Section Series, Part 1: The Title & Summary

Your 30-second commercial, on paper

For our section-by-section series on the different pieces of a winning resume, let’s start at the top: The Title and Summary. Title and summary sections are what replace the objective statement – our old, ineffective, and outdated friend who sadly does not have a place on the resume anymore.  Without an objective statement, how will employers know what I’m looking for? Exactly. Employers already know what you want – a job – and are more interested in why they should consider you for their open position. Instead of stating, “I am looking for an administrative assistant position that will utilize my organizational skills,” tell the employer that you are an administrative assistant by titling your resume with the position you are seeking, then go into a summary that starts with, “Highly knowledgeable administrative professional with 5+ years of experience and outstanding organizational skills.”  

Ever heard of an elevator pitch or 30-second commercial? Your summary section is just that – a brief, excitement-generating introductory paragraph that outlines who you are and what you have to offer. Let’s take a look at a few Objective Statement Makeovers:

Before

After

Before

 

After

 Before

After

Summary sections can be challenging to write, so take a step back and try to look at your career from the eyes of the employer. What are they looking for? What do I have to offer that other candidates don’t have? Take a shot at drafting a 3- to 5-sentence paragraph and copy/paste it over your objective statement. You’ll instantly see the difference it makes in marketing you as a qualified professional.

We’ll examine Core Competencies (a.k.a. keywords) in the next post: what they are, where to find them, and why they are so critical for an effective resume.

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