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Using Your Resume to Clarify to an Employer What Kind of Job You Want

A resume is a handy tool that can accomplish more than just listing your job experience. If you use it strategically, it can be a tool for selling yourself in many ways. One way you can use your resume is clarifying to an employer from the start what kind of job you’re going after. Including a career summary on your resume is a great place for this.

Explain why you’re the best for the job. One thing you can talk about in your summary is why you would be better than anyone else in the position. You’ll want to tailor the summary on each resume you send out for the specific job you’re going after. For example, pretend you were trying to get a job in customer service. In this case, one line of your objective could say, “Highly skilled and experienced customer service agent using XYZ software looking for new opportunities in the field.” Listing a particular kind of a software popular in your field is one way to let an employer know you are specifically qualified.

Use strong action verbs. Recruiters and employers see maybe thousands of resumes so using strong action verbs helps you to stand out. Use this opportunity to paint a picture of the environments where you have worked. An example of this would be to say, “Gifted teacher with 13 years of knowledge and experience teaching pre-K and early childhood education in multicultural classroom settings .” Let your personality shine in the words you choose.

You need to make a career change. If you would like to pursue a totally new career, your resume’s career summary is a great way to introduce this. For example, let’s say you want to work in sales but most of your experience has been office management. Use this as an opportunity to connect who you are and how you want to be perceived. For example, instead of saying, “Long time office manager looking to use the organizational skills I’ve gained and begin a career in sales.” you could say “Energetic and competent office professional with more than 10 years of administrative assistant/secretarial experience, recognized for dependable and detail-oriented work in support of top management.”

One of the main advantages of using a career summary is that it’s a great tool to catch the reviewer’s eye. It’s another piece of the resume you can use as a tool to land an interview. Just be creative and make sure whatever language you use is specific, interesting and not stale.

For more ideas on how you make your resume stand out with a career summary, contact me at

Expert Resumes for Career Changers – Wendy S. Enelow and Louise M. Kursmack

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