Resume writing is such an enjoyable career field.
As resume writers, there's something magical that happens to us when a client looks at their resume draft and says, "WOW!" Although I've been writing resumes for more than 20 years, I still love hearing clients rave about the resumes I write for them.
Being on an important journey with our clients is life-changing for them and us as resume writers. We know there is strength in numbers, which is why top companies in the world hire writers who can craft the most impressive marketing and sales copy by stringing a bunch of words together.
We're asked to join our clients at such a critical time in their lives. And we answer the call by providing them with our best efforts, strategies, and inside advantages.
If you're someone who LOVES problem-solving and is not afraid of a bit of challenge, you're in the right place to learn more about writing one of the most important documents to today's job seekers.
The professionals we write for come to us with varying skills, employment history, and education. This is what makes resume writing so much fun. No two secretary's or CEO's careers are the same.
Every day as a resume writer is different, making resume writing a career field so enticing.
Over the next several days, I'll provide you with resume writing tips, shortcuts, and tools, pulling back the curtain on improving the content, format, ATS compliance, and visual appeal of the resumes you write.
I'll cover advanced resume and content strategies to help you optimize client projects and raise your fees.
You're going to get great value from these tips, regardless of whether you're new to resume writing or have been writing for years.
How to Write Rock-Star Resume Summaries - Plus, a Few Examples to Help
In this post, I'm starting at the top with resume summaries. This is an unusual place to start because the resume summary is best when written last. If you're a new resume writer, this is likely news to you. If you're a seasoned resume writer, you likely do this already.
When writing resume summaries, the goal is to take the best bits about your client and roll those into something eye-catching, unique, and relevant. We, as resume writers, don't always know those "best career bits" until we've conducted a project intake with the client and completed 90% of the resume draft.
Think about a resume summary as a stand-alone piece of content.
That's what a summary is. It's the most popular piece of real estate in a resume. A fully optimized resume summary displays to hiring managers and recruiters the best details about your client. Those details could be:
- Unique, Recent & Relevant Skills
- Unique, Recent & Relevant Achievements
- Projects Worth Mentioning
- Awards Received
Throughout the next few tips, you're going to hear me repeat myself a lot when I say, "recency and relevancy." When writing resumes for your clients, this should be your priority as well.
Now, let's look at a few example resume summaries.
The first example is for an experienced sales rep with an impressive sales performance. You'll find writing summaries for top performers to be the easiest.
OUTSIDE SALES EXECUTIVE - MAJOR GROWTH STRATEGIST ACROSS SMALLER TERRITORIES
Deliver 200%-600% Sales Growth — Top 2% B2B Sales Performer — Motivate & Train Newly Hired Sales Reps
Award-winning sales executive who uses aggressive new business and account development skills to boost performance. Generated $3.1M in revenue with JBS International and put an additional $1.58M in the sales pipeline by pursuing other sales verticals. Nurtured a 320% jump in sales major client, JanetJet, Inc.
Writing an optimal summary for a successful sales professional is most often a breeze because there are so many achievements to choose from.
What do you do when your client doesn't have the same level of performance? For example, let's consider a resume summary for someone in academia. Those job roles don't generally have much impact on revenue, costs, and so on.
Although, there are other performance measures to consider:
INSTRUCTOR & PROGRAM DEVELOPER — LED GRANT WRITING OF $560,000 TO FUND NEW PROGRAMS
Develop student success programs for at-risk students by eliminating barriers to success. Provide students with success tools; e.g., access to individual support services, time management training, and involvement to peer networking and mentoring programs. Boosted student retention by 10.3% in just 6 months.
Okay, maybe I made that look too easy.
How about a resume summary for an administrative professional who CONTRIBUTES but can't take 100% credit for what the team, department, or company accomplished?
This is where words can be magical.
You can have just much success writing for someone who has success building a company.
Take this example for an administrative assistant:
EXECUTIVE / PERSONAL ASSISTANT — Supported Executives During a Major M&A — Introduced New Systems & Procedures That Reduced Admin Staff by 10%
Deliver comprehensive support (e.g., travel assistance, client services, research, and meeting management) to a fast-paced executive team bridged across 3 countries. Produce quarterly presentations, BI reports, and other performance metrics to the Board of Directors. Handle ad-hoc projects associated with special events, including holiday parties and scheduled public speaking events that require fact-checking and special document preparation. Identified expense report discrepancies that led to the dismissal of the Purchasing Manager, which was later discovered to have skimmed nearly $123,000 from the company.
Your client can be on the lowest rung of the corporate ladder yet impact the company in big ways.