- Include a Professional Profile. A profile section, also known as a “Summary of Qualifications,” can help sharpen your resume’s focus by presenting 4-5 bullet points that encapsulate your best qualifications and selling points. It’s often a good idea to list relevant computer and foreign-language skills in this section instead of burying them at the bottom of your resume, as many job-seekers do. To see an example of such a section, go to this sample resume.
See more professional resume samples (which require Adobe Acrobat Reader), including:
- Also consider specific tailoring for resumes. According to a study by the former Career Masters Institute (now Career Management Alliance), employers want resumes to show a clear match between the applicant and a particular job’s requirements. A “general” resume that is not focused on a specific job’s requirements is seen as not competitive. Now it may not be realistic or practical to change your resume for every job you apply for, but you can change certain elements, such as the aforementioned Objective statement and the Professional Profile section. Another alternative is to have more than one version of your resume. Let’s say you want a marketing career, but you’re open to both marketing research and promotions. You could craft a version of your resume for each niche.
- Consider adding a graphic. This suggestion is pretty radical, and it’s not for everyone, but a very small, tasteful graphic on your resume and/or cover letter could sharpen your focus. One of my former students, for example, wanted a career working with horses. She placed a tiny horse graphic at the top of her resume. Her career focus was instantly apparent. Another student pursuing a law career used a tasteful scales of justice graphic; another interested in international business had a small world map graphic. See a sample resume that uses a graphic here.