With recruiters and hiring managers under more time pressure than ever before, your elevator pitch or personal summary is one of the most important parts of your resume and online profiles. The purpose of your pitch is to entice employers to think that you could be the ideal person for their role and get them to read on for more information.
So how can you make sure your personal summary stands out? We ask Melanie Barrett, director at Tandem Partners for her top tips for writing a killer personal summary that will capture your reader’s attention.
Keep it concise
Ideally, your personal summary should be contained in one succinct paragraph of three to four sentences.
“No more than 100 words is a good target,” says Melanie. “You want it to be concise and easily scannable so your reader can quickly glean the main points that make you relevant for the job you’re applying for.”
Keep it consistent
Your personal summary can be written in any tense and in the first or third person – just make sure you are being consistent and grammatically correct throughout.
Keep it clear and simple
According to Melanie, successful personal summaries clearly articulate three things.
When you’re applying for a role they include:
- Who you are
- Why you are the perfect fit for the role
- Why you are applying for the role
When you’re updating your personal summary on your SEEK Profile they include:
- Who you are
- What your value proposition is
- What your career aspirations are
To make sure your personal summary stands out, you might ask yourself the following three questions:
- What are the two words that best describe your style and approach?
“Saying that you are genuine, resilient, hard-working and loyal may be great attributes but using too many buzzwords in your personal summary can lose your reader’s attention fairly quickly,” says Melanie. “Instead aim for just two words that best describe you.”
For example: I am a motivated and analytical project manager.
- How might your experience differ from other candidates in your field?
Consider such factors as the time you have spent in your field and your breadth of experience across industries. “Any numbers or real examples you can give to demonstrate your success will also make your personal summary stand out,” Melanie says.
According to Melanie it is always good to revisit the job description to help you identify the specific skills the employer is looking for. “If the job ad highlights that the ideal candidate will have excellent project management skills, make sure you explain why your project management skills are superior by giving a clear example in your personal summary.”
For example: I have 15 years’ experience in the financial services industry, specialising in business lending. In my current role I have been responsible for rolling out a new microenterprise program which has helped more than 100 small businesses kick start their operations.
- How do you want to position yourself?
Be clear about the type of role you are looking for. Do you want to position yourself as a leader of teams, and if so what size? Or do you want to position yourself as an individual contributor known for expertise in x y and z?
For example: I am looking to take on greater responsibility, with project budgets greater than $10 million and leading larger teams of more than 30 FTE.
Now that you know how to craft a great personal summary, explore six killer examples of personal summaries.