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Selling Yourself: The (good, or evil) powers of a summary.

By Eline Steinmetz

A resume, LinkedIn page, or even a job interview is not just a medium to give someone information about your complete career history. It is, first and most of all, a way to sell yourself. And to “sell” yourself, you must first of all determine what a “buyer”, or employer in this case, would be looking for, and how you want to profile yourself.

Once you decide what kind of role you want, you basically start moulding your profile to fit this role. There are several aspects you can use, and the next few weeks we’ll discuss a few. This week: the summary

Summary

We still see quite a lot of resumes without one, so let’s start with the basics: what is a summary? It is basically a short written text, which introduces the reader to the writer. Usually it can be found at the top of a resume or LinkedIn profile, serving as an introduction.

So, if you are one of the people who are not yet using a summary, should you? In short; yes. In long; yes, as long as it is a good one. We’ll give you a few pointers:

A summary is basically a written elevator pitch (“The very concise presentation of an idea covering all of its critical aspects, and delivered within a few seconds – the approximate duration of an elevator ride”). Imagine you would have 30 seconds to sell yourself; what would you say? Write it down, and voila: a summary. Its function would be to help describe the value you can bring to a would-be employer.

The main thing to keep in mind is that a summary on a resume should not be a summary of the resume, but should instead be a summary of you as a person, future employee and general amazing human being.  Don’t repeat things that you have already listed in your resume; we can read them if we scroll down!

Give hints of what fields you would like to work in, but avoid things that come across too desperate, such as “I am searching for”. Instead, use phrases like “it is my ambition”, or “I have an interest in”. Steer clear of over-used phrases such as “functioning well in a team and alone”, and instead use this small text to define your unique selling points.  Review your summary by reading it and asking yourself if it could describe other people as well as yourself; if that is the case, re-write it to make it more “you”, less general.  

A big mistake we see in summaries is that they take up more than half a page of text. You want to keep it short and to the point; avoid situations that spark a “TL:DR” (Too Long: Didn’t Read) with recruiters and future employers. Goodluck! 

Next week: Resume design, and why it is important.

Do you have a subject you'd like to see discussed from a Recruiters point of view? Send us an e-mail at info@statter.nl

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13 februari 2015

Selling Yourself: Keywords!

by Eline Steinmetz

Less traveling time; more benefits; a different environment or a new interest. There can be many reasons to consider a career change. But once you decide you are ready for a new challenge, how can you make sure employers will notice you?

A resume, LinkedIn page, or even a job interview is not just a medium to give someone information about your complete career history. It is, first and most of all, a way to sell yourself. And to “sell” yourself, you must first of all determine what a “buyer”, or employer in this case, would be looking for, and how you want to profile yourself.

Once you decide what kind of role you want, you basically start moulding your profile to fit this role. There are several aspects you can use, and the next few weeks we’ll discuss a few. This week: Keywords

Keywords.

Use keywords to draw attention to your areas of expertise or areas of interest. On LinkedIn, your Skills can be used as keywords. More is less: keywords should pop out and be easy to take in for “buyers”, employers or recruiters.

Based on how you want to profile yourself, use keywords that emphasise your qualities. For example, if your selling point is “Sales”, which is a pretty big field, use keywords that clarify your expertise, such as hunter, farmer or closer.

You can use the keywords on their own, like on the top of your resume or listed under “Skills” on your LinkedIn. However, their power increases when you use the keywords various times throughout a document. Decide on a keyword, then use it again when you describe your position within a company (“I was responsible for cold calling”) or the targets you had (“Approaching of companies through cold calling”).  This way, people who will read your resume will repeatedly come across your skills, which will give them a clear impression of your experience in that field.

When using keywords, there are 2 big DON’TS:

  • Don’t: scatter them all over an existing document or page like you are decorating a cake with chocolate sprinkles. You don’t want to use them in a too obvious way: make sure they fit the rest of the content and add something to what is already there.
  • Don’t: Use keywords that aren’t backed up anywhere in your document. Don’t try to sell yourself as having a certain skill, when that skill is not explained anywhere. 

Next week: the (good, or evil?) powers of a summary!

Do you have a subject you'd like to see discussed from the Recruiters point of view? Send us an e-mail at info@statter.nl! 

 
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