Does your existing resume begin with a generic “objective statement” informing the reader the type of roles you are looking for? Let me guess that it reads something like this:
“I am a highly motivated, hard-working self-starter looking for opportunities in the IT sector that will allow me to apply my strong technical skills.”
If this is how your resume starts, it’s time to make some changes. In today’s highly competitive job market, where hiring managers receive over 500 applications for a single job opening, objective statements are more likely going to lead your resume to the “No” pile.
Objective statements talk about the type of job you want for yourself when it should focus on what you can offer a prospective employer instead. Rather than listing out your needs and wants, use this space to convey your elevator pitch.
It’s time to replace your objective statement with a personal statement.
Also known as “qualifications profile” or “professional profile,” a personal statement is essentially an introductory paragraph that is located at the top part of your resume, under your name and contact info. Whilst all the individual parts of the resume are important, your personal statement is the most valuable, as it immediately creates the first impression, sets the scene for the document and entices recruiters to read on.
It can be compared with a newspaper front page headline, which has to capture the reader’s attention so they are interested in reading the content to find out more about a story. In reality, a personal statement is your own headline advertisement and such starts the process of promoting your skills, experience and accomplishments.
In order to ensure you capture a recruiter or hiring manager’s attention with your personal statement, design it in the following way:
When crafting your personal statement, segment it into three sections:
Below are some examples of opening statements for experienced and early career professionals.
“Seasoned Engineering Manager with over 10 years’ experience in manufacturing sector, chronicled by a rich history of managing large-scale projects and capital investments with budgets of up to $2.5M.”
“CPA-qualified, Bachelor of Accounting graduate with an excellent academic record and proven skills in data analysis, organization and research.”
Consider the sample below for an applicant aiming to secure a role in the clean energy sector:
“Possesses a strong penchant for sustainability, social responsibility and environmental practices including a passion for natural health care and clean/renewable energy.”
Below is another example for a job seeker transitioning into a new industry where his transferrable skills and experience are highlighted:
“Seeks to transition safety skills, coupled with heavy equipment operations, inspections and maintenance experience, to the transportation sector.”
See the below example:
“Has championed new systems and process enhancements that have streamlined reporting and forecasting functions, ultimately maximizing cash flow by circa $12M. Leverages sound knowledge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), IFRS and SOX compliance requirements to deliver prompt financial statements to the executive board, enhancing informed decision-making.”
The information that you leave out from your personal statement can be just as important as the things you include. Try to exclude the following from your Personal Statement:
When you start writing your new resume, keep in mind the number one rule: your resume is a marketing document. The more you highlight your skills and accomplishments in your personal statement, the greater chance you will have of being shortlisted for the interview stage.
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Rev is the Founder of a fast-growing resume writing agency, Rev-Up Your Resume, based on the Gold Coast and Canberra, Australia. With 10+ years' experience, Rev has helped hundreds and thousands of job seekers across numerous industries to find great jobs and advance their careers throughout their work life. Whether it's to apply for a better job, a promotion, a new career or a first job; to transition from private to public sector; or to rejoin the workforce after a long break, Rev leads the provision of strategic resumes to help position clients into the doors of their dream employers.