How do you introduce yourself to the hiring manager in a way that’s impactful and memorable?
It’s quite simple – you summarize your professional background.
In other words, a summary of your career timeline and highlights. That means letting your employers know who you are in the corporate world as well as showcasing your credentials such as:
- Work experiences
Besides playing the part, you also need to look the part.
Which is why it’s important to present your professional background effectively to increase your chances of landing your next job interview.
What a Professional Background Includes
Your professional background is made up of the things you’ve achieved or developed over the course of your career.
This includes things such as:
- Work experience
- Academic qualifications
To put it another way, it summarizes the highlights of your corporate life including your educational background. For instance, the previous jobs you’ve worked at and the university you graduated from.
As opposed to looking back at your professional value and everything you’ve achieved, it may also sum up the purpose of your career choices.
Either way, it explains in a few sentences your skill sets and strengths, and why you’re qualified for the job vacancy you’re applying to.
The 5-Step Guide to Clarify Your Professional Background
Before writing your professional background, the first thing you need to know is your own strengths and values. Without a good understanding of why the hiring manager should choose to employ you, it’s difficult to put together a compelling profile.
That being said, follow the steps listed below.
List Your Top Skills
What are the skills you’re most confident in? Are there any that’s relevant to the job description?
Take into account your soft and hard skills, as well as your best qualities that indicate why you’re a strong asset in the workplace.
These can range from the skills you’ve spent time committing to and continuously working on such as programming. Or, it could be a quality you’ve always been naturally good at, e.g. leadership and communication.
When showcasing your level of ability, this should also be similar to the reasons why you were selected for your previous job positions.
Write Down Your Most Significant Achievements
This relates to your biggest achievements in both your work and personal life.
There’s more meaning in showing than just telling – which is why it’s effective to demonstrate what you’re capable of doing.
Talking about your skills and qualities is one thing. But proving your value by including the specific results and differences you’ve made as a result of your efforts is another.
Each of these shows the challenges you’ve overcome and the outcomes you’ve been responsible for. Not only does it add to your credibility since you’ve made a direct impact. It’s something that can catch the attention of your readers.
Think About Your Career Goals and Objectives
Instead of focusing on everything you’ve accomplished over your years of experience, consider your career goals and objectives.
How have these influenced your choices and led you to who you are today?
In other words, what’s the long-term vision that motivates you to move forward as a professional?
This shows employers that you have a genuine interest and curiosity in what you’re pursuing.
Meaning, you’re more likely to commit because you’re self-driven.
When hiring teams are looking to recruit someone for a full-time or permanent position, it’s preferred to have a candidate onboard that won’t just quit within the first few months of being employed.
Know Your Personality Type
Knowing your personality type probably isn’t something you would mention in your resume or in a job interview.
However, the point of identifying your personality type is to get insight into your own:
For example, you may realize that you’re an extravert who gains more energy when working together in a team environment. On the other hand, you may be an introvert that can work as a team but would rather work independently.
Anyhow, you’ll get an insight into your own character as well as clarity of your own values. It’s especially helpful on the journey to self-improvement.
Who You Are Now vs Who You Want to Be
If you’re a job seeker with not as much work experience, then you may want to focus on the future aspects of your career.
So, ask yourself:
- What skills are you looking to develop?
- Who’s the type of person you want to be in 5 years?
By looking at who you are now and the person you want to become, you get to see the gaps stopping you from reaching the ideal version of yourself.
Alternatively, for those of you who are seasoned professionals, use this opportunity to reflect on how you can align the person you’ve worked hard to become with the ideal candidate recruiters are looking for.
How to Write a Professional Background to Stand Out
After following each of the previous steps, you should have more ideas of what to talk about and a better understanding of your values.
So now, we'll get into the step-by-step process to write and structure your professional background to impress your hiring manager. Keep in mind that this belongs to the summary section of your resume.
1. State Your Work Experiences
To start off, mention your most significant work experiences that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Here are a few points to include:
- Specific job titles
- Duties and responsibilities
- Years of experience
Your skills should be mentioned too as you’re providing an overview of your employment history.
If you’d like to add a few more intricate details, feel free to do so as long as it’s significant. For instance, the exact years of experience you have or an area of the industry where you specialize in.
It’s also impactful if your work experience is listed in reverse chronological order since it emphasizes your career progression.
2. Mention Key Accomplishments
Once you’ve mentioned your work experiences, the next step is to mention your accomplishments.
It’s not as impactful to make a statement without having anything to support them. After all, actions speak louder than words. That’s another reason why it’s important to include any significant results you’ve been responsible for in your previous job positions.
As mentioned earlier, it adds to your credibility because it indicates you’re capable of making a real difference.
One tip is to use data and statistics to make it more authentic and compelling at first glance.
3. Emphasize Your Biggest Strengths
As you’re editing and proofreading your professional background, focus on highlighting your strengths.
Look at what your biggest highlights are and what’s most valuable to your employers. Use your selling points as a guiding principle. So, when they’re skimming through your resume, they’ll immediately notice your areas of expertise.
4. Make it Relevant to the Hiring Manager
To put it another way, tailor your resume to fit the needs of the company you’re applying to.
You’ll need to relate back to the job description to show you’re a good match for the role. While you should be talking about yourself, you should also be linking back to the expectations of the hiring manager to prove you’re the best candidate.
5. Keep It Short and Concise
Since you’re summarizing your corporate life, it shouldn’t be more than 3 sentences long.
Keep it short, concise, and straight to the point. It’s more compelling when there’s no fluff included since you’re focusing on your strongest points.
6. Consider Your Unique Selling Points
Your unique selling points are transferable skills that have a positive effect on your job skills and performance.
Try to differentiate yourself from the other job seekers by mentioning the skills, knowledge, or qualities you have that they probably don’t. This helps you stand out from the crowd and implies you’re capable of carrying out the job responsibilities to a better standard.
3 Ways You Can Use Your Background to Help Your Career
At this point, you know how to introduce and present your professional background on your resume. But there are still ways you can apply the steps in this article to further progress in your career.
A resume is essential if you’re looking to get a new job to progress in your career.
Having a well-presented professional background makes it likely to catch their interest with what you have to offer. On the spot, you’ll know your strengths and weaknesses when asked by an employer or as you’re writing your CV or cover letter.
There are two key events where you may be asked to introduce yourself:
- Networking events
In an interview, you could be asked to tell the hiring manager about yourself. This typically refers to your professional background and skills, including what makes you uniquely qualified for the role.
In terms of networking events, it’s always good to make connections in the corporate environment. You never know who you might be speaking to and when it could lead to a new opportunity.
Understanding Your Values
Understanding your values in full transparency could lead to a higher job satisfaction because you know what’s most meaningful to you. When you get to work every day on something you’re passionate about, it tends to lead to better mental health.
It also has an influence on your ethics and decision-making.
Examples of a Strong Professional Background
Customer Service Resume
Chief Marketing Officer Resume
Corporate Rotational Graduate Resume (Interviewed by Sony)
Medical Assistant Resume
Marketing Project Manager Resume
A Shortcut to Present Your Corporate Value Effectively
The first few words on your resume have a factor in where you stand amongst all the other applicants on the list.
However, it takes time to put the pieces together since you’ll have to:
- Outline your ideas
- Research the company
- Draft your notes
- Edit and proofread
It’s common to go through writer’s block or analysis paralysis during the process.
Most times, you’ll want to write a high-quality resume without having to spend hours on your application.
Rezi has made it easier for job seekers to get more job offers faster by making use of AI in their resume builders to ensure you’re not missing anything important. You won’t have to worry about what to write next since they’ll give you inspiration based on your own situation.
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Hopefully, after following the steps in this guide, you’ve gained insight into your:
- Best skill sets
- Core values
- Interests and preferences
- Strengths and weaknesses
Knowing how to present your professional background the right way improves your perceived value and credibility. Therefore, you’re more likely to leave a strong first impression and mark your spot on the list of potential employees.
But even if you already know what your best selling points are, it’s just as important to communicate them in a way that matches your hiring manager’s success criteria.