The introduction is one of the most important parts of the resume. Employers generally scan through resumes in a matter of seconds as they have so many to look through. As they are quick to form a judgement, you need to make sure that you give a positive first impression.
The first part of a resume is the most important, it needs to quickly see you to the employer and grab their attention. If it doesn’t, the rest of the resume won’t be looked at.
The best way to start a resume depends on a number of factors such as your qualifications, experience, and whether you are looking for a job in the same industry or not.
This means that if you are applying for jobs in different industries, you should tailor your resume for different positions and choose different resume introductions for each. Doing this from scratch is very time consuming which is why it is better to use resume templates.
Choosing a resume introduction
As it is the most important section of the resume, your introduction can make the difference between getting a first interview and you resume being thrown into the wastepaper basket.
There are three ways of starting the resume: a career objective, a qualifications summary, or a professional profile. It is essential to choose the one which best fits you to the position you’re applying for.
A career objective (also referred to as a resume objective) is ideal for candidates who are writing an entry-level resume. It is a statement of two to four sentences which targets a specific position, addressing the requirements set by the employer in the job posting. This is how to start a resume with no job experience
If you are lacking in relevant experience for the position, the career objective is the best way to start writing a resume. It emphasizes aspects of your personality, character, and work ethic which show would be suited for the job.
The qualifications summary is perfect for candidates applying for jobs in a different industry. It is laid out in five or six bullet points which demonstrate the abilities and accomplishments which meet the requirements stated in the job posting. It can focus on work and academic achievements
This way to start writing a resume is well-suited to candidates who are applying for a job in a different industry as it emphasizes an applicant’s skillset over their experience. It is longer than a career objective and acts as a resume summary.
Start off a resume if you are writing a professional resume and looking for a job in a similar role or industry. It is a combination of a career objective and a qualifications summary.
It is a flexible style of introduction and can be formatted as a paragraph or as bullet points. Experienced candidates can tailor it to focus on their strengths.
Writing the first section of a resume
Once you have decided what to use to start a resume you need to craft it. Whichever of the three formats you choose, your introductions have to be clear, concise, and focus on your strong points.
You should change the introduction for each job application aiming to match your skills, abilities, and experience with the job requirements stated in each job posting. Follow the corresponding tips for starting a resume depending on which resume introduction style you choose.
Career objective: what to include?
A career objective should be a single paragraph consisting of two to four sentences (ideally three). It should include the years of relevant work experience (if any), past job responsibilities, most important skills, abilities, and personality traits, and relevant qualifications, certificates and licenses.
Focus on your strengths. For example, if you are writing a student resume and have no relevant experience, don’t highlight this. Instead, place emphasis on your qualifications, abilities, work ethic, and personality strengths.
Qualifications summary: what to include?
Consisting of five or six bullet points, a qualifications summary should focus on a candidate’s key accomplishments, highlighting the applicant’s key competencies.
Focusing on transferable skills such as leadership, creativity, communication, efficiency, and management skills makes this format ideal for those looking for a career change. order the bullet points from top to bottom in terms of importance.
Professional profile tips: what to include?
The professional profile is much more flexible and is ideal for experienced candidates. Whether you choose to format it as a paragraph or a bullet points, you should focus on years of relevant experience, areas of expertise, career achievements, and transferable skills.
Using an online resume builder is the ideal way of producing a professional-looking attractive resume which highlights a candidate’s strengths. It means you don’t have to start a new resume for each job application, but use well-designed templates instead.