While seeking a job, the quality of your resume plays a vital role in your success. Writing an effective resume is the single most important step for a candidate seeking a specific job. A well-written, crisp and sharp resume immediately draws the attention of the employer. The most important, yet less followed, aspect of a powerful resume is that it is written from an employer’s perspective, not the candidate’s. Hence a resume needs to be the outcome of research on the target company (i.e. its values, customers, businesses, financials, strengths and weaknesses) and the content is specific to only that company.
The resume should unambiguously convince the employer that the candidate is the right person for the job at hand. It must also bring out the benefits the company would derive by hiring the person. Thus, the skills that differentiate the candidate from the others must be mentioned in your resume in a way that draws the attention of the employer. And most importantly, you need to have a good resume summary statement at the top of your resume. The need for a well written summary statement is because:
The employer might have a number of candidates applying for the job and it would be time consuming to go through all of their resumes word by word.
They will only quickly skim through the beginning of your resume to get a basic idea of your skills.
Having a good resume summary statement will help you to make a lasting impression in the minds of the employer.
Now, most people would be wondering what writing a good resume summary statement involves. Basically, the resume summary statement has to be a short, well worded statement that offers a brief overview of your hard and soft skills and why you would be the ideal candidate for the job.
Here are some tips to keep in mind while writing a resume summary statement:
1. First and the most important point to keep in mind: keep it short, simple and easy-to-read.
Cut down your (hopefully) very lengthy list of achievements down to 4-6 bullet points and focused sentences.
2. Give more focus on skills (both hard and soft) and personality traits that align with the company’s values. As part of highlighting your hard skills, focus more on outcomes in prior jobs, rather than going for a monotonous list of achievements.
3. Make sure to just mention the soft skills like teamwork, communication skills, leadership skills, the attitude to drive changes and get things done and make sure you don’t give more focus on the generic stuff (like MS Office for example).
4. Ensure the employer of the benefits of selecting you for the job. Bring out those aspects that are special and will differentiate you from others.
Why should YOU be hired? What makes you SPECIAL from the n number of candidates who applied?
Write the summary statement so as to point out the company objectives and how you would be the perfect fit to those objectives.
5. Make sure to write from the perspective of the employer. In short, your summary statement should state what “the company wants to know”, not what you want to say.
6. Make a “positive statement” by means of using action verbs.
Action verbs make for an attractive and forceful resume. It adds lustre to your resume summary letter and will go a long way in convincing the employer of the significant achievements you have made in the past. Back up your words with data. (e.g.30% profit)
Especially for leadership positions, the employer is sure to look for a candidate who has speed, directness of communication and action.
Here is a list of some such action verbs:
Make sure to use these verbs in your resume and as well as your summary letter for a well written resume.
7. Last point to always adhere to: TELL THE TRUTH. If you deviate from the truth, and it is later found out, it might just irrevocably affect your entire career.
Here is an example of a well written resume statement, just to drive home the points to be kept in mind:
“Experienced sales manager in the retail industry with strengths in customer service, sales and negotiations. Proven skills in marketing, advertising, product integration and promotions. Adept in developing strategies that have resulted in an over 20% increase in new customers. Instrumental in developing an incentives rewards program with a repeat customer success rate of over 45%.”
A crisp resume with a well written summary statement will thus offer a multi-dimensional portrait of all aspects of a candidate in front of the employer, enabling them to take the right decision.