To summary or not to summary, that is the question. When it comes time to create a resume, you may be confused as to whether or not you need to include a professional summary at the top of your resume. Professional summaries usually consist of a few statements at the beginning of your resume that help summarize your skills and experience in a way that will allow a prospective employer to quickly get a sense of your professional value. There are no hard and fast rules about what a professional summary has to be like, so customize it for whatever your application needs are. In fact, they can solve a variety of resume woes!
When To Use A Professional Summary
When you Need to Clarify Something
Sometimes a resume doesn’t provide a clear picture of where you see your career heading. If you are looking for a change in your career, and your resume does not reflect an appropriate amount of experience, then you might end up being overlooked. Say you are a staff writer at an editorial website and have been bitten by the social media bug. You want to shift into marketing full time, but your resume only lists writing jobs. Your professional summary can highlight that you have been assisting the marketing team at your current job, despite social media not being one of your main responsibilities. You could also elaborate how your writing skills will help you write polished, engaging social media posts.
When You Have a Sparse Resume
If you are in the early stages of your career, are still in school, or your resume is looking a little sparse, then a professional summary can make all the difference. Instead of including filler on your resume, like jobs from when you weren’t old enough to vote, you can add a solid professional summary that will fill some space and allow you to elaborate more on what valuable experience you do have.
You can help your resume stand out by writing, essentially, a mini cover letter as your professional summary.
To Define Your Brand
At Bloguettes, we are all about branding. Use the professional summary to make it crystal clear to talk about your professional brand. Make sure it crystal clear to prospective employers who you are professionally and where you see your career evolving. Think about what makes you stand out as an employee. Do you love working on a team? Are you a problem solver? Making your brand clear isn’t only to impress prospective employers. By sharing who you are, you have a better chance at attracting an employer who is the right fit for you.
To Highlight Your Best Features
If you have a lot of professional experience and have mastered multiple skills, use the professional summary to focus on your most applicable attributes for each job you apply for. Of course you want your resume to reflect everything you have learned and worked on, but use the professional summary to highlight what is most important for the desired position. By including each role’s desired skills in the summary, you don’t run the risk of the resume reader overlooking them in the body of your resume.
When They Don’t Want a Cover Letter
More and more these days, employers are too busy to read hundreds of cover letters and some don’t require them anymore. And as much as we love the idea of not laboring over a cover letter, they can be your only chance to stand out amongst a crowd of similar applicants. By adding a professional summary at the top of your resume, you can help your resume stand out by writing, essentially, a mini cover letter.