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Everything Above the Fold = Gold
January 2010

Last month in Career Zone I touched upon résumé renovation and how the holidays are a perfect time to reflect upon your 2009 accomplishments. Part two of this résumé series is going to look at how to craft your résumé so that it stands out from the rest.

One of the most important things to remember about your résumé is that “everything above the fold = gold!” In this competitive job market, time is important. You have 30 seconds to make a good impression with your résumé, so make sure that the content in the top half is clear, concise and eye catching.

I am sure many of you have been trained to include an objective statement at the beginning of your résumé. It’s time to rethink this outdated approach and ask yourself if your current objective statement serves a purpose. I think you will find it does not.

In my years of experience as a staffing manager, I looked at résumés and wanted to know “Is this person qualified?” and, “Can this person do this job better than the other 200 people who applied for this position?”  I did not care that you were “looking for a job as an analyst at a company where you can utilize your organizational skills and add to the bottom line.”  If you apply for an analyst position at my company, I have a pretty good idea that your objective is to land the job. There is no reason why you should waste valuable space on your résumé by including an objective statement.

If you want to stand out, you must have a solid summary statement. It positions you in a way where employers will know “this is what I have to offer you.”  A well written summary statement helps you convey your objective and spotlights your skills and expertise to the recruiter or hiring manager. Here are some tips to consider when creating your eye grabbing summary statement:

  • Consider what the employer is looking for and then weave your top credentials that meet these needs into your summary.  
  • Make your résumé format appealing to the eye. Using tools such as bullets, keywords, skills and action words as ways to grab attention to your résumé.
  • Create a headline to hook the interviewer and compel them to continue reading. A headline should include your job target as well as the main benefit of hiring you.

Here is an example of an eye-catching, effective summary statement:

Product Marketing Manager
Increasing Profitability Through Brand and Marketing Strategies

Accomplished manager with 10 years proven experience in developing and implementing marketing strategies that support business and financial objectives. Led strategic initiatives that reduced marketing budget by $5 million and contributed to 120% increase in product sales.

Dynamic leader, able to build highly motivated product teams focused on exceeding revenue goals. Areas of expertise include:

  • Consumer Marketing and Promotion
  • High-Volume Contract and Sales Negotiations
  • Strategic Planning
  • Analytical and Financial Skills
  • Reporting and ROI Analyses

Take some time and think about the jobs you are applying for, and craft your summary statement towards the specifics of each job. It will set your résumé apart from many others, get your résumé noticed by recruiters and hiring managers, and help you obtain more interview invitations.