Your Resume: The Introductory Portion

A strong resume is your ticket into the interview process and hopefully the job. Here’s some strategies to help you get there!

A strong resume is key to getting the right job.  Your resume is your ticket into the interview process.  So let’s talk a bit more about resumes.  As part two (here’s part one) on this series about resumes, I thought it would be important to address the Introductory portion of a resume.   By this I mean your resume header and your Professional Summary.   So, let’s dive in!

The Resume Header

The resume header contains all your key contact information – your name, address, phone number, and email address.   Simple enough, right?  It can be but there are a few key points to highlight here.

First, you want to streamline this section of your resume.  In other words, you don’t want to take up too much real estate on your first page with this information because this isn’t the information in your resume that is going to get you the job.  I often suggest bolding your name at the top and then on one horizontal line having all the other information.  This ensures all the information is there but also leaves the bulk of that prime first page real estate for the information that is going to get you the job.

Your Email Address

A few things to note in particular about your email address.  First, you want to keep it professional.  You don’t want “Partygirl101” on there – you want to look professional, serious, and job-ready on all parts of your resume.

In addition, I always suggest using a non-school email address. As you are looking for jobs, whether they are quite in your field yet or not, you want to be seen as a professional.  By having your school email address on there they may get the impression that you are not as ready as an applicant that has a professional email address.  Right or wrong, first impression do make a difference.

Lastly, many people have put their year of birth in their email address. For example,  In many countries, it’s illegal for an employer to ask your age as part of the application process.  As such, it’s always good to keep it off your resume.   In addition, if you are very young they may feel that year indicates inexperience or if you are older it may indicate to them that you aren’t going to stay long.   Wherever you fall in the range, impressions can be drawn and it’s best to keep your birth year out of the mix for those reasons.

Professional Summary

First things first.  Make sure that your header here is Professional Summary and not Objective Statement. In today’s job market employers are focused on what you can do for them, not what you hope to get from them.   Therefore, you want your label and your following statements to show just that.

So, what do you include here?  Think of it as your “elevator pitch” so to speak. Highlight who you are – what type of professional you are and your top skills.  Don’t be shy – highlight your skills in a very success-oriented manner.   Tied to this, make sure that the skills that you highlight are related to the job you are applying for. The fact that you are data-driven isn’t going to get you a job where data analysis has nothing to do with the job you are applying for.  Lastly, keep this section short and positive.

Key Words

And don’t forget about the value of key words.  If you haven’t been able to fit a key word that is highly relevant to the jobs you are applying for within the core of your resume, this may be the perfect spot to fit them in.  Or to reiterate them.   Remember, you need those key words to get through an employer’s automated filtering system before your resume will get into the hands of a human resource or hiring manager’s hands.

Questions?  Comments?

As a professional resume writer, I’m happy to answer any questions you share in the comments. I’m also always happy to hear your experiences in the areas discussed.  For example, do you have any tricks of the trade for writing your professional summary?   How do you tailor it to the job at hand?



28 thoughts on “Your Resume: The Introductory Portion

  1. I work for a recruitment company and confirm this is exactly what the recruiters look for! The point on the e-mail addresses is one of the first things I was taught about professionalism in school, and is still as important today.

    1. I agree! Keywords never crossed my mind or came up when I was researching how to make up my resume!

      1. I’m glad you read this article then as key words are so important Carson. They can really make a difference on your resume!

  2. My resume is a constant work in progress. Just trying to keep it short but detailed is a challenge. Thanks for the tips!

    1. Thank you – I’m glad to hear you love the blog!! Please keep visiting us – we would love to have you continue to share your comments and insights with us.

  3. This is thorough! Thanks for the help as I know a few people who could really use this.

  4. One of the services I perform is resumes and you hot the nail on the head with all the essential component that need to be included and also deleted. I have lost cost of all the people I’ve had to advise to get a professional email not pinkpony…

  5. Lisa, this is great….and couldn’t come at a better time for so many people. Most people probably don’t even know where to begin with a resume. This is excellent! Take care of yourself and your family.

    1. Thank you Brenda – I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Yes, resumes are a hot item these days in this poor economy. Hopefully many can quickly find new jobs.

  6. I seriously wish I had known all this 15 years ago! This is definitely gonna help a lot of people just starting out. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you Jen – I really appreciate it. I really do hope that these tips prove fruitful to people seeking to create their resume.

  7. Thank you for clarifying some things about which I was unsure. I recently started updating my resume and realized the way we did it 10 years ago no longer applies.

  8. Thanks for the tips, I’ve never thought of keywords for my resume. You have given me many things to think over, thank you

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