Steps one through five of the resume-writing process all target completion of statement of objectives and achievements summaries. These elements are the cornerstone of powerful and effective resumes and are critical components. Very few (fewer than 10 percent) of the samples presented in this book do not include some form of qualifications or achievements summary.
Start out by reviewing the sample resumes to gain a sense of how these sections are presented. Mark any statements that match your goals or mirror your achievements. You can use them as a foundation for your own achievements summaries. Refer to the list of action verbs in Chapter 4 for inspiration, if needed.
Decide whether you prefer the bullet-point format or paragraph style. Try both to see which one makes your qualifications stand out. You might decide to use your achievements summaries directly after your statement of objectives to begin your resume, or you might choose to put them at the bottom of your page. If you present them first, they will serve as a preview of your work experience. If you choose to put them last, they will summarize your talents, skills, and experience.
Competence and Confidence
The most critical of all your job-search tools is your ability to project your own competence and capability. You must know that you are a qualified, competent worker before you can write a resume that creates that impression in others.
You rely on your resume to convey your abilities to people you most likely have never seen or met. This may seem uncomfortable and embarrassing, but remember that there are two sides to the job-search proposition. You are looking for a job. Your potential employer is looking for someone to do a job. It is unnecessary to think of yourself as inferior in this relationship. The two of you need each other.
When you draft your statement of objectives and your qualification summary, think of them as messages you're sending to potential employers. The message says, “I know what you need. I understand the job and its importance to your company. I am confident that I have the skills and ability to meet your needs and be an asset to your company.”
Reflective and Projective Phrases
You must be able to look back over your life in order to write summaries that reveal to readers that you have clear goals in sight. Your qualifications summaries must reveal to all that you know a great deal about roles and responsibilities of targeted jobs. This is where you talk the talk that will give you the chance, whether in interviews or on the job itself, to walk the walk. Your aim, at first, is projected toward the interview. Later, your aim will include job offers and career success. Effective, action-oriented phrasing, in both your statement of objectives and your qualifications summaries, will be what shows you are capable of doing more than just talking about the future; you're prepared to make a contribution.