What is a resume summary statement?
While crafting a resume summary may seem daunting, we’re here to let you know it doesn’t have to be. Your summary is like the best wing(wo)man at a party. The summary wants to introduce you to either the recruiter or the hiring manager. It’s located at the top of your resume and serves as the initial attention-grabber, your first impression. With that in mind, it’s critical to put your best foot forward and “look your best” when it comes to your resume summary and making a stand-out first impression. Remember, the job for which you’re applying likely has many applicants. Your resume is among a sea of others. To stand out among all the competition, your wing(wo)an (aka your resume summary) must execute flawlessly and exude confidence.
Here are 3 things to remember when crafting a stand-out resume summary:
1. Identify your professional title right off the bat.
Why start with something so obvious? You want the recruiter or hiring manager to know your professional identity immediately. Again, this ties back to standing out among the competition. The recruiter or hiring manager won’t take the time to read every word on a resume, so noting your professional title first will help you avoid getting lost in the shuffle. Furthermore, if you are applying for a role you’re currently doing, this further enables the recruiter or hiring manager to continue reading (which is what you want)!
2. Maximize your space.
Your resume summary is precisely its name, a summary of your resume. Resume summaries are not multiple paragraphs about your previous work history and experience. They’re short, sweet, and to the point. Maximize the limited space you have by highlighting your strengths and career highlights. Pick keywords from the job description to incorporate into your summary and how they relate to your
professional experiences. Incorporating keywords will show the recruiter or hiring manager that you have done your research and are investing in the job.
Tip: don’t copy and paste the same resume summary for each job application. The recruiter or hiring manager won’t give your resume a second look if it has nothing to do with the job for which you’re applying.
3. Do not include…
While we’ve covered things to keep in mind and include when writing a resume summary, there are a few things you should not add.
- Skills that are incredibly common, like Microsoft Office. Everyone should have a basic, if not proficient, knowledge base with this suite of products, so no need to waste precious space in your resume summary. Now, if you want to note details about your wizardry with various technology software, note that in a separate section later on in the body of your resume.
- Oftentimes, there’s particular tasks you might not enjoy doing at your current job. We recommend not including these activities in your summary statement. Rather, feature projects and platforms you enjoy. The space for your summary statement is limited, so demonstrate your top skills that you also enjoy in this section.
- Avoid using typical and tired buzz-words; use action verbs instead. For
example, if you want to highlight that you’re a manager, avoid using verbs like “led,” “managed,” and “organized.” Instead, consider using bold action verbs like “spear-headed,” “orchestrated,” or “delegated.” Again, words like these will help your resume stand out among all the competition.
Resume Summary Examples
Now that we covered all you should and should not include in your resume summary, let’s check out a few professional examples below.
Business Analyst Manager with over eight years of experience. Inventive, versatile professional with management experience ranging from small private sector projects to full-scale, multi-million dollar government agency projects. Ability to delegate to my team members while spear-heading the software development methodology life cycle, ensuring we meet project deadlines while remaining on or under budget.
Let’s review. This summary statement immediately starts with the applicant’s current professional role. Secondly, the number of years of experience is clearly indicated along with accomplishments during that time. Most importantly, the summary sprinkles keywords (in blue) from the job description. This summary is also straight to the point with no added fluff. Another solid “wing(wo)man” example:
Experienced sales manager with 10+ years of experience in the retail and online sales industry. Ambitious and motivated professional with strengths in lead generation, product marketing, promotions, and product placement mapping. Successful in orchestrating sales and promotional strategies that resulted in over a 15% increase in online sales for the kitchen appliances service line. Orchestrated and integrated a customer loyalty program that resulted in a 35% increase in returning customer success rate.
This resume summary incorporates more detailed results which may encourage the recruiter or hiring manager to continue reading and find out more. Again, included were a professional title with experience and notable achievements. Now, what if you’re changing careers? How can you craft a resume summary accordingly? Here’s an example:
Experienced software developer with vast IT experience, looking to utilize my skills in project coordination, analytical thinking, and creative problem solving to work in a team setting as a Project Manager. Expertise in SDLC (software development lifecycle) concepts, ability to work seamlessly with technical teams and management, and can apply my extensive knowledge of Waterfall and Agile methodologies as well as my PMP (project management professional) training to ensure that projects are delivered on time and within budget. With my technical background and people skills, I will be able to effectively bridge the divide between technology and plain-speak.
This example lets the recruiter or hiring manager know the applicant is coming from a different background but they have key competencies and skills to bring to the position. if you’re changing careers, or you’re looking for jobs without any work experience, the summary section needs to stand on its own, and should be longer in length. There you have it; your perfect resume “wing(wo)man” examples! Now that we’ve covered what to include, what not to include, and a few examples of stand-out resume summary statement, it’s your turn. Remember, do your research and tailor your summary statement to the job description and company.
Stay tuned for our next blog on how to prepare for a standard interview phone screening.
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