What’s the difference between an elevator pitch and a resume summary?

Posted by: Arcelia Camacho Date: April 26, 2018 Category: PrepCan's Insiders

Dear PrepCan:

What’s the difference between an elevator pitch and a resume summary?

Sincerely,

Confused pre-arrival client

Dear Confused Pre-arrival Job Seeker:

There are several elements that make up your personal brand. Your elevator speech and resume summary are part of them.
Both your elevator pitch and your resume summary are marketing statements, they introduce you to your audience and aim to catch its attention. Below are the main differences between these two personal branding elements:

Elevator Pitch

Resume Summary

What is it?

It is a synopsis of your background and experience.

What is it?

It is a 3-5 sentences long statement that summarizes what makes you the right candidate for the job. The resume summary should emphasize your more relevant strengths and experience.

What is the purpose?

It answers the questions “Who are you?”, “What do you do?”, “What do you want to do next, professionally speaking?” Answering the last question is especially important if you are job hunting, actively or passively.

What is the purpose?

It answers the question “Why should I hire you?

How is it delivered?

It’s delivered orally. Its length should be 30 seconds or less (about 60 words).

How is it delivered?

It’s delivered in writing and it’s located at the top of your resume. People should be able to read it 6 seconds or less (3-5 sentences long).

Who/Whom is it customized to?

Your audience.

Who/Whom is it customized to?

The job posting.

What do I include in it?

Start with the following structure:

  1. I am a [occupation or job title]
  2. With expertise in [specialization industry or sector]
  3. My background includes [experience and credentials]
  4. My unique qualities are [what makes you unique and valuable?]
What do I include in it?

  1. A statement that will catch the reader’s attention
  2. Most relevant skills and experience tailored for the job
  3. Soft skills that make you a good fit for the job.
Example

Here’s an example from Simon Knight:
“When you release your new web app, the last thing you want is for it to fall over as soon as your customers actually start to use the thing, or the next time your marketing team decide to advertise a Black Friday deal in a prime-time ad break. I can help you to load, performance and failover test your application and architecture ahead of time so you know that’s not going to happen. While I’m doing it I can also check for security issues that your developers may have forgotten about. And the best thing? All the tools I use are open source - so no licensing fees!”

Example

Software Test Engineer with X years of experience in UI and UX testing for upcoming product releases and project management. Fluent in [X, Y, Z coding languages/tech knowledge], I have led 7 people cross-cultural team through [achievement].

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