Resumes

How to Write a Resume Summary with Examples

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You should know how to write a resume summary if you’re writing a resume and applying for jobs. Resume summaries show busy hiring managers and employers what you can offer them quickly and easily on a resume. This article will explain what a resume summary is, who needs one in their resume and how to write a resume summary.

What is a resume summary?

A resume summary, also referred to as a summary statement or professional summary, is a short statement at the top of your resume that describes your professional experience and key skills. Including a resume summary allows you to highlight your best qualifications and get the hiring manager’s attention right away.

A resume summary can help you get noticed faster by hiring managers, who often scan a resume to make sure the candidate is a good fit for the job before reading more carefully. 

Additionally, including a resume statement is a good way to make your resume more organized, clearer and easier to read. The resume summary is like the table of contents at the beginning of a book, shaping the reader’s expectations of what they will encounter. This will help bring the reader’s attention to your best qualities.

Who needs a resume summary?

Not every resume needs a resume summary. If you are new to the job market, do not yet have a great deal of experience, or have a pretty simple career path, you may be better off saving the space for something else.

However, if you are an experienced professional with several years of experience, or if you are hoping to switch career paths, a resume summary can help to organize your resume. A resume summary can tie together different pieces of your experience or indicate how your skill set is transferrable to the role you are seeking.

How to write a resume summary

Follow these steps to write a resume summary:

1. First, start by explaining who you are

The first sentence or bullet point of your resume summary should clearly state who you are as a candidate. Make this a powerful statement that summarizes your experience and why you are a good fit for the job.

Examples:

‘High-achieving sales agent with 5+ years of experience driving sales in established accounts and developing prospects.’

‘Copywriter with attention to detail and ability to turn around projects on a quick deadline.

‘Attentive registered nurse dedicated to diagnosing patients and managing treatment.’

2. Second, highlight what you bring to the role

Before you begin writing your resume summary, take some time to make a list of your most important skills and experience, including certifications, awards or other achievements, technical skills, and soft skills. Include some of these top experiences in your resume summary to highlight what you bring to the role. 

At the same time, you will want to use your summary to demonstrate how your skills and experience will contribute to the organization’s mission and goals.

Examples:

‘Dynamic and motivated project manager with proven success in designing, executing, and closing more than a dozen projects.’

‘Organized human resources professional with a master’s degree in human resources management and 20+ years of experience in employee hiring and onboarding, performance management processes, and HR records.’

‘Experienced software engineer with a passion for building startup businesses.’

3. Third, capture job posting keywords

Adjust your resume summary for each job you apply to by scanning and capturing the job posting keywords. Carefully read the job description and select the key words from the ‘requirements’ or ‘education’ sections of the posting. This will demonstrate you prepared for, and are excited about, a particular position and you clearly meet the requirements the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate.

Example:

For a job posting that says the employer is looking for someone with at least 5 years of experience:

‘Compassionate registered nurse with 5+ years of professional experience and certifications in neonatal resuscitation.’

For a job posting that says the employer is looking for someone with experience working with major brands:

‘Social media communications and advertising expert with experience in creating and managing social media strategies for global companies.’

4. Fourth, keep your summary short

A resume summary should be no longer than 2-3 sentences or bulleted points in a list. Space is limited in your one-page resume, so keep your summary short and straightforward. 

Example:

‘Award-winning digital producer with 10+ years’ experience in supervising and creating digital media content. Adept in complex and compelling storytelling.’

‘Proven leader of international sales organizations offering 20 years of experience in developing successful growth strategies and training team leaders. Known for crafting compelling marketing strategies. Effectively managed multi-million dollar, multi-product global businesses on several continents.

‘Blending lab management experience and academic training as a PhD in microbiology. Background includes office administration, event planning, and scheduling expertise.’