Time and technology changes everything, even how we write our resumes. The old fashioned chronological resume that worked so well even just five years ago may now land your resume in the trash can before it has even been looked at. If you want to stand out, you need a career summary. What’s more, readers of resumes love them. A properly written career summary can quickly and efficiently spell out to a prospective employer why you are most qualified for the position. Simply put, a career summary can be the difference between landing an interview and missing an opportunity.
The career summary typically is positioned beneath your contact information, directly above job experiences. It offers you a chance to quickly summarize all of your relevant experience in one place. By carefully selecting achievements and successes in your career summary, you are creating an effective picture of what you can offer a company. Use your career summary to easily point out what experiences from each of your previous jobs is applicable to the one you are seeking.
While a career summary is not mandatory, and is not suggested for people with little experience, most job seekers can benefit by including a summary in their resume. Writing an adequate summary takes a little bit of skill and should be done on a case by case basis. If you are looking for a new position and would like to include a career summary on your updated resume, there are a few simple steps to take.
- Update your resume: update your resume with new experience and achievements as you normally would.
- Review positions: during your job search, carefully review each position you are interested in for their specific qualifications. For example, a particular position may require five or more year’s experience.
- Customize your summary: create a new career summary for each position you are apply for, utilizing the specifications discovered during your review.
By creating custom career summaries for each position you apply for you can easily tailor your resume for each position.
Formatting your career summary is easy as well. Most resume experts agree that a bullet point format is best for your career summary section. Try to include three to five bullet points, applicable to each specific job, in your career summary. The bullet points draw the eye and customized qualifications will guarantee further interest in you as a candidate.
Always remember that by not including a career summary with your resume most of your experience is likely to be overlooked. Most hiring professionals quickly scan initial resumes, focusing almost entirely on the last position held. They are unlikely to look at previous experience, meaning much of your experience will be unread and ineffectual. A career summary allows a hiring professional to understand how your entire career experience has molded you to be a perfect fit for their needs.