A Human Resources Manager, from a prominent Northwest company, asked for my help writing her resume. She told me: “I see resumes all the time. Thousands have passed through my hands, but when it comes to writing my own I have a difficult time doing it. ” A resume is nothing more than a slick piece of advertisement. But an important piece, especially in today’s job market.
She makes it clear that your resume is all an employer has when they start the screening process. And employers report that most resumes get only a 15-20 second glance. If you don’t capture their attention quickly they pass you by and call in someone else for the interview.
There is a good technique that you should use that employers really like to see on a resume. When I did a national survey of 600 hiring managers, the overwhelming majority said the most important part of your resume is a SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS section. Adding this triples your impact.
This section usually consists of four to six sentences that present an overview of your experience, accomplishments, talents, work habits and skills. Here is a good example from one of my client’s resumes:
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
Twelve years management experience in human resources dealing with fast paced, rapidly expanding companies. Expertise includes employment law, recruiting, employee and labor relations, and compensation. Analytical decision maker with excellent problem-solving skills. Recognized for ability to develop employee’s professional growth and increase their productivity.
It’s easy to see reading this brief summary how this candidate is qualified to do a human resources job. Indeed, she got several interviews and went on to work at Seattle’s most famous coffee company.
Employers reported that this was one of the very first areas they read. And if the briefly stated summary demonstrates solid ability to fill the advertised job it catches their attention and they slow down and give the applicant more careful consideration.
Hiring managers also reported only about 5% of resumes contained this key section and I never write a resume without it. Think of it as mini-outline of you; a highly influential summation of the specifics you bring to the job. One caution – employers complain that many people lie on their resume. Exaggeration! Misrepresentation! LYING is a deadly error. Don’t do it! Employers ask more questions and do more background checks than ever before. So when you get caught, and sooner or later you will get exposed, you’ll likely be fired. Solid facts and verifiable experience should highlight your actions and accomplishments.
The Summary of Qualifications speaks volumes on consolidating the best you have to bring to the job. It really stands out and pulls the employer in for a closer look. Be sure that your resume has this essential section. Place it right after your name, address and career objectives.
Robin Ryan has appeared on Oprah, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, CNN, CNBC and is considered America’s top career coach. She is the best-selling author of: 60 Seconds & You’re Hired!; Winning Resumes; Winning Cover Letters, and What to Do with the Rest of Your Life. She’s the creator of the highly acclaimed audio training program Interview Advantage and The DreamMaker. Robin’s passion is helping people find better jobs which she successfully does through her career counseling practice where she offers individual career coaching and resume writing services. A popular national speaker, Robin has spoken to over a thousand audiences on improving their lives and obtaining greater success. To purchase products or contact Robin visit her Web site at www.robinryan.com.