It’s 2010: I need a new resume summary!

Hi Liz,

I am a technical communicator and project manager. I am a one-person department so I run the show with no hand holding. I’ve taken the initiative to save my company money and am always looking for ways to improve process. I have a strong work ethic and am respected by everyone I work with.

So, why am I so dissatisfied with my summary?

Experienced technical communicator, project manager, and team lead with an emphasis on database management. Seeking an environment that supports a problem solver who enjoys deciphering complex software and improving quality standards.

Please help.



——————- NOTE FROM LIZ:—————————

Dear Charlotte,

Don’t despair! Nearly everyone is unhappy with his or her summary!
I don’t know enough about you at the moment to re-write your summary, but take a look at these two (below) and see whether they spark any ideas. Both of them use the first person — you probably already know that I’m partial to that format, as “Experienced whatever whatever” is so robotic and impersonal. Both of them try to steer clear of jargon like “technical communicator” (what does it mean, exactly?) and both of them include some human details, or a mini-story. Let me know your thoughts — thanks! Liz

Summary One:

I started out as a technical writer before veering into IT project management, where recently I herded forty-two programmer cats to wrap up a massively customized ERP implementation four months early. I get paid to move big projects through their pipelines, and for fun I dismantle broken processes and replace them with simpler, more intuitive ones. At CNA, I led the Software Quality team to win our President’s Lifesaver Award in 2008, and now I’m looking for a PM role in a shop where human factors carry as much weight as technical ones.

Summary Two:

I’m an Office Manager whose strong suit is playing air traffic controller and First Mate simultaneously in a busy shop with lots of client contact. I’m happiest untangling thorny client issues, keeping a back-office infrastructure humming, and managing a CEO’s travel and appointment schedules so s/he can focus on other things. At Pickwick Papers, I ran the office and served as HR Manager, learning a ton about payroll, benefits and HR law in the process. I’m fearless about trying new things, and fanatical about helping make my company a tremendous place to work.

Cheers — Liz

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