After posting an open position, hiring managers don’t have time to fully review every resume that’s submitted. So gain an advantage by learning to craft the perfect resume summary.
Your summary statement is a brief paragraph placed at the top of a resume (but after your contact information) that states your qualifications for the job.
A strong resume summary includes concise information that show the value you provided during your past jobs… and your potential for your next job.
The purpose is to show prospective employers, at a glance, why they should hire you. If your summary statement captures a hiring manager’s interest, they’re more likely to view you favorably. Which means they are far more willing to look at the rest of your resume.
Let’s take a closer look at the resume summary…
Summary Statements vs. Objective Statements
Resume objectives are also placed near the top of the resume, but are quite different. An objective statement indicates what you are looking for from a new position and company. This tells companies what you expect, whereas a resume summary tells them what you offer. Sharing your career objectives can help if you’re making a career change or just starting out. Otherwise, it doesn’t add a lot of value. If you have doubts, don’t use an objective statement.
Be realistic; no matter how well you craft the perfect resume summary, it may not get noticed. Some hiring managers might even be put off if it seems boastful or insincere. However, there’s also a good chance it will be the only part of your resume that does get looked at.
Resume Summary vs. Cover Letter
For one thing, a summary is brief and professional. But it isn’t always necessary or suitable. Cover letters, on the other hand, tend to be ignored by many hiring managers. But it may all come down to the position you’re applying for. For example, a cover letter for warehouse workers may be more useful.
A cover letter is more in-depth and personal. It gives you the chance to introduce yourself and who you are before you start explaining why you’re an ideal fit for the position. You can explain skills or jobs that don’t fit neatly into your resume format. If you’re a nurse, a resume is not the place to point out how much you love children, but the cover letter is. You might also want to explain irregularities, such as gaps in your employment history.
What to Include in the Perfect Resume Summary
In order to craft the perfect resume summary, think about selling yourself, but without bragging, hyperbole, or condescending language. Just explain why you feel you would be of value. A resume summary should be three to four sentences relating your core strengths, skillsets, key experiences, and contributions. For example, did you save the company thousands of dollars in waste? Improve the efficiency of a process by 30 percent?
Try to make your summary align with the stated requirements given for the job listing you’re interested in. Try to use the keywords used in the job post; this will help bring your resume to the attention of organizations that use search tools to narrow down resumes.
What to Avoid in the Your Resume Summary
Get to the point; avoid listing abilities and traits that are taken for granted, such as being a “team player” or being comfortable with spreadsheets. Think high level skills and how you’ve used them. Instead of using language that makes you sound like a work in progress, such as “completed training” or “participated in”, use action statements like “completed development” or “lead improvements”. Don’t make false claims; the majority of resumes contain false information. Using falsehoods to get a job may end in losing the job.
The resume summary is your professional profile, and is not the place for making jokes, listing your awards, discussing family, hobbies, philosophies, or plans for the future. At the same time, you want to inject a little personality where it feels appropriate.
Learning to craft the perfect resume summary isn’t just a useful asset in your job search. It often means the difference between being a top candidate and an als0-ran.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Jobscan Blog!