Get your résumé off to a good start

Knowing when and how to write effective objectives and career summaries helps your résumé get noticed.

Think about how important it is to get your résumé off to a good start. To get a résumé off to a good start, job seekers can write great objectives or career summaries. Michigan State University Extension says these items appear at the beginning of a résumé. Good objectives or career summaries help catch the attention of human resource officials or hiring managers. The Career Services Network at Michigan State University has many resources available related to resumes.

For objectives, Career Services at Virginia Tech University states a person’s objective tells an employer the type of work they are pursuing. The Purdue Online Writing Lab states that objectives should be short, concise and user-centered. User-centered objectives are written to fit the specific organization and position. Meaningful objectives are clear about the career direction of the job seeker and they are tailored to fit the job he or she is applying for.

Are objectives needed on a resume? If so, when are they needed? Objectives can be used for people who are changing careers or for entry-level workers. Using an objective in a certain way can help when there is a lack of a work history in a particular field or working in general.

The other way to start off a résumé well is through a career summary. A career summary is also called an executive summary. The purpose of a career summary is to highlight accomplishments, skills and experiences to match the job the company has open. They tell what a job seeker can do and what he or she offers to the company.

How are career summaries written? They can be written in four to six sentences, in bulleted or paragraph form. Good career summaries should define the talents of the job seeker and show how he or she is better than the competition.

Should job seekers use an objective or career summary to start off their résumé? There are specific times to use them. Human resources officials or hiring managers have their preferences, however, a combination of an objective and career summary can be used as well. Either way, job seekers need to be sure that these statements are well written and illustrate their talents and skills to get an interview. To write good objectives and career summaries, it is important to learn and develop good writing and communication skills.

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