Raise your hand if you like to decide whether you want to see a movie based on the trailer.

That’s because the trailer typically gives you a good idea of what the movie is about, using some of the most interesting parts to capture your attention. Your career summary should do the same!

Your career summary acts as a teaser for the rest of your resume; you need to give the recruiter/hiring manager a reason to want to read more. Not sure what that looks like? Well, you’re in luck because I’m telling you exactly how!

  1. Save it for last. Although it appears at the top of your resume, you should make it the last piece you update – this way, you’ve already filtered through your most relevant accomplishments. From there, it’s easy to decide your most significant selling points!
  2. Keep it brief. After all, making it super long sort of defeats the point of having a career summary. Think about it – a 35-minute trailer just isn’t as appealing as a 2-minute trailer.
  3. Structure it well. Lead with your professional identity; be sure to include your number of years of experience. Follow that with highlights from your general experience. Close it out with your top achievement.
  4. Use quantifiable data to complement your skills where possible. Remember, numbers are much more persuasive than words. “Great saleswoman” is subjective, but “Increased department sales by 75% in one year” is MAGIC!
  5. Ensure it uses the keywords from your desired job description. This is where excellence and secret sauce intersect! You know what buzzwords applicant tracking systems, recruiters, and hiring managers are scanning your resume for? The words listed in the job description!

Here’s my real-life example:

Dynamic Program Manager with 10+ years of experience leading small to large-scale projects in healthcare technology, financial services, and business research. Proven track record in risk mitigation, building cross-functional teams, and coaching individuals to success. Experienced in managing $1M+ budgets and 20+ member teams.

Struggling to capture your awesome-ness via a career summary? Drop me a line & let’s chat!