Propel Your Career Forward: 3 Tips for Writing a Professional Resume

If you don't, ‘Get them at Hello,’ you won't be moving on.” - J.T. ODonnell, Founder and CEO,

Six seconds.  That is the amount of time an executive recruiter spends looking at a resume.  Does your resume stand out?  Here are three tips you can use to design a resume that will grab a recruiter’s attention and propel you forward towards your career goals.

Tip #1: Begin With A Profile Statement

Use the top 1/3 of your resume to summarize your expertise and grab a recruiter’s attention.  The first section of your resume should be a Profile Statement which highlights your expertise, key accomplishments, and track record of success.  An effective Profile is a detailed elevator pitch which describes who you are, what you have attained and how you add-value to organizations.  This statement should command a recruiter’s interest, driving them to pursue you.  When written well, your Profile Statement develops your brand, or your professional reputation.  It makes you stand out among the competition.

Example of a poorly-written Profile Statement:

Documented and quantified success in implementing changes that resulted in significant improvement in efficiencies and reduction of costs.  Effective in team management and increasing sales goals.

Example of two results-oriented Profile Statements:

Operations Executive talented at driving business growth through streamlining operations within multimillion dollar consumer products organizations.  Track record of delivering innovation to enhance operational productivity and bottom-line financial performance.  Thrives when driving people, processes and technology to aid profitability, productivity and quality.

Sales Director with track record of attaining outstanding revenue growth through building high performance teams in the technology sector.  Adept at formulating successful go-to-market and positioning strategies.  Proven ability to drive complex, consultative sales process in highly competitive North American and European territories. 

Use quantifiable means to capture a recruiter’s interest, and cite your notable accomplishments in a paragraph format or bullet points. 

Tip #2: Include Keywords To Demonstrate Your Expertise

The Profile Statement and Professional Experience sections of your resume should include keywords that are relevant to the industry you are targeting.  As recruiters use computer software to scan resumes, include related buzz words or acronyms to ensure that a recruiter will be compelled to read it. Recruiters look at hundreds or even thousands of resumes, searching for the ideal candidate, so use keywords to capture their attention and differentiate yourself.  Your keywords should add depth to your resume, and address what a recruiter is seeking in a candidate.

Tip #3: Focus On Your Accomplishments

In the Professional Experience section avoid listing the duties of a particular position in favour of listing quantifiable accomplishments.  Report your key results and noted outcomes.  Quantify wherever possible to lend credibility, using $, % and # to highlight your successes.  For example:

  • Grew revenues from $2M to $16M within 3 years.
  • Devised and launched channel marketing strategy which tripled sales within 2 years.
  • Rapidly grew new product line revenue to $1.5M within first 12 months through launch of direct and channel sales.
  • Coached and developed over 15 employees who have gone onto Executive positions with Fortune 500 companies.

These achievements demonstrate your passion to reach goals, surpass challenges, take on key initiatives and drive results.  As a result, recruiters will be compelled to learn more about you. 

You have six seconds to grab a recruiter’s interest.  Those six seconds mean the difference between furthering your career and being placed in the “no” pile.  Make them count!

Wishing you much career success!


Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice.  Copyright 2013 JL Careers Inc.  All rights reserved.

Applying to jobs but not landing interviews?  Your resume is missing the mark.  Joanne Loberg specializes in creating Executive, Managerial and Professional Resumes that get you noticed by recruiters and headhunters.  Let’s connect for a Complimentary Resume Critique

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JL Careers provides Career and Leadership Coaching, Career Development Workshops, and Career Transition Services which support organizational succession planning, leadership development and employee engagement strategies.