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According to Forbes, the average recruiter will spend 60 seconds or less looking at a CV before they decide whether to discard it. This means that communicating your suitability for a specific job quickly has never been more important. A great statement of qualifications can provide the concentrated burst of knowledge needed to make a strong first impression.
A statement of qualifications is an introductory paragraph that gives a hiring manager a brief outline of your most important qualifications. This is often provided in place of a short professional summary or objective statement. As one form of CV introduction, this statement aims to give recruiters a snapshot of your skills. This form of introduction is best for those who have a lot of work experience and many relevant qualifications to their name. You can use academic qualifications if you want. In the state of California, there is also a “narrative statement of qualifications”, but this is a separate document.
The differences between a career objective, summary and statement of qualifications are simple. Here’s what you need to know:
This form of introduction uses bullet points and focuses on hard skills and qualifications. Best for highly qualified candidates, it takes up more room than the other two statements. It ensures your most desirable qualifications and certifications are the focal points of your CV.
A career objective statement is a two-to-three-sentence introduction that highlights employment goals. It’s ideal for recent graduates and career changers. This is a short introduction that can include soft and other relevant skills.
A professional summary statement combines some elements of the other two introductions. Shorter than a statement of qualifications and more focused on experience than an objective statement, it is best for job seekers with professional experience. This introduction provides a short sum-up of your best skills and most desirable qualifications.
When you come to write your summary of qualifications (SOQ), you should consider the job posting itself. If you have skills and work experience that match the job advert, then these should be given priority in your CV (and your cover letter). Once you know what the job description needs from you as a candidate, you can start writing. Follow these CV writing tips to get the best results:
Though an SOQ is longer than an objective statement or summary, it should still be concise. Pick four or five key qualifications to include. If you limit the number, you can give more detail about each one. This will give a better chance of impressing a recruiter.
Give specific examples to back up these qualifications. For example, rather than saying “top salesman in department”, say “consistently exceeded sales target by 15%.” When you give specific numbers, you are providing proof of your skills.
As you have limited space, each qualification should serve more than one purpose. Choose relevant qualifications that also showcase transferable skills. For example, give examples that also show:
Include examples that showcase any skills or relevant experience. This can increase the chance of a successful job search.
Action verbs can impact your job application positively. If you use passive language in your statement of qualifications, then a hiring manager may feel you are not passionate. Use phrases like “developed” and “implemented” rather than “duties included”.
Read CV examples relevant to the job title you are applying for. Look at CVs that have statements of qualifications and examples you can use for inspiration. The more examples you read, the more you can improve your skill at writing these statements. Use the CVHelp CV builder to create an editable CV that meets professional formatting guidelines. This tool provides a range of free templates that can help your job application stand out on a hiring manager’s desk.
If you have a lot of achievements and qualifications that are relevant to the job description that you want to apply for, then a statement of qualifications can work for you. If you do not have a lot of professional experience, then a career objective statement may be better for you.
Yes, you can use a statement of qualifications at any time in your career; all you have to do is focus on the qualifications and hard skills that you have. If you are a recent graduate, then you could list your academic qualifications and achievements (for example, specific awards and honours, being valedictorian, etc.).
Yes, you can use a statement of qualifications at any time in your career; all you have to do is focus on the qualifications and hard skills that you have. If you are a recent graduate, then you could list your academic qualifications and achievements (for example, specific awards and honors, being valedictorian, etc.).
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