More Help for Job Seekers

Below is an example of a Summary section taken from the resume of someone we’ll call Wendy. In fact, this example is very similar to the Summaries on many resumes we assess daily:

Diverse communications professional with 8 years combined experience in event management, marketing, public relations and sales. Multi-industry marketing experience in entertainment, tourism, hotel and hospitality. New Media and Communications Bachelor’s degree student (online).

Looks pretty good, right? What’s wrong with it?

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A Case of 𝐈-𝐈𝐓𝐈𝐒

For starters, the Summary is all “I, I, I” rather than “you, you, you”. In other words, “This is what I do/did”, rather than “This is how I can help your company grow.” See how the focus shifts from the candidate to the employer?

Let’s break it down:

Diverse communications professional with 8 years combined experience in event management, marketing, public relations and sales.

The writer is focused on what she brings to the table, but the employer wants to know the “how” –completely missing from this statement.

Secondly, Wendy begins the Summary by sharing a list of her 4 top skills. How is a recruiter expected to slog through this when in her mind she’s looking for someone with just one main skill? It’s too cluttered for an opening statement and lacks focus. Result: rejection.

Here is a better way:

New Media and Communications professional managing and marketing corporate events that create community goodwill. Harnesses innate enthusiasm and talent supported by a driving passion for continuous growth.

See how we reduced the number of skills being discussed, homing in on just the event management and marketing? The sentence is much more effective, more keyword-rich, more about “showing” the employer how her skills make a difference.…just a better opening sentence all the way around. (The other skills mentioned can be highlighted in other areas of the resume.)

Next up is this sentence, “Multi-industry marketing experience in entertainment, tourism, hotel and hospitality.”

Again, too many ideas in one sentence. If Wendy worked in these industries, it will be obvious to the reader reviewing the resume. Why be redundant? In fact, if the job calls for experience in, say, tourism only, this is what Wendy should be focusing the resume on.

If you opened your car manual to learn how to troubleshoot an issue, but that specific page was torn out, wouldn’t you be miffed? Sure, because you wouldn’t be able to fix the problem. Recruiters feel the same about most resumes – clutter and chaos as the writer tries to squeeze every job experience into one or two pages. Put another way, the recruiter has a problem. The job ad is the cry for help. Your job is to respond, as specifically as possible, to get noticed and land an interview.

This is better:

 Multi-industry marketing expertise – oversees, coordinates, and participates in developing marketing strategies and products. Deftly balances multiple projects and priorities in a fast-paced environment and with creative flair.

This is the how employers want to read about. This statement is more action-oriented and focuses on the results of Wendy’s management and marketing skills. And don’t you feel like you just learned something about Wendy that wasn’t initially clear ?

Finally, the last sentence: “New Media and Communications Bachelor’s degree student (online).”

I strongly recommend deleting this line completely, then adding a revised education statement at the end under the Education section; perhaps, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), New Media and Communications | University Name

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#𝟏 𝐓𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲

Of course, this is but one tiny example, and we haven’t covered the many other aspects of resume writing or the ins and outs of ATS. However, I hope what you take away from this guidance is “Show, Don’t Tell”. When you make a statement about yourself/your skills, be prepared to tell exactly how your skill has impacted your employer’s success. Numbers speak louder than words! If you’ve increased employee satisfaction, decreased costs, attracted more highly qualified candidates, or improved customer service, employers want to know and they want to know numbers, if you have these to share. (Not every job does.)

𝐅𝐫𝐞𝐞 𝐇𝐞𝐥𝐩

We’re offering free ATS-compliant resume assessments to help out job seekers during this tough time. If you’d like your resume assessed for ATS compliance, drop me an email: