Your resume summary is the first—and may be the only—part of your resume that hiring managers and recruiters read. To write a summary that makes them want to continue reading, you must gather information from job postings and advertisements in your field and on the sites of the companies you are interested in. Search for key skills and experience that the companies are looking for; these are the keywords that should appear in your summary.
Your summary should:
- Use a few but critical adjectives. Everyone applying for the job will be hard-working and able to work independently and as a team member. So look for adjectives that more closely match the job description (intrapreneurial, strategic) and use those sparingly.
- Offer specific instances of your success. Cherry-pick from among your accomplishments to highlight a few that speak directly to the goals of the company.
- List any essential licenses or degrees (MD, CFP, CPA) that the position requires.
- List languages you speak or countries you have worked in if you are pursuing a global career.
- Concentrate on accomplishments, not goals. The company you are applying to does not want to know that you are “looking to advance in an exciting, collaborative environment.” Hiring managers and recruiters want to know you can create an exciting, collaborative environment.
- Quantify as much as possible. Especially in sales and leadership positions, it is important to indicate how much you have contributed to revenue, cost savings, and other financial criteria.
- Keep the summary consistent with your online presence. You should not duplicate your online profile, but you should keep both up-to-date and consistent with each other.
When you are crafting your summary, it might help to first frame your career in an elevator (30-second) speech or in 1 or 2 sentences. You can then expand upon that theme in your summary, which should fit in the top quarter or third of your resume.
Writing a concise yet powerful summary is difficult. If you need the help of a professional, please contact Robin’s Resumes®.