The very best resumes are founded on three key pillars; an applicant’s education and qualifications, an applicant’s previous experience, and an applicant’s skills. To capture a hiring managers attention, you need a template which emphasizes your strengths in these three fields and matches them to the job requirements.
Your resume’s structure is key. Recruiters spend an average of six seconds on each resume. That means you have a very limited time frame to ensure your strengths come across.
Your opening should present your information in a way that grabs the reader’s attention and persuades them to read more. You can find free resume templates available for download here: https://www.livecareer.com/resume-templates
Depending on your skillset and the position you are applying for, your resume’s opening will be one of three things; a qualifications summary, your career objective, or a professional profile.
If you are applying for a job which requires a very specific qualification, for example, you may need a specific accounting qualification, teaching qualification, or driving license, you may want to begin your resume with a qualifications summary.
Not only will this give the hiring manager the information they are seeking immediately, it is also ATS-friendly. This means that if the company is using software to screen candidates, providing you have the relevant qualifications, your resume will be approved.
Your qualifications summary should include all your relevant certifications and qualifications, but it could also include tangible examples of your qualifications in action. If you implemented new working practices in your last job that streamlined operations and made a saving of $20,000 per year, include it. Your qualifications summary shouldn’t be limited to your education, it should be a showcase of your finest achievements both inside the workplace, and in the field of education.
If you are applying for a position within the same industry you are currently working, or have previously worked in, you want to open your resume with your professional experience. A professional profile does just that.
Your professional profile should be a short bullet point section which provides a brief synopsis of your professional skills and expertise in the field. Try not to exceed five bullet points, as by the end you will have likely lost the attention of the hiring manager.
You should include the number of years you have worked in the industry and be specific with your experience. If you are currently managing client accounts worth more than $10 million, one of your bullet points may be:
Spent three years managing client accounts valued over $10 million.
You may also want to consider adding a short professional profile at the top of your LinkedIn page. Head-hunters use LinkedIn to find candidates to fill vacant positions. A professional profile will allow them to quickly get a summary of your experience and professional achievements and could prompt them to delve further into your experience.
If you are fresh out of high school and college and may not have a wealth of experience to fall back on, it might be worth opening your resume with a career objective. The career objective section is a 2 or 3 sentence paragraph that gives a general overview of your skills.
It should draw on the job requirements and demonstrate why you would be a good fit for the role. If the job requirements ask for someone with good communication skills, your career objective might address your experience in customer-facing roles. Your career objective should answer the question: what skills do you possess that would make you excel in this position?
There are many positions within the debate on how to open your resume. Hopefully these tips will have shed some light on how you can use your opening to strengthen your resume by drawing on your education, experience, and skills that make you well-suited for the job.