The Perfect Resume Starts with a Summary of Skills

SkillsIt’s resume common sense that you should lead with your most impressive attributes at the top of your resume. After all, you only have a few seconds to impress!

Steven Provenzano, CPRW/CEIP and author of 9 resume books, including Author: Top Secret Resumes & Cover Letters, gave us a really awesome resume tip that will make sure your best attributes are front and center on the perfect resume:

You don’t need to label this 2-3 inch deep section “Profile” or “Skills,” but it’s comprised of 3-4 bulleted sentences that develop your essential skills and abilities relevant to the job you’re seeking right now. It is not a re-hash of your job history or education.

Rather, it’s the value of your job history, education, volunteer or military experience – positioned right after your name and a basic TITLE related to the type of work you’re seeking.

Keywords used in your Profile/Skill section can be as basic as sales, marketing, client relations, target marketing, project management, staff training, budget planning or forecasting.

Provenzano offers this example:

  • Skilled in sales, marketing and new business development, including full responsibility for account acquisition and management.
  • Proficient in total project management, from technical staff training to product design, development and rollout in major national markets.
  • Comprehensive experience in finance, accounting and C-level audits, including strategic planning, team training, quality control and client relations.

“The Skills section gives you total control over how you’re perceived by employers. Without this section, you’re basically a victim of your work experience and education, and what if your most recent experience isn’t related to your current career goals?” Provenzano adds.

How do you develop your summary of skills?

  • Write three sentences that state what you are really, really good at – where you clearly add value to your potential employer; leave off the hyperbole (“dynamic” has no place on a resume) and overused words (“responsible” is the worst offender).
  • Quantify, whenever possible, to show impact and results (dollar signs, percentage signs and numbers are your resume’s best friends)
  • Most important, tailor your Skills section to the needs of the employer; pull language and keywords directly from the job description that closely match your skills.

Your summary of skills demonstrates your confidence and clearly states your value proposition – all easily scan-able in those critical first few seconds a recruiter reads your resume. Build your perfect resume… and see if maybe you get a few more calls for interviews than you may be getting now!

 

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For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at CareerBliss!

 

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RitikaAbout the Author: Ritika Trikha is passionate about scoping out top-notch job advice in the career-sphere to help you find a job you love. Ritika has 99 problems but an unhappy career isn’t one! She’s a writer and an optimist (and Jay Z’s No. 1 fan). When Ritika’s not writing stellar advice articles, she’s obsessing over social media. Connect with her via CareerBliss Tumblr, Pinterest and Google+! Follow Ritika on Twitter!

 

Image courtesy of memegenerator.net… thank you!

 

 

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  • I agree that the skills section demonstrates a person’s value proposition and I think it is important to have appropriate keywords and action verbs in the skills section. Also, it is important to make sure that the skills are in sync with the job that one is applying to.

    • YouTern

      “it is important to make sure that the skills are in sync with the job that one is applying to.”

      This is *incredibly* important. You should re-write and target your resume to every job you apply to. Recruiters see hundreds of resume a week… maybe thousands. They can tell in seconds if an applicant has sent a generic resume. They want to hire the person who is really enthusiastic about *that* job… not just any job.

  • Nicely put! I’ve tried variations on this theme, but not the three-bullet list – maybe it’s time to give this one a go. I can see how this kind of summary might also be useful for more generic applications, like a LinkedIn profile; it’s just a good starting point for the blank canvas that is the Summary section, and the three-point approach keeps one on topic while (hopefully) covering all the bases. For online purposes, it might be helpful to grab a selection of job ad descriptions for the kind of work you’re seeking, then use a summary or word cloud tool to highlight common keywords to include in your own bullet points.
    Thanks for the great article! Lisa Chatroop, Good.Co

    • YouTern

      “maybe it’s time to give this one a go.”

      It’s good to experiment with different styles. See which gets you hits.

      The easier you make your resume for the employer to like you in the 8-second average a resume gets skimmed (not read… skimmed), the better chance you’re giving yourself of getting into the “yes” pile.

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  • You put nice efforts. This topic helps every resume creator when they are going to start crafting resume. Keep it Up Ma’am 🙂