise in, seasoned professional, substantial background.

  • Driven, Passionate

Alternatives: spirited, exemplary, vigorous, energetic, resourceful

  • Dynamic

Alternatives: inspirational, influential, spirited.

  • Outstanding

Alternatives: masterful, superb, marvellous, skilful, exemplary, talented, impeccable

How to Write a Profile Summary Statement

Follow the steps below to create an outstanding profile summary statement for the role you’re interested in:

  1. Read the job description and person specification carefully. What are the specific skills and competencies that the recruiter is looking for?
  2. Create a detailed list of the problems and challenges you identified in the job advert. What problems have you solved in previous roles that are relevant to this job?
  3. What skills and attributes do you have that are directly related to the role?
  4. Highlight your most relevant accomplishments by quantifying your successes with hard-hitting percentages and numbers. A resume that is simply filled with ostentatious statements that practically anyone can make is weak and will not grab attention or help you stand out from the crowd.
  5. Look at the organization’s website. Take in their mission statement, purpose, core strengths, and other pages. What do they value? How can you use similar keywords to get the recruiter’s attention?
  6. Name three or four of your top selling points that are directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. Examples include “10 years of hands-on automated software testing experience”, “Advanced IT infrastructure knowledge”, “Ability to lead all social media planning and implementation”, etc.
  7. When describing your skills, make sure to align them with the keywords and phrases mentioned in the job advert.

Summary Statement Examples:

Social Media Manager

Spirited and influential social media strategist with over 3 years of social media marketing experience. Skilled in community management, relationship building and outreach, with impeccable communication, writing and verbal skills. Extensive experience developing inspiring and engaging content for different audiences. Excels at building strategic relationships with industry influencers. Orchestrated a marketing strategy that increased targeted traffic from Facebook by 250% and tripled fan base from 2,500 to 7,000 within 6 months. Certified in Google Analytics.

ABOUT THIS SUMMARY

  • This candidate has used a written professional summary statement to emphasize the skills and experiences she thinks she will need for the social media manager role. She uses a paragraph which gives her resume a somewhat personal feel and brings attention to her key accomplishments as a social media strategist.
  • The candidate started with a statement about her many years of experience as a social media manager because the job she is submitting her resume for requires “more than 3 years as social media manager.” If you have more than two years of experience in a relevant position, begin your professional summary with a statement that declares your years of experience in the position. This will reinforce your ability to satisfy the duties of the position.
  • She showcases skills that she will be able to contribute to the specific job by emphasizing her relationship building, community management and content creation skills. These are attributes that would be required for a social media manager to succeed and excel in the role.
  • She has included an industry relevant certification.
  • She has also quantified a key accomplishment to provide some perspective about her social media marketing skills. Keep in mind that any achievements you mention should be relevant to the industry.

Profile Summary for a Customer Service Executive

Resourceful and virtuous customer service executive with over 6 years of experience in providing friendly, thorough customer service to clients, families and fellow professionals. Customer-focused problem solver with excellent negotiation and conflict resolution skills.

Well versed at prioritizing and completing tasks in a fast-paced environment, while maintaining emphasis on the highest quality of customer service. Excellent relationship building skills.

Able to make decisions independently and quickly with minimal escalations. Resolved 100% of customer issues within the first 6 months of employment to maximize customer satisfaction.

ABOUT THIS SUMMARY

  • This candidate used a written summary statement to emphasize the skills and experiences he thinks he will need for the job he wants as a customer services executive.
  • The paragraph format this candidate’s summary statement gives this resume a personal feel.
  • He included words like influential and virtuous, which give the hiring manager some hints about his personality.
  • He included keywords such as customer service-focused, friendly, negotiation, relationship building and problem solving since these are skills a customer service manager is expected to have.
  • He has also quantified his achievements by showing that he has a record of resolving 100% of customer service issues within 6 months.

Digital Marketing Graduate

Recent graduate of London South Bank University, with in-depth knowledge in search engine optimization (SEO) and Pay per Click marketing (PPC). Blends search marketing experience with academic training to offer solid skills in digital marketing. Incorporates a background in sales to provide employers with proven selling, advertising and marketing expertise.

ABOUT THIS SUMMARY

  • This recent graduate has used a short and concise summary statement to emphasize the skills and experiences he thinks he will need for the job he wants as a digital marketing executive.
  • The paragraph format this candidate’s summary statement gives this resume a personal feel.
  • He has included targeted keywords that a digital marketing executive will be expected to have.