If you have heard the term “networking resume” and been confused, you aren’t alone! Of course, a networking resume may be just that: a resume for a network engineer. But often, when you hear the phrase networking resume, it refers to a one-page document that you can use to introduce yourself to contacts and potential employers.
In this blog post, we’ll explain what this type of career document is, when you might want to use one, and what type of information you might want to include in it. Even better, we’ll give you examples of how to format networking resumes and links to download networking resume templates.
What is a Networking Resume?
As noted, a networking resume is a one-page introductory document promoting your qualifications and experience. You might also hear a networking resume referred to as a “professional summary” or an “executive value profile.”
An excellent way to think of your networking resume is as an elevator pitch on paper. Like an elevator pitch, it should be clear, direct, and persuasive. Most often, they are formatted in a way that combines a traditional professional biography and a chronological resume.
While they do not replace a traditional resume, they can be used as a complement to one. The same is true of using it to complement your biography; however, an increasing number of job seekers are using a networking resume instead of a biography.
How Is a Networking Resume Different from a Traditional Resume?
Networking resumes are often used in place of a full traditional resume when meeting with contacts or attending events where you will be networking.
A traditional resume for an experienced professional or executive is often two pages and sometimes longer, with in-depth detail about your experience and accomplishments. The best resumes are focused on a single goal and include all relevant information regarding your experience and education, usually organized in a reverse chronology. In addition, a well-written resume will include metrics and data to illustrate your professional accomplishments.
On the other hand, a networking resume is a shorter, more succinct summary of no more than a single page in length. This way, you can quickly and easily give contacts the highlights of your experience without getting bogged down in too much detail. Infused with your personal brand, this document helps to round out your professional history with some personality, aiding you in building connections with contacts in your network.
Here is an example executive resume and executive value profile/networking resume from our Exceed Collection. The resume provides a sophisticated format with space for career details, while the value profile is just one page and summarizes the same executive’s qualifications. Notice that the networking resume includes a professional headshot, while the traditional resume does not.
How Is a Networking Resume Different from a Professional Biography?
A professional biography written in the traditional format is a narrative document that provides a birds-eye view of your career and your story. Ideally, no more than one page in length, your biography will usually be organized in reverse chronological order, but not always. Most biographies include only a high-level overview of your career details, with only select roles, companies, education, and other credentials.
In comparison, many networking resumes include a concise biography, about two to three paragraphs in length. But in addition, it will often include other details such as a career chronology, a listing of core skills, educational details, and other relevant details.
Here is another example comparing a traditional executive biography with a networking resume from our Traditional Ventures Collection (the collection also includes a traditional executive resume).
What To Include in Your Networking Resume?
Now that we’ve explained what a networking resume is, let’s review how to write one. Here are some tips:
Major Sections Usually Included
CONTACT INFORMATION: Your name and contact information should be prominently displayed, usually at the very top of the document in the header. You don’t want your contact to search for your phone number when they want to call you. You DO NOT need to include your full street address, but a city, state, and zip are helpful if you are conducting a location-specific search. Or, you could include a more general region, such as “the Greater Boston area.” If you are planning to or open to relocating, you could state that as well. For example, “Open to relocation internationally” or “Open to relocation in the Southeastern U.S.”
YOUR FOCUS: The content of your networking resume should be as unique as you are. Ideally, it should be focused and tailored to the type of job or opportunity that interests you. As shown in the example networking resume templates on this page, you should always include a focus headline.
INTRODUCTORY SUMMARY: There is no one right way to include an introductory summary. One of the most popular ways is to include a brief narrative biography of no longer than a few paragraphs. This is often written in the same third-person style as traditional biography. Another option is to include a summary section more similar to the summary section in your longer, traditional resume. Either way, you should use this section to highlight your most relevant qualifications and accomplishments.
CAREER CHRONOLOGY: Most networking resumes list your professional experiences in reverse chronological order, including your job title, employer name, and dates of employment. If you have room, you may want to include a brief description of each experience or your most significant accomplishment.
EDUCATION: Include your significant educational credentials, including degrees and where you obtained them. Also, include any relevant certifications and licenses.
Optional Sections You May Include
YOUR PHOTO: Including a photograph of yourself on your networking resume is optional. However, many people like to do this. If you do include one, make sure it is a professional headshot or another professional photo that is both on-brand and on-target. For example, a teacher might include a photograph of himself at the front of a class.
SUMMARY OF SKILLS: You may include a list of your most significant areas of expertise or qualifications. This could include technical skills, language skills, or soft skills such as communication or leadership.
REPRESENTATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS: You may include a bulleted list of a few of your most significant and relevant career accomplishments. Remember, you don’t have much room, so you must be very selective.
BOARD EXPERIENCE: If you have held positions on boards of directors, including a list in your networking resume is common. This is especially important to include if you use your networking resume to pursue board positions.
VOLUNTEER EXPERIENCE: If it is relevant, you may want to include significant volunteer experience.
MEMBERSHIPS: Are you a member of professional associations? Consider including a list on your networking resume. This shows that you are committed to your industry and actively engaged in professional development.
AWARDS AND HONORS: If you have received any awards or recognition for your work, include them on your networking resume. This helps demonstrate your expertise and credibility in your field.
Remember to keep it short and sweet no matter what information you choose to include in your networking resume! No more than one page, and use clear, concise language throughout. Of course, proofread carefully before printing or sending electronically. Typos or errors can make a bad impression!
You can see some examples of how you might include these sections in the following example networking resume templates.