Reinforce your CV with a personal summary
You probably have a pretty good idea of how to make a resume. Your work history, education, and qualifications are relatively easy to pull together, as all you need to do is look at the dates, fill in your previous jobs, and what you’ve accomplished over the years. But you could strengthen your CV, and by extension your application, by writing a personal summary. You do not know what it is? Follow the guide.
The personal summary: what is it?
A personal summary is an important part of a resume that many applicants for a job forget. It’s a short paragraph, about four sentences long – or 200 words maximum – at the top of the document, just below your name and contact information. It aims to provide the recruiter with an effective, therefore clear and concise overview of who you are as a professional, in three key areas: who you are; your suitability for the job and the value you can bring; your professional goals, and objectives.
Recruiters have been shown to spend as little as six seconds reviewing a CV before deciding if a candidate is the right one. Since the personal summary is the first section they will read, it should be relevant to the job you are applying for to stand out perfectly for it. If not, you probably won’t convince the recruiter that you are the talent they need, and they can move on to the next candidate.
How to write a good personal summary?
The first catchphrase of your cover letter should tell the prospective employer where you are in your career. Think about your current position, what you enjoy most about your career, job, or professional field, and what qualities you have that would be valuable for the position.
Next, list your accomplishments, which match the requirements of the position you are applying for, to show what you can do for the company. Finally, it is always useful to respond to a specific request from the job seeker. For example, if the job requires a candidate with management experience or a degree in a certain subject, and you have that, say so.
The last part of your personal statement should be short and fast since it reaffirms the reason why you are applying for this position.
The little tips
Here are some tips to stand out from the competition, via a convincing personal summary without obvious errors.
Beware of pronouns
If you write in the third person, delete all pronouns. Otherwise, it will sound like an existential personal summary, rather than an objective one. For example, “A retail professional looking for a management role …” is better than “She is a retail professional looking for a management role…”
Beware of laudatory adjectives overload
Are you an ambitious, highly motivated professional with extensive experience and a passion for certain crucial areas? We think so. But positive adjectives are best sprinkled sparingly in your personal statement, as they don’t particularly provide proof of your skill. It is much more interesting to show the employer your motivation, your ambition, and above all your skills with concrete examples – which can be work done.
Avoid the generic personal statement
Once you’ve written your statement, you might think it will work for every job you apply for. For the most part, that will be the case, as, in theory, the jobs you are applying for will be similar and match your skills. However, you need to edit and tailor your resume – and your entire CV – so that it targets the skills required for each position you are applying for. Otherwise, it will be too generic and likely to have no impact.
Don’t overdo it
When you start planning and writing the personal resume of your CV, you will most likely find that you have a lot more to say than you originally thought. Be careful not to use too many, as you may end up with a statement clogged with too many adjectives and difficult to read. Generally speaking, highlight your best skills and accomplishments in your personal statement, and leave the details for your cover letter.