Interview Tips Series 2

How To Write A Resume Objective and Resume Summary

The art of writing a resume. Oh don’t even get me started on this… The hours, days, weeks I spent on writing a well crafted resume in my 3 decade long career. But we are not going to be talking about writing an entire resume today.

We will focus on how we can write a resume objective or a resume summary. Listing your qualifications and employment history is simple enough but how do you really grab an employers attention?
A resume summary is a few sentences that can really sell you to an employer. Its a short summary that tells the employer a bit more about yourself. It is an important tool as it gives employers a clear understanding of who you are and what you can bring to their company, at a quick glance.

You can use the resume summary to summarise (obviously) your career highlights and your personal strengths as well as your professional goals.

When you are writing, try to think about what you have that others don’t and what sets you apart. This is critical. Let me repeat, try to think about what you have that others don’t!

These are the things that will stick with the person reading your resume and make them sit up and take notice.

Imagine you are them, going through hundreds of resumes all with the same thing, over and over again. Something different will make them pay attention in closer detail, rather than just scanning over the resume. Due to this scanning of your resume, if your best bits are skipped over through the body of the resume, you could be missed. However, if these are the first things the reader sees you have a much better chance.

Now you know why a resume summary and resume objective is important, what do you need to include?

  1. The first thing you should do is make sure you have read the job description fully and in detail. Keep an eye out for an key skills the employer is looking for, as these can be included in your summary.
  2. Once you’ve done this, its time to think about what your key selling points are and what you can bring to the company that will interest the employer. Think about what you would look for in a person if you were the one hiring.
  3. Also ensure that what you include is specific not only to the job role you are applying for, but to the company offering the position. Once you’ve got this and an idea of what you want to include, its time to starting writing!

The resume summary should be based at the top of your resume, directly under your contact details. This means its the first thing the reader will see and can be used to really grab their attention.

It is also recommended that the summary is not written with first person pronouns.

This is because using these pronouns put focus on you as the applicant, whereas you want to the focus to be on the company and what you can bring to them. Think about if you were a hiring manager, what are you thinking when you read a resume? You aren’t thinking ‘What can this company give to the individual?’ but instead, you are thinking ‘What can they bring to us?’. Keep this frame of thinking throughout the writing of your statement and you are sure to grab their attention.

Makes sense so far?

A good place to start the statement with is your title in a professional sense.

This can help the reader see that you are fit for the position you are applying for. An example of this is Senior Marketing Executive. After this you have the main body of the statement and this should only be a few sentences – its good to remember that on average, hiring managers only spend a few seconds looking at a resume so if the statements too long then they will only glance over it and not read it.

Therefore, having a few sentences will get their full attention and this will actually have more impact. In the main body you want to outline a few professional traits you have and any experience, that is relevant to the position you are applying for. If you do not have experience the area, highlight the academic training you have.

In your summary statement, you also need to tell the employer what you want to do in your job role. Think about what you enjoy doing in your job role and include this in your statement. Try to avoid anything you don’t enjoy – even if you are good at it. If you don’t enjoy it now in your current role, you won’t want to do it in another job.
Now you have the main body of your statement completed, its time to think about you most important selling points. You need to think carefully about what requirements can go in the remainder of your resume and what are the points that will really make you stand out.

I can’t stress enough that only things that separate you from other candidates should go in the statement. A popular example of this is using MS Office. This is a often a requirement in job descriptions, but its also a requirement many people have. This would not necessarily make your resume stand out more than others. So make sure you pick the things that are unique to you and something that makes you stand above the rest. This is the time to talk about what you bring to the company and what you can do for them, rather than what they can do for you. Keep the focus on the company.
Now things you don’t want to include in your statement include, as mentioned above, are the skills that, whilst may be required, are not unique and do not set you apart from the crowd. You also do not want to include phrases that are supposed to be ‘great on your resume’ but are in fact over used and common. These include words such as ‘hardworking’ and ‘organised’.
Remember, the summary statement is the first thing the reader will see about you (aside from a covering letter). This is your chance to make a great first impression and really show off your individual skills. However, as hard as it is, keep the statement short and sweet to ensure it is all read and taken in. Once you have their interest, they will likely look over the rest of your resume so everything else thats not as attention grabbing but still important, will still be taken into account.

So here is a good example for a resume summary;

“Having worked for 12 years in Marketing and Brand Management, I am looking forward to joining ZYX to bring my decades long marketing expertise with me. I have also accumulated significant number of valuable client relationships based on trust and high quality work which I believe I will continue to serve under ZYX’s umbrella.”

The above is short yet concise for a resume summary.

If you need to write a resume objective instead of a summary, then I suggest you can use one of the below;

Resume Objective: To obtain the position of a junior analyst with PwC where I can leverage my high-quality education from XXX and consulting skills gained from my internship/s at XXX.

or

Dedicated management consultant with 12 years of experience around the world. Served over 100 clients with project values exceeding USD 200m total. Received “Consulting Falcon Award” for two consecutive years. Looking to continue my achievements with XXX.   

Source: The Career Mastery, article name “Resume Objective

I hope we were able to help you out with your resume preparation today. See you next month with another interview tips series from Urban Source.