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How to Write a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) on Your Resume?

How to Write a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) on Your Resume?

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What Is a Statement of Qualifications?

A statement of qualifications (also known as a summary of qualifications) is a brief overview of who you are as a person.

Often located at the top of your resume, it provides an introduction and acts as a highlight reel to entice the recruiter to continue reading your resume.

Your statement of qualifications (SOQ) is a few sentences to explain why you are qualified for the job role and what benefits you can provide to the employer.

It should focus on your work experience and your skills and reference any significant achievements that you may have previously gained.

What Is the Difference Between an Objective and a Statement on a Resume?

There are some similarities between the resume objective and the statement of qualifications.

Both are designed to entice the recruiter to read more about who you are as a candidate and choose you over other applicants.

However, your resume objective is much more about you. It tends to focus on:

  • Your employment goals
  • Your aspirations
  • Your preferred working style

In contrast, the statement of qualifications is a summary of how you meet the employer's job requirements and highlights how you can help the employer.

As such, the statement of qualifications is designed to help the recruiter understand what you can do for them.

What Is the Purpose of the Qualifications Section of a Resume?

Competition for jobs is fierce.

For each job, recruiters can expect to receive hundreds of applications, and they simply do not have the time to review each application in any detail.

Even if a recruiter is choosing to use automated software to filter through applications in line with pre-set parameters, they still need to manually review each application once they’ve passed through the software.

This means that recruiters may only take a passing glance at your resume to see if you are right for the role.

With just a few seconds for your resume to make an impression, using a tool such as a statement of qualifications can be enough for your resume to stand out and declare “Choose me!” to the recruiter.

It allows them to see almost instantly whether you have the right qualifications for the role before they read more detail within your resume or your accompanying cover letter.

What Is the Statement of Qualifications Format and How to Customize It?

Tailoring your application materials is a pivotal step in securing your dream job. Just as you customize your CV or resume for each job application, you should meticulously craft your Statement of Qualifications to resonate with each prospective employer's needs. This section plays a crucial role in your resume, allowing you to shine a spotlight on what you can bring to the table.

Here's a strategic approach to aligning your Statement of Qualifications format with the job you're pursuing:

Study the Job Description

Begin by thoroughly reviewing the job description. Take a highlighter pen and mark any desirable traits, skills, and requirements specified by the employer. This step will be instrumental in shaping your Statement of Qualifications.

Craft Your SOQ Around Highlights

Your Statement of Qualifications should revolve around the highlighted phrases from the job description. Doing so ensures that your application remains closely aligned with the employer's expectations. It's not just about stating your qualifications; it's about demonstrating how your qualifications match their needs.

Utilize Relevant CV Keywords and Terminology

Incorporate the same keywords and terminology found in the job description. This repetition of resume power words serves a dual purpose: it maintains relevance between your application and the employer's requirements, and it boosts your chances of passing through automated applicant tracking systems (ATS).

How to write a summary of qualifications?
How to write a summary of qualifications?

In essence, your tailored Statement of Qualifications becomes a powerful tool that clearly communicates your suitability for the role. Combine this strategic approach with the guidance provided earlier to create an impactful document that distinguishes you as the ideal candidate.

Remember, the key to a successful job application lies in the details. By customizing your resume and Statement of Qualifications to the specific job you're pursuing, you'll significantly increase your chances of landing the position you desire.

Statement of Qualifications Template

If you’ve never seen or read a summary of qualifications before, here’s a sample statement of qualifications template to help you understand what to include:

  • How many years of experience you have working in this particular profession.

  • Your academic achievements – Make sure that these match the requirements stated in the job description.

  • Professional credentials – If you’ve achieved any significant certifications or you hold professional licenses or memberships state them clearly.

  • If you are applying for a managerial or leadership position state how many people you’ve been responsible for/the size of your team.

  • Details of any major projects that you’ve worked on that are relevant to the job description. Remember to include measurable statistics or data to show its impact as well as the wider context.

  • Where possible, try to include quantifiable results. This could include an increase in sales, the number of contracts, the expansion of your database or an increase in profit margins.

How to Write a Statement of Qualifications in 4 Steps

Now that you know what you should include within the statement of qualifications, let’s take a look at how you should write your summary of qualifications.

Step 1. Keep It Short

You have limited space on your resume, so your statement of qualifications needs to be concise; avoid duplicating any information that could be found elsewhere on your resume.

Step 2. Check the Job Description

Earlier on, we suggested working through the job description armed with a highlighter pen so that you are clear on what the employer is looking for.

Make sure that everything you write relates directly back to the job description – it’s the most effective way to ensure that a recruiter takes notice.

Your summary of qualifications should act as a teaser to encourage the recruiter to continue reading. Therefore, it should focus on the things that are most important to the employer.

They want to know straight away that you are the right person for the job. Find the strongest elements of your resume that match the employer’s needs and focus on these areas.

Step 3. Quantify Your Experience

Try to provide as much quantifiable evidence as possible.

Don’t just tell the employer that you’ve improved sales – tell them by how much.

Of course, you don’t want to give away commercially sensitive information (especially if the prospective employer is a competitor to your current workplace), but you can use percentages to add a quantifiable impact to your statements.

Step 4. Get to the Point

Using action and power words can help your statements to pack a punch and capture a recruiter’s attention.

Words and phrases such as ‘mentored’, ‘supervised’, ‘conceptualized’, ‘performed’, ‘maintained’, ‘updated’, ‘collaborated’ and ‘facilitated’ are all powerful words that can lift your statement from drab to fab.

Statement of Qualifications Examples

We’ve broken down these statements of qualifications examples into three distinct groups; for those starting their careers, those progressing into managerial positions and for those working in senior roles.

Entry-Level Statement of Qualifications Example

  • Worked as a cashier at Walmart for three years (2017–2020)
  • Achieved a high school diploma from John Adams High with a 4.0 GPA. Currently studying for an English Literature degree at USC
  • Received a 96% score on the customer satisfaction survey – an increase of 6% from the previous quarter
  • Collaborated with colleagues across different departments, helping to facilitate seamless customer service for all shoppers
  • Developed extensive multi-tasking and organization skills through the combination of paid employment and academic study

If you are new to the world of work, you may have limited information to share with a prospective employer.

Focus on any previous paid work that you have undertaken and also showcase your academic credentials.

You may wish to explain your GPA or any projects that you’ve worked on for school that have allowed you to develop transferable skills (such as the ability to multi-task or work logically and methodically).

Mid-Career Statement of Qualifications Example

  • Worked within administrative roles for over ten years, with a core focus on healthcare management
  • Liaised with patients across three locations, helping to organize and schedule a min. 40 appointments per day. Implemented a new booking system that increased appointment efficiency by 23%
  • Established positive relationships with key pharmaceutical suppliers, reducing spending by 4% over the last quarter
  • Received the Employee of the Year award in 2017 and 2019

As you can see from this example, the candidate has been able to focus attention on their extensive experience. They’ve drawn attention to the fact that they are highly organized and have been able to provide demonstrable evidence of their impact.

The mention of the personal award wins shows that this is a person who is highly regarded by their current employers and is seen as an asset to the team.

Senior Position Statement of Qualifications Example

  • Senior partner with over 35 years of legal expertise, specializing in family law
  • Maintained client relationships, enhancing corporate revenue by 17% in Q2 (comparative to Q1)
  • Achieved an average 89% satisfaction rating in client satisfaction surveys
  • Managed a team of seven family law specialists and three administrative assistants
  • Mentored two junior legal specialists, helping them to improve their performance and identifying additional training requirements
  • Collaborated with colleagues in two other departments to instigate our first-ever community project, raising $8,000 for the local church through fundraising activities and match funding

From this example, we can start to see how the candidate has moved into managerial positions and has taken the opportunity to mentor junior colleagues.

This statement of qualifications not only references their achievements but also shows how they’ve used their influence to make a positive difference in their local community.

Final Thoughts

As you can now see, the way that you write your statement of qualifications can have a significant impact on your resume.

However, it’s important to remember that the content included within the statement of qualification shouldn’t be a mere duplication of content written elsewhere within your resume.

You should consider the summary of qualifications as an overview – it should highlight the strengths of your career history, your skills and your academic/professional achievements.

Bear in mind that the way you write your SOQ is just as important as what you write. Your choice of language and phrasing can make a big difference in helping your resume stand out from others.

Using action verbs and providing quantifiable evidence of your achievements means that the recruiter can start to feel excited about your application before they’ve even begun reading.

This feeling of emotion amongst recruiters can play a significant role in helping you to be wanted and selected as the right candidate for the role.

Hopefully, these top tips will help you to create a statement of qualifications that positions you as the candidate of choice.

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