The quickest way to grab attention is with a good beginning or introduction. An excellent resume introduction will hook the recruiter from the get-go.
In most cases, people will tell you to start at the beginning of your resume if you are unsure of how to begin it. But that’s not going to help.
You see writing your resume introduction last is actually the best strategy. You will be able to find it much easier to highlight the important things when your entire document is ready.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to craft the perfect resume introduction paragraph that gets recruiters reading all the way to the end of your resume.
Choosing a Resume Introduction
The hiring manager only has six seconds to evaluate your resume. You need to make your resume introduction stand out if you want to get their attention.
Before choosing what you want to write on your resume introduction, however, it is also important to figure out how you will say it.
What is the best way to introduce yourself on a resume?
What is the message you want to convey, what are your strongest selling points?
These are some of the things you need to include in your profile.
It’s good to know the guidelines for writing an introduction for your resume are the same across industries.
You can choose from these resume profiles or introductions depending on your level of experience and skills: Resume Objective and Resume Summary.
A resume objective, also known as a career objective, is a paragraph that outlines your relevant skills, experience, or knowledge to demonstrate that you have the potential to become a successful employee. It also briefly explains the job position you’re seeking in a company.
When to Use a Resume Objective
Resume objectives are the best resume introduction if:
- You’re just starting out your career (entry-level) or have little experience.
- You’re switching industries or careers or if you need to explain an unclear career path.
Examples – No Work Experience or Applying for an Internship
These examples highlight the skills and motivation a candidate needs to demonstrate that they’re worthy of the company’s investment.
“Dedicated nurse assistant seeking an internship at Bright Care Center. Love helping residents feel healthy, cared for, and at home. Detail-oriented mindset and warm personality make me an excellent advocate for residents and their needs.”
Example #3 – Career Change:
“Highly-motivated software engineer with 7+ years experience developing software solutions. Seeking to leverage proven Ruby, Python, Java, and C++ skills to deliver coding excellence to Samuel & Sons, Ltd. Developed 4 website software tools for enterprise marketing. Built 7 mobile apps with improved interactive UX/UI 25+ websites for B2C entrepreneurs.”
Example #4- Switching Industry:
Although the candidate in the example below switches sectors, the emphasis is on the skills and experience that an NGO can use.
“Experienced marketer for McDenver Construction Corp. with over five years’ experience. Seeking to apply my construction background and related skills to help local NGOs raise awareness and sales through low or no budget marketing methods.”
- Although it’s called an “objective,” your resume heading statement shouldn’t focus solely on what your objective is. Everyone knows it’s to get a job, so don’t make it your personal mission statement.
- Don’t write: “I’m looking for a challenging role that will enhance my skills.” HR experts say that writing things like this is so cliche and outdated.
A resume summary statement sums up your professional background and achievements at the top of the resume. It briefly explains how it can benefit the company you want to work for. By demonstrating your unique value through your skills and accomplishments, it shows why you are perfect for the job. The hiring manager will be more likely to read on if you outline your key skills and quantifiable results from the start.
When to Use a Resume Summary
When you have several years of experience or are continuing your career, a resume summary is the perfect resume introduction.
“Customer Support Agent with more than 3 years of experience. Specialized in telephone customer service, email and technical support, and sales and customer care. Adept in using Intercom, Drift, and other customer care software. Assisted customers with signups and data entry, and handled 100+ phone calls daily. 80 WPM typist”
Summary of Qualifications
It is a type of resume introduction that contains a bulleted list of accomplishments, skills, and relevant experience proving you’re a perfect fit for the company. Include 3 to 4 easy-to-skim bullet points in paragraph form to emphasize your most impressive career highlights and skills.
Having a summary of qualifications at the top of your resume will enable hiring managers to quickly and easily identify your most relevant and impressive qualifications. This will increase your chances of landing an interview or getting hired.
When to Use a Resume Summary
- You have an extensive record of accomplishments in your industry or field.
- You possess certifications relevant to the position you are seeking.
- You have special skills and expertise to demonstrate on your resume.
Example#1: For Project Manager
- Experienced project manager with 5+ years of experience managing mid-sized teams on high-level projects.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and management and leadership abilities.
- Completed projects with a minimum of $10K under budget and 10% faster than estimated.
- Interested in leveraging project management skills and knowledge as a senior project manager at Built Pro Remodelers.
Example #2: For Executive Assistant
- Executive Assistant with five years experience working for Summers & Sons Company
- Manage an office budget of $50K per month
- Negotiated directly with service providers to reduce travel expenses by $5.5K
- Oversee a team of 8 specialists in administrative support
It’s a brief, one-line phrase that describes your skills, accomplishments, and services, and communicates what you can provide when you join the company. A resume headline should be relevant and brief, similar to that of a news headline. It should also highlight your related qualifications for the job.
Who should use a resume headline
Your resume headline, also known as your resume title is placed at the top of your document, immediately under your contact information. You can use a resume title no matter what your industry, title, or experience level is.
- If you’re an experienced professional, a resume headline is a great way to highlight your greatest career achievements.
- If you’re applying for an entry-level position or you don’t have much experience, the resume headline gives you a chance to describe your current qualifications and what you hope to accomplish.
- If you’re having trouble fitting all the information on your resume onto a one- or two-page template.
- Top Grossing Sales Manager with 5+ years of experience who generated $500K+ monthly sales.
- Efficient Project Manager delivering projects 10% faster than projected.
- Personable and Bilingual Call Center Agent with 5 Years of Experience.
Start With The Rest of Your Resume
It is important for a resume to begin with an engaging introduction. As employers must look through hundreds of resumes a day, they scan them in seconds. Since they are quick to judge, you need to make a good first impression. As such, it is crucial to grab the employer’s attention with the first sentence of the resume, so they continue reading.
A resume headline is determined by several factors including your qualifications, your experience, and whether or not you’re looking for a job within the same sector.
The thing is…
How can you write a resume introduction that makes a strong first impression?
Start a resume by working on the other sections.
First, list your work experience, skills, education, and any other sections that highlight your achievements.
After you have completed the bulk of the resume body, you can then move to your introduction and highlight those achievements or skills in your summary or objective.
When you write your resume introductions last you will make it relevant to the rest of your resume sections.
Writing a Resume Introduction
Here are some tips to make your resume introduction more compelling and strong:
- Keep it short and concise. One to three powerful sentences is enough to showcase your qualifications.
- Customize your resume introduction to the position you’re applying for. Take note of the attributes they are looking for when examining the job ad.
- Use action words to enliven your introduction to hook the hiring manager’s attention until the end of your resume.
- Use resume keywords to optimize your resume and pass the ATS scans.
- Focus on the value you can give. Instead of focusing on what makes you unique as a person, focus on what makes you valuable to your employer. They are likely to hire you if they believe the value you provide meets their needs.
- Avoid using first-person pronouns such as “I” and “You”. Using them will draw attention to yourself instead of letting them know what you can do for the company.
- Proofread your work once you’ve finished it. You don’t want a couple of typos to ruin your hard work.
The following things should be taken into account when writing your resume introduction:
- Choose a resume objective or summary for your resume.
- Highlight your strengths, achievements, and qualifications.
- Use the job posting as a guide to tailor your resume intro.
- Keep it short, use action-oriented words, and focus on your value.