The Prepped Team
September 15, 2020
We don’t have to stress how important resumes are. They’re your profile to inform future employers what you’re capable of. But even if you’re fresh out of university or still finishing up, you’ve likely accomplished a lot. Deciding on what to feature in your resume can be a difficult decision, but understanding the do's and don'ts of writing a resume can help. It's your attempt at a first impression, and you want to put your best foot forward, but what does that look like? A resume summary might be the answer. It’s a way to highlight some of your strengths before getting to your full list of skills and accomplishments. If you’ve never utilized a resume summary before, you should seriously consider it. We discuss some of the reasons why it’s important and how to put a summary together. Hint: it’s not as easy as it sounds – but we're here to help you out!
In theory, a resume summary (or professional statement as it’s sometimes called) is simple. It’s a sentence or two at the top of your resume that highlights your strongest assets. It can describe something personal about you, define your key skills and point to the specific experience that would be valuable to potential employers.
Many employers go through dozens of resumes a day and possibly hundreds a week. Looking at that many potential employees, they need to find an efficient and effective way of determining whether or not a candidate would be a successful fit. A good summary is like a headline in an article. It lets the employer know that it’s worth paying attention to the rest of your resume. A good summary also adds some flair to your resume. You want to be as professional as possible, but including a personal touch to your summary reminds the employer that they’re considering a real person and not just resume number 55. When thinking about cultural fit, employers can use your summary as a precursor to what they can expect if they bring you in for an interview.
There’s actually no set piece of content that should go in your resume summary. You should take the time to make it unique to each employer. Consider who the employer is and highlight the skills and attributes you possess that matches what you think would be most appealing to that employer. With that said, here are a few points that can be included in your resume summary to make it stand out:
As we mentioned, a resume summary should be particular to the employer, but impactful summaries typically follow a pattern. Here are some examples that capture the key points you should consider including:
As you can see, there’s more than one way to go about putting together your resume summary. What’s important is that your summary reflects who you are and what you’ve accomplished that would be useful to the employer you’re trying to impress. Don’t rush this. Writing short, punchy sentences is difficult to get right. Plus, you want to find the right balance between showing off your accomplishments and showcasing your personality. Prepped can help you get it right. Sign up for Prepped and get access to a variety of training and tools created by HR professionals.