In the past, resume writers were expected to begin their resume with an objective statement, but that is no longer the preferred choice. Now, employers are looking for a helpful summary of your qualifications instead. Writing a resume summary statement at the top of your resume clarifies your greatest assets and achievements, so your prospective employer can see right away how well you're qualified. For seniors, writing a resume summary statement is especially helpful because it can encapsulate your long career history into one powerful paragraph.
What to Include in a Senior Resume Summary Statement
For seniors, writing a resume summary statement is a great opportunity to show off years of hard-earned accomplishments. Before you begin, ask yourself, "What are my strongest skills, and what can I bring to the position I'm applying for?" Consider your full career path, and select the achievements you wish to draw the most attention to. Include any management or leadership experience, teamwork or technical skills that are applicable to the job you're seeking. Don't focus on jobs you held more than 15 years ago, and leave out any positions that are not at all relevant to the job you want. Be sure to include two or three skill sets as well as favorable personal qualities so your prospective employer can get a complete picture of what you're bringing to the table.
How to Format a Senior Resume Summary Statement
The summary statement format may look strange to seniors who aren't familiar with its writing style. For example, you can use sentence fragments in your summary statement, a practice that was previously frowned upon. Write your summary statement in short, concise sentences. Use adverbs and adjectives to effectively and succinctly add more information. Keep the list to a manageable four to six lines or less, even if you have many years of experience. Though your sentences should be written in a first person voice, avoid personal pronouns such as "I."
Tips for Writing a Senior Resume Summary Statements
When you've got a long career history, writing a resume summary statement can be a matter of deciding which qualifications to include and which to leave out. Don't let yourself get bogged down by listing too many skills, especially if they wouldn't be useful to the job you're seeking. Tailor your summary statement to the specific position to which you're applying so only your most essential qualities make the cut. Also, make sure you use correct grammar when you speak of your "years of experience," or add the necessary apostrophe: "years' experience." Finally, avoid any references to outdated technologies (e.g., typewriters) that will instantly date your resume.
Examples of a Senior Resume Summary Statement
Consider the following example of a resume summary statement:
Dependable and organized office manager. Maintained accurate records for multiple projects. Led an innovative project to increase office productivity. Creative team player who adapts quickly to new challenges. Excellent communication skills, written and verbal. Friendly and outgoing personality. Proven ability to work both individually and in large groups.
A strong summary statement assists employers in their effort to sort through and quickly find applicants worth interviewing. When writing a resume summary statement, think of it as an elevator pitch to your prospective employer, and take advantage the opportunity to tell them what a great candidate you are.
If you get stuck, LiveCareer's selection of helpful samples, templates and tips can get you on the right track.