Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Get Noticed: Use a Resume Summary

A resume summary, also known as a summary of qualifications or a profile statement, is placed at the top of the resume, after the name and contact information. This summary is your opportunity to pitch the qualifications, talents, and experience you have that makes you an ideal candidate for the job. Treat it like a verbal snapshot of you and the value you would bring to an organization.
A resume summary is concise, typically no more than three-to-four sentences in length, and should include action verbs and keywords geared to the specific audience receiving the resume. Make the resume summary even more relevant to a prospective employer by carefully considering the employer and the job requirements. As you read the job description, highlight those skills and experience you perceive as fundamental. Then, review and modify your resume summary to emphasize those skills and experience.
To get started writing a resume summary, look below for a list of points you might consider including:
  • Work experience: Quantify the most impressive experience. For example, “Annual sales leader three years in a row with sales exceeding $150,000/year.”
  • Professional expertise: Emphasize your expertise that most closely matches the job. For example, “An experienced firefighter” or “A senior accountant.”
  • Skills: Include job skills and soft skills. Highlight personal attributes like “strong work ethic” or “excellent communicator.”
  • Credentials: Highlight degrees or professional certifications, if relevant.
  • Achievements: Don’t hesitate to mention awards, promotions, or special recognition, if they’re applicable.
The resume summary, in most cases, will be a prospective employer’s first impression of you as a job candidate. Think of it as the way to draw in the hiring manager or human resource representative to read the rest of your resume.

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