Resume Summary Or Objective
Its not a secret for anyone that first impressions matter, whether theyre in your personal life, or your career.
If you leave a bad first impression, chances are, its there to stay. After all, its very hard to change someones opinion of you.
The same applies to your job search – the HR manager spends around 6 seconds scanning each resume. Yep, your carefully-worded, hand-crafted resume only gets 6 seconds of attention. Unless, of course, you manage to leave an amazing first impression.
The way you accomplish this is through either a good resume summary or objective. Both are placed at the top of your resume, right around the contact information section:
So, heres what you need to know about the two:
What If Your Degree Is Not Related To Your Job
I know someone who graduated with a degree in design that is nowworking as a life insurance agent, and I know a nursing graduate who worked inIT for years, before becoming a real estate agent. This happens more than youknow, so you shouldnt let this stop you from chasing after your dream job.
Below are two ways to downplay the lack of formal education inyour target job:
- List the relevant coursework in your degree.Lets say you have a Psychology degree, but want a job in marketing. If youtook units in social psychology, communications, grammar, and business, thosesubjects show you have the knowledge required for the job.
- List professional courses or ongoing trainingyou took to compensate for your lack of formal schooling on the subject.
The Structure Of An American Resume
Contact Information The first thing in your resume should be your name and contact information. This should be at the top of the page, should be large enough to be easily seen, and should contain the following.
- Telephone number where you can best be reached, usually your mobile
- LinkedIn profile
Do not include a home address or links to your other social media pages. You can either put this information on the top of the first page or, better yet, included it as a heading so that it will show up on all the pages
Title The next part of your resume is the title. This should be the same as the position youre applying for. It lets the recruiter know exactly what position youre interested in and sets the tone as they are reviewing the resume.
Summary It is good to start your resume with a 2 to 3 sentence summary if your skills, experience, or education related to the job youre applying for. This allows the recruiter to quickly recognize your qualifications and encourages them to read the remainder of the resume.
Professional Experience You then turn to your employment experience. The section will contain details about the jobs you have worked at during the last 10 to 15 years. Even if you have more experience, this is all you need to include because anything prior to this is either no longer relevant or has already been discussed in other job descriptions. The jobs should be detailed in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent first.
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Use Keywords That Employers Are Using In Their Job Descriptions
Hiring managers want to see that you can speak their language and know the language thats commonly used in their industry. When they see their own keywords mirrored back to them in your resume, it reinforces the idea that youre a strong candidate for the role. And if your resume will be posted to an online database like Indeed Resume, the right keywords are critical to getting found by employers.
One way to become familiar with the different keywords is to experiment with different search terms on Indeed.com or the Indeed app. Carefully read the job postings that interest you, and take note of the terms and phrases that employers are including there. You may begin to notice commonalities and can include some of these words or concepts in your resume if they are applicable to your background.
One Part Of The Big Picture
Having a college degree doesnt guarantee you a job, notanymore. Still, a college education is one of the job requirements forhigh-paying work. So you should learn how to list your education on a resume in away that paints you as a skilled and knowledgeable professional, not just astudent who only did the minimum work to pass.
Now that you’re done listing your education on a resume, why not improve the other parts of your resume too?
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Summary Of Qualifications Vs Career Objective
You may be wondering what the difference is between a qualifications summary and a career objective. An old-school career objective statement was a sentence or two at the top of your resume that stated your skills and intentions.
Sales professional with over 10 years experience in medical sales looking for a senior-level position to grow my knowledge and sales abilities.
Objective statements are short and, unfortunately, dont tell a recruiter a whole lotthey just take up valuable space on your resume.
On the other hand, a summary of qualifications starts your resume off with a bang. It serves as a highlight of your best quantifiable accomplishments and shows the company what you could potentially do for them. With a bullet point format, it is quick to read and easily scannable. This qualification summary looks and sounds much more professional than an objective statement:
- 10+ years experience in medical sales
- Handled 10 medical client accounts that resulted in $500K revenue/year
- Exceeded sales goals by 12% every quarter
- Received Employee Recognition Award for Outstanding Achievement
Add Your Professional Resume Summary Statement
A resume summary statement is a short paragraph or section of bullet points at the beginning of a resume that highlights your professional skills and experience. Your summary should expand on your headline and communicate to recruiters and hiring managers why you are a good fit for the job.
Summary statements are not ideal for all job seekers. If you dont have much job experience or are changing careers, you might use the space to expand on your work history section, skills section, or write a strong resume objective statement instead.
Note: Career experts rarely recommend including a resume objective statement, but these summary alternatives can work in special circumstances such as in the case of career changes.
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Add Your Name And Contact Information
The top of your resume should include the following information:
- Email Address
- LinkedIn profile URL
It might seem obvious, but job seekers sometimes forget a key piece of contact information in this section. Double check and make it as easy as possible for recruiters to contact you for a job interview.
How To Identify Your Best Skills
If youre not sure which skills you want to share, consider your previous experiences. Where did you excel? Where would your peers say youre especially practiced? Here are a few ways to determine good skills to put on a resume.
- Consider your awards and achievementsDid you ever receive recognition for meeting a particular objective or excelling in a specific area? If so, your skills likely assisted you in reaching this achievement. Consider what personal talents or attributes helped you meet that milestone.
- Ask former co-workers or fellow studentsSometimes others can help note strengths you may not recognise yourself. Reach out to a former manager or colleagues who worked closely with you. If youre new to the professional world, reach out to students you worked with, teachers who know you well or someone you consider a mentor.
- Talk to professionals in the fieldIf youre having a difficult time determining what skills an employer may want to see, consider contacting a professional already working in the industry or in a position similar to the one youre applying for. Find out what skills they consider most important and identify which of those align with your own.
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How To Write A Resume Education Section If You’re A Student
As a student, you should place your education section at the beginning of your resume. Whether you already have some experience or not, employers will be interested to know that youre still a student.
Include information about your extracurricular activities, relevant coursework or studying abroad.
Is your final thesis related to the job youre pursuing? Then you should mention it! Explain how it pertains to the job opening.
Internships. Paid or unpaid, it doesnt matter. The most important thing is that you can show youre motivated and willing to work.
If you havent done any internships yet, its high time you applied. In most cases you dont need any previous experience to get one and it can help you acquire many valuable skills. Moreover, its something that will distinguish you from your peers once you start looking for a job after graduation.
Finally, if youve already got your first degree, you can leave your high school degree out.
Let Keywords Guide Your Writing
Initial resume reviews may be done using computerized software such as advanced applicant tracking systems. Later on, the process becomes more and more manual. Large companies which often receive thousands of applications use keyword search functions to pick out candidates who have used a combination of specific keywords in their resume. If you use these keywords in your summary of professional qualifications, you increase your chances of such software finding you and listing you as one of the top candidates for the role.
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Decide On A Resume Format
There are a few dominant resume templates in use today: chronological, functional, and hybrid, which is a combination of the two. A chronological resume format lists a candidate’s work experience in reverse-chronological order. A functional resume format focuses on highlighting the candidate’s skills and achievements, rather than work experience. While the functional resume format can be an attractive option for job seekers with little experience, most employers prefer a chronological or hybrid resume format. Whatever resume format you decide to use, be sure that your format remains consistent throughout the job resume.
Experience In Lieu Of Qualifications
Recognizing that workforce needs are continually evolving, many employers now include a line in job postings noting that while they prefer certain qualifications, they are willing to consider the experience that is the equivalent of those skills. This is valuable to seasoned professionals who might not hold specific degrees but have a history of professional achievements. Here are some examples of how you can translate your experience or knowledge into qualifications:
- Qualification: 10 years’ experience in a nursing supervisory role.
- Alternative Qualification: Seven years as an Army medic, four years as a paramedic and recently obtained bachelor’s degree in nursing.
- Qualification: Master’s degree in finance.
- Alternative Qualification: 15 years as manager of tax preparation center, currently enrolled in MBA program with a projected graduation date of 2021.
- Qualification: Experience in high-volume call center.
- Alternative Qualification: Worked as a telephone customer service representative for a major mail order distribution company.
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How To Write Your Resume Education Section
The education section is among the easiest to write. In most cases, you should be fine if you follow these basic steps:
You can use the following template to write your education section. Naturally, dont forget to only include information that pertains to the job you want.
How To Prepare To Write Your Cv In English
In order to get started writing the English version of your CV, you should collect the following materials and resources:
It also helps to have a digital resume builderto help you construct your English CV in the most efficient, and visually appealing, manner possible.
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Where To Put Professional Licenses Or Certificates
There are several sections in your resume where you can put your licenses and certifications. Lets assume youre looking for a lifeguard position and the certification you possess is mentioned in the job description. Use it as your main benefit and specify it in the Summery section.
A dedicated professional with 4+ years of experience in ensuring safety during entertainment events. Able to handle stress and remain calm in extraordinary situations, highly skilled in the application of rescue techniques. CPR Certified.
A certified lifeguard is looking for a prospective position. Familiar with safety regulations and guidelines, able to react quickly in extraordinary situations and follow both written and oral instructions.
Another way to list your certifications is to add them to the resume certification section right after your education list your certifications and licenses the reverse-chronological order.
Pay Attention To Technical Details
When editing your resume, make sure there are no punctuation, grammatical, spelling, or other errors that will make your resume look unprofessional. Then, have a friend or family member read it again to catch any mistakes you might have missed you can’t afford a typo or missing word as a candidate with no prior work experience. Also, be sure to vary your language and utilize action verbs throughout your resume to keep your reader engaged.
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If You’re In College Or Just Graduated
At this stage, you probably have more credentials related toyour target job as a student, than as a working professional.
So if you havent had a job, project, or volunteer workrelated to the position youre applying for, put education before workexperience on your resume.
You might argue that its better to list the odd andpart-time jobs you did first. Maybe you think these job entries show thatyoure employable and at least know what its like to work for a living.
Perhaps some hiring managers might consider that fact.
But what if they dont read past your job title as Waitress, Cashier, or Barista? Allthe qualities and achievements you list below the job title will be ignored,too. Even if those skills are related to the job at hand.
For now, list education before your work experience first. Justconsider it your first step in convincing employers that you have thequalifications they need.
Add Your Education Certifications And Any Other Relevant Information
There are other resume sections that may be worth adding, depending on both the job and your unique experience. These sections include things like education, awards and accolades, volunteer experience, and certifications. Keep in mind that your resume should always be showcasing your skills for that particular job, so anything in your history that doesnt support the image of you being a perfect candidate for the role doesnt need to be included.
Its common to include your education on your resume, especially if you are applying to a job that requires a degree. If youre a few years into your career, your resumes education section can be minimized at the bottom of your resume. Unless youre applying in a career that puts extra emphasis on education , most job seekers can get away with providing only the following information on their resume:
- Name of Institution
Awards, Accolades, & Certifications
All three of the aforementioned things can be embedded in the work experience and skills sections of your resume. However, if you would like to highlight them, they could warrant a section of their own. Either way, relevant certifications, and honors will increase your credibility.
How To Write An Education Section If Youre An Experienced Professional
Once you become an experienced professional, your education section takes a back seat to your professional experience.
Your interviews will revolve about your work experience and professional achievements rather than your academic career.
Which means that you can get away with simply listing your degrees in reverse-chronological order and leave it at that.
You can remove more specific details about your education such as GPA, extracurricular activities or related coursework. Or even the attendance dates.
How To Ace Your Next Interview
Youve perfected both your resume & cover letter. Now, its time for the next step – the dreaded job interview.
Whether youre an extrovert or an introvert, you probably hate the interviewing process. After all, sitting there while someones prodding into your past experiences and judging the hell out of you isnt the most fun experience.
Did you know, though, that most interviewers ask the same questions? Yep – all you have to do is learn how to answer some of the most common interview questions, and youll be an interview away from landing your dream job!
Want to learn more? Check out our complete guide to Job Interview Questions and Answers.
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