The days of your resume starting out with “Objective: Experienced Executive Sales Manager seeking to ….” are long gone! If you are still using a line like that to open up your executive resume, you may as well realize that your chance of getting selected for an interview is probably long gone as well. Lose the “Objective” and replace that one-liner with a dynamic career summary that pulls the reader in and shows that you have the experience, skills, and credentials to get the job.
A career summary is a brief statement/paragraph at the top of your summary that immediately communicates your qualifications for the job. In just a few sentences, you need to be able to articulate the value you can offer, what you have that makes you more uniquely qualified than others, and why the hiring manager should call you, and only you, in for the interview. A few tips to get you on your way…
- Clearly define your goals: think about this- if you were already in the interview, what would be the top 3-4 things you would tell the hiring manager about yourself to show you are the one to hire? Now, put those 3-4 things in writing on your career summary.
- Highlight your applicable experience, strengths and skills: incorporate keywords and keyword phrases that are relevant to the position you’re applying for/industry throughout your summary. If the resume is being screened by an ATS program, using the appropriate keywords will help to ensure that your resume will get selected from the pile. If you have space, you can even share an achievement that shows how you’ve increased sales or revenue, improved productivity, implemented a new program―how you’ve created value for others during your career. You can also include the job title or a little bit about your personal brand in your summary to make an even stronger connection.
Reel em’ in…
- Build them up and leave them wanting to know more: you’ve made your point, now conclude your summary with a catchy phrase that shows the impact you have made in your career for your past employers.
Here are examples of what we found at the top of two resumes submitted by candidates applying for the same position with an association:
- Objective: Experienced candidate seeking to work as an executive for a large company where I can grow my skills and expertise in the field.
- Executive Summary: Entrepreneurial leader accomplished in designing game-changing strategies to propel growth and membership within sales associations. Valued for providing insight, evaluating current practices, identifying market trends, and achieving unprecedented results. Expertise in developing strong and sustainable solutions to maximize partner retention and affinity relations, facilitate expansion, and generate revenue growth. Capable of building strong relationships with business partners and influencing at all levels to generate results.
Which candidate would you call in for an interview?
There is nothing more satisfying than watching someone progress in their career, and a strategically-written resume is a great place to start. Recruiters and hiring managers want to be sold on you as a candidate in the first few seconds they spend on your resume―you have to be able to show your ROI with high-value information to keep the reader interested in learning more about you.
Go a step further and use your summary on your resume as the basis for your summary on your LinkedIn profile. Nobody wants to see “I am seeking a job as a Sales Executive” in the “About” section on your profile. You have 2,000 characters to sell yourself in the “About” section. Include a brief summary, some bulleted achievements, and your most relevant strengths and expertise to show all you offer in just a few quick seconds. Make it personal and creative―let the reader see who you are, how you operate, and how you can impact their organization if they hire you.
So, to answer the question in the title of this article, you need to lose the “Objective” you’re still showing on your resume and replace it with a dynamic career summary that markets you as the best fit for the employer’s needs. When written and presented the right way, a strong career summary statement at the beginning of your resume will not just introduce you to the reader, but more importantly will effectively convey that YOU are the ideal candidate for the job, right from the get-go.