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How to Write a Brief Description of Yourself

Last Updated: September 28, 2022 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,198,180 times.

Writing a brief description of yourself can be tough. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that can make it easier to write everything from formal bios to informal blurbs. Brainstorm beforehand, and come up lists of key accomplishments and personal details. The right length and format vary, but personal descriptions of any type should be brief, direct, and engaging. As with any writing project, be sure to proofread and revise carefully to ensure you’ve done your best work.

Sample Short Biographies

how to write a summary about yourself

Coming up with Ideas for Your Description

Step 1 Identify your target audience.

  • Keep your tone formal for academic and resume summaries, such as applications for jobs, fellowships, grants, or biographies featured in academic conferences or publications.
  • For an informal blurb such as a bio for a personal website, social media, or non-academic publication, add a bit of personality by using a fun, conversational tone.
  • For a LinkedIn summary or a bio listed in a company directory, strike a balance between formal and conversational. Mention unique details about yourself, but don’t overshadow your experience and professional accomplishments.

Step 2 Review any requirements that your description must meet.

  • For instance, a job application, author bio, or company directory listing may call for 100 to 300 words. Your bio might need to be longer for a grant proposal or bio for your professional website.
  • In addition to length, your description may need to follow a set order, such as name and title, education history, research focus, and achievements.

Step 3 Make a list of your accomplishments.

  • Examples of professional accomplishments include “Revamped purchasing protocols to cut the company’s costs by 20%” or “Recognized as the company’s top-grossing salesperson for fiscal year 2017.”
  • Avoid simply writing a list of personal characteristics, like “enthusiastic” or “hardworking.” Focus on including specific skills, awards, and achievements that make you unique.

Step 4 Create a bank of keywords if you’re writing a professional bio.

  • Industry-specific keywords are especially important for online job profiles and resume summaries. Employers and recruiters use search engines and software to scan profiles and resumes for keywords related to a job posting.

Step 5 Jot down relevant hobbies and interests, if necessary.

  • In a personal blurb, you might mention that you love your miniature schnauzers, brag about your kids, or add that you have a passion for raising pitcher plants.
  • Use a note app on your smartphone or a word document to keep a running list of accomplishments, interests, and fun facts so you can easily add to the list when you come up with a new idea.

Creating an Informal Blurb

Step 1 Use a conversational tone to add a little personality.

  • Unlike formal writing, you can use contractions, exclamation points, and other informal elements in a blurb. However, you should still ensure your writing is grammatically correct and avoid using slang, such as “gotta” or “woulda.”

Step 2 Introduce yourself and your story.

  • You could write, “Jacqueline Page is a coach and motivational speaker with over 10 years of experience. She loves helping her clients to live their best lives. When she’s not inspiring others, you can find her cuddling her 2 cats or hiking with her husband, Dan.”

Step 3 Share a quirk or unique detail.

  • If you’re writing an author’s blurb for an article you wrote about cooking, you could include a detail like, “I fell in love with cooking when my grandmother began teaching me her old family recipes. From then on, I realized that food is all about family, history, and tradition.”
  • While you do want to reference your credentials, make most of the details you include in an informal blurb personal so the focus is on who you are as a person.

Step 4 Stick to 100 to 200 words, as a rule of thumb.

  • If you’re not sure about the right length, see if there are guidelines, or check for past examples to use as templates. For instance, if you published a magazine article and need to write a blurb, use other authors’ blurbs as examples.

Writing a Professional Bio

Step 1 Create first and third person versions of your description.

  • If you’re writing a professional bio for an online job profile, such as LinkedIn, the first person is best. Using “I” allows you to tell your story more naturally. Additionally, writing in the third person on social media profiles can feel a little insincere.
  • In general, listings on company directories and professional bios for academic conferences should be in the third person. If you’re presenting at a conference or seminar, for instance, the person who introduces you might read your bio out loud, so the third person is best. [4] X Research source

Step 2 Include your name and title in the first sentence.

  • Write, for example, “Jackie Mula is an associate professor of philosophy at Ritter College.”
  • If you don’t have a professional title or much experience, put your education front and center. For instance: “Noelle Poremski recently earned a BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.” [5] X Research source

Step 3 Write a sentence that sums up the work you do.

  • Examples include, “For nearly a decade, she has managed the daily operations of the company’s 7 Northeast regional branches,” and “Her research focuses on the early detection of reproductive cancers through the development of novel blood testing techniques.”

Step 4 Mention your top achievements, awards, and certifications.

  • For instance, write, “In 2016, Sophie received the prestigious Breeder of the Year award from the German Shepherd Dog Club of America. Additionally, she’s a renowned trainer of K9 and commercial security dogs. Since 2010, has run a charity dedicated to finding forever homes for rescued working dogs.”
  • Suppose you’re writing a profile for your company’s directory or website, and you’re trying to narrow down your list of achievements. Mentioning that you oversaw the organization’s rebranding is more relevant than writing about winning employee of the quarter at another company.

Step 5 Put education at the end, unless you don’t have much experience.

  • Recall that, if you’re short on professional experience, you should put your education up front. [7] X Research source
  • If you don’t like the look of putting education on a separate line, don't skip an extra space after the main body. If ending with your education feels unnatural, consider including it earlier in text. Just keep in mind it's better to call attention to professional accomplishments than education.

Step 6 Wrap up with a personal detail, unless your bio is formal.

  • You could write, “In his spare time, Albert enjoys hiking and rock climbing, and he has scaled 3 of North America’s top 5 highest peaks.”
  • Note that, for formal descriptions, you can include professional interests or hobbies that are related to your industry or discipline. For example: “In addition to her clinical research in obstetrics, Dr. Lutz avidly studies childbirth customs and practices in cultures throughout history.”

Crafting a Summary for Your Resume

Step 1 Omit personal pronouns and use sentence fragments.

  • For instance, instead of writing, “Glen coordinated at least 5 installations per month, and he increased the company’s productivity by 20%,” you’d write “Coordinated at least 5 installations per month and increased the company’s productivity by 20%.”
  • There’s limited space on your resume, so limit your summary to 2 to 3 sentences, or about 50 to 150 words.

Step 2 Introduce yourself in the opening sentence.

  • Write, for example, “Product application specialist with over 5 years of experience in computer-aided design and office systems installation solutions.”
  • If you’ve already written a longer professional bio, copy and paste the first 2 sentences. Then, revise these sentences to create your resume summary.

Step 3 Highlight your experience and key skills in 1 to 2 sentences.

  • For instance: “Served as senior development officer for an international nonprofit. Revamped fundraising campaign strategies and generated a 25% year-over-year increase in donations.”
  • Review the key skills listed in job descriptions, and include them in your resume summary. Employers and recruiters want to see how you’ve honed the specific skills the job requires. [11] X Research source

Revising Your Description

Step 1 Make sure your sentences flow logically.

  • Consider the example, “Senior development officer with over 10 years experience at an international nonprofit. Revamped fundraising campaign strategies and generated a 25% year-over-year increase in donations.” The first sentence summarizes experience, while the second follows up with a specific accomplishment.
  • To make smooth transitions, write “I have 10 years of experience as a music teacher at the secondary level. Additionally, I've maintained a private practice teaching vocal and piano lessons for 2 decades. When I'm not working with my students, I enjoy community theater, gardening, and needlepoint.”

Step 2 Proofread your brief description.

  • Make sure you've used strong verbs and the active voice. For instance, go with “Developed a new bookkeeping system” instead of “Was in charge of making a new bookkeeping system.” [13] X Research source
  • Reading your text out loud can also help you smooth over any awkward-sounding sentences.
  • You should also avoid using words such as “very” or “really.” If you're writing a formal description, nix contractions, slang, and other informal expressions.

Step 3 Ask other people to check your text and offer feedback.

  • Ideally, ask 3 people to offer feedback: a mentor or supervisor, a peer or coworker, and someone in your target audience. For a resume bio, your target audience would be a hiring manager or recruiter. If you run a business and wrote a blurb for your website, your target audience would be people who use your product or service.

Expert Q&A

Christopher Taylor, PhD

  • Keep in mind you want to be brief, which means your language should be simple and direct. Choose engaging, precise words, and avoid using specialized jargon unless it’s absolutely necessary. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you have any doubts about the format, look for bios and blurbs you can use as examples. For instance, review other authors’ blurbs for the website you write for, or check bios on your company's website or in previous versions of its directory. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to write a summary about yourself

You Might Also Like

Write About Yourself

  • ↑ https://www.su.edu/career-services/career-services-students/career-education/professional-biography/
  • ↑ http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~sfinger/advice/advice.html#biosketches
  • ↑ https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/blog/linkedin-best-practices/2016/7-linkedin-profile-summaries-that-we-love-and-how-to-boost-your-own
  • ↑ https://phdlife.warwick.ac.uk/2017/02/01/how-to-write-an-academic-bio-for-conferences/
  • ↑ https://www.careereducation.columbia.edu/resources/how-write-resume-profile-or-summary-statement
  • ↑ https://www.theguardian.com/careers/careers-blog/how-to-write-a-personal-statement-for-your-cv
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/reading-aloud/
  • ↑ https://www.careers.govt.nz/job-hunting/cvs-and-cover-letters/how-to-describe-skills-in-your-cv/

About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a brief description of yourself, start with a sentence that includes your name and title, like "Jackie Smith is a professor of philosophy at Ritter College." Then, write a sentence that briefly summarizes the kind of work you do and how long you've been doing it. Next, use 2-3 sentences to detail your top 3 achievements, awards, or certifications. If you don't have a lot of experience or achievements to include, focus on your education instead. Finally, wrap up your description with a short personal detail. To learn how to come up with a description of yourself for your resume, scroll down! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Write a Summary (Examples Included)

Ashley Shaw

Ashley Shaw

How to write a summary

Have you ever recommended a book to someone and given them a quick overview? Then you’ve created a summary before!

Summarizing is a common part of everyday communication. It feels easy when you’re recounting what happened on your favorite show, but what do you do when the information gets a little more complex?

Written summaries come with their own set of challenges. You might ask yourself:

  • What details are unnecessary?
  • How do you put this in your own words without changing the meaning?
  • How close can you get to the original without plagiarizing it?
  • How long should it be?

The answers to these questions depend on the type of summary you are doing and why you are doing it.

A summary in an academic setting is different to a professional summary—and both of those are very different to summarizing a funny story you want to tell your friends.

One thing they all have in common is that you need to relay information in the clearest way possible to help your reader understand. We’ll look at some different forms of summary, and give you some tips on each.

Let’s get started!

What Is a Summary?

How do you write a summary, how do you write an academic summary, what are the four types of academic summaries, how do i write a professional summary, writing or telling a summary in personal situations, summarizing summaries.

A summary is a shorter version of a larger work. Summaries are used at some level in almost every writing task, from formal documents to personal messages.

When you write a summary, you have an audience that doesn’t know every single thing you know.

When you want them to understand your argument, topic, or stance, you may need to explain some things to catch them up.

Instead of having them read the article or hear every single detail of the story or event, you instead give them a brief overview of what they need to know.

Academic, professional, and personal summaries each require you to consider different things, but there are some key rules they all have in common.

Let’s go over a few general guides to writing a summary first.

A summary should be shorter than the original

1. A summary should always be shorter than the original work, usually considerably.

Even if your summary is the length of a full paper, you are likely summarizing a book or other significantly longer work.

2. A summary should tell the reader the highlights of what they need to know without giving them unnecessary details.

3. It should also include enough details to give a clear and honest picture.

For example, if you summarize an article that says “ The Office is the greatest television show of all time,” but don’t mention that they are specifically referring to sitcoms, then you changed the meaning of the article. That’s a problem! Similarly, if you write a summary of your job history and say you volunteered at a hospital for the last three years, but you don’t add that you only went twice in that time, it becomes a little dishonest.

4. Summaries shouldn’t contain personal opinion.

While in the longer work you are creating you might use opinion, within the summary itself, you should avoid all personal opinion. A summary is different than a review. In this moment, you aren’t saying what you think of the work you are summarizing, you are just giving your audience enough information to know what the work says or did.

Include enough detail

Now that we have a good idea of what summaries are in general, let’s talk about some specific types of summary you will likely have to do at some point in your writing life.

An academic summary is one you will create for a class or in other academic writing. The exact elements you will need to include depend on the assignment itself.

However, when you’re asked for an academic summary, this usually this means one of five things, all of which are pretty similar:

  • You need to do a presentation in which you talk about an article, book, or report.
  • You write a summary paper in which the entire paper is a summary of a specific work.
  • You summarize a class discussion, lesson, or reading in the form of personal notes or a discussion board post.
  • You do something like an annotated bibliography where you write short summaries of multiple works in preparation of a longer assignment.
  • You write quick summaries within the body of another assignment . For example, in an argumentative essay, you will likely need to have short summaries of the sources you use to explain their argument before getting into how the source helps you prove your point.

Places to find academic summaries

Regardless of what type of summary you are doing, though, there are a few steps you should always follow:

  • Skim the work you are summarizing before you read it. Notice what stands out to you.
  • Next, read it in depth . Do the same things stand out?
  • Put the full text away and write in a few sentences what the main idea or point was.
  • Go back and compare to make sure you didn’t forget anything.
  • Expand on this to write and then edit your summary.

Each type of academic summary requires slightly different things. Let’s get down to details.

How Do I Write a Summary Paper?

Sometimes teachers assign something called a summary paper . In this, the entire thing is a summary of one article, book, story, or report.

To understand how to write this paper, let’s talk a little bit about the purpose of such an assignment.

A summary paper is usually given to help a teacher see how well a student understands a reading assignment, but also to help the student digest the reading. Sometimes, it can be difficult to understand things we read right away.

However, a good way to process the information is to put it in our own words. That is the point of a summary paper.

What a summary paper is

A summary paper is:

  • A way to explain in our own words what happened in a paper, book, etc.
  • A time to think about what was important in the paper, etc.
  • A time to think about the meaning and purpose behind the paper, etc.

Here are some things that a summary paper is not:

  • A review. Your thoughts and opinions on the thing you are summarizing don’t need to be here unless otherwise specified.
  • A comparison. A comparison paper has a lot of summary in it, but it is different than a summary paper. In this, you are just saying what happened, but you aren’t saying places it could have been done differently.
  • A paraphrase (though you might have a little paraphrasing in there). In the section on using summary in longer papers, I talk more about the difference between summaries, paraphrases, and quotes.

What a summary paper is not

Because a summary paper is usually longer than other forms of summary, you will be able to chose more detail. However, it still needs to focus on the important events. Summary papers are usually shorter papers.

Let’s say you are writing a 3–4 page summary. You are likely summarizing a full book or an article or short story, which will be much longer than 3–4 pages.

Imagine that you are the author of the work, and your editor comes to you and says they love what you wrote, but they need it to be 3–4 pages instead.

How would you tell that story (argument, idea, etc.) in that length without losing the heart or intent behind it? That is what belongs in a summary paper.

How Do I Write Useful Academic Notes?

Sometimes, you need to write a summary for yourself in the form of notes or for your classmates in the form of a discussion post.

You might not think you need a specific approach for this. After all, only you are going to see it.

However, summarizing for yourself can sometimes be the most difficult type of summary. If you try to write down everything your teacher says, your hand will cramp and you’ll likely miss a lot.

Yet, transcribing doesn’t work because studies show that writing things down (not typing them) actually helps you remember them better.

So how do you find the balance between summarizing the lessons without leaving out important points?

There are some tips for this:

  • If your professor writes it on the board, it is probably important.
  • What points do your textbooks include when summarizing information? Use these as a guide.
  • Write the highlight of every X amount of time, with X being the time you can go without missing anything or getting tired. This could be one point per minute, or three per five minutes, etc.

How Do I Create an Annotated Biography?

An annotated bibliography requires a very specific style of writing. Often, you will write these before a longer research paper . They will ask you to find a certain amount of articles and write a short annotation for each of them.

While an annotation is more than just a summary, it usually starts with a summary of the work. This will be about 2–3 sentences long. Because you don’t have a lot of room, you really have to think about what the most important thing the work says is.

This will basically ask you to explain the point of the article in these couple of sentences, so you should focus on the main point when expressing it.

Here is an example of a summary section within an annotation about this post:

“In this post, the author explains how to write a summary in different types of settings. She walks through academic, professional, and personal summaries. Ultimately, she claims that summaries should be short explanations that get the audience caught up on the topic without leaving out details that would change the meaning.”

What are annotation summaries?

Can I Write a Summary Within an Essay?

Perhaps the most common type of summary you will ever do is a short summary within a longer paper.

For example, if you have to write an argumentative essay, you will likely need to use sources to help support your argument.

However, there is a good chance that your readers won’t have read those same sources.

So, you need to give them enough detail to understand your topic without spending too much time explaining and not enough making your argument.

While this depends on exactly how you are using summary in your paper, often, a good amount of summary is the same amount you would put in an annotation.

Just a few sentences will allow the reader to get an idea of the work before moving on to specific parts of it that might help your argument.

What’s the Difference Between Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Using Quotes?

One important thing to recognize when using summaries in academic settings is that summaries are different than paraphrases or quotes.

A summary is broader and more general. A paraphrase, on the other hand, puts specific parts into your own words. A quote uses the exact words of the original. All of them, however, need to be cited.

Let’s look at an example:

Take these words by Thomas J. Watson:

”Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t as all. You can be discouraged by failure—or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you will find success.”

Let’s say I was told to write a summary, a paraphrase, and a quote about this statement. This is what it might look like:

Summary: Thomas J. Watson said that the key to success is actually to fail more often. (This is broad and doesn’t go into details about what he says, but it still gives him credit.)

Paraphrase: Thomas J. Watson, on asking if people would like his formula for success, said that the secret was to fail twice as much. He claimed that when you decide to learn from your mistakes instead of being disappointed by them, and when you start making a lot of them, you will actually find more success. (This includes most of the details, but it is in my own words, while still crediting the source.)

Quote: Thomas J. Watson said, ”Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure—or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you will find success.” (This is the exact words of the original with quotation marks and credit given.)

A summary versus a paraphrase versus a quote

Avoiding Plagiarism

One of the hardest parts about summarizing someone else’s writing is avoiding plagiarism .

A tip to avoid plagiarism

That’s why I have a few rules/tips for you when summarizing anything:

1. Always cite.

If you are talking about someone else’s work in any means, cite your source. If you are summarizing the entire work, all you probably need to do (depending on style guidelines) is say the author’s name. However, if you are summarizing a specific chapter or section, you should state that specifically. Finally, you should make sure to include it in your Work Cited or Reference page.

2. Change the wording.

Sometimes when people are summarizing or paraphrasing a work, they get too close to the original, and actually use the exact words. Unless you use quotation marks, this is plagiarism. However, a good way to avoid this is to hide the article while you are summarizing it. If you don’t have it in front of you, you are less likely to accidentally use the exact words. (However, after you are done, double check that you didn’t miss anything important or give wrong details.)

3. Use a plagiarism checker.

Of course, when you are writing any summary, especially academic summaries, it can be easy to cross the line into plagiarism. If this is a place where you struggle, then ProWritingAid can help.

ProWritingAid's Plagiarism Report

Just use our Plagiarism Report . It’ll highlight any unoriginal text in your document so you can make sure you are citing everything correctly and summarizing in your own words.

Find out more about ProWritingAid plagiarism bundles.

Along with academic summaries, you might sometimes need to write professional summaries. Often, this means writing a summary about yourself that shows why you are qualified for a position or organization.

In this section, let’s talk about two types of professional summaries: a LinkedIn summary and a summary section within a resume.

How Do I Write My LinkedIn Bio?

LinkedIn is all about professional networking. It offers you a chance to share a brief glimpse of your professional qualifications in a paragraph or two.

This can then be sent to professional connections, or even found by them without you having to reach out. This can help you get a job or build your network.

Your summary is one of the first things a future employer might see about you, and how you write yours can make you stand out from the competition.

Your resume's summary

Here are some tips on writing a LinkedIn summary :

  • Before you write it, think about what you want it to do . If you are looking for a job, what kind of job? What have you done in your past that would stand out to someone hiring for that position? That is what you will want to focus on in your summary.
  • Be professional . Unlike many social media platforms, LinkedIn has a reputation for being more formal. Your summary should reflect that to some extent.
  • Use keywords . Your summary is searchable, so using keywords that a recruiter might be searching for can help them find you.
  • Focus on the start . LinkedIn shows the first 300 characters automatically, and then offers the viewer a chance to read more. Make that start so good that everyone wants to keep reading.
  • Focus on accomplishments . Think of your life like a series of albums, and this is your speciality “Greatest Hits” album. What “songs” are you putting on it?

Tips for writing a linkedin summary

How Do I Summarize My Experience on a Resume?

Writing a professional summary for a resume is different than any other type of summary that you may have to do.

Recruiters go through a lot of resumes every day. They don’t have time to spend ages reading yours, which means you have to wow them quickly.

To do that, you might include a section at the top of your resume that acts almost as an elevator pitch: That one thing you might say to a recruiter to get them to want to talk to you if you only had a 30-second elevator ride.

Treat your resume summary as an elevator pitch

If you don’t have a lot of experience, though, you might want to skip this section entirely and focus on playing up the experience you do have.

Outside of academic and personal summaries, you use summary a lot in your day-to-day life.

Whether it is telling a good piece of trivia you just learned or a funny story that happened to you, or even setting the stage in creative writing, you summarize all the time.

How you use summary can be an important consideration in whether people want to read your work (or listen to you talk).

Here are some things to think about when telling a story:

  • Pick interesting details . Too many and your point will be lost. Not enough, and you didn’t paint the scene or give them a complete idea about what happened.
  • Play into the emotions . When telling a story, you want more information than the bare minimum. You want your reader to get the emotion of the story. That requires a little bit more work to accomplish.
  • Focus. A summary of one story can lead to another can lead to another. Think about storytellers that you know that go off on a tangent. They never seem to finish one story without telling 100 others!

Summarize a spoken story

To wrap up (and to demonstrate everything I just talked about), let’s summarize this post into its most essential parts:

A summary is a great way to quickly give your audience the information they need to understand the topic you are discussing without having to know every detail.

How you write a summary is different depending on what type of summary you are doing:

  • An academic summary usually gets to the heart of an article, book, or journal, and it should highlight the main points in your own words. How long it should be depends on the type of assignment it is.
  • A professional summary highlights you and your professional, academic, and volunteer history. It shows people in your professional network who you are and why they should hire you, work with you, use your talents, etc.

Being able to tell a good story is another form of summary. You want to tell engaging anecdotes and facts without boring your listeners. This is a skill that is developed over time.

Take your writing to the next level:

20 Editing Tips From Professional Writers

20 Editing Tips from Professional Writers

Whether you are writing a novel, essay, article, or email, good writing is an essential part of communicating your ideas., this guide contains the 20 most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers..

how to write a summary about yourself

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

Ashley Shaw is a former editor and marketer/current PhD student and teacher. When she isn't studying con artists for her dissertation, she's thinking of new ways to help college students better understand and love the writing process. You can follow her on Twitter, or, if you prefer animal accounts, follow her rabbits, Audrey Hopbun and Fredra StaHare, on Instagram.

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  • How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples

How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples

Published on November 23, 2020 by Shona McCombes . Revised on May 31, 2023.

Summarizing , or writing a summary, means giving a concise overview of a text’s main points in your own words. A summary is always much shorter than the original text.

There are five key steps that can help you to write a summary:

  • Read the text
  • Break it down into sections
  • Identify the key points in each section
  • Write the summary
  • Check the summary against the article

Writing a summary does not involve critiquing or evaluating the source . You should simply provide an accurate account of the most important information and ideas (without copying any text from the original).

Table of contents

When to write a summary, step 1: read the text, step 2: break the text down into sections, step 3: identify the key points in each section, step 4: write the summary, step 5: check the summary against the article, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about summarizing.

There are many situations in which you might have to summarize an article or other source:

  • As a stand-alone assignment to show you’ve understood the material
  • To keep notes that will help you remember what you’ve read
  • To give an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review

When you’re writing an academic text like an essay , research paper , or dissertation , you’ll integrate sources in a variety of ways. You might use a brief quote to support your point, or paraphrase a few sentences or paragraphs.

But it’s often appropriate to summarize a whole article or chapter if it is especially relevant to your own research, or to provide an overview of a source before you analyze or critique it.

In any case, the goal of summarizing is to give your reader a clear understanding of the original source. Follow the five steps outlined below to write a good summary.

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You should read the article more than once to make sure you’ve thoroughly understood it. It’s often effective to read in three stages:

  • Scan the article quickly to get a sense of its topic and overall shape.
  • Read the article carefully, highlighting important points and taking notes as you read.
  • Skim the article again to confirm you’ve understood the key points, and reread any particularly important or difficult passages.

There are some tricks you can use to identify the key points as you read:

  • Start by reading the abstract . This already contains the author’s own summary of their work, and it tells you what to expect from the article.
  • Pay attention to headings and subheadings . These should give you a good sense of what each part is about.
  • Read the introduction and the conclusion together and compare them: What did the author set out to do, and what was the outcome?

To make the text more manageable and understand its sub-points, break it down into smaller sections.

If the text is a scientific paper that follows a standard empirical structure, it is probably already organized into clearly marked sections, usually including an introduction , methods , results , and discussion .

Other types of articles may not be explicitly divided into sections. But most articles and essays will be structured around a series of sub-points or themes.

Now it’s time go through each section and pick out its most important points. What does your reader need to know to understand the overall argument or conclusion of the article?

Keep in mind that a summary does not involve paraphrasing every single paragraph of the article. Your goal is to extract the essential points, leaving out anything that can be considered background information or supplementary detail.

In a scientific article, there are some easy questions you can ask to identify the key points in each part.

If the article takes a different form, you might have to think more carefully about what points are most important for the reader to understand its argument.

In that case, pay particular attention to the thesis statement —the central claim that the author wants us to accept, which usually appears in the introduction—and the topic sentences that signal the main idea of each paragraph.

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how to write a summary about yourself

Now that you know the key points that the article aims to communicate, you need to put them in your own words.

To avoid plagiarism and show you’ve understood the article, it’s essential to properly paraphrase the author’s ideas. Do not copy and paste parts of the article, not even just a sentence or two.

The best way to do this is to put the article aside and write out your own understanding of the author’s key points.

Examples of article summaries

Let’s take a look at an example. Below, we summarize this article , which scientifically investigates the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Davis et al. (2015) set out to empirically test the popular saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are often used to represent a healthy lifestyle, and research has shown their nutritional properties could be beneficial for various aspects of health. The authors’ unique approach is to take the saying literally and ask: do people who eat apples use healthcare services less frequently? If there is indeed such a relationship, they suggest, promoting apple consumption could help reduce healthcare costs.

The study used publicly available cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were categorized as either apple eaters or non-apple eaters based on their self-reported apple consumption in an average 24-hour period. They were also categorized as either avoiding or not avoiding the use of healthcare services in the past year. The data was statistically analyzed to test whether there was an association between apple consumption and several dependent variables: physician visits, hospital stays, use of mental health services, and use of prescription medication.

Although apple eaters were slightly more likely to have avoided physician visits, this relationship was not statistically significant after adjusting for various relevant factors. No association was found between apple consumption and hospital stays or mental health service use. However, apple eaters were found to be slightly more likely to have avoided using prescription medication. Based on these results, the authors conclude that an apple a day does not keep the doctor away, but it may keep the pharmacist away. They suggest that this finding could have implications for reducing healthcare costs, considering the high annual costs of prescription medication and the inexpensiveness of apples.

However, the authors also note several limitations of the study: most importantly, that apple eaters are likely to differ from non-apple eaters in ways that may have confounded the results (for example, apple eaters may be more likely to be health-conscious). To establish any causal relationship between apple consumption and avoidance of medication, they recommend experimental research.

An article summary like the above would be appropriate for a stand-alone summary assignment. However, you’ll often want to give an even more concise summary of an article.

For example, in a literature review or meta analysis you may want to briefly summarize this study as part of a wider discussion of various sources. In this case, we can boil our summary down even further to include only the most relevant information.

Using national survey data, Davis et al. (2015) tested the assertion that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and did not find statistically significant evidence to support this hypothesis. While people who consumed apples were slightly less likely to use prescription medications, the study was unable to demonstrate a causal relationship between these variables.

Citing the source you’re summarizing

When including a summary as part of a larger text, it’s essential to properly cite the source you’re summarizing. The exact format depends on your citation style , but it usually includes an in-text citation and a full reference at the end of your paper.

You can easily create your citations and references in APA or MLA using our free citation generators.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

Finally, read through the article once more to ensure that:

  • You’ve accurately represented the author’s work
  • You haven’t missed any essential information
  • The phrasing is not too similar to any sentences in the original.

If you’re summarizing many articles as part of your own work, it may be a good idea to use a plagiarism checker to double-check that your text is completely original and properly cited. Just be sure to use one that’s safe and reliable.

If you want to know more about ChatGPT, AI tools , citation , and plagiarism , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • ChatGPT vs human editor
  • ChatGPT citations
  • Is ChatGPT trustworthy?
  • Using ChatGPT for your studies
  • What is ChatGPT?
  • Chicago style
  • Paraphrasing

 Plagiarism

  • Types of plagiarism
  • Self-plagiarism
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Academic integrity
  • Consequences of plagiarism
  • Common knowledge

A summary is a short overview of the main points of an article or other source, written entirely in your own words. Want to make your life super easy? Try our free text summarizer today!

A summary is always much shorter than the original text. The length of a summary can range from just a few sentences to several paragraphs; it depends on the length of the article you’re summarizing, and on the purpose of the summary.

You might have to write a summary of a source:

  • As a stand-alone assignment to prove you understand the material
  • For your own use, to keep notes on your reading
  • To provide an overview of other researchers’ work in a literature review
  • In a paper , to summarize or introduce a relevant study

To avoid plagiarism when summarizing an article or other source, follow these two rules:

  • Write the summary entirely in your own words by paraphrasing the author’s ideas.
  • Cite the source with an in-text citation and a full reference so your reader can easily find the original text.

An abstract concisely explains all the key points of an academic text such as a thesis , dissertation or journal article. It should summarize the whole text, not just introduce it.

An abstract is a type of summary , but summaries are also written elsewhere in academic writing . For example, you might summarize a source in a paper , in a literature review , or as a standalone assignment.

All can be done within seconds with our free text summarizer .

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

McCombes, S. (2023, May 31). How to Write a Summary | Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/working-with-sources/how-to-summarize/

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How To Write About Yourself Professionally: Making Your Professional Self-Summary Shine

By: Author Paul Jenkins

Posted on July 22, 2023

Categories Writing

You’ve landed that coveted job interview. Your palms are sweaty, heart racing – it’s your time to shine. But when the inevitable ‘Tell us about yourself’ question pops up, you freeze.

How do you encapsulate years of experience, skills and aspirations into a concise answer? It’s like trying to fit an ocean into a teacup! Don’t panic; we’re here to help you navigate these rough waters.

This article will guide you on how to write about yourself professionally, highlighting key experiences and skills without oversharing or underselling yourself. From crafting a compelling introduction to updating your bio regularly, each step is designed with one goal in mind: to make ‘you’ the best product on offer!

With practice and perseverance, you’ll master this art in no time.

Key Takeaways

  • Tailor your professional narrative to your target audience and the specific goals you want to achieve, whether it’s for a job interview or professional networking.
  • Prioritize and highlight relevant experiences, quantifying them and analyzing their impact to showcase your achievements and skills effectively.
  • Incorporate testimonials or external perspectives to add credibility to your narrative.
  • Use clear examples, real-life accomplishments, metaphors, and anecdotes to make your narrative compelling and engaging.

Ize A Magnifying Glass Scrutinizing A Professional Resume On A Wooden Desk, With Symbolic Icons Of Skills, Achievements, And Personal Growth Floating Above It In A Subtle Glow

Understanding the Purpose

Before you start crafting your professional narrative, it’s crucial that you understand the purpose behind it – what do you intend to achieve and who’s going to be reading it?

Setting writing objectives can help guide your thoughts and keep your content relevant. For instance, if your goal is to land a job interview, your writing should primarily focus on showcasing skills and experiences that align with the job description. On the other hand, if you’re aiming to build a robust professional network, highlight key accomplishments and leadership roles that demonstrate credibility.

Your professional write-up isn’t just about listing down career facts—it’s about telling a story where each piece fits into an overarching narrative. Remember: clarity and conciseness are key! Keep sentences short but impactful—every word matters here. Tailor language according to the specific role or industry jargon without overloading it with buzzwords.

Knowing why you are penning this piece and who will read it makes for an effective self-introduction—one that resonates with its intended readership while maintaining authenticity.

Ize A Confident Individual Standing On A Stage, Spotlight Highlighting Them, With A Large Quill In Hand, Poised To Write On A Giant, Blank Parchment Spread Out In Front Of Them

Start with a Strong Introduction

Contrary to common belief, introducing oneself isn’t an art form reserved for secret agents and superheroes – it’s actually quite mundane. However, that doesn’t mean you should just stick to the basics. Grab attention from the get-go with a captivating opener.

Maybe start with a personal anecdote that highlights your strengths or experiences relevant to your profession. Don’t shy away from sharing a little bit about your journey. Personal anecdotes can make your introduction more engaging and relatable while showcasing who you are beyond just job titles and degrees.

For instance, if you’ve traveled extensively for work, share how these experiences shaped your perspective on business or customer relations. Remember, this is not a memoir but rather the professional story of you. Therefore, keep it clear and concise yet interesting enough to leave them wanting more.

After crafting this compelling intro, don’t forget to tailor it according to each job description or professional opportunity you seek. This might seem like extra work but trust us – showing that level of detail will set you apart from others right off the bat.

So there you have it! By incorporating these strategies into your self-introduction process, you’ll be presenting yourself in an engaging and memorable way.

Ge Of A Spotlight Shining On A Resume, With Symbolic Icons Representing Various Professional Experiences - A Graduation Cap, A Briefcase, A Globe, A Magnifying Glass

Highlight Your Experiences

Now, let’s move on to the importance of highlighting your experiences.

Always prioritize those experiences that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for – this will show potential employers that you’ve got exactly what they’re looking for.

Don’t forget to showcase your achievements too, as these can be a powerful demonstration of your capabilities and competencies.

Prioritize Relevant Experiences

Highlighting your most relevant experiences first will not only captivate your audience’s attention, but also give them a snapshot of what you bring to the table. This approach adds value to your profile and increases its appeal.

To prioritize effectively, consider these steps:

  • Experience Quantification: Start by listing all your experiences then filter out those directly linked to the profession or role you’re targeting.
  • Impact Analysis: Evaluate each experience based on its impact and relevance to the job description.
  • Ordering: Arrange them in descending order, starting with the most significant.

Your focus should be on showcasing how your experiences make you an excellent fit for the role at hand. Remember, it’s about quality over quantity when detailing professional accomplishments.

Showcase Achievements

Showcasing your achievements isn’t just about listing awards or accolades; it’s about painting a vivid picture of how you’ve made a difference in previous roles. By quantifying successes, you provide concrete evidence of your impact.

For instance, if you increased sales by 20%, mention that statistic to demonstrate your value.

Incorporating testimonials is also effective. Quotes from past employers or colleagues can attest to your skills and accomplishments, offering an external perspective on your capabilities.

Remember to align these achievements with the job description, ensuring they’re relevant and compelling for prospective employers. Keep it clear and concise – no need for lengthy explanations.

Your goal is to show, rather than tell, why you’re the ideal candidate through tangible successes and glowing testimonials.

Of A Person'S Hands Writing On A Resume, With Symbolic Icons Of Diverse Skills And Talents Like Public Speaking, Computer Programming, And Painting, Hovering Above The Paper

Detail Your Skills and Talents

Now, let’s delve into detailing your skills and talents in a way that leaves an impression.

Be specific and concrete, don’t just say you’re good at something, illustrate it with clear examples or quantifiable achievements.

Remember the golden rule: Show, don’t just tell.

Be Specific and Concrete

While you’re describing your professional background, don’t just say you’ve got ‘experience in marketing’; instead, mention that time when your innovative social media campaign boosted the company’s brand visibility by 40%.

Be specific and concrete. Use quantifiable evidence to back up your claims. For instance, if you’re a salesperson, note how much you increased sales or customer retention rates.

Don’t shy away from providing real-life examples of your accomplishments. Did you implement a new strategy that improved workflow efficiency? Say so! Your potential employer wants to see tangible proof of your skills and talents.

Remember: being vague won’t do any good. In order to stand out, detail specific instances where you made a significant impact in your previous roles. This will give them a better grasp of what you bring to the table.

Show, Don’t Just Tell

Don’t just claim you’re a team player, paint a vivid picture of that time when your collaborative efforts led to the successful completion of a major project. Show, don’t just tell. Utilize metaphors and incorporate anecdotes to make your professional narrative compelling and relatable.

For instance:

Make sure these examples align with the job description, showing not only what you’ve done but how it can benefit prospective employers. Remember, show them why they should hire you; don’t just tell them!

 An Image Featuring A Graduation Cap, Diploma, Academic Books, And A Laptop With A Blank Document, All Set On A Professional Desk

Discuss Your Education

Did you know that I’ve earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the prestigious Stanford University? This is one of my key academic achievements.

The rigorous curriculum there allowed me to develop strong analytical skills, which are vital for problem-solving tasks in any tech-related job. While at Stanford, I not only mastered coding languages like Python and Java but also excelled in more theoretical subjects such as data structures and algorithms.

My professors often commended me on my ability to grasp complex concepts easily–a skill that has proven useful throughout my career. Post-graduation, I didn’t stop learning. Recognizing the value of continuous education, I pursued further studies through online courses and certifications.

These have been instrumental in staying up-to-date with the latest technological trends and developments. My educational background doesn’t just reflect my qualifications; it’s a testament to my dedication and commitment to excellence within this field.

When you’re considering candidates for your team, remember this: Not only do I come equipped with a solid foundation from one of the world’s top universities, but I also possess an undying thirst for knowledge coupled with an innate drive for success.

Of A Sophisticated Workspace, A Laptop Open With Blank Screen, A Notepad With A Pen, A Coffee Cup, And Icons Representing Various Personal Interests Like Books, Music, Art, And Sports

Include Personal Interests

Having delved into your academic credentials, let’s shift gears to another facet of your professional identity – personal interests. It might surprise you, but including your hobbies in a professional context can offer a richer depiction of who you are.

Your personal interests can be an unexpected source of strength and inspiration that shapes the way you work. For instance, if photography is one of your hobbies, it demonstrates your eye for detail and creativity. This could translate well if you’re applying for a role that requires meticulous attention to details or creative thinking.

The hobby influence extends beyond just skills; it molds character traits too. An interest in team sports showcases teamwork and leadership qualities while solo activities like reading reflect introspection and patience.

Consider carefully how each interest impacts your professional persona. Tailor this aspect to align with the job description when required – perhaps showcasing strategic thinking from chess if applying for managerial roles or displaying persistence from marathon running for sales jobs.

So don’t dismiss those after-work pursuits lightly; they could be instrumental in setting you apart as a unique candidate on the corporate stage!

 Professional Woman In Business Attire Looking At Her Reflection In A Mirror, Holding A Pen And Paper, Symbolizing Honesty And Authenticity In Self-Representation

Be Honest and Authentic

In the pursuit of landing your dream job, it’s vital to stay true and authentic. Honesty is always the best policy, especially when you’re writing about yourself professionally. It also extends to personal authenticity and a truthful representation of who you are.

Working on an honest self-portrait requires more than just listing down your skills or achievements. Here are some ways to ensure your professional profile remains genuine:

  • Be upfront about your strengths and weaknesses: Don’t shy away from mentioning areas where you need improvement. It shows humility and a willingness to learn.
  • Share real-life examples: Use specific instances from past experiences to showcase your skills or demonstrate how you deal with challenges.
  • Avoid exaggeration: Embellishing facts can lead to unrealistic expectations that may harm you in the long run.

Remember, being honest doesn’t mean revealing every detail of your life. It’s all about presenting a realistic picture of what makes you unique as a professional without compromising truthfulness and authenticity. Employers appreciate individuals who can confidently show their true selves while maintaining professionalism—so don’t be afraid to let your genuine light shine through!

 An Image Of A Clean, Organized Desk With A Minimalist Design, A Sharpened Pencil, A White Paper And An Hourglass, Symbolizing Concise, Clear And Time-Efficient Self-Description

Keep It Concise and Clear

While you’re tempted to pour out every detail of your accomplishments, it’s crucial to keep your professional profile concise and clear. Using a more concise language usage can help you achieve this. Understand that recruiters or potential clients often skim through loads of profiles and resumes.

Your ability to communicate your skills, experience, and achievements briefly yet effectively can set you apart.

To enhance clarity in your writing, make use of clarity enhancement techniques. Avoid the use of jargon or overly complex words. Instead, stick with simple and straightforward language that is easy to understand. This doesn’t mean dumbing down your content but making it accessible for everyone who reads it.

Always remember that less is more when it comes to sharing about yourself professionally. Be specific rather than general in your descriptions; this gives a better idea of what exactly you bring to the table without overwhelming readers with information.

Keeping things concise doesn’t have to mean leaving out important details about yourself—rather, focus on prioritizing the most relevant facts aligned with your career goals or job requirements. By doing so, not only do you save time for those reading but also present a clear picture of who you are as a professional.

Ividual In A Suit Holding A Pen, Poised Above A Blank Paper, Surrounded By Symbols Of Professional Language, Such As A Dictionary, Thesaurus, And A Laptop Showing Grammar Software

Use Professional Language

Don’t be shy about sounding a bit formal when it comes to your professional profile – it’s expected!

Formal Vocabulary Importance can’t be overstated. It not only showcases your knowledge and professionalism but also helps you stand out from the crowd. Your choice of words can make or break an impression.

Choose Your Words Wisely: Use industry-specific terms that highlight your expertise in the field. This demonstrates that you’re well-versed in Professional Jargon Usage and knowledgeable about current trends.

Avoid Slang and Colloquialisms: Stick to standard English, keeping it crisp and clear. Casual language can detract from the professional image you’re trying to project.

Proofread Thoroughly: Ensure there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors as they could undermine your credibility.

When writing about yourself professionally, remember that every word counts. Be precise with what you say, tailoring your content to match the job description perfectly while maintaining a level of formality that feels natural yet impressive.

By adopting a tone of professionalism and using appropriate language, you’ll portray yourself as a competent, reliable candidate who knows their stuff – without sounding pompous or overbearing!

Ge Of A Professional Woman Holding A Megaphone, Symbolizing A Call To Action, With A Laptop Showing A Blank Profile Page In The Background

Incorporate a Call to Action

Just as a compelling movie leaves you longing for a sequel, your professional profile should also compel the reader to take action. This is where incorporating a call to action (CTA) becomes crucial.

You want them eager to connect, follow up or offer you an opportunity. Your CTA’s placement and wording can greatly influence this outcome.

An effective CTA complements the tone of your self-description and clearly communicates what steps the reader should take next. Is it sending you an email? Following your blog? Downloading your portfolio? Make it clear and easy for them to do so. Keep in mind that every contact initiated through your profile can potentially lead to new opportunities.

When writing about yourself professionally, consider emphasizing the action impact of your accomplishments and experiences. Show how you’ve made a difference in previous roles or projects – this adds credibility and substance to your profile while encouraging readers to imagine what you might achieve in their organization.

Remember, each element of your professional write-up, including the call-to-action, should be strategically placed and effectively written. While wrapping up, reiterate subtly why they should engage with you but avoid sounding desperate or pushy. Keep it confident, courteous, yet compelling enough for them to act upon.

Of A Magnifying Glass Hovering Over A Laptop Keyboard, With Crumpled Papers And An Eraser Nearby Symbolizing The Process Of Proofreading And Editing

Proofread and Edit

After crafting your captivating professional profile, it’s crucial to meticulously proofread and edit the content for any errors or ambiguities. The essence of this exercise is not only to correct grammatical missteps but also to ensure that your text communicates your expertise, skills, and achievements effectively.

Editing tools can be a great help in this process. Software like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor can spot mistakes you might overlook and suggest improvements for better readability. These tools aren’t perfect though; they may miss context-specific errors or nuances in language use. Hence, it’s important not to rely solely on them for error detection.

Another effective strategy is asking peers or mentors for a review. A fresh pair of eyes can catch inconsistencies, unclear passages, or information gaps that you may have missed. They can provide valuable feedback from an outsider’s perspective which might be closer to how potential employers would perceive your profile.

Remember, the aim is not only about eliminating errors but also refining each sentence until it shines with clarity and precision tailored to the job description. It’s worth investing time into this stage because well-polished profiles leave a lasting impression on readers- setting you apart from other candidates without doubt.

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Ask for Feedback

Ironically, despite believing we’re the best judges of our own work, it’s often others who can provide the most insightful critiques. When writing about yourself professionally, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback. It can offer a fresh perspective and help you spot weaknesses in your self-portrayal that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Here are some potential channels through which you could seek constructive criticism:

  • Peer Review: Share your write-up with peers in your industry or field. They’ll understand the context better and can give specific suggestions.
  • Mentor Guidance: If you have a mentor or someone whose opinion you value highly, their input would be invaluable.
  • Professional Editing Services: These services can give an unbiased review of your content with a professional lens.

Receiving feedback isn’t always easy but remember it’s meant to improve your overall presentation. Take each piece of advice seriously and consider how it could enhance your narrative. Constructive criticism is not about pointing out faults—it’s about identifying areas for improvement.

Keep this in mind: The more open you are to different perspectives, the more compelling and engaging your professional story will become. Never underestimate the power of good feedback; use it as fuel to fine-tune every word that describes you professionally.

Ge Showing A Person In Professional Attire Updating Their Biography On A Sleek, Modern Computer, Framed By A Calendar With Highlighted Dates And A Digital Clock Showing Regular Intervals

Regularly Update Your Bio

Consistently refreshing your biography ensures it accurately reflects your evolving skills, experiences, and accomplishments. This continual update is essential in maintaining a professional image that aligns with the current bio trends. As you grow professionally, your bio should mirror that growth.

Updating your biography doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Start by making a list of new skills you’ve acquired or significant projects you’ve completed since the last update. Then incorporate these achievements into your existing bio while maintaining content consistency. Remember to tailor this information to fit the job description or professional context for which the bio will be used.

Always strive for clarity and conciseness when adding new details about yourself; avoid unnecessary jargon or overly complex language. Keep it simple yet impactful, showing not only who you are but also what value you bring.

Regularly updating your biography can have a powerful impact on how others perceive your professional persona. It displays an ongoing commitment to personal growth and adaptability, reflecting positively on both present circumstances and future opportunities. So make it a habit: take stock of your achievements regularly and ensure they’re visible in your bio – because every success counts!

Y A Desk With A Professional Resume, A Cover Letter, And Linkedin Profile On A Laptop Screen, With A Pencil, Eraser, And A Coffee Cup Nearby

Templates and Examples

Having a well-crafted bio is vital, but remember to keep it fresh and updated. Now, let’s shift our attention to the aspect of crafting your professional description with some guidance from templates and examples.

When starting off, look for established templates that can guide you in creating a well-structured biography. The Bio Structure not only helps organize your thoughts but also ensures all critical information is included. These frameworks usually start with an introduction about yourself, followed by your expertise and achievements, then rounding up with personal details that add a touch of personality.

Next, consider examples from professionals in your field or those who’ve successfully built their Personal Branding. Use these references as inspiration while making sure to maintain authenticity – remember it’s about showcasing you!

Incorporate elements like mission statements or notable career milestones which reflect your personal brand values and vision. Showcase what makes you unique and stand out in the crowd.

As we wrap up this topic on using templates and examples, keep in mind that the key is adapting them to fit your narrative authentically rather than copying verbatim. Let these resources be stepping stones towards creating a compelling professional portrayal of yourself.

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Practice Makes Perfect

Don’t be afraid to mix things up and try different approaches when writing about yourself professionally. It’s essential to rehearse your bio regularly, just as you would for a speech or presentation. Remember, practice makes perfect and the more comfortable you are with your professional narrative, the more confident you’ll appear in any professional setting.

Try Different Approaches

It’s funny how we can craft epic tales about fictional characters but when it comes to writing about ourselves, we’re as lost as a squirrel on a treadmill. It’s time to shake things up and try different approaches.

Start by exploring various writing styles. Maybe you excel in formal, scientific prose or perhaps your style is more conversational and engaging. Adapting your tone accordingly will make you sound more authentic and relatable. Remember, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ method here.

If you’re applying for a job, tailor your narrative to the job description. Highlight skills and experiences that align with what they’re looking for. This way, you not only tell them who you are but also why you’re the perfect fit for the role.

Rehearse Your Bio

Once you’ve crafted a compelling personal narrative, rehearsing your bio becomes an essential next step. This process can help refine your presentation and ensure consistency in the way you portray yourself professionally.

  • Analyze Your Bio Structure: Break down your introduction, body, and conclusion. Make sure each part highlights relevant skills or experiences efficiently.
  • Practice Narrative Style: Rehearse out loud to get comfortable with the flow of your story. Remember, this practice helps you sound natural and confident.
  • Revise as Needed: Based on feedback or self-assessment, tweak parts of your bio that don’t seem to work well.
  • Be Consistent: Ensure every rehearsal aligns with the job description for which you’re applying.

In a nutshell, rehearsing gives strength to your professional image while maintaining authenticity in every word spoken about yourself!

StandOut CV

How to describe yourself in your resume

Andrew Fennell photo

When you submit your resume to a potential employer, you want it to speak volumes about your skills, qualifications and your personality.

The problem is, describing yourself and letting your personality shine through on just one (or two) A4 pages can be tricky.

If this sounds like a familiar struggle, there’s good news! There are several things you can do to effectively describe yourself on your resume and boost your chances of landing your dream job – and we’re going to look at these below.

Describe yourself in your resume summary

  • Example resume summaries

Describe yourself in your work experience

Power words to describe yourself.

Resume templates 

Sitting right at the top of your resume is your summary . Not only is this the first thing the recruiter will see, but it also offers you the perfect place to describe yourself.

resume profile

Your summary acts as an introduction; your elevator pitch , if you will, which is why it needs to grab the recruiter’s attention. It affords you the chance to highlight your key selling points and provide impressive facts and figures to back these up.

To describe yourself here…

  • Give readers the highlights: Talk about your most impressive high-level achievements , for example, what qualifications do you have? Or how long have you worked in your industry?
  • Sell yourself: Don’t be afraid to brag a little by using powerful verbs to describe your skills and expertise.
  • Describe the benefits of hiring you: More importantly than talking about yourself, is talking about how your work helps employers. For example, do you save them money? Boost profits? Or help them to improve services and products? This is what recruiters really want to know.

Example summaries

With so much riding on your personal summary, you want to get it right. Otherwise, you might find that your application is repeatedly passed over.

To help you create a powerful personal summary that effectively describes who you are and why you’re so great, we’ve pulled together a number of example summaries below:

Admin summary

Administrator resume summary

This is an example of a great summary for several reasons. Firstly, by highlighting their key skills, which are relevant to the role this early on, they are helping the recruiter to quickly see that they are a good fit for the role. This is particularly important as they will scan over your resume in a matter of seconds. This is also a good technique in case your resume is going through an ATS or screening tool.

resume builder

Not only this but by talking about their fast-track promotions, they are able to show their professional growth. It also indicates that they are a dependable employee with a commitment to providing great work.

Customer service summary

Customer Service resume summary

In this example, the writer leads with their experience and quantifies this in years to show the span of their impressive career in the customer service industry.

They also demonstrate that they are passionate about their career, in this case in technology and highlight the key skills that are relevant to the role throughout, which, as we know, quickly proves to recruiters that they are a good match for the position.

Student summary

Student resume summary

This student starts their summary strong by stating that they are bi-lingual, which is a highly sought-after skill in lots of professions.

They also talk about their extracurricular activities, which shows that they are proactively pursuing their personal passions, as well as doing all they can to bolster their knowledge in subject areas relevant to the role. This shows they are keen to learn, which is something employers are always looking for in an employee.

As well as your summary, your work experience section gives you another chance to describe yourself and showcase your best qualities.

Rather than simply listing your job title and employer, you have the chance to add context to your experience. You should use the following structure and to provide a pleasant reading experience and give recruiters all the information they are looking for.

Role description

Once again use facts and figures to increase the accuracy of your descriptions and highlight how you’ve added real value to past roles.

For example, rather than saying ‘managed the company’s social media accounts’, you could say ‘managed the company’s four key social media accounts, which led to a 66% increase in engagement and followers over six months’.

If you are struggling to describe yourself with impact, steal some of our power words from below to give your resume a boost.

Employers love to hire people who can make improvements to their team, business, products, systems or services etc.

Use this term to describe what positive impacts you have made for previous employers.

E.g.  “Improved the staff booking process by decreasing the amount of steps required to make a booking”

Companies and organisations have limited resources, whether they are money, supplies, people, or anything else.

If you can reduce the waste of valuable resources, then you should be highlighting it in your resume.

E.g.  “Arranged new office supplies which reduced budget spend by 25% every month”

The ability to coach others is valuable in all lines of work, so try to  include mentions of this key word in your resume, if you can.

E.g.  “Coached junior team members to improve their skills and increase work quality across team”

Good products and services start as ideas and then need to be developed by good people, to bring them to life.

Show your involvement in development wherever possible in your resume.

E.g.  “Developed a new product feature which enabled users to decrease wastage by 20%”

Launching products and services is crucial for commercial businesses, so be sure to highlight your involvement in launches.

E.g.  “Launched 3 new products in year one and generated $900k in sales”

Accomplished

Accomplishments drive success, so be sure to show recruiters what you have achieved in your resume.

E.g.  “Led a major research project and accomplished a major discovery in the energy saving field”

Training new staff is a crucial element of growing a business or team – showing instances where you have trained staff is always impressive.

E.g.  “Trained all new staff in the use of new IT systems and office processes.”

The power of influence is a great way to drive productivity and results – if you are able to influence others and achieve positive outcomes, write about it in your resume.

E.g.  “Influencing colleagues to record more sales data by producing weekly “good news stories” emails”

Negotiation is a powerful tool in business, and not just for sales-people. Perhaps you have negotiated better terms from a supplier, or negotiated more budget from a stakeholder – any impressive negotiating you have done, is worth a mention in the resume.

E.g.  “Negotiated longer payment terms with suppliers, freeing up short-term cash for other expenses”

Employers will always welcoming savings, whether they are financial savings, saving resources, or saving time. Use facts and figures to show any savings you have made in previous roles.

E.g.  “Saved 30 hours of writer resource time by introducing new article templates and guidance”

To leverage, means to “use something to it’s full advantage” – so use this phrase to give examples of your resourcefulness.

E.g.  “Leveraged existing customer relationships to gain referrals for new customers by launching referral reward scheme”

To secure something for an employer is an impressive feat. If you’ve secure anything for previous employers, whether it be business, data or exclusive rates, mention it in your resume.

E.g.  “Secured top tier event venues for our marketing events for the next 3 years”

Networking with colleagues, stakeholders, customers and suppliers can allow you to build strong relationships and generate better results from them.

E.g.  “Liaised with a number of large-account clients to discover more business needs and upsell services”

If you are in a management position, you need to delegate tasks effectively, so that you can dedicate your time to high-value work.

E.g.  “Delegated admin tasks to junior staff, to allow senior team members more time for client management duties”

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Interview Questions

Comprehensive Interview Guide: 60+ Professions Explored in Detail

8 Examples of How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself”

By Biron Clark

Published: November 16, 2023

In this article, I’m going to walk you through steps and examples of how to answer the “Tell me about yourself” interview question to impress employers and get more job offers . We’ll also cover the  costly mistakes you NEED to avoid if you want to pass this question. 

Here’s exactly what you’re going to get:

  • The most-recommended method of how to answer “tell me about yourself”
  • 8 examples of good answers to “tell me about yourself” for various industries
  • A shorter, newer method for experienced candidates
  • How to practice your answer to make sure you’re 100% ready for the interview

Let’s get started…

Why Do Interviewers Ask “Tell Me About Yourself”

“Can you tell me about yourself ?” is a common interview question that’s generally delivered as an icebreaker or pathfinder question, right at the start of an interview. It can catch you off your guard because it may seem vague, broad, and somewhat tricky. Honestly though, understanding a bit more about why interviewers ask this question (which is often framed as a command) will give you a clear insight into how to answer.

Interviewers ask this question to ease you out of those introductory jitters (that you both feel) and into the nitty-gritty of why you’re there. It’s their way of establishing a direction for the interview because it shows them how you summarize your experience and show its relevance to the job you’re applying for, which in turn tells them what to ask next. Trust me though, your answer needs to be relevant, the interviewer is likely not asking whether you’re a dog or a cat person but rather what background, skills, qualifications and experiences brought you to this interview today. 

Watch: How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself?”

Different ways of asking the same question.

I mentioned how this question can sometimes be framed as a command, i.e: “tell me about yourself,” and so on. There are numerous ways this question might be framed, but all express the same intention on the part of the interviewer, so they should all be answered the same way. Common variants include:

  • “Take me through your resume.”
  • “Tell me about your background”
  • “Describe yourself.”
  •   “Can you tell me more about why you’re here?”
  • “What brings you here today?”

When it comes to describing yourself, you may wonder where to start, how personal to be, and how far to get into it. “Describe yourself” certainly feels a little more personal than the rest. For insight into how to answer that variant, Read This Article .

How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” in an Interview:

1. choose the right starting point for your story (important).

Your goal when answering, “tell me about yourself,” is to give a brief, concise walkthrough of your career story that will show off relevant pieces of experience. You want to start at a point in the past (like how you began working in this field), and end up in your current situation. So the first thing to decide is where you’ll begin the story… If you’re a recent graduate: Start with the fact that you just graduated, and explain why you chose this career path or field of area of study.  

For example, you might start your answer like this:

“I graduated with my degree in Economics two months ago. I chose that field of study because I’ve always been interested in finance and money, and a couple of family members told me it leads to great career options, too.”

If you have 1-8 years of experience, start with the moment you graduated and walk them through your employment experience since then.

Here’s an example of how you’d start your interview answer in this situation:

“I graduated with my degree in Industrial Engineering six years ago and immediately went to work for a small design firm in Chicago. Since then, I’ve…”

And if you have 8-20+ years of experience, you can start with a mid-point in your career. This will keep your answer from getting too long.

For example, if you’re a manager, you could start with how you first became a manager. If you’ve been working for 25 years but have only been a sales professional for 12 years, you could begin with how you got started in sales.

Here is an example of how to begin your answer to “tell me about yourself” as a very experienced candidate:

“I first started managing people twelve years ago, when I was promoted from Customer Service Associate to Customer Service Supervisor. Since then, I’ve…”

2. Highlight Impressive Experience and Accomplishments

As you tell your career story, explain key accomplishments you’ve achieved, work you’ve done, skills you’ve learned, and key career moves you’ve made.

  • Were you promoted? That’s always a great sign and worth mentioning.
  • Did you accomplish something significant like solving a big problem for your last employer?  That’s great to mention, too.
  • Did you build new skills or overcome challenges? Get specific! Tell details.

But random impressive facts aren’t enough. You should be thinking about how this ties in with the company you’re talking to.

  • You should always research the company before going into the interview . Study their job description in particular so you know what skills THEY care most about.
  • What does this particular job involve? Is there a lot of leadership? Talk about your experiences leading (no matter how small!), how it went, and what you learned.
  • Does the job involve a high level of technical skill? Talk about how you learned and advanced in that area through each step of your career!
  • You need to “tailor” your answer for, “tell me about yourself,” for their job description and their needs. Try to talk about experiences and qualifications that are relevant to this job you’ve applied for.

3. Conclude by Explaining Your Current Situation

Finally, the best way to finish your story is to bring them up to speed on your current situation. Why you wanted to apply for their job , what you’re looking to do next, etc.

For example you might end your answer by saying:

“…and that’s why I wanted to interview with your firm. This position seems like a great opportunity to advance those skills I just talked about, and continue building my career and challenging myself”.

4. Keep Your Answer Work-Related

When employers ask, “tell me about yourself,” in an interview, they usually want to hear about you as a professional. So the safest approach is to keep your answer work-related and share your career story, rather than personal details. You can show more personality as the interview goes on, but it’s risky to share too much personal info when answering, “tell me about yourself.” It could lead to your answer getting too long, or it could cause you to leave out important professional information that the interviewer was looking to know!

5. Be Concise When Answering (2 Minutes or Less!)

When they say “tell me about yourself,” it’s going to be tempting to give a long-winded answer. It’s such an open-ended question. And we covered a lot above, but there’s something just as important as any of that. You need to be concise.  Your communication and ability to stay on track with your answer are two things they are watching closely. The interviewer wants to see that you can tell your story from Point A (the beginning) to Point B (the end) without getting sidetracked, distracted, or scattered. Because it tells them how you’ll communicate as an employee… when there’s a problem, when there’s a disagreement, or when you simply need to share your knowledge or opinion. If you take this answer beyond 2 minutes you are shooting yourself in the foot. In fact, below 90 seconds is ideal. Practice at home with a timer! That’s why I recommend choosing a starting point based on your experience (Step 1 above)… because if you have 25 years of experience and you start at the moment you graduated from college, your answer will be too long.

“Tell Me About Yourself” Example Answers:

Now that we’ve covered the key steps to answering, “tell me about yourself,” let’s look at some full answer examples to this interview question .

Example Answer for Experienced Candidates:

“I graduated with a Business degree in 2010, and was offered an account management position at a telecommunications company I had interned with. I loved working with customers and managing and growing my accounts, but the industry we were in just wasn’t very appealing to me. After that, I stayed a full year and learned a ton about how to build and manage accounts successfully and  I ended up becoming a top performer in my group before leaving. I left at the 1-year-mark to pursue a very similar position within an industry I’m much more excited about- healthcare. I’ve been at this healthcare startup space for 2 years with this company and I feel ready to take my career to the next level so that’s why I’m currently looking for a new opportunity.”

That first example showed you how to answer “tell me about yourself” for experienced job seekers (at least a few years of experience). Now let’s look at an example for entry-level job seekers and job seekers with no experience .

Example Answer With No Experience:

“I graduated with a degree in Engineering two months ago. I chose that field of study because I’ve always been interested in math and physics , and a couple of family members told me it leads to great career options. One of my key accomplishments during my academic career was speaking at a conference on the topic of energy-efficient window design, based on research I had done for one of my senior-level classes. This led to an internship that I just wrapped up, so I’m actively looking for a full-time position now.”

Stand Out by “Tailoring” Your Answer to the Company

The end of your interview answer is a big opportunity to customize your answer for the company and job you’re interviewing for. When you talk about what you’re looking to do next in your career, try to mention whatever you see this company providing for your career (leadership, technical challenges, exposure to new areas, etc.) That shows them why you’re excited about their job, which will help you get hired! (I explain more about why this is true here ). Before we move on to more tips and a HUGE mistake to avoid, here’s one more example interview answer for this question.

Shorter Method for How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” (For Experienced Candidates Only)

The method I gave you above is the standard way most recruiters recommend answering “tell me about yourself.”  It’s how I coached job seekers to answer this question for years. There’s another way you can answer, though… and it has some benefits. I’ll explain…Many experts have pointed out that if the interviewer wanted your career story, they could have looked at your resume or your LinkedIn , or asked a question like, “can you walk me through your background?” So there’s another approach for answering, “tell me about yourself,” that skips the career story and just cuts right to the chase: Why you’re awesome and why they should hire you !

Let’s look at 2 word-for-word templates that accomplish this.

After this, you’ll have two proven methods for answering, “tell me about yourself” in interviews, and in the next section, I’ll reveal how to decide which method is best for YOU.

Example answer if you’re job searching while employed:

“Well, I’m currently working at XYZ Company and I specialize in doing ___. The reason I applied for this job is I saw ___ on the job description and I think I would be able to help you ___ and ___. One of my key accomplishments in my current role was helping my employer do ___, and I’m confident I can help your team get similar results here.”

Example answer template if unemployed:

“In my most recent position at XYZ Company, I specialized in doing ___. The reason I applied for this job is I saw ___ on the job description and I think I would be able to help you ___ and ___. One of my key accomplishments in my last role for XYZ Company was helping them  ___, and I’m confident I can help your team get similar results here.”

Which Method Should You Use for Your Answer?

If you have work experience, both options we’ve covered are very good, and it really depends on what you feel most comfortable with. Choose the one you like best. They’re both excellent ways to answer the question, so don’t stress over it! However, if you are entry-level and have no work experience… or internships at the very least…  then I would go back to the top of this article and use the first, 5-step method for answering, “tell me about yourself.”

This second method we just covered is really best if you want to give a unique, concise answer and you have some relevant work experience to share in the interview!

“Tell Me About Yourself” Example Answers For Different Industries:

Healthcare:.

“After being licensed six years ago, I immediately entered a busy E.R. setting where I progressed to the point of triaging as many as 50 patients a shift. I’m skilled in patient record-keeping, stabilizing incoming patients, diagnosing injuries, administering meds, doing stitches, starting I.V.s, setting bones and offering emotional support to family members behind the scenes. I’ve adapted to the pressure but feel that, in the long term, I’d be better suited to a slower-paced environment with more focus on establishing lasting patient relationships. I’m ready to take on this post in your busy day clinic and believe that my advanced patient triage skills, along with my empathic nature, would be a great benefit to your team.”

This works because:   This answer outlines your qualifications and extensive background in incoming patient care, triage, diagnosing and record-keeping. Your honesty about long term goals is appreciated. The answer shows how your skills have progressed since you were licensed, and it inspires confidence in your ability to handle a hands-on post at a busy clinic.

Service Industry:

“Having spent eight years in the food and beverage industry, I progressed from head waiter to front of house manager four years ago. I’ve held so many posts in the industry, from runner to waiter to head waiter to manager, but my dedication to quality service has never changed. I believe in knowing my product and process inside and out, uplifting my team members and demonstrating focused positivity throughout. It’s easy to fall into the temper trap when things get busy, but I prefer to knuckle down, smile and get it done. I want my customers to come back for more!”

This works because: This answer makes an impact because of how your personality shines through. The service industry is incredibly stressful, but it’s refreshing to know that you have a proactive, positive attitude to stressful situations, backed up with strong product knowledge and professionalism.

“I’m an accredited software engineer and systems integrator with more than ten years of active development experience. I’m proficient in Ruby, Python, Java, C++ and a wide range of associated languages and frameworks. I’m a team player, and I love bouncing ideas off my colleagues and engaging with diverse perspectives. I like to stay abreast of the latest tech and I’m wildly competitive when it comes to troubleshooting. I’ve also got an eye for detail and clean design and I’m dedicated to delivering a seamless, streamlined experience to the end-user.”

This works because: From this answer, it’s clear that you’re accredited and boast a diversified programming portfolio with plenty of experience in the field. It’s noted that you’re a team player, as teamwork is essential when developing and managing systems for a busy tech enterprise. And your attitude to problem solving, as being competitive will help you find fast and effective solutions.

“I’ve been a retail cosmetic artist and sales assistant for six years and I’m passionate about making clients feel utterly gorgeous! I have a strong knowledge of retail processes, including stock-take, merchandising and sales targeting. If I have to describe my stand-out quality it’s that I love to build up the team, make my colleagues smile and get them motivated to break targets for our department. Above all though, the customer comes first and I’m dedicated to building brand and store loyalty in the customer.”

  This works because: From this answer, it’s obvious you know retail like the back of your hand and that you take pride in breaking targets and boosting the team morale. Your positivity shines through, and you highlight your passion for making clients feel special.

Practice Your Answer Before the Interview

As a final tip – make sure you go practice everything you plan on saying when the interviewer asks, “what can you tell me about yourself?” Nothing comes out perfect the first time, and you don’t want to appear nervous and stumble when they ask.  So I’d recommend grabbing a piece of paper and writing down the key points you want to talk about in your answer. I like to write them in bullet format. Then, use your smartphone’s voice recorder app to record a few practice answers and see how you sound. Don’t look at your notes as you give your answer. The idea is to try to remember what you want to talk about without reading off the paper. Then glance at the paper AFTER to make sure you covered everything. Keep practicing until you can give a smooth answer without forgetting anything important.

Note: If you’re having a phone interview , you can use notes/bullet points to help guide you through your answer. Nobody can see you on the phone, so take advantage!

Biron Clark

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Writing a summary about yourself

Writing a summary about yourself an employee in the

Identify your audience. Chances are, you aren’t just writing a description of yourself just because you feel like it. In order to write to the best of your ability, you will have to keep in mind the person (or people) you are writing for. Your readers may be your professor, colleagues, an academic committee or members of your local community. [1]

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Follow the guidelines if you have been given them. When writing a description of yourself for a class or for an application, you will be provided with guidelines outlining what you information you should have in your description.

  • If you are applying for a scholarship, the deciding committee may have outlined the types of information they want to receive from you.
  • In other situations, such as a personal description for a work environment, you may have to consult with your manager or colleagues to guide the contents of your description.

Create a list of your academic and professional achievements. Write down your academic accomplishments. You may have overcome extensive academic obstacles, excelled in a particular subject or graduated with honors from a reputable school. Review your professional achievements. Consider the highlights of your professional experience and make a list of sales awards, promotions, employee recognition awards and other noteworthy accomplishments.

  • Examples of accomplishments: I am the first person in my family to attend college, I was on the Dean’s List all four years of college, I triple majored with two minors, etc.
  • Examples of achievements: Sold the highest number of back scratchers of an employee in the history of Back Scratchers Inc. Was employee of the month 10 months in a row, Started out as a dishwasher and am now the executive chef at La Lune.

Writing a summary about yourself are applying

Create a list of your characteristics and interests. Reflect on your personal characteristics. It helps to think of common adjectives people have used to describe you in the past. Pick words that you think will portray you in the best light for the specific institution you are writing your description for. As with your characteristics, you will want to list interests that pertain to what you are applying for. You may be known in your community for volunteering or planning community events. Sports and the arts are other areas of possible interests.

  • Examples of characteristics: . If you are applying to a volunteer organization such as AmeriCorps, you may consider using words such as compassionate, dedicated, and organized. These are all traits that a volunteer organization would look for in a potential volunteer–someone who can be compassionate with the people the organization helps, is dedicated to the cause, and can stay organized in the face of a lot of paperwork.
  • Examples of interests: . If you are applying for a position such as a member on a team of scientists that will travel to the Arctic together, you would want to list interests that show you are an adventurous team player. Things like, soccer player, rock climber, hiker, etc. would work well.

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50 Inspiring Examples of Career Goal Statements

By Status.net Editorial Team on February 7, 2024 — 12 minutes to read

A career goal statement is a clear and concise description of your professional aspirations: it outlines what you aim to achieve in your career path, providing direction and serving as a guide for your professional decisions. Crafting this statement requires self-reflection to identify what truly matters to you in your career.

Think of your career goal statement as a compass. It helps you navigate through opportunities and choices, aligning them with your long-term objectives. A well-defined goal statement includes specific job titles or roles, industry preferences, skills you want to acquire or use, and the values that matter to you in a work environment.

For example, your statement might be, “I aim to become a Senior Software Developer at a tech company that values innovation, in the next five years.” This statement is direct, time-bound, and reflects personal and professional values.

When writing your own career goal statement, start by asking yourself some questions:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • Where do I see myself in five, ten, or fifteen years?
  • What skills do I need to develop to reach my goals?

Your statement can evolve as your career advances and your goals change. Remember, it’s a living document meant to grow along with you. Keep it precise, make it inspiring for yourself, and let it reflect who you are and who you want to become professionally. By doing so, you’ll create a powerful tool to steer your career decisions and help achieve your ambitions.

Components of a Strong Career Goal Statement

A strong career goal statement effectively communicates where you see yourself in the future and how you plan to get there. The keys to crafting this include clarity in your aspirations and how your current path aligns with your long-term objectives.

Clarity and Specificity

Your career goal statement should clearly articulate the position you’re aiming for and the steps you plan to take to achieve it. For example, instead of saying “I want to grow in the tech industry,” specify “My goal is to become a Senior Software Engineer at a renowned tech firm within the next five years by honing my skills in mobile applications development and leadership.”

Alignment with Career Objectives

Ensure that your statement aligns with your broader career objectives. For instance, if you’re determined to enter the field of environmental sustainability, your goal statement could specify, “I will secure a role as a Sustainability Project Manager by gaining expertise in renewable energy solutions and contributing to conservation projects.”

Brevity and Conciseness

Keep your statement concise; it shouldn’t be longer than a short paragraph. A crisp, well-worded statement would look like, “Within three years, I aim to advance to a Lead Graphic Designer position by consistently delivering innovative designs and taking on more strategic projects.”

Personal Motivation

Include a sentence about what drives you towards this goal, which gives a personal touch to your career goal statement. You might say, “I am committed to becoming an industry-recognized financial analyst by developing cutting-edge quantitative models, fueled by my passion for data-driven decision making.”

The Purpose of Career Goal Statements

A career goal statement helps you and others understand where you’re aiming in your professional life. It serves as both a guide and a benchmark for your career progression.

Professional Development

Your career goal statement is a powerful tool for professional development. It’s a declaration of your ambitions, which often falls into specific categories like acquiring new skills, achieving certifications, or reaching a new position. For example, you might aim to become a certified project manager within the next two years, highlighting the steps and skills you’ll need to get there.

Job Search Focus

When you’re on the job hunt, having a career goal statement gives you a lens to evaluate potential job opportunities. Imagine you’re an engineer seeking roles in renewable energy projects; your career goal statement would specify this preference, allowing you to target your job search and tailor your applications to match your aspirations.

Performance Management

During performance evaluations, your career goal statement offers a clear outline of what success looks like for you. It can act as a communication tool between you and your supervisor, ensuring that you’re both aligned on your targets. If your goal is to lead a team, your performance metrics might include leadership training and successful project outcomes.

Personal Reflection and Growth

Your career statement doubles as a checkpoint for personal reflection and growth. By setting specific goals like enhancing your public speaking skills or learning a new programming language, you create a framework for personal progress, tying these improvements back to your broader career objectives.

Writing Your Career Goal Statement

A career goal statement is a clear and concise description of your professional aspirations. It’s important to chart a course for your career by setting strategic goals and outlining the steps you plan to take to achieve them.

Self-Assessment

Start by evaluating your interests, strengths, weaknesses, and values. This step helps you align your career trajectory with your personal attributes and ambitions.

  • If you enjoy creative problem-solving, you might aim for a role in strategic development.
  • Someone with a natural talent for communication might target a career in public relations.

Research and Exploration

Learn about the industries and positions that align with your interests and skills. Find out what qualifications you may need and what career advancement may look like in those roles.

  • Researching the field of data science might show you the importance of skills like programming and data analysis.
  • Exploring the healthcare industry could lead you to consider roles ranging from a health administrator to a nurse practitioner.

Articulating Your Goals

Clearly state your short-term and long-term career objectives. Make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

  • Short-term goal: Completing a professional certification in digital marketing within the next year.
  • Long-term goal: Becoming a chief marketing officer at a technology company within the next ten years.

Revising and Refining

Your career goals are not set in stone. Periodically review and adjust them to reflect your growing skills, changes in the industry, and personal life changes.

  • Revising your goal to include leadership skills if you’re aiming for management positions.
  • Refining your goals to focus more on work-life balance if personal circumstances change.

Examples of Career Goal Statements

When crafting your career goal statement, be specific and align your goals with your desired career path. This section will provide examples for different career stages to guide you.

For Recent Graduates

As a recent graduate, your goal statement should reflect your eagerness to apply your education in a practical setting and grow professionally. For example:

  • “My goal is to secure a role as a software developer at a forward-thinking tech company where I can contribute to innovative projects and hone my coding skills in real-world applications.”

For Mid-Career Professionals

For you in mid-career, a statement should focus on advancing your current skills and taking on larger responsibilities. For instance:

  • “I aim to elevate my expertise in digital marketing to become a marketing manager, where I can lead strategic campaigns and impact the company’s growth directly.”

For Career Changers

As someone looking to change careers, your statement needs to leverage your transferable skills and express your commitment to the new field. Consider this example:

  • “I intend to transition into the field of data analysis, leveraging my extensive background in market research to deliver actionable insights and drive decision-making processes.”

For Executive-Level Positions

Your executive career goal statement needs to showcase your vision for leadership and your ability to steer the company to new heights. An example could be:

  • “I am determined to apply my 15 years of managerial experience to a Chief Operations Officer role, focusing on optimizing company-wide operations to boost profitability and efficiency.”

50 Examples of Career Goal Statements

  • 1. “To secure a challenging position in a reputable organization to expand my learnings, knowledge, and skills.”
  • 2. “Seeking a role at (…) Company where I can contribute to the team’s success while developing my skills as an accountant.”
  • 3. “To achieve a lead position in software development that allows me to design innovative solutions and manage a dynamic team.”
  • 4. “To become a primary school teacher that inspires young minds and fosters a love of learning.”
  • 5. “Aiming to leverage my experience in customer service to become a leading sales representative within the next five years.”
  • 6. “To grow into a senior role within the marketing department, contributing to the company’s strategic goals and brand development.”
  • 7. “Seeking a position as a clinical practice assistant for a health organization that focuses on the development of innovative medical treatments.”
  • 8. “To secure a position as a human resources manager and contribute to an organization’s employee engagement and professional development strategies.”
  • 9. “My goal is to become a project manager within a progressive tech company, leading innovative projects to successful completion.”
  • 10. “Aspiring to be a top journalist within a major media outlet, reporting on significant global events that shape our world.”
  • 11. “To develop a career in finance, eventually becoming a chief financial officer for a well-established corporation.”
  • 12. “To obtain a managerial position in the hospitality industry, providing exceptional guest experiences and leading a successful team.”
  • 13. “Looking to apply my graphic design skills in a dynamic advertising agency, producing high-quality work for a variety of clients.”
  • 14. “To establish myself as a leading real estate agent within the community, known for diligently serving clients and achieving their property dreams.”
  • 15. “To become a senior software engineer, specializing in machine learning and artificial intelligence, contributing to cutting-edge technology advancements.”
  • 16. “Aspire to join an international non-profit organization, focusing on human rights advocacy and contributing to meaningful change.”
  • 17. “To earn a position as a lead researcher in a top-tier biotech firm, focusing on the development of life-saving pharmaceuticals.”
  • 18. “To be recognized as an expert in environmental law, working to protect natural resources and promote sustainability.”
  • 19. “To secure a role as an art director within a prestigious agency, driving creative strategy and inspiring a team of designers.”
  • 20. “Aiming to become a chief operations officer, optimizing organizational processes and enhancing overall efficiency.”
  • 21. “To advance my career in the field of education technology, developing innovative tools that facilitate learning and growth.”
  • 22. “Seeking to become a master electrician, overseeing complex projects and mentoring apprentices in the trade.”
  • 23. “To climb the ranks to a senior data analyst role, transforming data into actionable insights that drive business strategy.”
  • 24. “To become a leading figure in digital marketing, known for crafting high-impact strategies that generate measurable results.”
  • 25. “Aspiring to be an executive chef in a Michelin-starred restaurant, creating world-class cuisine and leading a top-tier culinary team.”
  • 26. “To secure a position as a cybersecurity expert, protecting sensitive information from threats and vulnerabilities.”
  • 27. “Aiming to be a respected leader in the field of public health, influencing policy and improving community health outcomes.”
  • 28. “To establish a career as a professional musician, performing internationally and sharing my passion for music with diverse audiences.”
  • 29. “Seeking a role as an aerospace engineer with a focus on sustainable design and innovation in air travel.”
  • 30. “To become a leading architect, known for designing eco-friendly and innovative structures that enhance the urban landscape.”
  • 31. “To grow into a senior role in supply chain management, optimizing logistics and contributing to the company’s profitability.”
  • 32. “Aspiring to become a senior content creator, producing engaging and informative content that resonates with a wide audience.”
  • 33. “To secure a position as a labor and delivery nurse, providing compassionate care and supporting families during a pivotal life event.”
  • 34. “To become a principal consultant, offering expert advice and solutions to businesses in my area of expertise.”
  • 35. “Aiming to be a top sales manager, driving team performance and exceeding company sales targets consistently.”
  • 36. “To secure a leadership position within the field of environmental science, contributing to research and advocacy for climate change mitigation.”
  • 37. “To become a recognized expert in user experience design, creating intuitive and user-friendly digital products.”
  • 38. “Seeking a role as a professional event planner, executing unforgettable events that exceed client expectations.”
  • 39. “To advance to a senior technical writer position, producing clear and concise documentation that supports product development.”
  • 40. “Aspiring to be a chief diversity officer, fostering an inclusive workplace culture where all employees can thrive.”
  • 41. “To become a lead mechanical engineer in the automotive industry, contributing to the development of innovative and efficient vehicles.”
  • 42. “To secure a position as a business analyst, helping organizations to improve processes and systems for better performance.”
  • 43. “Aiming to become a senior environmental consultant, providing actionable strategies for sustainable business practices.”
  • 44. “To establish myself as a professional photographer, capturing moments and stories through my lens for global publications.”
  • 45. “Seeking a role as an investment banker, helping companies to grow and investors to achieve their financial goals.”
  • 46. “To become a thought leader in digital transformation, guiding enterprises through the integration of new technologies.”
  • 47. “Aspiring to be a senior policy advisor, influencing legislation and policy decisions that impact the public sector.”
  • 48. “To secure a position as a professional interpreter, facilitating communication in multiple languages for international organizations.”
  • 49. “Aiming to become a leading expert in nutritional science, contributing to healthier lifestyles and dietary choices.”
  • 50. “To establish a career as a professional speaker and author, sharing my expertise and inspiring others in my field.”

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you write an effective career goal statement for your resume.

When you write a career goal statement for your resume, start by reflecting on your strengths, skills, and experiences. Then, identify the kind of position you’re aiming for and how your career path aligns with the goals of the company. Use action words and quantify achievements where possible.

What are some examples of short-term career goals in professional development?

Short-term career goals might include obtaining a professional certification, improving specific job-related skills such as public speaking or technical proficiency, or networking to connect with industry leaders. These goals are typically achievable within a few months to two years.

What should be included in a personal career goal statement?

Your personal career goal statement should include your career interests, the competencies you wish to utilize, the type of environment you thrive in, and how you see your career progressing. It gives employers a glimpse into your aspirations and professional philosophy.

Can you give examples of comprehensive goal statements for students?

An example for a student might be: “Graduate with a degree in Environmental Science and secure an internship with a leading sustainability organization, to contribute to effective climate change solutions.” This states the education aim and the practical, immediate objective after graduation.

How do you frame a career goal statement for entry into graduate school?

A career goal statement for graduate school should express your academic interests, how the program aligns with your career plans, and what you intend to accomplish professionally with the advanced degree. This could be working towards a specific research field or role in academia.

What elements make up a compelling and succinct one-sentence career goal?

A compelling one-sentence career goal is specific, mentioning the desired industry or role, is realistic, and includes a timeframe. For example, “To become a certified project manager within the next year and lead technology-related projects in a Fortune 500 company.”

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