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How to Write a Short Personal Profile

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A personal profile begins a job or college application or resume by summarizing who you are, what you have achieved and what you will bring to the company or school.

An effective profile has brevity and clarity and makes you stand out from the crowd. In a competitive field, a well-crafted personal profile could make a crucial difference and lead to a successful application.

Write the heading "Profile" under your main resume heading, which usually comprises your name and contact details. Having the personal profile placed prominently at the beginning makes it convenient for busy readers.

Write an opening sentence describing yourself in a way that applies uniquely to you and relates to the job or college course for which you are applying. For example, an application for a law degree might begin with, "I am a sharp thinker and effective communicator with a lifelong interest in social justice issues, such as equality and human rights."

Write one or two sentences about your background, introducing personal facts that apply to you and no one else. For example, in a job application for teaching, you might write, "I have voluntarily tutored K-12 students in my spare time since I was 19, and in 2009, I spent three months working with a children's charity in the Chicago area."

Write a sentence about how your experiences have molded you as a person. Be specific. Example: "Working with people from poor backgrounds gave me a new understanding of the barriers people face in education and made me passionate about helping children overcome the odds."

Write a sentence explaining why you suit the company or college. Remember--the reader may look at hundreds of resumes, so provide a reason why your application deserves unique attention. Example: "Springfield Engineering will benefit from a young, yet experienced person with the skills and desire to pioneer new solutions to modern problems."

Read through the paragraph for mistakes before submitting. Attention to details, such as spelling and grammar, indicates a professional attitude and will impress potential schools and employers.