Professional highlights in a resume are a critical component that can make a candidate stand out in the developer job market. It is a short synopsis of a candidate's most significant and relevant experiences and accomplishments, often accompanied by quantifiable achievements. As opposed to a career summary or objective statement, professional highlights are more specific to the technologies and projects that the candidate has worked on; while summary is a generalisation of the candidate’s journey which uses secondary adjectives that cannot be substantiated.
First and foremost, professional highlights capture the reader's attention and provide a snapshot of the candidate's most impressive and relevant work experience. Employers spend an average of only thirty seconds on a resume before deciding whether to move forward with a candidate or not. Therefore, it is crucial to make the most out of those few seconds and highlight the most critical aspects of your experience. Professional highlights are more specific and focus on the technologies, projects, and accomplishments most relevant to the job being applied for. You can include three or more bullet points highlighting your best work throughout your professional career.
It's also important to quantify your accomplishments where possible. Instead of just listing your responsibilities, provide concrete examples of your achievements in previous roles. For example, if you are a front-end developer, highlight how you improved the user experience on a website and provide metrics that demonstrate the impact you created, such as increased page views or user engagement. This helps solidify your claims.
Consider using action words to make your professional highlights more impactful when crafting them. Action words such as "achieved," "created," "managed," "implemented," or "developed" are powerful and can provide a sense of accomplishment and action.
Here's an example of professional highlights for a front-end developer that use action words:
Here's an example of a professional highlight for a ReactJS developer:
Now let's compare this professional highlight to a traditional summary:
While the professional highlight and summary provide a brief overview of the candidate's skills and experience, the professional highlight is more specific and action-oriented. It details the candidate's experience in ReactJS development and highlights their key achievements. It also uses action words like "skilled," "strong experience," and "proven track record" to convey the candidate's expertise and accomplishments, which can be further explained in the work experience section.
Moreover, professional highlights can be substantiated with work experience, whereas adjectives like experienced, proficient, excellent, etc., cannot quantify your experience and back up your claims.
In conclusion, professional highlights are a powerful tool that can help you stand out in the job market. By capturing the employer’s or hiring manager’s attention and providing an insight on your most significant experience and accomplishments, you can make a strong first impression and keep them engaged to know more about your expertise.