What is an Opening Paragraph on a Resume?

by Mary Jane; Updated September 26, 2017

While resumes are not written in paragraph form, they can still contain a brief opening paragraph. Depending on the focus of the resume and the job in question, the opening section can have two different meanings. While some resumes have an introductory personal profile, others provide introductions detailing career objectives. You can write both types in full sentences, which can take the form of a paragraph.

Header Introduction

The opening part of a resume is called the header. It should provide your name and contact information, including your mailing address. Ensure that information in the header on your resume is identical to that on your cover letter, so the employer can match it in case the two documents are separated.

Resume Objectives

The opening paragraph on a resume can be a short list of objectives you'd like to obtain in the course of your career or while employed in a particular job. Your career objectives can focus on obtaining new experiences in the workplace, using your existing skills to improve your contributions to a company or grow into a management or department supervisor based on your previous experiences. Match your personal career goals with the requirements of the position.

Personal Profile

The opening paragraph on the resume can also be a personal profile that describes your professional attributes. The personal profile should include your title in your first job after graduating, the highest position you've achieved -- such as manager or vice president -- and any certifications you've completed. For example, working in the medical field or as a health specialist often requires certification by an accredited institution in the United States. In other words, frame your career's history and direction in your personal profile.

Cover Letter Opening Paragraph

The cover letter is an introductory letter to your resume. It needs to catch the attention of the employer to convince her to turn the page and read through your resume. Since the resume is not always written in paragraph form, the opening paragraph could also relate to the first paragraph on the cover letter. This particular paragraph must provide the reason why you are contacting the company and where you found the job posting. The remainder of the cover letter must focus on the reasons why you are the best candidate.

About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.