Do your qualifications match the requirements for the position?
This is the main question a Recruiter is looking to answer when reviewing a resume.
Typically, this only takes a few seconds to decide whether or not your resume is
a match, so it is essential that a resume is organized and easy to read.
Pieces of the Puzzle
List your contact information at the top of the resume. Include your full name,
mailing address, cell phone number, and email address. If you have a personal web
site, include the URL only if the site shows off your skills or applies to your
Objective, Summary Statement or Summary of Qualifications:
This section gives the recruiter an immediate sense of who you are and what you’re
looking for, without forcing them to wade through an entire resume. Stress what
you will add to the company, not what you’re looking to take away.
Professional Work Experience:
List your experience chronologically, with your most recent job first.
- Title of position, name of organization
- Dates of employment give a round estimate i.e. (July 2002-August 2005)
- Describe your work responsibilities with emphasis on specific skills and achievements
Include a brief description of your accomplishments and typically a good rule is
to go back
10 years, unless your experience is relevant to the position you are
Mention your technical and computer skills. List programming languages, software
programs and operating systems you have used as well as certifications you have.
Don’t forget “soft skills” like foreign languages and public speaking. Always include
memberships in professional organizations, since it shows that you are serious about
your career. It is best to leave off hobbies and interests, since you want to keep
your resume as professional as possible.
New graduates without a lot of work experience should list their educational information
first. Alumni can list it after the work experience section.
- State your degree, major, minor and the school’s name and location
- Add your grade point average (GPA) if it is higher than 3.0
(If recent graduate
or within 5 years of graduating)
- Mention academic honors
No need to waste valuable space on references. Employers assume you will provide
The meat and potatoes of your resume!
Since in-coming resumes are typically reviewed within 15 seconds; put forth the
effort to determine which strengths will most strongly pertain to your job search
objective. Remember to emphasize the accomplishments which are most relevant to
the potential employer. This is most commonly termed a summary of qualifications
which advices you to briefly showcase your most relevant points first (effective
skills/experience) where they are more apt to be read. This is your hook for the
reader, the rest of your resume must reel them in.
Compel them to keep reading!
- Objective statements can often be too targeted and many times a summary statement
is too short to highlight all your accomplishments.
- There is a third option:
- A Summary of Qualifications or sometimes referred to as Key Accomplishments
Career Highlights. This would take the place of an objective and Summary of Skills.
- Summary of qualifications is similar to a summary statement, but differs in two
Who benefits most?
- It’s formatted as a list of items rather than
a single statement.
- It highlights specific accomplishments rather
than general achievements.
List your most significant career accomplishments. This should include no more than
five items and be results-oriented.A summary of qualifications is usually a list of short phrases. You can use a bulleted
list, with each qualification on its own line. Or, to conserve space, you can arrange
them in paragraph format, with a period after each one.
- Job seekers who have a long work history or who
are applying for senior positions. It’s an effective way to highlight the most important,
relevant parts of a long, detailed resume.
Example of an effective summary of qualifications
- Expert pharmaceutical Sales Manager/Executive with eight years sales experience
and advanced degree in biology
- Consistently exceeded annual revenue goals by 35 percent-plus
- Awarded 2006 "Salesperson of the Year"
- Managed regional sales staff of 150