Six Steps to a Blockbuster Resume
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STEP THREE: Qualification Summary
& Skill Set
Picture yourself at the market after a long day at the
office. Youíre in a rush, of course, and want only to
purchase those items on your list, if theyíre on sale.
Hurrying into the store, you glance around for the weekly
advertising piece that indicates which items will be offered
at a discount. Trouble is, thereís no advertising piece
this week, and no one to answer your questions. If you
want to purchase the items you most need at a discount,
youíre forced to walk up and down each and every aisle
until you find whatís available.
Doesnít sound like much fun or an effective use of time,
does it? And yet this is the same type of frustration
hiring managers are exposed to every time an applicant
sends in a resume that fails to open with a well-written
Qualifications Summary and/or Skill Set.
What is a Qualifications Summary?
Itís a brief paragraph that showcases your most effective
skills and experience as they pertain to your job search.
More importantly, itís your chance to convince a hiring
manager of the skills you can bring to the position. This
is essential, given that hiring managers generally afford
no more than 10 seconds to an applicantís resume, unless
theyíre compelled to read further.
Fine, you say, but what about an Objective? Where does
that go? In the modern resume, an objective statement
is no longer used. The reason for this follows.
Qualifications Summary vs. the Objective
In the outmoded Objective, the candidate told the hiring
manager what he wanted, whether that was a job at the
company, room for advancement, a chance to use a new college
degree, or any other reason an applicant could think of
and the hiring manager could dismiss as self-serving.
On the other hand, the Qualifications Summary proactively
declares what the candidate can do for the targeted company,
which places the hiring managerís needs first. A wise
applicant always uses a Qualifications Summary, either
by itself or combined with a Skill Set.
What is a Skill Set?
Generally speaking, it's a list of your core competencies
as they relate to your targeted career goal. Again, letís
take the example of the accountant who has just passed
the CPA exam and now wants to be a controller. Rather
than presenting all of that data in the qualifications
summary, a portion of it would be showcased as a tag line
(professional title or title of job youíre targeting)
and skill set, and might look something like this (followed
by a reworked qualifications summary paragraph):
Results-oriented, detailed professional with comprehensive
accounting experience. Background includes consistent
promotions to positions of increased responsibility
for notable achievements, including $2500 in monthly
savings at XYZ Company by streamlining procedures.
This time, the first two lines, which contain just
15 words, present core strengths quickly and effortlessly.
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