3 Steps to Make Your Resume Summary Scannable

Published: Sep 19, 2013

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September 19, 2013

How to Write a Powerful Professional Summary for Your Resume

By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, Expert Resume Writer

Generalities rarely produce impactful results when writing your resume. Writing laser-focused statements that speak to your brand and the asset you can be to the organization will generate much higher resume response rates. So in order to assist you in stepping away from the generalities and vague, “fluffy” statements that tend to find their way into so many resumes these days, I’m going to provide you with some tips on how to write a powerful professional career summary for your resume.

1. Summarize

The best career summaries are just that - summaries. They condense years of experience into 3-5 meaningful and loaded sentences that speak to your brand, experience, and value proposition. Think about your most notable career achievements and how they relate to the position you’re applying to - then write a statement that highlights all of that.

2. Focus

Powerful career summaries are targeted to the position you’re interested in. Include the job title to the position you’re applying for within the first sentence of your career summary. Additionally, follow that introductory sentence with 2-3 sentences that support how you can be an asset to the organization and meet its needs. Put some thought into what the company’s needs are for that specific position, and then include in your summary how you can meet them.

3. Make a Match

Use keywords in these sentences to showcase your principal areas of expertise and how well they match the requirements of the position. Create variety in your sentence structure; this will keep the reader’s attention and induce him or her to continue reading the resume. Using keywords in your career summary will also help position you as a subject matter expert and substantiate your value to the organization.

Creating a captivating professional summary is important to the overall success of your resume and its response rate. If you want the hiring manager to read the rest of the resume, you need to invest a significant amount of time and attention in this summary - especially since the hiring manager will spend only about 6-10 seconds with their initial resume scan. Typically, the professional summary receives the bulk of the initial scan - and can make or break the hiring manager’s decision to read the remainder of the resume.

About the Author

Jessica Hernandez, is a resume authority for the Job Talk America radio program and multi-published expert author for resume, career, and job search publications. She boasts more than ten years in human resources management and hiring for Fortune 500 companies and utilizes her extensive experience to support job seekers in their quest to move onward and upward in their careers. Find out more at Great Resumes Fast.

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