How to Describe Yourself on a Resume

Your description on paper should help to get you an interview.

Your description on paper should help to get you an interview.

Your resume should not include intimate descriptions of yourself, such as your age, gender or marital status. You are answering a job advertisement, not a personal classified ad. Companies use resumes to assess which applicants are qualified to potentially fill job openings. Hiring managers often look for specific talents and skills on the document, but this information may not be a complete description of who you are. Some of your skills develop from your personal life experiences, such as being a parent or participating in church, versus the skills gained as an employee in your career field. Think about your traits and skills, on and off the job, describing yourself in a professional and valuable way to the employer.

Refer to the company's original job advertisement. Pick out character traits in the job description that the hiring manager may look for in applicants, such as "Understanding," "Compassionate" and "Intelligent." In addition, occupational and employment-related publications commonly list general profiles of workers in a field, and you can find a few character traits in the overview of the profession.

Make a list of traits and characteristics that you feel best describe who you are. General traits that describe you as a human being include the following words: "Accepting," "Bold," "Cheerful," "Helpful," "Independent," "Kind," "Rational," "Self-Assertive" and "Wise." Put yourself in the shoes of department managers -- your future bosses -- and think about traits that will be useful to customers, employees and the company.

Create a summary paragraph under your resume's header. Combine the employer's desired traits as well as the traits you feel you possess. Use short phrases and incomplete sentences. Include descriptive words, similar to the following example of a registered nurse's resume: "Caring Registered Nurse, with excellent bedside manner. Adaptable to scheduling in a busy emergency room environment. Dutifully assists doctors with patient care."

Add a more detailed section after the summary that lists detailed qualifications as bullet points. Use descriptive words to complement these qualifications, as in this example for a nurse's resume: "Respectful of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act"; "Confident in assessing patients' conditions"; "Ethical patient advocate."

Tip

  • Ask family, friends and professional colleagues to help you to identify descriptive words about yourself.
 

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