The job market is increasingly competitive these days. In some cases, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of applicants could be going after the same job. Recruiting staff can really get bogged down with looking at resume after resume. So how can you improve your chances of getting pulled from the pile? The answer may boil down to one simple tool, and that’s the summary statement.
What’s a Summary Statement?
A resume summary statement is a concise method for showing employers what you have to offer. It should be only about four or five lines long and serves as a way for hiring professionals to quickly glimpse your resume to see if you’re what they’re looking for. Your statement should talk about your characteristics, experience, achievements, skills and expertise.
Make Each Word Count
That’s a lot of information to include in a short statement. That means you have to make every word count. Avoid overused words like “team player”, “go-getter” or “successful.” Instead, opt for action words that stand out and really show the reader what you’re all about and what you’ve accomplished. Words like, “chaired”, “coordinated”, “executed” and “oversaw” are good for conveying the fact that you led or managed a team. For large achievements, consider using words like, “advanced”, “amplified”, “gained”, “maximized” or “stimulated.”
Don’t Be Generic
Another important thing to keep in mind is to always tailor each statement to the job for which you are applying. Writing one generic summary for every job will defeat the purpose. The goal in using a stellar summary statement is to make your resume stand out by showing potential employers what you can do for them and why you are the best candidate for their particular job. A cut and paste summary will be easily seen through by professional recruiters, and your resume will end up in the trash.
Don’t hesitate to sell yourself when writing your statement. Remember that you’re objective is to show the employer what you can do for them. In order to do that, you have to be able to pitch yourself and your skills. Use your action words to list your achievements and skills in a way that demonstrates confidence and competence, but not cockiness.
Stand Out and Get Noticed
Beyond the above tips, paying particular attention to small details can really go a long way to making sure your resume stands out from the rest of the pack. Pay close attention to the job ad, and do some research on the company. Use the information you glean when writing your summary. Use words and ideas gleaned from your research to show recruiters you are aware of their needs and can accommodate those needs. Another way to ensure that you are giving hiring pros what they’re looking for is to be specific. Don’t just say that you have supervisory experience, for example. Be sure to include the number of people you supervised and any accolades you may have received in relation to that duty.
These tips should get you started toward crafting a resume summary statement that will get you noticed. If, however, you’re thinking about having your resume professionally written, check out LiveCareer.com’s resume writing service. Our professionals have tons of experience in creating job-specific resumes that grab employers’ attention.