Resume Tips: Headings - Professional Summary

October 29, 2004

Dear Job Seeker,

This article discusses the key principles for composing a Professional Summary and how to write a resume that maximizes your interview-generating effectiveness.

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Your Professional Summary
The purpose of the Professional Summary is to summarize your experience and highlight dimensions of your background that the reader may otherwise miss or discount. This is where you pull together a high-level summary of your experience, talents, and personal strengths from the different positions you've held.

Resume readers look for specific work and industry experience and positions you've held to try and weave together a story about you. They use your resume to decide whether to call you for an interview. Your resume and ”Professional Summary” should provide targeted and compelling reasons for them to call you.

The Professional Summary is positioned at or near the beginning of your resume. Unlike an Objective, which needs to be one or two sentences, a Professional Summary should be several sentences in length.

A Professional Summary is your opportunity to highlight important experiences relevant to the position you're seeking. Highlighting such experience in this manner gives greater visibility to your most important talents. “Professional Summary” is also where you can describe personal strengths. For example, you can include a sentence describing yourself as a results-focused, persistent, and collaborative individual.

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Here are several examples of Professional Summaries to help you formulate your own.

* Senior Management
Business leader with expertise in consulting, human capital management, business process, operations leadership, and systems design. Experience includes development of business software applications aligned with critical business requirements. Responsibilities include full P&L responsibilities, partnership and distribution channel development, startup company creation, and sales. Experience also includes IT infrastructure and process implementation consulting related to external industry regulations (i.e., HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and many others).

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* Business/Project Analyst
Ten years of experience in systems analysis and design to client specifications in defined benefits, mutual fund/401(k), and accounting environments. Project planning and management, contract negotiation experience, information systems support, and problem resolution. Experienced in process planning, technical writing, financial reporting, and project documentation, plus user acceptance testing and user group training.

* Engineering and Management
Fifteen years of experience, including hands-on product development management, cross-functional program management, system architecture, and individual contribution. Most recently as engineering director for startup organizations, produced next-generation, defense-related equipment leading to acquisitions by large corporations. Technical expertise in the development of electro-mechanical and electronic systems. Defined system architectures using proprietary and commercial components for data acquisition, signal processing, and imaging.

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* Sales and Business Development
Over 20 years of progressive experience in direct sales, channel sales, business development, marketing, and consulting management in highly competitive segments of the IT industry. As a senior executive, proven producer of sales and profit with ability to pinpoint business opportunities; also plan, develop, and execute effective business strategies under challenging market conditions. A high-energy leader with distinctive people skills.

* General Occupation 
Fifteen years of professional experience that includes sales, marketing, business development, employee training, communications, and writing. Nationally ranked tri-athlete with demonstrated ability to multi-task and make decisions to move projects to completion. A persistent goal setter, project finisher, and skilled collaborator.

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* Marketing and Product Management
Over 13 years of experience with accomplishments in worldwide marketing, product design and management, client and partner management, operations, enterprise class applications, strategic business planning, multi-million dollar budgets, and P&L responsibility.

- Entrepreneurial senior executive with proven leadership managing diverse teams and cross-functional communications, and providing motivation and strategic vision.
- Ability to play multiple roles with broad range of both analytical and creative skills in marketing, lead management, sales training, and operations.
- Technically competent in rapidly changing technologies and business strategies that demand attention to detail and strong long-term vision.

Highlight Who You Are
In summary, highlight the important experiences you have that are relevant to the position you're seeking. Highlighting experiences in this manner gives greater visibility to your most important talents that you've developed across more than one position.

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Showcase your talents and abilities by creating a unique online resume!


Rodney Capron, Jr.
President/CEO Pongo Software, LLC


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