Top Tips for Writing a Great Resume Summary



Top Tips for Writing a Great Resume Summary

Introduction

It's day one of your new job hunt. You're motivated. Enthusiastic. Ready to take on the world. But what's the best place for you to start? Well, it couldn't hurt to nail down a great resume summary as your first step.

Sitting snugly at the very top of your resume and acting as your siren call to any potential recruiters, your resume summary will often be the first thing they'll read about you, so it's important you make a solid first impression. Getting it right can mean all the difference between them reading on to find out more or throwing your application into the reject pile.

So to help you out we've pulled together a list of handy tips to help get you started and really smarten up that summary.

Keep it brief

With the average resume standing at just one page you'll need to keep things short. Aim for staying under 100 words and about three or four sentences maximum, there are schools of thought that argue limiting it even further to just 50 words for that punchier impact..

Essentially, if you can't skim read it and get the key points in just a few seconds then you need to shorten it.

Make it easy for the recruiter to read

Play around with the format a little and make your skills very obvious. You could bullet point your sentences to make them stand out or highlight your most important trait in bold.

Test your summary out on some friends and family first to see if they can get the key facts quickly and like the feel of it.

Start off by noting your professional title and years of experience

This spells out exactly who you are straight away and lets a recruiter know if you have the requisite experience. If you don't have any work experience yet or are fresh out of education, don't worry, there are plenty of transferable skills you can use from your education and personal life to make up for it.

If you don't have practical knowledge, you can really emphasise the soft skills you've picked up like written communication skills and relationship building.

A lot of times these soft skills are actually even more important to the employer, especially for entry level jobs where you'll be trained in the technical aspects of the role.

Make it relevant to the job you're applying for

Employers love it when you can show you've thought about them and have actually took the time to read the job description. Look for what they've identified as the most critical requirement for the role and see if you have any personal examples from your own personal or professional life that matches it. Then put this front and centre in your summary.

It immediately shows the recruiter you have a tangible, real world example of exactly what they're looking for. The same principles apply again if you have limited or no work experience, find a really good example from your personal life that nails the soft skills they're looking for.

Quantify your achievements

While you're matching your summary to the job requirement you can really stand out if you have some statistics to back up your statement, for example you could use excellent customer feedback, evidence of exceeding sales targets or times when you've taken on a leadership role or inspired others.

This can be a little more difficult for soft skills such as time management, team building and level of enthusiasm, but you can get around this by referring to strong results in employee reviews and getting some good character references to back it up.

Avoid generic achievements

We're talking about the same old skills every candidate has such as being "Good with Microsoft Word and Excel" and "Good communicator". These sort of skills are a given in most job roles these days and wasting space in your summary to mention generic comments is going to be an instant turn off.

Always remember to keep things specific and tailored to the job you're applying for!

Proofread and check grammar before sending

Always proofread multiple times. Recruiters who have seen many thousands of resumes over their lifetime have an incredibly sharp eye for mistakes and bad spelling and grammar is usually the first rejection filter they apply. It's an easy way to quickly whittle down candidates and shows them you're just not that bothered about working with them.

Even if you're the best candidate for the job, you'll never make it past the review stage if the reviewer spots even one mistake. Get friends and family to read over your summary too, they can often spot mistakes you couldn't on your first pass.

Introduction

It's day one of your new job hunt. You're motivated. Enthusiastic. Ready to take on the world. But what's the best place for you to start? Well, it couldn't hurt to nail down a great resume summary as your first step.

Sitting snugly at the very top of your resume and acting as your siren call to any potential recruiters, your resume summary will often be the first thing they'll read about you, so it's important you make a solid first impression. Getting it right can mean all the difference between them reading on to find out more or throwing your application into the reject pile.

So to help you out we've pulled together a list of handy tips to help get you started and really smarten up that summary.

Keep it brief

With the average resume standing at just one page you'll need to keep things short. Aim for staying under 100 words and about three or four sentences maximum, there are schools of thought that argue limiting it even further to just 50 words for that punchier impact..

Essentially, if you can't skim read it and get the key points in just a few seconds then you need to shorten it.

Make it easy for the recruiter to read

Play around with the format a little and make your skills very obvious. You could bullet point your sentences to make them stand out or highlight your most important trait in bold.

Test your summary out on some friends and family first to see if they can get the key facts quickly and like the feel of it.

Start off by noting your professional title and years of experience

This spells out exactly who you are straight away and lets a recruiter know if you have the requisite experience. If you don't have any work experience yet or are fresh out of education, don't worry, there are plenty of transferable skills you can use from your education and personal life to make up for it.

If you don't have practical knowledge, you can really emphasise the soft skills you've picked up like written communication skills and relationship building.

A lot of times these soft skills are actually even more important to the employer, especially for entry level jobs where you'll be trained in the technical aspects of the role.

Make it relevant to the job you're applying for

Employers love it when you can show you've thought about them and have actually took the time to read the job description. Look for what they've identified as the most critical requirement for the role and see if you have any personal examples from your own personal or professional life that matches it. Then put this front and centre in your summary.

It immediately shows the recruiter you have a tangible, real world example of exactly what they're looking for. The same principles apply again if you have limited or no work experience, find a really good example from your personal life that nails the soft skills they're looking for.

Quantify your achievements

While you're matching your summary to the job requirement you can really stand out if you have some statistics to back up your statement, for example you could use excellent customer feedback, evidence of exceeding sales targets or times when you've taken on a leadership role or inspired others.

This can be a little more difficult for soft skills such as time management, team building and level of enthusiasm, but you can get around this by referring to strong results in employee reviews and getting some good character references to back it up.

Avoid generic achievements

We're talking about the same old skills every candidate has such as being "Good with Microsoft Word and Excel" and "Good communicator". These sort of skills are a given in most job roles these days and wasting space in your summary to mention generic comments is going to be an instant turn off.

Always remember to keep things specific and tailored to the job you're applying for!

Proofread and check grammar before sending

Always proofread multiple times. Recruiters who have seen many thousands of resumes over their lifetime have an incredibly sharp eye for mistakes and bad spelling and grammar is usually the first rejection filter they apply. It's an easy way to quickly whittle down candidates and shows them you're just not that bothered about working with them.

Even if you're the best candidate for the job, you'll never make it past the review stage if the reviewer spots even one mistake. Get friends and family to read over your summary too, they can often spot mistakes you couldn't on your first pass.



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