You’ve heard the old adage, “less is more,” but have you applied that to your resume? According to Chartbeat, the average amount of time you have to capture someone’s attention is just 15 seconds. But, let’s get more specific—HR spends about 30 seconds scanning your skills. Based on these shocking stats, there’s no way they’re going to read your entire resume…unless they’re hooked. Enter the MVP of your resume outline: the summary.
Your professional summary should not start like this: “Experienced insurance professional looking to contribute to a new organization through continued hard work and diligence.” What does that statement say about you specifically? Not much. Hundreds of other applicants could say the same thing. This is the difference between an objective and a summary. Here are the four areas you want to address in your professional summary to set you apart from the crowd:
- Desired or current profession and experience level
- Relevant skills or skill sets
- Applicable professional memberships or certifications
The first area covers the basics and sets a good standard for online search: the job title you are applying for and the years of experience you have. Your relevant skills should be the next area, detailing key areas that a hiring manager would care most about. These days, most professions look favorably on candidates who continuously update their skills through certifications or ongoing education and involvement. For some industries, this may even be required. So, if you’ve got it, flaunt it! Finally, if not all of your experience has been in the insurance industry, speak to this on a high level, rather than getting specific about your previous roles. Highlight your strengths and unique attributes in your summary to make a split-second decision an easy one for a hiring manager.