Does Your Resume Lead Off with a Strong Profile?

Words weak and strong pointing in different directions on a sign

Your resume "Profile" is one of the first sections that a recruitment officer or decision maker will view when scanning your resume. Regardless of what position you are applying for, your career focus should be customized to the needs of the potential school district. This "spotlight" portion of your marketing document should be written in a convincing manner, drawing attention to the direct contributions you can bring to the district. Remember to direct your profile toward what your employer wants and how you are the model candidate to deliver. This is the most challenging portion of a resume to write, and one that most job seekers do not put enough thought and effort into.

You want your profile to leap off the page. Begin with a career title at the top of your resume under your letterhead. Typically, this title is centered and in large bold print. Continue with a 5 to 7 line phrased paragraph that identifies the skills and talents you can offer and where you will fit into the school district.

Your profile is an opportunity for you to emphasize your professional experience, detailed qualifications, and transferable skills related to the position. The use of keywords within this section is paramount. Keywords are specific nouns and action verbs that effectively describe specific terms are used in an occupation or job industry. Researching the position thoroughly and paying attention to what is listed in the employer's ad posting will provide  a variety of keywords that can be integrated into your job profile. Modesty will not get you anywhere here. This is your first opportunity to show just how good you really are and the value you can bring to the school district.

Take this into consideration: If you were looking to hire an individual, which of the following profiles would catch your attention?

  1. "Experienced English Teacher seeking challenging, full time employment within a public school district. Proven success working with children and providing lesson plans and a safe class environment."

  2. "Dynamic, resourceful teaching professional with a genuine interest in students' cognitive and social growth. Actively involved in all areas of education including curriculum development, teacher mentoring, student career preparation, and community work. Combine strong passion for English and writing expertise to motivate and inspire students, creating a fun and challenging learning environment. A self-driven leader with excellent communication and interpersonal skills who effectively collaborates with all levels of staff members and fosters quality relationships with students."

As you can see, the first example is dull, boring, and uninspiring. It tells you nothing more than what the individual is looking for and what little they can bring to the position. Unfortunately, this is the type of Profile that most decision makers or human resource professionals will see from potential employees.

The second example is one that engages the reader from the beginning. It actively describes the individual's talents and skills, and provides the potential school district with insight into what this candidate can bring to the position. This is the type of profile that will ensure that a recruitment officer will continue to peruse your resume with enthusiasm and interest.


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