As a workforce development professional, one of the most frustrating aspects of job search for many of my clients is writing a resume. Unfortunately, many clients reiterate hackneyed trends from the 80s in their documents. The most heinous artifact from this era is the objective.
Why is the objective useless? It forces job seekers to develop trite sentences that don’t sell their qualifications. Additionally, it doesn’t relay the candidate’s unique selling point. In order to remedy this situation, the Summary of Qualifications was invented.
The goal of the summary is to concisely state a candidates skills, industry, and achievements in 5 sentences or less. One of my unique challenges as an instructor is to explain how to create one. Lamentably, most resume books and handouts targeted to job seekers doesn’t give a procedure for writing summaries. Therefore, I created this formula for writing them.
Sentence/Bullet 1: Name Your Industry, Years of Experience, Specialization, etc. Consider using descriptive adjectives before you state your industry.
Resourceful workforce development professional with five years experience driving innovation for one stops.
Sentence/Bullet 2: List your key responsibilities
Adept creator of workshops on social media and internet based applications.
Sentence/Bullet 3: Brag! Write about your accomplishments, certifications, education
Proven track record of creating workshops adopted city wide in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Sentence/Bullet 4: Highlight your best skills for the position *Cater to job description
What industry do you work in/seek employment?
How many years of experience do you have in this industry? _____________________
List your strengths in the industry
1. _______________________ 2. _______________________
3. _______________________ 4. _______________________
Do you have an area of specialization? If so, please list it.
Now write your summary statement.
Multi-faceted, efficient & reliable administrative professional with 10+ years of experience supporting executives, sales and managers to improve internal operations for small businesses. Proficient in all of the standard office desktop software, CRM applications and design programs. Diversified skill sets covering administrative support, client relations, writing, human resources & recruiting, account management and project management. Excellent inter-personal, phone and digital communication skills.
If you’re creating resume for different fields or positions, you may want to create a new summary for each occupation. Don’t forget to cater the last sentence for each job application. Good luck with your resume!