Get your reader interested in you with an impactful, unique career summary.

If your resume starts out with a statement such as “Objective: Senior Level Marketing Director with 15 years of experience seeking to . . .” you have just dated yourself. If you are still using a line like that to open up your executive resume, you may as well realize that your chances of getting selected for an interview are probably long gone as well.  The reader knows what your objective is – it is to get hired. Lose the “Objective” and replace it with a dynamic career summary that pulls the reader in and shows that you have the experience, skills, and credentials to get the job.

A career summary is a brief statement/paragraph at the top of your summary that immediately communicates your qualifications for the job.  In just a few sentences, you need to be able to articulate the value you can offer, what you have that makes you more uniquely qualified than others, and why the hiring manager should call you, and only you, in for the interview.  A few tips to get you on your way…

Be clear about your goals. Think about this in terms of preparing for an interview. What would be the top 3-4 things you would tell the hiring manager about yourself to show you are the one to hire? Now, put those 3-4 things in writing on your career summary.

Target your experience, skills, and strengths to the position you are applying for. Make sure to utilize keywords and keyword phrases that are relevant to the position you’re applying for/industry throughout your summary. Have the job description with you as you write the summary, incorporating words from it. If the resume is being screened by an ATS program, using the appropriate keywords will help to ensure that your resume will get selected from the pile. If you have space, you can even share an achievement that shows how you’ve increased sales or revenue, improved productivity, implemented a new program―how you’ve created value for others during your career. You can also include the job title or a little bit about your personal brand in your summary to make an even stronger connection.

Entice them enough to want to read more. Now that you’ve sold them on your skills, conclude your summary with a catchy phrase that shows the impact you have made in your career for your past employers.

Now that you have a captivating summary on your resume, use this summary as a basis on your LinkedIn profile. Nobody wants to see “I am seeking a job as a Sales Executive” in the “About” section on your profile.  You have 2,600 characters to sell yourself in the “About” section.  Include a brief summary, some bulleted achievements, and your most relevant strengths and expertise to show all you offer in just a few quick seconds.  Make it personal and creative―let the reader see who you are, how you operate, and how you can impact their organization if they hire you.

When written and presented the right way, a strong career summary statement at the beginning of your resume will not just introduce you to the reader, but more importantly will effectively convey that YOU are the ideal candidate for the job, right from the get-go.