Resume Quick Tips!
Updated: May 15
They can help us, they can hurt us.
How do you put together a good resume - in particular, one that will help you stand out from the crowd?
Tip # 7 in the series is this:
Make your objective or summary statement at the top of your resume unique to you and make it highlight your strengths.
If you choose to put an objective/summary statement at the top of your resume, this is the first place on your resume the eyes of the reader will naturally land and, therefore, it's your chance to capture the reader.
Let's take a look at a couple examples together.
"Objective: To obtain an internship at a company to enhance my understanding of the profession and to further develop my leadership and communication skills."
There are several things wrong with this:
"To obtain an internship at a company" - Doesn't matter which company, just any old company. Is that the impression you want to leave with a hiring manager?
"to enhance my understanding of the profession and to further develop..." - This is entirely written around what the applicant wants to get out of an internship rather than how they want to contribute to the company, role or profession.
This objective statement as a whole is vague enough that it could apply to any applicant. And, therefore, it's not unique to the applicant. It doesn't serve to tell the reader why they should be excited to keep reading this person's resume - why they might be a superb match for the opening.
How about this?
(Summary Statement) "My passion for bridge design began when I was a kid and I first visited the Golden Gate Bridge; I was awe struck by its immensity and the important function of connecting people to places. I followed my curiosity through college and led our University's ASCE bridge design team to victory two years in a row. My goal is to earn an entry-level position with ABC Engineering where I can bring my passion for people and bridges to the ABC team."
Let's take a look at what works well here:
The writer has told an engaging, personal story. This is great because humans, regardless of their expertise, respond to stories, and the story is also is unique to this individual.
The narrative expresses the individual's passion for the profession and has an underlying tone that speaks to teamwork (incredibly important in engineering!).
Finally, the writer made it specific to the position. This was not a "willy nilly" application; this was targeted to the employer and the position.
Give it a try! Review your resume and see if you can make your objective or summary statement really showcase the excellent candidate that you are!