Résumé Summary Statement

Focusing On The Summary Statement Of Your Résumé

The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.”—Walt Disney

JobTargetOnResume-JobSerchingCoachIn previous blog posts I’ve talked about different aspects of building a résumé, now it’s time to talk about what should be included in the body of your résumé. In this post I will be talking about the Summary Statement of building your résumé.

For access to  worksheets that will help you focus and organize your information, you can purchase my book “Christian Job Search Manual,” on Amazon at this link: Purchase on Amazon.

What is the Summary Statement of your résumé?

It is the next major section after your Personal Information and Job Target heading:

Your personal information is bacically your contact information. It includes your name, cell and home phone numbers (be sure you have a professional voicemail greeting), your email address, and any website URL and social networking sites you want to include (remember information on these sites lasts forever, so be wise in what you include).

Just below your personal information we recommend a heading of your job target that this résumé addresses. Including this makes sure the reader understands the focus of your résumé.

The very next thing to appear on your résumé is your Summary Statement.

Defining the Summary Statement:

Should you have a summary statement or an objective? An objective identifies what the candidate wants, while a summary statement spells out what a candidate has that could benefit the employer. The second brings value to employers; the first doesn’t.

  • You should write your résumé as if you’re speaking directly to the reader. You need to use a few lines to tell the reader of your unique qualities, those qualities that will set you apart from other candidates. Those qualities that God has developed in you, or created in you from the beginning.
  • Your summary statement is a brief description of these qualities and the way God has made you.
  • The apostle Paul used this approach when he sent his résumé to some of the churches he had visited. His intent was to validate his leadership and address specific situations in those churches. You can use the same approach to sell yourself.

Topics to include in your Summary Statement:

  1. JobTarget-JobSearchingCoachJob Target: Your job target is the particular type of position you’re looking for. It will appear in your summary statement and enlarges on the job target heading above. As much as possible, you want everything on your résumé to support your job target. For example, your job target might be electrician, telecommunications specialist, aerospace engineer, or graphics designer.
    • If you have two or more different job targets, you’ll want to develop a résumé for each.
    • Focus on one job target at a time. Finish your résumé for one, and then repeat the process to focus
      on another job target until you have résumés for each job target.
  2. Your Field: Your field is a broad description of your work. The example used above of an aerospace engineer tells you the field is engineering, with a specialty in aerospace engineering. Your job target will give you a good idea of what your field is. This would also be the broad heading you might look for on the Internet or in a newspaper if you were looking at want ads. Other examples of job fields include accounting, plumbing, electrical, manufacturing, training, communications, education, IT, health care, etc. Most of us have much fewer job fields than we do job targets, probably only one to three.
  3. VocationalStyle-JobSearchingCoachVocational Style: This section contains a list of terms that would reflect your vocational style. Then list terms that reflect your greatest strengths in this area. This section can also be referred to as your work habits.
  4. Strengths: Here you include three to five personal strengths that specifically apply to you in a work environment.
  5. Functional Areas: This is where you list the primary areas of responsibility you’ve held, as well as where in the organization you worked. Keep your specific job target in mind so that you can identify areas of responsibility that will correspond with the current job target.
  6. Drive: This part of your summary statement describes what’s most important to you about the kind of work you do. What drives you in this position? What excites you about the work? What’s your highest career goal? What are you passionate about? Such phrases as “driven to,” “passionate about,” or “focused on” can identify your drive statement.
    • This is a brief description of why you really enjoy this type of work.
    • The drive statement describes what it is about your job that gets you our of bed in the morning excited to go to work.
  7. Priority List: This is a list of your functional areas, select no more than three of the functional areas you listed previously that you want to emphasize. List them in priority order; #1 being most important or most enjoyable to you.
    • For each prioritized functional area you list, select one of the descriptive terms from the lists in the vocational style, personal style, or strengths that you feel best describes you in this particular area of responsibility, and that would be desirable in a person doing this kind of work.
  8. WorkExperience-JobSearchingCoachYears of Experience: Indicate how many years of experience you have. Select one of the terms listed on the page following the Functional Areas list, such as significant or varied, or use the actual number of years.
    • It’s not a good idea to indicate you have more than 15 years’ experience in a particular field because
      of the image that may bring to some reader’s minds. Even if you’re in the more mature years, you want to
      take care not to inadvertently give an opportunity for age discrimination.
  9. Organization/Industry: Choose either the type of organization or industry you are interested in. If you’ve worked in one organization for your entire career, then you would use organization. If you’ve worked in numerous organizations in different industries, then you would use industry.
    • If you want to refer to an organization, don’t include the name of the organization(s) you worked for in your summary statement. This information will appear later on in your résumé. In place of the name of the organization, you could select from such phrases as the following:
      • An industry leading organization.
      • A Fortune 500 (or 100 or 50) company.
      • A worldwide leader.
      • A statewide (nationwide, worldwide) organization.
      • A highly reputable company.
      • …or you can just leave this area blank.
    • If you want to refer to industry, you can simply list the industries you’ve worked in.
  10. Finished statement: After you’ve assembled all the components, ask God to help you weave them together to create a statement for your résumé. God is at work right now on your behalf, and He will use your summary statement to open doors where He would like you to be and where you can best be used. Work on your summary statement with that in mind.
Here are a couple of examples of effective summary statements:
  1. An adaptable, detail-oriented, and self-directed Help Desk Analyst with the ability and passion to troubleshoot and effectively problem solve end-user computer, mobile device, and software issues in real time, as demonstrated over 9 years’ experience in the IT field.
  2. An analytical and resourceful Accounts Payable Manager focused on establishing excellent customer relations while ensuring the most efficient mix of technology and processes are utilized to address customer needs as demonstrated over more than 15 years in the distribution, insurance, telecommunications, and freight- forwarding industries.

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This is an excerpt from my book The Christian Job Search Manual,” click on this link to purchase the book.

If you would like to explore working with a Christian centered Career Coach, Contact me for a no-obligation 60-90 minute job search consultation with America’s Job Searching Coach, or text me at 425-220-0707  and we can discuss your situation, your résumé, what you would like to achieve, and structure your job search to fit your uniqueness.

I am also available to speak to groups.

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