32133462 - job interview concept with business cv resume vector illustrationYour resume is the key to a new job, a higher salary, and potentially big life changes. But if it isn’t tailored to highlight your skills and career experience, you might struggle to stand out. Consider these statistics from TopResume:

  • For every job opening, an average of 5 candidates receive an interview opportunity
  • More than 50% of job candidates are eliminated from consideration by applicant tracking systems

The numbers might be against you, but that’s no reason to give up. With a little bit of customization and creative wordplay, you can ensure your resume finds its way to the top of the recruitment pile.

Indeed.com says your success ultimately lies in an often overlooked aspect of resume creation: the professional summary. In fact, studies suggest candidates who include a professional summary on their resume are nearly twice as likely to receive a callback compared to applicants who don’t.

What is a professional summary?

A professional summary is a short paragraph at the top of your resume that details your professional experience, workplace achievements, and skill set. It’s the resume equivalent of making a good first impression. Basically, you’re making a case as to why you’re the best candidate for the job.

How should I structure my professional summary?

There’s no “golden rule” for professional summaries, but it’s typically recommended you write a short paragraph or create a bulleted list. Make sure the words you choose to describe your experience and education are descriptive and actionable. Aim for clarity and avoid big words or fillers that detract from your message.

Don’t forget the rest of your resume

While a professional summary is important, it’s only one aspect of your resume. Take the time to carefully edit your resume and only submit it to a potential employer when it’s clean, crisp, and free of spelling and grammatical errors.

Use the professional summary to your advantage, and good luck on your job search!