It is not even a question that it is absolutely essential to make a resume stand out when applying for a job. For most positions, hiring managers normally receive hundreds of applications, which means having the right qualifications and attitude is nowhere near enough. Not to mention that during the application process, the candidate`s personality does not play a part until the interview process, at least not if you choose to follow the traditional resume formats that do not give space to it. There are of course ways to make your resume more memorable, but you need to carefully consider which one is the most suitable for your industry, career level and desired position.
If you want to direct the hiring manager`s attention on your skills, you can choose to add either a resume objective statement or a resume summary statement. The two things are actually very different despite the similar name and they are also suitable for completely different situation. This article will run you through both resume objectives and resume statements to give you an idea and help you decide which one is the best for your situation.
What Is A Resume Objective Statement
To put it simply, a resume objective is a very short, one or two sentence addition to one`s resume to explain who the person is with what skills and what exact position they are hoping to get. Some say resume objectives are old fashioned and unnecessary, they can actually be extremely helpful for certain people. As in its very brief form it puts the skills of the person next to their desired job it is perfect for people who do not have much experience, such as graduates, or people who are about to change industry as it focusses the hiring manager`s attention on why the candidate is the perfect choice based on their skills, rather than their employment history.
The difficulty of the resume objective is that it has to be specific for both the position and the company you are applying for. You cannot write one resume objective for all your job applications as that would make the whole thing redundant. Once you understand, however, how the process of writing a resume objective works, it will all become clear how such a simple thing can advance your career.
How To Write A Resume Objective Statement
The template for a resume objective is pretty straightforward. You have the space of one or two sentences, more than that is too long. Start off with describing who you are as an employee with one or two characteristics (try avoid clichés as much as possible, and keep in mind which characteristics are important and desirable for your hopeful position), then describe past experiences (employment, if you have them, or ones obtained in education or in extra-curricular activities), describe what skills you gained from the experiences, then name the role you are hoping to get and the company you are applying for. This might seem complex for the first sight, but once you have read through it a few times and give it a try following the instructions you will realise it is in fact relatively easy, given that you tailor each one individually to the jobs you are applying for and you are choosing the skills that match your desired role.
What Is A Resume Summary Statement
A resume summary statement, despite the similar name, is very different from the resume objective. A resume summary can be best described as a list of skills, experiences and personality traits the candidate is possessing which is also tailored to show how the candidate is a good fit for the position they are applying for. This may sound a little unnecessary given that it may look as if the points of this list are repeated elsewhere in the resume, but the point of the summary is to explicitly list the applicant`s skills that are otherwise implied by their past employment. It is, therefore, more suitable for people with lots of experience, generally with senior level careers or nearing it, as this format heavily relies on employment history.
How To Write A Resume Summary Statement
As the resume summary is a list, the best format for any lists on a resume is bullet points. The bullet points should be brief and focused. You should use no more than 6 bullet points, but ideally less. Make sure to address a different skill or experience in each bullet point to avoid repeating yourself. When deciding which skills to mention, think about the industry you are working in, the company you are applying for and the role you are hoping to get and decide which one of your skills would make you the most attractive for the hiring manager. It is generally a good idea to think of and mention a certain work experience and matching a skill that you have either obtained while working in said position or you have used successfully in the workplace.
Despite the major difference, resume objectives and resume summaries have one important feature in common that cannot be overemphasized. As they are usually a tool to get in to a very specific position, they always have to be written individually and uniquely to each application. A generic resume objective or summary that you have obviously copied and pasted onto several different resumes you have sent off are not any better than not having anything in their place.
It is also important to remember in both cases to be very precise about yourself and your skills. The purpose of these additions is exactly to give you a chance to tell something very specific to the hiring manager that makes you a lot better choice than the other candidates, especially if these very specific things may not be immediately obvious from simply reading through your resume. Taking the time to write these one by one while applying to jobs might seem a bit too much for how much they are worth, but once you get into the routine of writing the right resume objective or resume summary, they can take you further than you would have thought.