Two Minute Tuesday: Craft a Professional Summary with Punch

Hello, it’s Taylor Maurer with HCRC here, back for another installment of Two Minute Tuesday, where we offer you free advice – short and sweet – to help you achieve your career goals.

Last week we discussed why you should not use an objective in your resume and instead, highlight your overall career experience in a professional summary located near the top. Let’s dive into what a good professional summary should look like.

A professional summary should be an overall condensed snapshot of your professional experience. It should specifically relate to the skill set or background of the position for which you are applying. A few things we like to see in a professional summary are:

  • Years of experience in the industry or primary skill set
  • Degree (if applicable to industry or position)
  • Major technical experience, licensure(s) and/or proficiencies
  • Size of projects or revenue earned
  • Description of client base
  • P&L responsibility or very brief accomplishments
  • Some numbers (revenue, quantity, percentages) to catch the eye

You can mention some highlighted accomplishments here but if you do, they need to be very brief.  It’s easy to get carried away and include too much in the professional summary, which should not exceed one quarter of a page on your resume. Your intention is to make it compelling enough that the hiring manager will want to keep reading. If it is too lengthy, then the likelihood of that happening diminishes.

A typical professional summary in the construction industry might look like this:

Degreed Civil Engineer with over twenty-one years of experience managing profit and loss at both a project and divisional level, with annual revenues up to $32 million managing single and multiple concurrent projects up to $21 million in size. Proven track record of contract negotiation, exceeding profit projections, and effective change orders. Diverse self-perform experience in bridges, heavy earthwork, storm water and sewer, asphalt and concrete paving. Well-versed in both public and private operations, including but not limited to Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Transportation, and municipalities. Proficient in hard bid and alternative delivery/design build projects from pre-construction to punch out.

As always, we hope you find this helpful. Tune in next week when we will be covering the use of highlighted accomplishments on your resume, an effective tool in advancing you to the interview stage of the hiring process. Please click here to subscribe, or follow us wherever you found this for more great tips. You can visit us at our website, hcrc.us or reach out to us directly by phone at 877-674-4272.

Taylor Maurer runs the talent acquisition firm HCRC as senior managing partner. He is a professional heavy civil construction recruiter dedicated to attracting and retaining high quality talent.

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