Hiring managers are busy people. A single job posting might attract thousands of resumes. To get noticed, create a career summary (aka career objective) statement.
The goal of this section is to develop a hard-hitting introductory declaration packed with your most sought-after skills, abilities, accomplishments and attributes.
Take these six steps to create a winning career summary:
Related: Does your resume pass the 6-second test? Get a FREE assessment.
1. Conduct Research on Your Ideal Job
The more closely you can target your profile to the employer's needs, the better your results will be. Start by searching jobs for your ideal position. Compare the ads and write a list of common job requirements and preferred qualifications.
2. Assess Your Credentials
Based on your research, how do you measure up? How would you help potential employers meet their goals? Besides the qualifications described, do you offer any added bonus? If you are lacking in one area, do you make up for it with other credentials?
If you are having a hard time assessing your skills, get help. Ask your colleagues, instructors and supervisors what they see as your key qualifications. Review your performance evaluations. What do others say about the quality of your work? Then write a list of your top five marketable credentials.
Related: Apply for jobs that match your skills.
3. Relay the Value You Bring to the Table
The next step is to weave your top credentials into your summary. Keep in mind that the summary helps the hiring manager determine whether you should be called for an interview. Include a synopsis of your career achievements to show that your dedication to results is transferable to your next employer. Explain how you would help solve their problems. Ask yourself, "How will the employer benefit from hiring me?"
4. Add a Headline
A headline on a resume hooks your readers and compels them to continue reading. A headline should include your job target as well as the main benefit of hiring you.
5. Focus on Your Goal
The most effective summaries are targeted on one career goal. If you have more than one possible objective, consider drafting different versions. Fill your summary with keywords related to your career field. Your profile can also be supplemented with a bulleted "Key Skills" section, which provides an easy-to-read listing of your core capabilities.
6. Proofread, Refine and Perfect
First impressions are lasting impressions. Is your summary persuasive and free of errors? Is your tone appropriate for your career field? Avoid empty, generalized statements such as "excellent communication skills."
The Finished Product
Here is an example of an effective career summary:
Corporate Real Estate Executive
Increasing Bottom-Line Profitability Through Real Estate Strategies
Accomplished executive with a proven ability to develop and implement real-estate strategies that support business and financial objectives. Have led key initiatives that reduced operating budget by $32 million and contributed to 550% stock increase. Recognized as an expert in applying financial concepts to asset management decisions.
Respected leader, able to build highly motivated management teams focused on achieving revenue goals. Keep up to date with changes in the industry through continuing professional development (earned an MBA in finance/real estate and master of corporate real-estate designation).
Areas of Expertise
- High-Volume, High-Dollar Negotiations
- Strategic/Tactical Planning
- Multimillion-Dollar Operating and Capital Budget Administration
- Analytical and Financial Skills
- Statistical Modeling and ROI Analyses
Related: For the latest veteran jobs postings around the country, visit the Military.com Job Search section.
The Next Step: Get Your Resume Out There
Get your resume seen by companies that are seeking veterans like you. Post your resume with Monster.com.