How to Summarize Your Experience for Recruiters

As a recruiter, I review an average of 100 resumes per day. Note that I said "review" and not "read." In order to find the best suitable candidate for a position in as little time as possible, I have become skilled at the art of skimming. My job as a recruiter is not to make a resume fit a job description by reading between the lines, but it is to quickly determine if the candidate meets the basic qualifications for the position.

It is very common for jobseekers to put too many words in their resume without actually saying what their job was. Your goal is to say exactly what you did and how you succeeded in your previous positions as concisely as possible. Notice that I did not say "as briefly as possible" – being concise means telling me what you actually did in as few words as you are able.

Here is an example of a Project Manager who was developing a way to save the company money on recruiting costs – at least I think that's what he was attempting to communicate:

Working with a large group, drove results, fine-tuned and deployed talent planning efforts in line with CIO level requirements for talent management within client's world-wide Lean Business Solutions (LBS) division. This included the combination of Talent Planning with the "Manager Excellence" and "Leadership Experience" program delivery, as directed by the Human Resources Business Partner for LBS.

It would have been much more concise (and effective) to summarize their accomplishments in a way that recruiters could quickly absorb:


  • Collaborated with Lean Business Solutions division to develop initiatives to promote recruiting solutions based on LEAN techniques
  • Developed SharePoint sites tracking project activity within multiple departments
  • Presented recruitment solution to Human Resources and CEO resulting in over $1M saved over a 5 year period


See how much easier it is to read those bullet points? I can easily see that they utilized LEAN and SharePoint, and I can see a specific result of their efforts (they saved the company money!)

Here is another example for a Software Engineer:

Architected the software design using UML & Visio. Wrote test cases for NUnit in C#. Built UI pages using MVC Views. Wrote MVC Controller Actions in C#. Built data Model using LINQ to SQL ORM, Wrote JQueries to implement AJAX functionalities in UI pages, wrote CSS classes to control the appearance and layout of MVC Views. Utilized HTML helper class in writing HTML elements. I'm sure that's true, but it's difficult to read when it looks like alphabet soup.

You need to make sure recruiters can quickly determine if you have the skills they are looking for:


  • Software Design of automated tool for internal mapping of new data center
  • Architected utilizing UML and Visio design systems
  • Built data Model using LInQ to SQL ORM
  • Wrote JQueries to implement AJAX functionalities in UI
  • Completed project 2 weeks ahead of schedule saving over $100k


It can be harder to be concise in the IT field because of the quantity of unique tools they use. To make your job summaries more concise, focus on the most important tools in the job description, and include the others in the "Skills" section of the resume.

The bottom line? The best way to show your qualifications is to be clear and concise, so I can help you get your next job.