Your resume introduction is the most important section of your resume for three reasons: (1) It’s where employers look first; (2) It’s where your name and contact information are placed; and (3) It’s your first chance to introduce yourself.
Some of you will elect to include a headshot near your resume introduction as well. Yes, that does make an impact (whether you like it or not). But today I want to talk about the third of those first three I mentioned above, introducing yourself. And there are three important points to creating this statement.
Does your resume use “Objective” as the heading for the top section? If so, ditch it! This is an old-school term that some hang on to but it’s not the current trend for resumes. Replace Objective with Summary or About Me. Objective, as a title, is too obvious – that your goal is to get a great job with a great employer.
Instead, use the space to tell them who you are, what drives you, and what they can expect if they hire you. All good brands offer the promise to consumers. You are a brand, what’s your promise to this employer?
Personally, I like the title “About Me” as it’s more personable, approachable, and genuine. Those are feelings you want an employer to experience when learning about you, right?
Keep it Short
If you have read my articles – you know I live by the ‘more is less’ principle. But I also think people love mystery. Give employers just enough resume introduction to get a simple positive impression about you, then leave them wanting to know more. There is great power in that. They will see it and desire to read more of your resume than anyone else’s.
So I recommend keeping your statement to about 30-50 words (2-3 sentences). Keep the writing tight and descriptive. Use positive personality adjectives that jump a bit when they read the statement. This is your chance to differentiate yourself – to describe how you are unique and a great fit for their office.
How to Craft It
So how do we create this? Great question – the cool thing is a resume introduction is all about YOU and you are an expert on that part so it’s probably not as hard as you think. But let me give you the recipe to cook up an amazing About Me statement.
- Sentence 1: Devote the first sentence to the type of clinician you are for patients and your love or passion for what it is you do
- Sentence 2: In the second sentence, add the type of employee or co-worker you are or, alternatively use it to tell them what you are doing (why you are seeking a new job)
So long as technical qualifications are met (you are licensed and experienced), those are the two sentences are important to an employer. But now let’s give your statement some seasoning:
- Use some positive adjectives that describe your brand, what makes you unique
- Use an active as opposed to passive voice to help conserve words and drive straight to your points.
Here’s an example resume introduction to help
Example: “As an experienced and friendly dental hygienist, with a unique ability to build great relationships of trust, I am confident in my efforts to leave each patient with an incredible smile and memorable visit. And, I value a work environment where I’m surrounded by an inspiring team of fun and hard-working dental professionals.”
Again, you could end that second sentence with something like: “Through my experience and background, I am prepared to now take on new challenges in practice management with an office that values excellence in patient care.”
Finally, as an alternative, craft a statement that instead tells your story why you became a dental hygienist. Stories are both engaging and accomplish the same thing I described above. Here’s an example:
Example: “I became a dental hygienist because I loved how I felt after visiting my hygienist – I always left with a great smile. Now I enjoy doing the same for others, sharing my love for oral health with a dedicated group of compassionate professionals.”
Doug Perry is an expert resume writer and job search coach. He and his wife, Tracie, who is a dental hygienist, created GetHiredRDH in response to the challenging dental hygiene job market and have helped thousands of dental hygienists through tips and individual services. If you need individual, click here to contact Doug.