As we already learned, Objective sections in a resumes are outdated and recruiters, as well as hiring managers, don’t find them useful.

What should you start your resume with, instead?

A great Summary section!

A Summary is your opportunity to answer the “tell me about yourself” question concisely.  It’s a chance to emphasize your key skills, experience and career highlights so that a recruiter can quickly see your potential suitability to an open position.  The Summary is the first, and often one of the only things a recruiter reads and a good summary statement should be a part of every resume.

How do you create a good Summary section?

Think about the most critical skills and experience that you have – three or four is enough.  What are the most important things that you would want to tell a recruiter, or a hiring manager, about yourself if you were speaking with them?  Make sure that they align with the job description and requirements.  Are you familiar with the term Elevator Speech or Pitch?  Think of your Summary as a personal elevator pitch, an opportunity to tell the reviewer about the strengths and accomplishments that truly make you stand out as a candidate.

For example, you might highlight your expertise in increasing census for troubled communities or bran new starters, your ability to put together and motivate a strong team, or your ability to affect the bottom line (financials) of a facility or a community.   Questions you should be thinking about and answering in your Summary are:

How much money did you save your last organization?

How much money did you make your company?

What is your NOI?

How much have you grown census, since your start date?

How fast did you fill up a brand new community / facility?

How have you grown starts at your facilities?

What have you been your survey accomplishments?

Provide enough detail that it makes your statements meaningful and tells the recruiter something real that allows them to truly understand your qualifications and accomplishments as a Nursing Home Administrator, Executive Director, Director of Nursing, etc…  Make your summary 5-6 lines (bullet points) of highlights and accomplishments that will grab the interviewer from the very beginning.

REMEMBER:  the idea is to catch the reviewer’s attention not turn them off with a block of heavy text. Don’t give in to the temptation to go longer than this!  Another don’t?  Don’t write in the first person – no “I dids” allowed.

Your Summary is a good place to:

  1. List a short bullet point accomplishments.
  2. Let us know about any certifications that you have, especially if the job description makes it clear that’s important to them.

LNHA – (Valid license in what states?)

DON – RN License (Valid in what states and valid until when?)

Remember, you have a minute or less to let us know that you are the right candidate for the job.

  1. Optimize your resume for an ATS reader using keywords from the job description and making sure it is in the best to parse format.  Take a look at the words and phrases we use and adjust your copy to match, where it makes sense.  Many companies use ATS software and while it can be frustrating to think about being “evaluated” by a machine, it is a reality that you need to consider.  Optimizing with keywords in your summary is a relatively easy way to address this.  The best format to send your resume in is Word format.
  2. Tailor your resume to the job position.  Advice from everyone and everywhere is to tailor your resume to each position as much as possible.  Keywords are one way to match your resume to their job description.  Read the job description and make sure that you have something about yourself that matches up with the key skills and experience they are looking for.  The Summary is an easy place to edit and change things and if you are only making changes to one part of your resume, it can also be easier to proof and avoid mistakes.

The top part of your resume is your opportunity to make a great impression and establish your unique value as an employee and a Summary section is the best way to accomplish that.  Simply saying something like “I’m looking for a position”, a typical opening for an Objective section, does not do any of that.   It is critical to carefully plan what you write and take this chance as your opportunity to make a great first impression, right away.

Creating a great Summary will open your resume with a BANG and help you get noticed more by recruiters, hiring managers, or anyone reviewing it.


AIM Healthcare Recruiting

Your Long Term Care Specialists