Writing the Perfect Resume Hook


I read a great article from U.S. News & World Report LP titled  How to Write the Perfect Resume Hook. Unfortunately, I see some tough times ahead for our economy and those looking for jobs need every edge possible.

Here are some great points to consider:

If someone asked to see your executive summary or professional profile, would you know what they were looking for? Here’s a hint: it’s the portion of your resume just below the heading that summarizes your accomplishments and value proposition. When executed properly, this portion should compel the reader to want to get to know you better.

How much time and effort should you spend on this important introduction? Hours. And what should you write? The answer to this question is complicated. Part of the time is spent laying a foundation on top of the summary. This foundation is also called your Professional Experience section. To build the sturdy foundation, you must:

First, do some career introspection. Make sure you’re in line with your target companies’ needs.

Second, cherry pick stories. Only select the stories most relevant to your target audience’s needs and trim out the less-relevant language.

Third, organize your stories. Creat subheadings to connect the dots for the reader.

Fourth, energize your summary.Use carefully selected word threads.

Here are their five tips to develop your own ecompelling xecutive summary:

  • Build a marketing strategy. think about the last story you read in a magazine or online. What lured you to read it? Chances are it was bold lettering that mentioned a snippet of what the story was about. (Don’t be afraid to incorporate this strategy-you will be lucky to get 60 seconds to capture the attention of that HR person who is seeing thousands of boring resumes.)
  • Focus on marquee achievements. Zero in on a few of your most outstanding accomplishments that relate to the job for which you’re applying. jThen, build your executive summary around these accomplishments. (Be very specific here-for example: I increased the sales revenues from my territory 33% in my first year. Potential employers need rock solid facts!)
  • Introduce statements with strong verbs. Remove these phrases from your vocabulary forever: “Responsible for”, “Duties included”—–You’ve put the HR person to sleep!!
  • Tailor your words for your audience. Be powerful and set the scene for your targeted position to ensure a potential employer fully understands your value proposition. How about that recent example by President Obama-“The private sector is doing fine.”  😉
  • Chart your story. If your career story allows it, the use of a chart of graph in this area is an excellent way to relay important data in a format that’s quick and interesting to read. (I’m not sure that I agree with suggestion.)
Here is my favorite YouTube video so far this year, courtesy of President Obama:

Good luck and let me know if you are using any of these tips.


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