So it’s time to craft the perfect resume that you hope will land you your next big interview and opportunity. That’s great. A new job can bring new experiences and opportunities for you to grow while you help lead another company to success. However, getting your foot in the door can be the hardest part about the job search.
Today, hiring managers are increasingly pressed for time as they scan hundreds of resumes looking for the perfect candidate. Resume summaries can be the key to having your resume examined versus just being tossed into the trash. However, in order to be successful, they need to be written with great care. Today, we look at seven must have components that you should have in your professional resume summary so your resume stands out above the rest.
1. Eye-Catching Visual Layout
Use Microsoft Word’s Borders and Shading function sparingly to great white space and visual breaks to draw the eye through the document. The goal of the summary is to keep the reader’s eye moving through the document using a visually compelling layout.
2. Clear Target Position in the Title
Hiring managers scan hundreds of resumes when they are searching for the right candidate. Studies have shown that they often make the decision to call you or just discard your resume in only a few seconds. So, you need to hook them quickly if you hope to have a shot. When creating your summary, begin with something that will make them do a double take and encourage them to read on. This will increase your chances of making it into the call pile. DO NOT START THE HEADING WITH “SUMMARY.”
3. Emphasize Your Top Selling Points
Once you have their attention, you need to then quickly emphasize your best selling points that demonstrate why you are the right person for the job. When hiring managers are searching, they will quickly skim resumes looking for the right criteria. In order to increase your chances, put your best foot forward right away and show them what makes you the best candidate for the job.
4. Correlate Career Achievements to Job Requirements
Once you have them reading and they know your best selling points, it is time to briefly go over your career so they get an idea of how your experience is relevant to their position. This gives them an insight into your experience so they begin to understand what you can bring to the table if they decide to bring you on board.
5. Communicate Motivation
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While the simple objective statement may be out of style today, that doesn’t mean you can’t briefly share your motivation, when applicable. Each company is different with a different culture and goals in mind, if your motivation doesn’t fit this mold, you may not be a good fit even if you have all the skills they are looking for. This isn’t good for them or you in the long run. Go ahead and briefly explain your goals but don’t focus on it compared to your selling points and career.
6. Be Concise
You may be tempted to give great detail about your career and your top selling points. Remember, you have the rest of your resume to explain in detail everything you have accomplished and why you would be the perfect candidate for the position. The goal with your summary is to be just that – a summary. Resist the urge to explain everything in detail and only give them a glimpse of what you have done over the years.
7. Don’t Underestimate Keywords
While you should never just write your resume for keywords, you shouldn’t forget about them entirely. When creating your summary, go ahead and make sure it is rich in keywords so it makes it past the automatic resume scanners and actually reaches the desk of the hiring manager who may be giving you a call.
While you may think the interview is the most difficult process of your job search, the truth is just getting your foot in the door and getting an opportunity for an interview is often far more difficult. However, you can improve your chances just by crafting the perfect resume summary. A well-crafted resume summary will help you get noticed and allow you to quickly put your best foot forward so hiring managers will give your resume a closer look.