The Credentials Package and the Summary of Qualifications
With the national unemployment rate at 9.9%, job seekers have to make every effort to go above and beyond what is normally expected, to differentiate themselves in the eyes of the hiring manager. No matter how hard you try, attempting to differentiate yourself solely through your résumé is extremely difficult.
It is simply too challenging for a hiring manager to easily differentiate your résumé from everyone else’s. It’s as simple as that. Sure, there are a thousand different ways to format a résumé, but in the end it’s still just a résumé. So what can you do? In addition to preparing a résumé, you will want to focus additional effort on other components of your credentials package—all of the other pieces hiring managers don’t typically see. These pieces will set you apart from other candidates and answer all of the hiring manager’s questions (and more).
Your Credentials Package should include the following components:
- Customized Cover Letter
- Summary of Qualifications
- Customized Résumé
- References Summary
- Personal Profile
A great addition to the Credentials Package is the Summary of Qualifications. It is different from a résumé in that it provides a clear, concise, and customized assessment of your professional experience (found in your résumé) and personal attributes (from your Personal Profile – which we’ll talk about in Part II of this article) and how that experience and those attributes align specifically with the objectives of the organization and the requirements of the position (based upon your research). The Summary of Qualifications provides this in a greater level of detail than you could ever accomplish in a cover letter and in a more concise manner than can be accomplished with a résumé. After you pique the hiring manager’s interest with your cover letter, you save him/her the time of going through the details of your résumé by providing qualitative, objective, and definitive reasons why you are the best person for the job. If done correctly, often the Summary of Qualifications is sometimes all that the hiring manager has to read to select you for the interview.
Why the Credentials Package is critical:
- Allows you to prepare proactively and effectively for your next career opportunity
- Answers every question the hiring manager has, before it is asked
- Makes it very easy for the hiring manger to select you for an interview and for the position
- Provides you with the confidence you need to make a great first impression
- Gives you the tools you need to effectively manage the interview
Make the effort to differentiate yourself from your competition. The Credentials Package allows you to make a great first impression and provides all of the information necessary for a hiring manager to see that you are the best candidate for the position—all before you even have the opportunity to meet. Now that’s differentiation!
Over a 25-year period, Dan Burns has realized a successful career as a corporate manager, entrepreneur, educator, business owner, and now as a full-time writer.
Prior to writing, Dan served as owner and Executive Vice President of a national technical and management consulting company, providing consulting and employee placement services to Fortune 500 companies and helping people successfully obtain their next great career opportunity.
In May 2009, Dan published his first book, The First 60 Seconds: Win The Job Interview Before It Begins. Through his book and speaking engagements, Dan is helping thousands of people to be more successful in today’s challenging job marketplace.