Nothing piques reader interest quite like a succinct and powerful resume opening.
Correctly executed, it can effectively target the document, ensure relevant keywords are integrated, and encourage close analysis of your work history. Here’s how:
1) CREATE AN OPENING PARAGRAPH SUMMARIZING KEY SKILLS
What types of positions are you interested in? Go through your work history and identify key skills you can bring to the table. For example, if you’re seeking an Executive Assistant position you might focus on your ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, provide 1-on-1 customer support, and develop high-impact proposals and presentations.
Once you have a list of skills, create a brief paragraph highlighting them. Keep the language active, sentences short, and avoid the temptation to list specific metrics: the place for the latter is within your actual work history.
Here’s an example of an effective resume opening:
Seasoned professional adept at managing multiple projects, providing dedicated customer support, and streamlining office operations for marked productivity gains. Skilled in optimizing billing activities and crafting high-impact proposals and presentations. Able to apply technical proficiencies spanning InDesign, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
2) CREATE A CORE COMPETENCIES SECTION LISTING IN-DEMAND KEYWORDS
A Core Competencies section provides a great snapshot of your abilities, as well as ensuring your resume passes evaluation by Applicant Tracking Systems such as Taleo and Kenexa. Creating a strong Core Competencies section requires the following:
-Analyzing pertinent job postings to identify in-demand keywords. For example, an Executive Assistant candidate might have some or all of the following keywords:
Financial Management, Reporting
-Listing keywords in a separate section immediately following the opening paragraph. A good rule of thumb (and space-saver) is to list them in horizontal bullets, along the lines of:
Administrative Support · Financial Management, Reporting · Standards Development
Database Management · Operational Streamlining · Verbal/Written Communications
By taking the time to create a powerful opening paragraph and Core Competencies section you increase the likelihood of your resume garnering recruiter/hiring manager attention, resulting in more interviews.
Guest Post Contributor:
Anish Majumdar is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Owner at Resume Orbit.