Writers and artists often say that the most difficult obstacle they face is that blank page or canvas they see at the beginning of any project. Job seekers are confronted with a similar challenge, but one that can be even more daunting. Because resumes are a vital component of any job search, it’s critical for job seekers to start their resumes the right way.
In this post, we’ll offer some key tips to help you with your resume introduction, to increase your chances of landing an interview.
What is a resume introduction?
A resume introduction is to introduce both your resume and you. Your resume introduction includes your contact information, a resume summary, and sometimes a headline. The introduction is the first thing employers will see, so make sure to spend time on it!
Don’t include a resume objective in your introduction. Instead, read on to learn how to write a resume summary that conveys your value.
Why does a resume introduction matter?
In a perfect world, your resume introduction would matter less than the other details included in your job application. Unfortunately, however, this is not a perfect world. The reality is that hiring managers only spend a few seconds on any given resume before deciding whether to read it or toss it to the side. That means that you only have seconds to capture your reader’s interest. Without a compelling resume introduction, you have little hope of achieving that goal.
How to start your resume
The best way to compose your resume introduction is to consider what an employer wants to see. What information will serve to introduce you as a potential hire, and capture that hiring manager’s attention? Start with these 3 things.
- Value–Employers are looking for candidates who can provide real value to their company.
- Alignment–They want to hire employees whose goals align with the company.
- Qualifications–Employers need qualified candidates who have the skills needed to perform the job.
Contact information on your resume
Naturally, we begin every resume with the basic contact information. That includes your name, city, state, and zip code–as well as a working phone number, email address, and LinkedIn URL. Those details should be at the top of the first page, and easy to see.
Your name should be the most prominent part of your resume. You don’t need to label your contact options (or add icons), as each item should be obvious from context. You also don’t need to include your full address.
You should list your name and contact information in the header section on your second page, if you have one. Make sure to only do this with repeated information–not all ATS scans can read the text in header or footer sections, so this is just a courtesy for the hiring manager.
Your resume summary
After that contact information, you should include a brief resume summary. Your summary should emphasize the value you can provide to the company, drawing on information gleaned from the company’s job posting. Pick out relevant keywords from that posting and include them in your summary. Incorporate your best qualifications, awards, and acheivements and use metrics when possible.
Unlike an objective statement, you shouldn’t focus on your career goals, but on how your goals can benefit the company. You can use four to six lines of texts to convey this information in sentence form or in bullet points.
You should end the resume introduction by describing your skills, or core competencies. Again, identify the needed skills by reviewing the job posting. Make sure that you mimic that posting’s descriptions in your skill details as well. That will help to ensure that your reader recognizes your qualifications.
Tip: Check out the most in-demand skills employers are looking for in 2020
Your resume headline
The resume headline is often overlooked, but can be a great place to further keyword-optimize your resume. This can consist of the position you’re targeting, or include additional details about your qualifications. While it’s most effective for more experienced professionals, it can also help entry-level applicants showcase their soft skills or specializations.
5 resume introduction examples
Resume introduction example for business owners:
Motivated and creative business professional with proven success in creating business relationships, business concepts, and successful strategies. 15 years of experience with team-building, product and service design and rollout, and strategic decision-making. Skilled in professional presentations, project development and management, and customer communications.
Resume introduction example for managers:
Human Resources manager focused on effective team-building
Dynamic management professional with 20 years of hiring, personnel direction, and performance evaluation experience. Dependable, organized, and team-oriented manager focused on effective communication to achieve shared goals. Highly-skilled in resource-allocation, relationship-building, benefits management, and cost-savings analysis.
Resume introduction for administrative personnel example:
Adaptable, mission-focused administrative professional with 15+ years of experience providing support for managers, sales teams, and executives. Led administrative teams for both small and mid-sized firms. Expertise in CRM, design software, and other office technology. Skilled communicator, with excellent writing, project management, and account management abilities.
Technology-based resume introduction example:
Knowledgeable, creative technology professional with extensive background in network installation and management. Experienced with cybersecurity concerns, including threat assessment and strategies for protecting network and systems infrastructure. Skilled in translating customer service theory into practical, utility-driven solutions for employees, customers, vendors, and leadership. Core skills include systems networking, security management, risk assessment, creative problem-resolution.
Marketing manager resume introduction example:
Dynamic Product Marketing Leader
Ten years of marketing management experience, leading product and service marketing teams for two top consumer product firms. Led development of product marketing strategies that boosted company sales and profits by double-digit margins each year.
- Implemented innovative survey programs that increased customer retention and brand loyalty by 22%
- Trained sales force responsible for enhancing profitability by 12%
- Generated marketing campaigns that increased customer acquisition, driving market share expansion for six years in a row.
Start your resume off the right way to make a good first impression on employers–and to help you pass an ATS scan. By making the most of your resume introduction, you’ll quickly communicate your basic information, desired job target, and core qualifications. The best resume introductions show that your experience is a perfect fit for the job you’re applying to.
Good luck with your job search!