You may have retired from your last job, but that doesn't mean you don't have a lot to offer another employer, so you've decided it's time to rewrite your resume. The recommended first section of a resume is now the resume summary. Your previous resume probably opened with a resume objective, which has fallen out of favor. An objective tells the employer what you want, but they already know you want the job. A resume summary tells the employer what you can contribute to their organization and why you're qualified.
As you're writing a resume summary statement, present yourself as the candidate described in their job description.
What to Include in a Retiree Resume Summary Statement
Since your summary should be four to six lines, you'll need to concisely state your best two or three accomplishments. If you're a seasoned professional, you probably have many proud career successes, but you're writing a resume summary statement, not an autobiography. The audience you're writing for is a potential employer looking for a specific candidate. You may have spent 25 years in the field, but if you're applying for a desk job in the same industry, you should emphasize the managerial, statistical, reporting or analytical parts of your experience.
Your resume summary should include quantifiable results. Spend some time reflecting on accomplishments that actually saved the employer money or how you spotted and corrected a problem before it became costly, and include that information.
How to Format a Retiree Resume Summary Statement
Writing a resume summary statement in the form of a four- to six-line paragraph is recommended. A few grammar/structure recommendations are:
- First-person pronouns are great for your cover letter, but the resume is a bit more formal. Think of each sentence as a first-person statement with the pronouns removed, i.e. don't include "I."
- Sentence fragments are preferred over complete sentences.
- When writing a resume summary statement, describe your achievements as being faced with a problem, what you did to fix it and how it turned out.
Tips for Writing a Retiree Resume Summary Statement
Writing a resume summary statement is all about putting your best foot forward. You want to draw the employer in so they'll want to read the rest of your resume.
First, identify what the employer is looking for. If you have experience that relates directly to the open position, this is your opportunity to introduce yourself as the ideal candidate. Always keep in mind who your intended audience is.
Examples of a Retiree Resume Summary Statement
Seasoned accounting professional with experience managing a staff of 12 accountants and bookkeepers. Decreased the number of accounting errors year after year through diligent oversight and recommending newer accounting software. Processed payroll for over 900 salaried, hourly and commissioned employees, paid all taxes, made benefit payments, and paid and tracked vacation days. Successfully passed semi-annual audits for five years in a row, avoiding fees or penalties.
HR Manager with experience in large corporate human resources departments as well as mid-size organizations. Brought lessons learned in the corporate world to growing, new businesses. Developed recruiting policy that resulted in better hires and less turnover. Designed new employee orientation program to ensure all new employees were given the same information, and provided for self-recommendation for company-provided training courses.
You're the only one who knows your accomplishments. Give yourself some credit. You have a lot to offer. Just make sure you're offering what the potential employer is looking for.
The more summary statements you read at places like LiveCareer, the more comfortable you'll become with the process of writing one.