3 tips for writing an effective resume summary, says ex-Nvidia recruiter: ‘Leave out the years of experience'

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Former Google and Nvidia recruiter and current HR consultant Stefanie Fackrell knows how to write a resume that will catch hiring managers' eyes.

Include a line at the top about what kind of work scenario you're looking for, for example: remote, hybrid, on-site. And before you even begin writing your resume, make sure to keep a separate list of your work accomplishments to cull from on a regular basis.

Fackrell also has advice when it comes to writing your professional summary, or the section at the top of your resume that sums up your experience before you get into each specific title and your accomplishments within it.

"I'm always impressed with people that can really package it very well," she says. Here's what she recommends doing.

It 'showcases what the person brings to the table'

Think of this section of your resume as a high-level illustration of your success.

"I think a great summary just really showcases what the person brings to the table," says Fackrell, including "what they're passionate about, what they've done in their career." Keep it short, she adds. "Three-to-five sentences."

For example, if you're applying for a managerial role, Fackrell says to include lines like "seasoned program manager who has built 10 products" and "passionate about learning and development."

'Leave out the years of experience'

A few things to keep in mind:

First, "I always do say for professional summaries to leave out the years of experience," says Fackrell. "A lot of people say '20 years of experience, 15 years of experience.'" But to avoid "bias or ageism," she says, leave out the years. Your resume and LinkedIn will ultimately show the length of your career without you needing to bring it up explicitly.

Second, not all industries need a resume summary.

"High finance, I think, and lawyers really don't do professional summaries," she says. Tech does, however, as do marketing, advertising and sales.

Finally, before deciding whether to include one or not, especially if you're pivoting or just starting your career, "always Google search or look up what should be on a resume within that industry," she says. It won't necessarily count against you if you include it in an industry where it's less common, but if you want to "fit in," she says, do that research ahead of time.

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