August 16, 2005

Resume: Summary

So now you have your page formatted, your name and contact info added in with proper puncuation, and you've sketched out your job history including major accomplishments at each position. What comes next? Well, geographically on the page, the next thing is the Summary. However, you'll probably want to leave the 'Summary' section unfinished until you're done with the resume. It may near the top of your resume, but no one said you have to write it in order.

You place the ‘Summary’ section at the top of your resume above the Experience section and after your name and contact info. Some might think the Summary is what used to be called ‘Objective’ or 'Work Objective'. It goes in the same location, but the purpose of the Summary is different. Instead of stating a personal objective that might differ from the company's objective, and thus eliminating you from consideration, you broadly summarize your background and state how you're right for the position.

The Summary is very important. First, if the resume becomes separated from the coverletter the Summary serves as a mini-cover letter and frames the rest of the document based on the position you’re applying for. Second, the Summary is your chance to sell yourself once again, to make the reader want to continue. Yes, it's all about the sell. After all ther person reading your resume has never met you and most likely won't unless you can sell them on why you're right for the job.

To that end, you will want to customize the Summary with the skills/experience required for the position you’re applying for. For example, if applying to a large organization your summary would be something like this:

Summary: A public relations and communications expert. Able to research and write clear and persuasive copy for speeches, press releases, and marketing materials. Confident spokesperson for a large organization with many facets.

If you were applying to a small firm, you would change your summary:

Summary: A public relations and communications expert. Able to handle all preparation and delivery of speeches, press releases, appearances, and marketing materials. Confident spokesperson for any size organization.

It won't hurt to echo back some of the job description in your summary. Just might make you seem like the perfect fit.

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1 comment:

Waller said...

Hi John, I found your site when I was surfing for info on resume writing. I've really enjoyed reading your posts. You've got some very interesting stuff here - I particularly liked the list of resume power words. I'll come back again soon to check for new posts.Good luck with the blog.