Studies show that the average recruiter spends only six seconds skimming the first page of a resume. In fact, a resume’s opening statement may be the only section that a potential employer will ever read. That’s why, rather than writing a resume objective, savvy professionals are now switching to resume summary statements. This is because resume objectives often focus on what the applicant is seeking, and this approach does not impress recruiters. If you want to draw attention to your resume, focus on your prospective employer’s needs instead. An effective resume summary statement is an employer-focused, 30-second elevator pitch that describes the benefits of hiring you.
How You Used to Write an Office Assistant Resume Objective
Traditionally, the objective section of any resume highlights key skills along with the applicant’s desire to fill a specific position. For example, writing a resume objective for an office assistant position might look like this:
Looking to employ exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills to improve the customer service and efficiency at Acme Company as an office assistant.
When writing a resume objective, the applicant begins with information about what he or she is seeking. Recruiters are not concerned with your objectives, however. They want to fill an open position with the best possible applicant. Unfortunately, when writing a resume objective, candidates often overgeneralize their skills as well as employer concerns in order to keep the statement brief. Because resume objectives are typically limited to one sentence, this generalizing tone is difficult to avoid. Here, the applicant mentions interpersonal and organizational skills. These are overused catch phrases that give no indication of specific skill sets nor how they will achieve improved customer service and efficiency. Although a resume objective does provide an overview of the applicant’s intention, a resume summary is more engaging because it addresses the needs of a potential employer. A more engaging resume is more likely to pass the 30-second test.
How to Write an Office Assistant Resume Summary Statement
A resume summary, on the other hand, highlights the value a candidate brings to a potential employer. While a resume summary is still brief, it is not limited to one sentence. Writing a summary for an office assistant might look like this:
Office assistant professional with five years of experience in elementary school education. Highly skilled in maintaining accurate attendance records, managing student enrollment, ordering and distributing office and classroom supplies and preparing routine correspondence. Fluent in English and Spanish.
Notice how the summary begins with what the applicant has to offer, which is experience. When writing a resume summary statement, a candidate should emphasize specific skills. Although an office assistant generally performs a variety of routine clerical, reception and office support functions, it is important to be as specific as possible about the duties you have performed in the past. Cross-reference your previous job description with the desired job description to find transferable skills that will benefit the potential employer. Finally, highlight additional skills that may not be required but that illustrate the additional value of choosing you over another candidate. Remember to stay employer-focused.
Writing a resume summary that is employer-focused often takes a little research. Although writing a resume objective relies on a few keywords, writing an effective summary relies on job specific descriptions. What should you do if you can’t find a job description for the position you are applying for? LiveCareer has a variety of tips and job listings that can help you refine your resume summary into the perfect 30-second pitch.