Updated: Jun 21, 2020
Do you find yourself either needing to, or wanting to look for a job?
It is quite possible that all the craziness of the last few months has you caused to reflect on what is REALLY important you. And as a result, you have come to the conclusion that life is too short to be doing a job that no longer brings you fulfillment. You have decided that NOW is the time to find something else.
On the other hand you may find yourself with no job following the pandemic and so you are forced to look for a job.
Either way, there will be a lot of competition out there for most jobs, so it is vital that you stand out from the crowd.
First impressions really do count and the top third of the first page of your resume is where you create that impression. It is very important that you grab the prospective employer or HR manager’s attention. They are busy people. A single job posting might attract thousands of resumes—imagine having to read through all of them to pick out the best-looking candidates?
And you can be certain that they don’t read all of every resume.
The career summary, which should be the first section after your contact details, will determine whether your resume gets read or put into the ‘not suitable’ pile!
So, to stand out from the crowd you must have a standout Career Summary section!
Three things you can do to make your Career Summary competitive.
1 Use key words from the job description
Don’t just send out the same resume with every application. Tailor each resume directly to the position you are applying for. Use exactly the same key words and key word phrases that are use in the job description. Yes, it is more time consuming for you to edit your resume for each different position you apply for.
If the job description asks for someone who is ‘a good communicator’ but your Career Summary says you have ‘good communication skills’ – which let’s face it, we all know is the same thing – you would be wise to use their exact language.
It shows the company you are speaking their language and will also get you past the applicant tracking system if the company uses one.
2. Describe your achievements using strong action words.
Action words are specific, they clarify your contributions, and bring a confident tone to your resume and list of accomplishments.
Replace the weak ‘held’ in this statement , ‘ Held weekly meeting to discuss sales targets.’ with the stronger and more specific ‘ Initiated weekly meetings to discuss……………….’
Try to avoid overused action words such as ‘managed’, ‘led’ or ‘responsible for’. Instead of managed a team try mentored, facilitated, or replace led a project with co-ordinated, headed or oversaw
3. Use results driven achievement statements
Combine your selection of action verbs with quantifiable results to show both what you did and the effect it had.
Create more impact with your achievement statement. Combine your selection of action verbs with quantifiable results to show both what you did and the effect it had by using this formula.
Action verbs + task + quantifiable results
· Created and maintained office systems to assist with administrative tasks and improved efficiency by 20%
· Increased customer base by 30% during the year 2019 due to the delivery of quick service.
Following these 3 tips will help you get attention to the Career Summary section of your resume and create that all important first impression. Remember to think about how you can edit it to make it specific to each different position you apply for.
If the current situation is causing you to lose sleep you will find some useful strategies in my new free online course to help you manage your sleep, stress and immune systems during this very stressful time.
I am here to help when you are ready!