I get a lot of questions about resumes especially the career summary area. Keeping in line with my non-traditional approach to resume writing, I will discuss how to add a “human voice” to your summary area that does not make you sound like a robot. I didn’t come up with this style of resume, I adopted Liz Ryan’s approach a few years ago since I love the innovation. I see a lot of resume summaries that are so boring and put me to sleep they sound something like this.
“Dynamic Project Manager with 15 years of extensive experience in initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing out projects. Strong effective skills in analyzing, structuring and negotiating activities and transactions in various capacities”.
“An experienced Information Security Professional providing a broad range of information communication and security skills. Accomplished skills include the configuration and administration of various security and network devices”.
These summaries are so dull and I hate reading them. If I don’t want to read them I am sure a Hiring Manager won’t want to read them either. These both sound like a million other resumes I have seen and don’t set either person apart from a million other people. If you have a career summary that reads like this let’s talk about how to change it give the reader some insight into who you are and what you will bring to their organization.
Every part of your resume is important, but you have to grab the reader’s attention at the top part and talking in first person like a real person is a good way to do so. Get rid of the archaic idea that you can’t use “I” in your resume. Talking in first person makes your resume sound like a real person, not a robot. Let me point out that if you are using an objective statement you want to convert it to a career summary, since objective statements only tell what you want, and they know you want a job or they wouldn’t have your resume. You don’t need to brag about yourself using terms like dynamic or strategic thinker. Just talk about what you accomplished and let the reader make their own assumptions about who you are. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to prepare for creating a great career summary.
1. How did you got into the field? What drew you to this particular field?
2. Describe yourself and the problems you solve for businesses.
3. What are you really good at? What have you become known for? What’s your approach?
4. Why do you like your field of choice? What results have you achieved in your field thus far?
Once you take some time to answer these questions it will allow you to get some insight into what you are good at and what people think about you. Keep your summary short, about 2-3 sentences so you don’t have people yawing when reading your resume. You’ll end up with something like these:
“I knew the medical field was a perfect match for me after shadowing a nurse during my undergraduate years. As a Nurse in the ER unit, I have become known for my compassion and technical knowledge. I was chosen to train all other nurses on quality of care, and electronic health records. I am looking to advance to a Head Nurses position“
“Since I played my first video game on Sega Genesis, I knew that one day I wanted to be a part of a team that created awesome games. As a Project Manager I have ensured that every project has been completed on time and in budget, I even saved money on many of the projects I was in charge of. I am looking to grow with a company that creates their own games”.
These are the types of summaries that will be interesting and make you sound like a human being. I know some will fear breaking the long standing rule of not using “I” on their resumes. But what do you have to lose? Chances are, if an employer won’t consider you for an interview because you use first person language on your resume then you really don’t want to work for them. In my experience most people consider this language refreshing and a break away from all the other boring dull sounding jargon that comes across their desk. You can still add keywords in your document for the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). I recommend not applying for jobs using these systems as they are highly ineffective and more than often you won’t get a call from the company. Instead I show people how to send your resume and customized Pain Letter directly to the Hiring Manager. Hope this information helps.
Check out some of my more recent articles below:
If Money Wasn’t A Factor, What Would Your Career Path Be?
You Want Me To Do What! Am I Guaranteed A Job?
So You Want To Become A Career Coach? Here’s Some Tips To Help.
Thanks for reading my post! I am the owner of Career SkyRocket LLC a professional resume writing, career coaching, and training service. I have also been published on CAREEREALISM as well. Follow my blog Career Thoughts. Let’s Connect! Follow me on Twitter, visit my Facebook page, or connect with me on LinkedIn.