How to Create a Winning Summary That Gets You Hired

Your Hired summary gives you an opportunity to tell potential employers more about yourself beyond what’s on your resume. While it's a daunting endeavor to begin to summarize your professional history and ambitions, your Hired summary is your opportunity to really show off your accomplishments, personality, and aspirations. (This is also something your Talent Advocate can help with after you’re approved for our marketplace – don’t hesitate to reach out to your assigned TA for help with this part of your profile.) To write a successful summary, first get in the mindset of a hiring manager. Potential employers want to learn about candidates' professional accomplishments, range of technical experience, and interests. We suggest structuring your professional narrative around these three topics:

What you are currently working on

  • Go more in detail about how you got to where you are now.
  • If you have a gap between your last job and now, explain why/what you've been working on in the interim.

Successful projects (+ supporting evidence)

  • This is your opportunity to highlight some big wins or achievements.
  • List out specific projects — and make sure to link to them when at all possible.

What you're looking to do next

  • Write a few sentences about what you are looking to do next professionally.
  • If you're trying to make a career shift, share the impetus for the change.


Summary Example #1

TL;DR

I am enamored with code. I am an engineer by training and have worked in the fields of real estate and finance.  I am truly passionate about: software development. I love learning new languages and frameworks and can be a strong asset to an engineering team that is based on collaboration and creativity.

Summary

I received my engineering degree from Georgia Tech in 2008 where I studied Operations Research. After graduating, I started working in the real estate industry, but soon realized that I was headed down the path to a career in real estate which is not where I wanted to be. I decided to make a clean break and do something that really interested me. Writing code has been something that I’ve enjoyed since I was a 4th grader. The most fun I ever had in my college engineering courses were times I was using Java, Matlab, or writing VBA macros in Excel to come up with Monte Carlo simulation data. I’ve always been in awe of how powerful computation can be, but I never made the move to software.

My Recent Projects

I am most familiar with Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, PostgreSQL, and other ancillary libraries and frameworks such as jQuery, Twitter Bootstrap, Backbone.js, and D3.js. I’ve also used Neo4j and am familiar with the Cypher Query Language. ProjectA  is a web app which allows users to create relationships between songs in the Spotify database. Users can query the Spotify API, pull tracks into the BeatTree database, and then create relationships between them. ProjectB is a proof-of-concept for an online platform which allows users to log their scuba dives. The concept is to aggregate data which can then be used to provide real time conditions and environmental trends.

Who I Am and What I’m Looking For

I have a strong desire to grow as a programmer. I am always striving to commit better code, and I want to work for a company that expects that of me. While I would be most comfortable to work at a place which employs the technologies I am familiar with, I pick up languages and frameworks quickly and would be happy to acquire new skills and knowledge. Culture is a very important consideration for me. I believe that a company should be fiercely competitive, but the same does not need to be true of it’s employees. A little competition is healthy, but I find myself thriving more in environments of collaboration, mutual respect, and with opportunities for learning, creativity, and mentorship. More than anything else, I want to work with people who truly believe in the product or service they bring to the market. Passion and dedication is highly contagious. I am interested in both front and backend positions, particularly when they deal with things like big data, data visualization, and data science. I am interested in companies which operate in all industries, but of particular interest are education, science, real estate, finance, and information.

Summary Example #2

I live in New York, and I love writing code.

The past

I’ve been programming in some form since I was 11 years old. At University of Maryland I gained a strong foundation in computer science theory in addition to experience in actual software development through several internships, side projects, and a couple entrepreneurial endeavors. I also pitched for the club baseball team and was president of my fraternity.

The more recent past

For the last three years since graduating, I’ve been in the financial services industry working on fixed income analytics and equities trading applications. At Knight Capital, I’m currently in charge of creating a web version of our front-end application (Knight Direct), while continuing to develop and support our critical order/execution management servers through which hundreds of millions of shares are traded each day.

Side project

On the side, I’ve been developing an interactive HTML/JS table component with a simple, powerful API and the ability to handle very large data sets. It’s called aTable (because it’s…a table), and the first version will probably be released this week. https://github.com/xxxx/aTable

The future

I’m looking to move from the world of finance back into the world of software. While I’ve certainly been working on interesting and challenging projects over the last three years, it has become very apparent that I’m not 100% happy with my situation. I want to be part of the software culture. I want to be able to use new (or old) technologies if they are the right tool for the job. I want to have opportunities to develop my skills and learn new ones. I want to work for a company that understands that developers may not be most productive when held to a rigid 8:30-6:30 work day (and in general just understands developers). Most of all, I want to be part of a strong team working toward a clear vision that I can be passionate about.

The cliff notes

I really do love programming and I especially enjoy working with the full stack. While I write mostly Java and Javascript at work currently, I’ve spent various stretches in the past working in C#, Perl, and C++. On my own time, I’ve recently worked with Node.js, Backbone, Handlebars and other template libraries, and Mongodb (a little). I also enjoy learning new technologies, and I tend to pick them up very quickly. I’d prefer to stay in New York, but would entertain offers in other places as well.

Summary Example #3

What have I accomplished?

I currently work for a small company that makes a big difference by improving the state of modern medicine; we help hospitals and hospital groups improve patient outcomes for a wide range of surgeries, with a primary focus on cardiovascular (CV) surgery). I started there fresh out of college about 19 months ago, and I’ve already made huge contributions.
  • My first project was the enhance the UI/UX of a legacy CV surgery risk calculator web app used by tens of thousands of patients, physicians and surgeons every month with smart, modern features
  • Next, I worked with the team on our industry-leading analytics platform to add the ability to generate reports from data collected using our competitors’ software, driving sales by making it easy to demonstrate the value we provide versus that of our rivals
  • Seeing the importance of realtime data, I became the Lead Engineer on a new initiative to stream data directly from hospital registration systems as patients are admitted; this system now processes >10,000 messages per day and is being used as a model for other applications in the company to follow

Buzzwords

In my nascent professional career, I have written mostly Java/Spring applications which include a generous portion of Javascript, and a smattering of Groovy and Rubyapplications. The realtime hospital data streams I mentioned above are collected by a server developed on Node.js in CoffeeScript, passed on to an ActiveMQ queue, before being stored in an EAV schema PostgreSQL database and then further processed in Java. In school I wrote a lot of C++Java, and C, with some Python, and Scalaplus several other languages/platforms for one-off projects. Despite disliking the word, I love the “cloud” – I’m talking laaS and PaaS. I’ve used Google App Engine for school and personal projects and AWS EC2 for a school project, both were awesome and I’d love to work with them more.

What I’m looking for next

I am looking for the next place I can make a significant contribution. I especially would like to tackle larger problems, of scaling up to millions of users and the like. My favorite thing to do in my spare time is learn. Thus, I am a quick learner and I’m able to rapidly get up to speed in a new environment. I have a special place in my heart for networking and the Web, and would love to work on problems at a large scale. I’m a down-to-earth dude who is passionate about technology, loves a good technical conversation, and I’m anxious to work with others like me. So now I ask you, my potential employer, what would you have me work on next?