“Do I need a resume objective statement?”
When it comes to crafting the perfect resume, the “resume objective statement” is one area that’s notorious for causing confusion. A decade ago, nearly every resume opened with an objective statement, like “Seeking position to maximize my 10 years of customer service experience and client acquisition success.” Today, objective statements are considered by many hiring managers and recruiters to be obsolete. Instead, experienced professionals are opting for a summary statement, a pithy overview of relevant skills and experience. If you think of a resume as a marketing brochure, the summary statement is your elevator pitch, giving a hiring manager an immediate understanding of your unique value to their company. When done correctly, resume summary statements are also prime real estate for naturally integrating ATS-friendly keyword phrases.
At Lucas Group, we think of summary statements as a three-for-one special. First, the contextual keyword integration can help you get passed automated resume scanning. Next, the succinct summary will ensure the hiring manager immediately understands the value you bring and address unique situations, like a career pivot or returning after a leave of absence. Finally, going through the exercise of putting together a summary statement will also help you understand exactly what you bring to the table so you’re prepared to communicate clearly and succinctly during your interviews.
Here’s how to craft a summary statement that’s tailored to your unique situation:
If you have a lengthy professional history:
When you have 10+ years of work experience, it’s easy for key selling points to get buried in a long list of professional accomplishments. The summary statement fixes this problem by making it easy for hiring managers to quickly scan your top selling points. Dedicate five to six bullet points to concisely presenting your most important achievements, relevant skills, and experiences. Tie each point back to your value sell. You want a hiring manager to walk away thinking, “I know exactly how this candidate will solve our problems!”
If you’re making a career pivot or have a non-traditional career path:
Here, your goal with the summary statement is to tie your different experiences together into a coherent story. Highlight the value you’ll bring to the company and the critical problems you are uniquely positioned to solve thanks to your varied background and diverse skill set. If you’re coming from a very different industry, don’t assume the hiring manager will be familiar with industry lingo or trends. When highlighting accomplishments, be sure to provide enough context so your reader clearly understands their significance and how you’ll build off this success with your new employer.
If you’re returning to the job market after an extended absence:
No matter how much experience you had prior to your absence, hiring managers will always wonder whether this experience is still applicable. Are you up to date on industry trends? Have you kept your skills fresh? Will you be ready to hit the ground running? In addition to summarizing your key accomplishments, use this space to directly address these concerns. For example, if your job requires familiarity with a specific operating system or software platform, be clear that you are fully up to speed on the latest version.
Remember, a summary statement is only beneficial when it’s carefully tailored to the job to which you’re applying. Always tie your experiences, skills, and achievements back to your prospective employer’s needs. Connect the dots between what you’ve accomplished in the past and the value you’ll bring to your new company.
For more recruiter resume secrets, be sure to check out our other blogs: