Staffing professionals help millions of job candidates develop and hone resumes to best represent their work histories and skill sets—and appeal to staffing clients. To achieve that last (and most important) part, hiring managers suggest including a summary of qualifications.
In her survey of 600 hiring managers, career counselor Robin Ryan found that employers read qualifications summaries first to determine whether to give an applicant more careful consideration. Ryan reported that although the summary of qualifications is "too powerful to leave out," only about 5% of the resumes that hiring managers receive include this section.
Three other components are key to an attractive resume, according to the staffing professionals at Profiles Placement Services. "Recognizable corporate client names and a solid list of achievements pop out to employers," says Profiles' Shannon Benton. But most important is a clear demonstration of career growth. "That is the meat of the resume," Benton says.
From American Staffing Association
Robin's Full Article to Jobseekers as appeared on Net-Temps
A Human Resources Manager, working at a Fortune 500 company, asked for my help in writing her resume. She told me: "Thousands of resumes have passed through my hands but when it comes to writing my own I have a difficult time doing it." She isn't alone in her concerns. Most people find resume writing challenging. A resume is nothing more than a slick piece of advertising, but an important piece, especially in today's job market.
Employers report that most resumes get only a 15-20 second glance. If you don't capture the reviewer's attention and interest quickly they will pass you by and call in someone else for the interview.
There is one effective technique that you can use that dramatically improves your resume. In our national survey of 600 hiring managers, the overwhelming majority said the most important part of your resume is the SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS section. Employers reported that this was one of the very first areas they read and when the summary demonstrates solid ability to perform the 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 received contained this key section, and I never write a resume without it. It's just too powerful to leave out. This section usually consists of four to six sentences that present an overview of your experience, accomplishments, talents, work habits, and skills. Think of it as a mini-outline of you; a highly influential summation of the specifics you bring to the job.
Here is a good example from one of the resumes I wrote for a client:
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
Proven track record serving as corporate counsel with eight years experience dealing with intellectual property and partnerships in a global environment. Responsible for a broad range of legal matters including: copyright and trademark protection, contract negotiations, compliance, and litigation. Led legal team in completing sophisticated joint venture negotiations that delivered millions to the company's bottom line. Recognized for superior problem solving, project management, relationship building, and strategic planning skills.
It's easy to see by reading this brief summary how this candidate is qualified to perform as a corporate attorney. Indeed, she got several interviews and accepted a Fortune 100 company's offer, which included a very significant salary raise and signing bonus.
The SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS, which speaks volumes by consolidating the best you have to bring to the job, really makes you stand out and pulls the employer in for a closer look. Be sure that your resume has this essential section. It comes right after your name, address and career objective. One caution -- employers complain that many people lie on their resume. Exaggeration! Misrepresentation! LYING is a deadly error. Don't do it! Employers do more background checks now than ever before so when you get caught, and sooner or later you will get exposed, you'll likely be fired. Only solid facts and verifiable experience should highlight your experience and accomplishments.
- Robin Ryan
"Ryan's two books 'Winning Resumes' and 'Winning Cover Letters' are terrific resources -- they are my top picks for career books for the year." -- Marvin Walberg, "Get Hired" syndicated columnist. Source: "Winning Resumes" book by Robin Ryan
Need more assistance? Robin is available to help you with individual career counseling.
Copyright 2007 Robin Ryan. All rights reserved.