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Six Steps to a Blockbuster Resume
by The Net's Premier Resume Writing and Editing Service

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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