Category Archives: Resume

Summary of Qualifications

How do you make your summary of qualifications in your resume stand out? Think back to the 10 second resume rule, which states that your resume only has 10 seconds to capture the employer’s attention and make the cut for further review or be tossed to the trash.

The summary of qualifications section follows after the appropriate resume headline and is often used in place of an objective statement. This section provides a great marketing tool for selling yourself to the employer by describing why you are the perfect candidate for the job. Use this section to indicate the highlights of your professional or academic career, including your key achievements and skills. You can choose to write the summary of qualifications in a paragraph form or list out about four to five bullets.

What to include in The Summary of Qualifications:

  • Years of experience and areas of expertise within your field
  • Accomplishments in your professional or academic career
  • Awards, certifications or professional training you have received
  • Quantifiable skills, such as sales figures you have helped to generate
  • Soft skills that are difficult to quantify, such as communication skills, quick learner

Since the summary of qualifications is the first section of your resume, it should be strong and convincing. Think of it as an “elevator pitch.” If you met an employer who you wanted to work for in the elevator, what would you say in the brief time that you are in the elevator to convince that person to hire you? What are the most important things you want the employer to know about yourself that will make that person remember you after you leave?

This section does require some thought and revisions until it is compelling and concise with the targeted information. Although it is not easy, take the time to write your qualification summary well so that employers will want to read the rest of your resume!

Types of Resumes

What Resume Format Should You Use?

Before you start writing out your resume, first consider the type of resume to use. There are three common resume formats: chronological, functional and the combination resume. Since there are advantages and disadvantages to each of the different resume formats, choose the resume that best showcases your education and work experience.

What is the Chronological Resume Format?

Advantages of a Chronological Resume
The chronological resume is the most common type of the three resume formats. This format lists your work history in order of date, starting with your most recent employment first. Your jobs are listed in reverse chronological order, working backwards.  Many employers prefer this type of resume because it makes it easy to skim through and get a sense of your work experience and qualifications.  Continue reading

Purpose of a Resume

Some people have asked, “What is the purpose of a resume?” A resume provides a summary of your skills, accomplishments, and experience. It is not an autobiography but, rather a “snapshot” of all the important aspects that best reflect your qualifications for the particular job you are applying for.

Another purpose of a resume is that it is an important factor in determining whether or not you get a job interview. Although certain job applications do not require you to have a cover letter, having a resume is an essential aspect of the job application. A resume is similar to a sales pitch where you are the product and you are trying to convince the buyer, who is the employer. It is a quick advertisement of who you are and why you should be “bought” or hired.

Aside from using your resume to apply for jobs, resumes are also required for other purposes. For example, a student applying for a scholarship or to graduate school may need to include a resume as part of the application. Knowing the purpose of a resume is important because it will determine how your resume should be structured and written.

The 10 second resume rule

Unfortunately, employers are deluged with resumes and may only spend 10 seconds to glance at each resume. Those 10 seconds could make the difference between whether your resume will be tossed or considered for further review. To pass the initial screening, you want to format your resume in a way that is easy to read with keywords that capture the reader’s attention. This includes using resume action words. All of this is important because, even if you meet all the requirements for a particular job, you need your resume to be presented in a way so that employer knows that you “have what it takes.”

Keep in mind that preparing a good resume usually takes a lot of time and effort. It is recommended that after you finish writing your resume, you get it reviewed at least several times before sending it out to employers. A fresh pair of eyes can be very helpful for finding any grammatical and spelling errors. Once you have a resume, be sure to keep it updated to reflect your newly acquired skills and experience. You never know when you might need it for an unexpected opportunity, so be prepared. After all, one purpose of a resume is to get an interview!