How long will recruiters spend on your résumé before deciding to toss it in the recycle bin? Six seconds, that’s about 20 to 30 words.

 
So how do you write those first few lines of your resume—the summary section—to compel the recruiter to keep reading? How do you make sure you get the call—and not the toss? How do you make your summary memorable?
 
Here’s a checklist:
 
  • Tailor your summary to each job application. 
  • Highlight your areas of expertise most relevant to that position.
  • Focus on specific results you’ve achieved in those areas of expertise—how other organizations have improved because of you.
  • Note the types of organizations and industries you’ve worked in.
  • Include years of experience.
  • Avoid STUPID terms such as results-driven, proven track record, excellent communication skills, team player.
 
Here is a real world example by Jane Heifetz.
 
As the founder and principal of Right Résumés, LLC, I make recruiters and hiring managers sit up and take notice. Clients’ résumés and LinkedIn profiles become competitive advantages that help land promotions, transition to new professions and industries, re-enter the workforce, and/or leap from college to careers.As an editorial consultant and Harvard Business Review (HBR) contributing editor, I distill complex content—keeping it smart while making it easy to grasp and apply.
 
 
by Paul Disu-Lord