The most crucial part of your resume is its summary section. Or, as I prefer to call it, the profile or ROI section.

HR surveys consistently tell us that most hiring managers take only 6-20 seconds to read a resume before deciding whether to put it in the to-be-interviewed pile or the circular file. Unfortunately, this means your profile section might be the only thing hiring managers will read before deciding whether or not to interview you.

What can you do to make their decision a favourable one?

First, since the purpose of the resume is to generate interviews by showing how you can solve employers’ problems, avoid the common mistake of telling hiring managers what you are looking for in prospective employers. Summaries like ”Seeking challenging opportunity with a dynamic company that will lead to advancement opportunities” don’t help hiring managers solve their problems.

Instead, grab your readers’ attention, spark their interest, kindle their desire to consider you and prompt them to call you for an interview by telling them the specific benefits that hiring you will bring to your next employer.

How do I do this? I hear you ask. Take a look at some job ads. They tell you what the employer wants. For instance, in a job ad for a VP of Logistics, we find the following four points listed first:

  • Devise and execute the Operations strategy for a swiftly scaling organization;
  • Maintain and execute a multi-year supply chain roadmap that aligns with company growth plans and addresses opportunities for continuous process improvement;
  • Develop and grow factory partnerships that help meet our business objectives for innovation, product development and speed to market, price/value and quality;
  • Monitor global risks, establish strategic direction, and set goals for international sourcing strategy;

A  summary that builds on these points might look like this.

Innovative Operations VP with a history of devising and executing effective operations strategies, managing global risks, and executing international sourcing strategies for swiftly scaling companies. Known for building and executing a multi-year supply chain roadmap that matched company growth plans while allowing for continuous improvement. Skilled vendor relationship builder with a history of driving successful product development and reducing time to market.

The average summary section outlines what you want from an employer; the second describes the results the employer can expect after they hire you. Which do you think will rouse the most interest in prospective employers?