“Summary Statement” or “Profile”, “Career Summary”
In a professional resume, placed immediately after your contact details, a “Summary Statement” is also called “Career Summary” or “Profile” and is now the preferred format over the traditional “Career Objective” in a professional resume.
Put simply, positioning yourself with a summary statement; as part of a professional resume; means stating your skills and qualities in a way that makes it easy for the prospective employer to see you in the position that is open or in other positions down the road.
You may want to stay in your present organization. In that case, you are positioning yourself to the person in charge of hiring for the particular department you want to join. May be you want to go to a new organization or even a new industry. In this case, you are positioning yourself to a new employer. Either way the steps in a professional resume are the same.
- Determine what skills and qualities the employer wants.
- Search your background to see where you have demonstrated skills and qualities that would apply.
- Write a summary statement at the top of your professional resume to position yourself.
- Use the same Profile to sell yourself in an interview.
Your Summary Statement says it all. As part of a professional resume, it should sell your ability, experience, and personality. It brings together all your accomplishments.
The rest of your professional resume should support your Profile. For example, if your summary statement says you are a super sales person, the resume had better support that. It’s completely within your control to tell whatever story you want to tell. You can emphasize certain parts of your background and de-emphasize others.
Why use a Summary Statement?
Writing a positioning statement such as a Summary Statement brings 3 potential benefits
- It will help you to become quite clear which of your skills you wish to utilize for the career or job you want to do
- When placed strategically after your name, address and telephone number, it will act like a banner headline for your professional resume. It conditions the reader to anticipate positive information about you
- It acts like a quality control statement for the rest of your professional resume. Whatever you put in should support and justify the career summary
Summary Statement vs Career Objective
A Summary Statement is different from the Career Objective.
A Summary Statement in a professional resume is more focused on the employer and what benefits he or she will receive if hiring you. The Career Objective is more focused on the candidate. For this reason we highly recommend using a Summary Statement instead of an Objective in your professional resume.
Writing a Career Objective however can be a useful exercise to help you develop a powerful resume. It sets clear goals and describes what you want to achieve in the future.
Make sure your professional resume reflects that objective. You don’t necessarily have to state your Objective on your professional resume, but write a Profile to show how the particular job matches your career goals.
How to Write Professional Resume Summary Statement
To write a good Summary Statement it’s essential to make it really sharp.
- Relay your value: Briefly weave your top selling points into your professional resume opening statement and try to prioritize those which better match with the job’s description.
- Light it up with key words: Fill your summary with carefully selected key words related to your career field.
- Promote your certifications: Mention certifications, advanced degrees you hold, like CPA, a law degree, etc. For those who find their resume lacking in educational experience, there are many universities that offer a degree in leadership and business management-related subjects.
Read very carefully for clues of what the employer wants – underline the stated requirements for the job. Your professional resume should use key words related to Knowledge, Skills, Ability and Attitude as much as possible by emphasizing goals and accomplishments that best fit the needs of the employer.
A tag line at the bottom of your summary can be a personality statement that balances your opening headline