Your resume summary statement must pack a punch
Once upon a time, every resume started with an “Objective.”
Today, a resume Objective is generally considered passé. The rationale: instead of starting the document with what you want from an employer, tell the employer what you can do for them. Thus, the resume summary statement was born.
Unfortunately, most resumes waste their most valuable real estate on wishy-washy no-value summary statements.
If you’re going to use a resume summary statement, make sure it tells them something they don’t already know.
Most resume summary statements say something like:
Dedicated, dynamic project manager with ten years experience in managing Information Technology projects for professional services firms. Experience with Technologies X, Y and Z. Detail oriented, delivers results for employers.
But, typically, all of that information is included in other areas of the resume. A quick scan or database search will get them all they need to know.
So how can you make an impact with your resume summary?
I’m a big fan of quantifying your resume accomplishments, and quantifying can also work for your experience. What specifics can you wrap around your job? What were the scope and scale of your responsibilities?
Try answering “how many?” or “how much?” or “for how long?” in your resume summary. Or, taken a different way, imagine you ran into someone on the street who has your same job title. What questions would you ask them to figure out how your jobs were alike, and how they were different? After this, your resume summary might look more like this:
Information technology project manager with 10 years experience managing teams of 4-35 and budgets of $250k – $14 million for professional services firms. Success leading global teams and implementing solutions worldwide.
In comparing the two statements, you can clearly see the difference in how the summary statement positions a candidate for a specific role. Recruiters want to see how you fit their role, not just any role.
But this also goes back to why each resume should be customized. The summary statement above, while specific and powerful, may actually close a project manager off to some positions. So, the key is to know what that organization is looking for in that role, and position yourself appropriately for each individual opportunity.
How do you position yourself in your resume summary statement?
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