Your Resume Summary Who Reads It Anyway?

September 17th, 2012

No one right now, but the secret is the Summary is a powerful sub-textual tool that defines your career vision!  Make sure you use it!

Your resume Summary is not the first thing that is read by a corporate or agency recruitment expert.   Why? Because candidates don’t put any effort into them, typically they are robotic descriptions of “Stepford Wife” job hunters.  The reality is recruitment experts read your name then the company name, duration and title of the positions you held.   We look at the last ten years/last three most recent positions in detail.  Then we look at “where you came from”, how did you get where you are today.  Education/Certifications are checked first if they are mandatory in the job description.

In one sense, at the senior level, you need a Summary if only to show you can write.  But if you want to manage your career as you manage your finances and other areas of your life the Summary is your Vision Map, the encapsulation of thought.

Give yourself permission to think about your ideal next role, the people you’d like to work with,  the type of company you’d like to join.  What attributes do you possess that are in alignment with your new vision?  Of course, let the Summary define you; include broad business competencies/leadership style, why you’d be an attractive candidate to the new employer, etc.   However, I encourage you to be a little more open and authentic.  Think about what you do effortlessly, what gives you a lot of satisfaction, what are you proud of?   Highlight those characteristics in the Summary too.   You want more of that in your next position, right?  Develop it in a twitter-like fashion, five to nine written sentences, not much more.  Setting your intention for something is a very powerful statement!  You’d be surprise at what you can manifest.  Lastly, use the same Summary on your Linkedin profile.

If you have specialty detail, which I hope you do, in business or technical details.  Go ahead and include a table under the Summary to list subject matter expertise.  The heading “Core Competencies” is useful.  Do not use the Summary to list out initiatives/projects you have done.  Those must be listed under each position in order to give them credibility – more about that next week.

For the viewer of your resume, the Summary can be the penultimate wrap up of an already great read; it shows how “self-aware” you are.  It’s the final positive impression, the call to action, the “I need to contact this candidate right away before my competition does.”     You’ll know if you’ve written a good Summary if it makes you blush when you are done:o)!

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