January 8, 2014
Three secrets to a powerful resume summary.
By Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Resume Writer
Writing a resume "Summary of Qualifications" that stops employers cold and makes them realize you’re the right candidate is quite of a challenge. After all, you’re good at what you do, but you’ll need to boil your ROI (Return On Investment) down to concise statements in this section in order to stand out.
For most people, writing a "Summary of Qualifications" is such a major task that they look around at other resume examples to get ideas!
Here are some insider tips to creating a summary that exemplifies your personal brand in just a few words—making employers take notice.
1. Lose the boilerplate language.
Today, every professional is self-motivated and results-driven (and if they aren’t, they’ll be spending the majority of their time job hunting).
Copying generic summary phrases from other resumes is one of the worst sins you can commit, because it’s a sure way to tell employers that you’re identical to everyone else.
Shake things up instead by making a list of your top value-added skills employers need. Do you complete projects faster or more accurately than colleagues?
Have you been promoted more quickly due to your business acumen or leadership skills? Are you able to spot new business opportunities and close deals that are lucrative for your employer?
This list will give you ideas to use in writing your summary—concepts and skills unique to YOU that most likely won’t show up in the resumes of your competition.
2. Pull in quantifiable facts.
Employers aren’t hiring just to have a potential source of help—they need the ROI you can deliver. So show them your value in figures gleaned from throughout your experience.
The following example of an Operational Safety Manager resume summary provides a quick snapshot of consistent value, backed up by metrics:
“Safety advocate and operational leader who influences profit (up to 20 percent single-year increase) by fostering productive, engaged employees. Hands-on manager with strong financial acumen, delivering regular cost, efficiency, and volume forecasting improvements throughout 80,000-square foot plants.”
As shown here, quantifiable achievements in your resume summary help to quickly distinguish you from other candidates—even in a crowded field with hundreds of applicants.
3. Drop names.
Marketing copywriters have known for years that name-dropping gets attention. Now, you can take a cue from these professionals to amp up the volume in your resume summary section.
If you’re in a sales leadership role, you can mention names of major clients with a line such as “Closed high-value deals with Apple, Cisco Systems, and Oracle.”
Even if client names are confidential, your summary can use the information in a different way such as “Created millions in key partnerships with Fortune-ranked corporations in the technology industry.”
Not in sales? You can still reference the names of partner alliances, past employers, or vendors to show collaboration and leadership skills, as in this example:
“Senior Vice President commended for turning around performance through sourcing negotiations with Baptist Health System, Medical Center of Austin, and the Mayo Clinic.”
In conclusion, your resume summary isn’t the place to be modest and toned-down in describing your brand value. Instead, consider boosting its effectiveness with well-placed, strategic information on your specific value added skills to employers.
Read more hospitality career tips. Find more jobs by visiting the career center.
About the Author
Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume is an executive resume writer and former recruiter who partners with CEO, CIO, COO, CFO, CTO, SVP, and Director candidates to win interviews at major corporations. A certified Professional Resume Writer, Online Professional Networking Strategist, Career Management Coach, Interview Coach, and Microblogging Career Strategist, she is a multiple award-winning resume writer and author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips & Resources to Access the Hidden Job Market.
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