Get your reader interested in you with an impactful, unique career summary.
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.
When I joined Twitter in 2008 I had no clue who to follow or even what to do. After learning a bit more about it, I gathered my little list of resume experts that quickly expanded to experts throughout the careers industry. Through the years I’ve added more people to that list. With vast and various experience, these folks offer daily and weekly expert advice. Whether you are new to Twitter or have been using it for a while, count these experts among your favorite go-to’s for career advice. I’m sure I am missing some (and will remember as soon as I hit “publish”) but for now, here are my fave peeps!
@amyladler Specializes in career transition and strength finding. Spot-on job search tweets.
@debrawheatman Resume writer and career coach offering tips and insight into job search and resume writing. @avidcareerist With a background in retained search and current role as executive resume writer, Donna offers sage advice on resumes and job search.
@greatresume Jessica Hernandez packs nuggets of heart into her career tips, tweet, and posts.
@hireimaging Barb Pool is a career strategist, coach, and resume writer with over 30 years of experience.
@karensilins Career coach, resume writer, presenter, personal branding specialist, and HR consultant fills her Twitter feed with valuable career information.
@laurieberenson Straight-forward resume writing and job search advice for professionals.
@lisarangel A triple threat! With experience as a former recruiter, current resume writer, and humorous wit, Lisa’s tweets offer insight into the recruiting and resume writing worlds.
@pushcareers Brenda Cunningham offers outplacement experience, job search strategies, resume writing, and career management tips. @resumeservice Rosa Vargas offers authentic resume branding advice and career coaching.
@susanwhitcomb Resume writing pioneer, trainer, and job coach. She is the founder and President of The Academies and combines her vast experience with practical career tips.
@valueintowords Jacqui Poindexter turns your career history into a value-infused story. Follow her for resume and career tips.
@CareerTL CEO of Career Thought Leader Consortium, Marie Zimenoff heaps on loads of expert career advice from resume writing to social media advice.
@careerhero President of Career Directors International, Laura DeCarlo’s offers consistently informative career tweets.
@kccareercoach As a career coach and marketing strategist for executives, Meg Montford shares resources, tips and advice.
@krisplantrich 9X certified Career Coach specializing in job search, interview, career transition, salary, and LinkedIn coaching.
@phyllismufson Career Coach and catalyst for personal and career transformation. Helps with job search, career change, and small business.
@susanguarneri Career assessment expert, certified branding strategist and management coach, and resume writer.
@coachwolfgang Career coaches and counselors specializing in multiple coaching disciplines that help individuals take ownership of their careers.
CAREER ADVICE & JOB SEARCH
@careerbliss Online company reviews, salaries, job listings, hiring trends and interview tips. Your one-stop shop.
@careersingov Looking for a career in the government? Check out the nation’s largest State and Local Government Job Board and Career Center.
@classycareer List as Forbes Top 35 Most Influential Career Site and E-Learning Platform, launching dream careers, and businesses. Passionate about helping women succeed in their careers.
@flexjobs Looking for tips on finding a flexible hours, remote work, freelance, or just more work life balance? Look no further. Flexjobs posts jobs and informative articles every day.
@healthcareitcentral Weekly job alerts, an employer directory, and articles for clients in healthcareIT.
@jacobshare Job search expert, blogger, and community builder. His career tweets are interesting and plenty.
@jobhuntorg A careers pioneer whose website and posts offer guidance and tips on everything career-related.
@markadyson Career consultant, blogger, and expert podcaster, Mark keeps his tweets light and jam-packed with everything career.
@social_hire Helps candidates find their next great job. Daily tips and job search advice.
@themuse Offers career advice and matches candidates with companies and jobs looking for them.
@williamarruda Personal branding expert and motivational speaker offers daily job search advice.
@workcoachcafe Tips to help people become more successful in their jobs and job search. Forbes Top 100 Career Site.
@youtern Enables young talent to become highly employable by connecting them to high-impact internships, mentors, and thru contemporary career advice that works!
RECRUITERS & HR
@absolutely_abby Abby Kohut offers job search and recruiting advice to professionals. Selected as one of ‘Forbes Top 100 Career Websites’ and Fast Company’s ‘The Monster 11 for 2011: Career Experts Who Can Help Your Job Search’.
@chrisrussell Online recruiting, job board secrets, and HR consultant. Find out what recruiters are looking for.
@hrbartender Sharlyn Lauby delivers corporate HR tweets daily. Spot-on advice for interested job seekers.
@nickcorcodilos The author of Fearless Job Hunting and Ask The Headhunter, Nick’s tweets answer the burning job search and recruiting questions job seekers are asking.
@recruitmentgv Recruitment and Talent Acquisition news provided by the leading magazine for Recruitment Consultants.
@talentculture HR, Recruiting, Leadership and more. Be sure to save this social community as one of your favorite tweeters.
Could Setting a Timeline Prove Beneficial to Your Job Search?
A job search has many ups and downs. You could be on cloud nine when you receive an opportunity to interview, but then fall back down when you don’t get the job. Keeping a level mindset is difficult, but necessary during your hunt for a new job. It’s easy to take a break from your job search. But many people find their break that was supposed to last only a few days ends up lasting a few weeks. Not improving your personal branding every day is only making you take a step backward. The best way to stay on a schedule, and stay motivated, is to set a timeline. Here are some tips on how to do so.
Set a Goal and Plan to Meet it
Setting a goal without a plan to reach it is simply a wish. Everyone operates differently, though. You may choose to set multiple smaller goals to reach during a certain timeframe, or you may choose to solely set your sights on the end goal. Either way you choose, having a plan will help you get there. Using the top rated resume writing services can help you meet your plan and goals. Not having a polished resume could be setting you back and getting you looked over for jobs you qualify for. Having a professional help you write your executive resume can help expedite the job search process.
Don’t Be Complacent
Complacency can be a big detriment to your job search efforts. If you’re not going to apply for a job one day, then use your effort to optimize your LinkedIn profile as much as possible, just to keep you moving forward. It’s important to note employers may have a position open for immediate hiring, but they may not be hiring immediately. Don’t wait around for them to contact you. Continue on with your job search so you can stay on your timeline and not suffer a setback.
Be Immediate, But Not Pushy
When you meet with a recruiter, it’s important to show immediacy, but not be too demanding. Recruiters know you’re looking for a job; otherwise, you wouldn’t be talking to them. You can damage your c-level personal branding by overstepping boundaries and being pushy just to meet your timeline. Professional Resume Services understands the importance of setting a timeline and making attainable goals for your job search. Our top rated resume writing services can help you stay on schedule with a job search, so feel free to contact us if our services can help you in any way.
If your resume is not getting the results you’d expect based on your skills and experience, maybe it needs to be evaluated. All the information could be perfect; perfectly bland. Here’s a fast way to evaluate your resume, and it’s based on the way it will be evaluated when it reaches that VIP looking for someone to fill a position: Pick up your resume and scan it for 30 seconds, then cover it and write down what you remember.
Actually, thirty seconds might be longer than most HR people look at it, but they have developed serious speed reading skills. What do you remember about your resume? What stands out?
Now consider that your resume is something you are familiar with — and it was probably hard to remember what you said about yourself. Imagine what it’s like to read through hundreds of resumes in an attempt to find the best candidates to call in for interviews! These people don’t know you, and they do know what they need in the position.
Be Memorable and Consistent
The keywords that need to be there are the words used in the job ad, because that’s what they are looking for. But you are offering a unique spin on that because of your individuality. Build on that uniqueness by presenting yourself with synonyms of those keywords where it’s appropriate and keep a consistency throughout your resume by answering the question in their mind: Why should I hire you?
Another way to say the same thing is, “who are you and what do you bring to this position?” If the answer to the question in their mind isn’t obvious, then you need to work on your resume until it can answer that question with fast and clear.
Have you noticed that the working world is kind of like a track event?Some races are marathons, and the runners who win are slow and steady folks who keep on moving ahead, where the sprinters, the ones who zip past leaving their co-workers in a cloud of dust, don’t always stay on track. Not that sprinting is bad, it’s just a different race and the techniques that work in a short speed contest don’t do well in endurance challenges. Track events will generally have a variety of contests and different skills will win different events.
Sometimes an athlete will move from one event to another, like the sprinter in the marathon. If the sprinter has developed the endurance to keep a steady pace and still have the strength to run fast at the end, they will likely be the winner. If they have no endurance, they won’t be able to keep up in the long run. An athlete who has learned how to adapt can switch to several events and win them all, but it takes experience and training. It also takes recognition that they are capable of moving from one category to the next.
A worker who has moved up to manager or supervisor and shown 2 – 10 years of quality work is often ready to be promoted from one event to the next, but they have trouble getting the recognition for their abilities. Because they are seen as capable managers or supervisors, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they will be seen as executives. It’s like the marathon runner has announced they are entering the sprint.
Our professional resume packages highlight all the accomplishments in your career and showcase the skills that you will bring to a promotion. They are perfect for presenting your abilities as a professional ready to add a different category to your career.
If you have been the race for a long time, maybe it is time to up your game. Go over your resume part by part and make sure it represents who you are today and where you see yourself going. Do your accomplishments shine brightly? Is your experience rich with detail but yet concise enough to not bore your reader to tears? Does your resume have action statement and keywords to pass a keyword scanning machine? To stay competitive, update your resume yearly with highlights of what you did the previous year. Don’t leave it until the last minute when someone is asking for it. Like training, it takes a bit of time and thought, but the results will be worth it.
Even if you have no plans to run a business, you have an online brand: it is the persona the internet world perceives you to be.What comes up when your name is put in a search engine? Are you on social media with embarrassing pictures? Why would I tell you to “own” your online brand? To own something is to be invested in it, to take responsibility for it, and to proactively maintain it.
Any prospective employer is going to be looking at what kind of presence you have online. The positions with more at stake may involve a bit more research, because there will be a desire to know if there’s anything that will be a problem once you are in the company. Security clearances can require quite extensive background checks. Depending on the position you are seeking, what comes up online on your “brand” might cost you a job. Now is the time to invest in your online brand. It can be an investment of time and effort, or you may choose to actually maintain a purchased site in your name with your professional highlights. A LinkedIn profile is worth the research and investment. Learn about online personal branding and get advice on the type of development your career should involve. Now is the time to take responsibility for your online brand. Do what needs to be done to clean up your profiles on Facebook and the rest of the social media you are involved in. Maybe you need to tighten up your privacy settings, and perhaps you should have a professional social media page, or a personal one — and be very careful about what is allowed on each. It isn’t difficult to find horror stories about pictures that should never have been posted being circulated beyond what was intended with consequences unanticipated. If you have made a major mistake, fix it to the best of your ability and be prepared to show how you have matured. Now is the time to proactively maintain it. Make the commitment to own your online brand and consistently check to see how the world sees you. Most of the people in the world will never see you in person, but if they can get online they can find out about you. Do what you need to do in order to keep your brand one that reflects the best about you.
Writing a resume can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to let it get to you. There are many different types of resumes and many ways to write them, but here are some tips that will help get you started so you can have an amazing resume with less stress and frustration.
Focus on your strengths:People are not perfect. They have flaws, but potential employers know that. They are not looking for your flaws. They are looking for your strengths and the skills that make you stand out. Don’t make things harder on yourself. Take the things you are the best at and put a lot of focus on those things when writing your resume.
Emphasize your achievements: Potential employers not only want to know that you are skilled in an area, but they want to know that you have put that skill to use and it was a positive outcome. They are hiring someone that will help their company succeed, and you need to show them that you have succeeded in the past and have the skills to succeed in the future.
Keep it honest: It seems like a simple enough tip, but it is true. Too often people try to fluff their resumes with skills and experience that are not completely true. This may get you the job if your fake resume is impressive enough, but your employers will find out that you lied eventually and that will cause more problems than your fake resume can help you with. Keep your resume honest and it will pay off in the long run.
When searching through candidates, executive recruiters typically ask three main questions about each candidate:
Can you do the job? This is all about your strengths, skills and experience
Will you love the job? This is all about your motivation and work ethic.
Can we tolerate working with you? This is all about how you will fit with the employees and employers already at the company.
You need to keep these in mind as you are working with the recruiter. Everything you think, do, and say when with the recruiter should be an attempt to answer those questions. You should mention your strengths and skills often, but not to the point that it becomes annoying or obnoxious. You should express how love and enjoyment of the field of work you are applying for and you should be fun, charismatic, and easy to be around. Expressing your skills and your love of the field is an easy enough thing to do, but it will not get you the job. No matter how qualified you are the recruiter will not want to bring you to the employers as an option if you are someone they find difficult to work with. This is why the third question is the one you need to focus on when preparing to meet a recruiter. Make sure to smile and try not be too uptight. I know that you are going to be nervous, but don’t let the recruiter know that. Let them think you are professional, but also laid back and easy to be around. Confident, even if you have to fake it. Show them that you can get the job done, but you can also be the kind of person they want to have lunch with because they enjoy your company. If you can do that, then you will impress the recruiter and will have a step above the other candidates, which will hopefully lead to you getting the job.