If you’re currently in the market for a new remote job, reviewing your resume and making sure it meets today’s standards and employers’ expectations is essential. Over time, the format and content of a standard resume has changed. Since you may only have seconds to capture a potential employer’s attention, ditching the remote job resume objective in favor of a professional summary is one way to garner attention from hiring managers.
The Importance of an Introduction
One important change to resumes is how you introduce yourself. While you were once encouraged to add a remote job resume objective at the beginning of your resume, you are now advised to include a professional summary instead. Why the change? Here are a few reasons:
- Change your perspective: A professional summary focuses on the benefits you bring to an employer, whereas the remote job resume objective centers on what you want to get out of a job.
- Highlight what’s important: Professional summaries illustrate that you have the required skills and experience for a position at the beginning of your resume without the need for a potential employer to read through the entire document.
- Add supporting details: Resume objectives tend to be vague and use meaningless phrases like “fast learner” or “hard worker.” With a professional summary you can add more details, framed in a way that highlights your strengths.
- Demonstrate progress: By focusing on your entire career, a professional summary can show career progression over time.
How to Write a Professional Summary That Will Get Noticed
These four easy steps can transform your tired, old remote job resume objective into a fresh, new professional summary.
- Study job ads. Gather a collection of job ads that most closely match the position you want to secure. Identify the minimum skill and education requirements as well as the duties and responsibilities that match your background. Identify commonly used keywords.
- Start with a career overview. Begin your summary with a sentence that provides an overview of your experience. Include information such as soft skills, years of relevant experience, recent education (if applicable), and the current or desired job title.
- Flesh out with details. After your overview, include a brief sentence or two that backs up the qualifications stated in the first sentence. Include numbers if possible and be sure to use language and terminology similar to the job ads. Identify keywords that employers may be looking for and use where appropriate.
- Finish strong. Use this opportunity to illustrate how your communication and/or management style will help you succeed in the position and in a remote work environment. Highlight your ability to contribute independently, work in virtual teams, or lead remote employees.
Tips to Optimize Your Professional Summary
As you create your fresh, new summary, make sure to keep the tips below in mind:
Don’t use jargon or acronyms.
Make your summary easy to read and written in plain English. You don’t want recruiters or hiring managers to feel like they’re wading through alphabet soup or overly obscure terminology. Be mindful that your resume will likely be reviewed initially by non-technical personnel.
Use terms common to your industry.
Be careful to only use technical or industry terms that are in common usage. Many companies come up with their own terms or labels to refer to proprietary policies, processes, and initiatives. Make sure to translate these terms before using in your summary. Use the job ads as a guide to identify standard keywords.
Use superlatives sparingly.
Avoid using overly dramatic terms like “superior” or “excellent” as they may be read as an exaggeration of your achievements. Try to use actual numbers, percentages, or comparisons to illustrate your accomplishments instead of relying on empty adjectives.
Include soft skills.
Use the summary to include reference to a couple of your top soft skills. Refer to the job ads to see which are most in demand. For example, you may see references to skills such as consensus-building, resourceful, detail-oriented, and so on. Identify those that apply to you and include where appropriate to provide insights into your personality strengths.
Delete meaningless phrases and overused words.
Some commonly used phrases and words are too vague or overused to have any real meaning. For example, “strong work ethic,” “strong communication skills,” “team player,” are ubiquitous and yet add little meaning to the summary. Instead, try and illustrate your strengths with concrete examples.
Keep it simple.
While you don’t want to use empty phrases or superlatives, you also don’t want to get too fancy. It may be tempting to switch out “hard worker” for “toiler” or “slogger.” Don’t do it. Try to stick to words that most people use and understand. Again, mirroring the type of language used in job ads is a smart move.
Should You Ever Use a Remote Job Resume Objective Instead of a Professional Summary?
An argument exists that a remote job resume objective is more useful when an applicant has no experience, such as a recent graduate, or when an applicant is changing careers. This is because there is an absence of relevant experience to summarize and required skills to highlight.
However, even in these instances, a hybrid approach is a more novel approach as opposed to reverting to an old-fashioned resume objective. In this manner, you can frame whatever transferable experience and education you can draw upon as the best background for the position you are applying for.
If you are a recent graduate or transitioning careers, here are a few tips:
- Use the new job title in the summary.
- Highlight any relevant education and training.
- Focus on transferable skills gained from previous employment, volunteer work, and/or school projects.
- Look forward to how you can contribute using the training and experience you have.
Professional Summary Examples
Below is a selection of professional summaries for remote jobseekers in a variety of fields, career levels, and circumstances.
Entry- to Mid-Level Corporate Positions
Job Target: Entry-Level Marketing
Enthusiastic marketing specialist with a recently conferred bachelor’s degree. Poised to make an immediate impact as a Digital Marketing Assistant. Creative thinker recognized by a local business for planning a social media campaign as a school project that achieved intended goals. Positive, upbeat communicator dedicated to building remote relationships with managers and collaborating with virtual team members.
Job Target: Career Transition to Clinical Training Manager from Call Center Manager
Committed, results-oriented program leader with 8 years of experience training and supervising remote teams of call center agents for the healthcare industry. Former Registered Nurse, skilled in both clinical operations and technology infrastructure credited with improving workflows and customer service standards. Collaborative communicator focused on building well-trained, productive virtual teams and achieving service excellence.
Job Target: Mid-Level Customer Service & Sales Support
Highly-motivated professional with 5+ years of experience in remote customer-facing positions, facilitating sales, delivering service training, as well as providing team-based sales support. Resourceful and service-oriented, skilled at streamlining processes, resolving customer issues, and troubleshooting technical problems. Demonstrated ability to foster virtual team performance and positive customer relationships to achieve sales goals.
Job Target: Mid-Level IT Project Manager
Technically sophisticated manager with 10+ years of progressive experience leading projects in the healthcare industry. Analytic professional skilled at complex technical implementations, able to translate technical language and bridge the gap between software engineers and senior leadership. Servant-leader focused on building top-performing virtual teams and managing stakeholder relationships with respect and trust.
Job Target: Mid-Level Quality Assurance Manager
Talented leader with advanced technical skills recognized for setting high expectations and achieving ambitious targets. Analytic problem solver, skilled at designing and executing functional, integration, UI, and regression tests; documenting all defects and enhancements. Collaborative communicator focused on building top-performing teams, advocating for clients, and promoting cooperation among stakeholders.
Job Target: Technical Product/Solutions Consultant
Resourceful, goal-oriented global IT management consultant with extensive information systems and software development experience in the consumer healthcare, IT, and wholesale electronics industries. Certified project management professional (PMP) skilled at planning and executing complex projects utilizing agile methodologies. Track record of effective remote team building, bridging the knowledge gap between technical and lay personnel.
Job Target: Non-Profit General Counsel
Results-oriented, licensed attorney with specializations in dispute mediation, corporate litigation, and criminal law, credited with efficiently and cost-effectively resolving a wide variety of legal matters. Dedicated to making a difference and ready to make an immediate impact with an ethical, dynamic organization. Recognized for contributions to virtual teams and promoting cooperation across business units.
Job Target: Leadership Development Professional
Committed executive coach and mentor skilled at implementing innovative programs and transformative leadership practices that focus on empathy, listening, and compassion to build trust and collaboration. Empower potential leaders to share aspirations and contribute to organization growth. Developed and implemented unique professional learning activities that increase effectiveness and improve outcomes.
Senior-Level & Executive Positions
Job Target: Senior-Level Supply Chain Manager
Driven, outcome-focused global account manager with 15+ years of experience delivering operations leadership in the electronic contract manufacturing industry. Analytic professional skilled at designing supply chain and manufacturing processes that create profitable growth for client companies. Collaborative communicator with proven success enhancing the performance of virtual teams and fostering positive stakeholder relationships.
Job Target: Senior-Level Education Executive
Executive leader with a nationally-recognized track record of success in the education industry providing strategic direction and supervising operations for large-scale organizational transformation.
- Recognized as a leading authority on elementary education for the design and implementation of new curriculum models that reduced discipline referrals and improved student retention.
- Featured speaker at national, state, and local technology and education events, conferences, seminars, and workshops.
- Named as one of the top 10 principals in the U.S. among other accolades during tenure as principal.
Job Target: Senior Compliance Executive
Results-oriented compliance executive with extensive experience in federal compliance laws, regulations, and investigations. Specialized skill set includes leading complex investigations involving fraud, corruption, ethics/conduct, anti-money laundering (AML), and tax violations. Credited with improving the productivity of on-site and virtual teams with cooperation across corporate departments to drive effective compliance.
Job Target: Senior Financial Controller
Accomplished financial strategist with expertise creating corporate budgets and managing departmental operations, credited with streamlining workflows and optimizing resources. Analytic professional, skilled at driving corporate expansion by utilizing projections and performance indicators. Collaborative communicator focused on building top-performing teams and cross-functional cooperation.
Job Target: Sales Enablement Executive
Entrepreneurial, ambitious executive with extensive experience building results-driven sales enablement and talent development strategies in rapidly growing and changing businesses environments. Investigative mindset skilled at conducting needs analysis to identify skill gaps, developing key performance indicators, and measuring program impacts. Demonstrated ability to develop productive partnerships and lead virtual teams.
You Have the Tools, Now Get the Results
In conclusion, a professional summary is designed to highlight your value to an employer. So don’t forget you only have one opportunity to make a first impression. Consider the position you are applying for when writing your professional summary. Clearly demonstrate you meet the minimum requirements for the position and use your past experience to showcase how you use those skills in practice. Your goal is to convince your future employer you are the best choice for the job!
Have you ditched the remote job resume objective in favor of a professional summary? Have you had more success in your job search as a result? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts and tips. We’d love to hear from you!
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