How to Write a Summary for a Resume

It is known that the hiring managers spend an average of 6-9 seconds to scan the resume. While most job seekers spend hours crafting comprehensive work experience descriptions, they forget about one of the most important introductory parts of the resume – summary. A professionally written resume summary statement can win you a job interview invitation within seconds when underestimating its quality might completely diminish the overall impression of your proficiency.

How to Write a Summary for a Resume

How to Write a Summary for a Resume

What Is a Resume Summary?

The resume summary is an opening resume statement that briefly but powerfully summarizes your professional credentials, strength, and accomplishments. The summary is the first thing the hiring manager pays attention to as it is located at the top of the resume right under the contact information. The main aim of this statement is to give the employer a quick look into your work history to understand who you are as a professional. Metaphorically speaking, those first sentences you can tell about yourself are your unique selling proposition which should make the employer buy your expertise from the first glimpse.

Read More: Why Do You Need a Great Resume?

How to Write a Resume Summary?

Before composing your resume summary, you should clearly define :

  • Your desired position and companies you would like to work for

When you decide on the companies and positions you want to land, it is crucial to search for their requirements and vision of the perfect candidates. This information will help you distinguish points you should look for in your professional experience.

  • Personal work history details: companies, roles, responsibilities

Whether you have a long job history or have just started your career, your summary statement should be focused on the most recent position you occupied. Do not go into detail about your regular duties. Instead, it is better to think about specific challenges you have conquered during your job and what responsibilities you can fulfill the best.

  • The most significant career achievements

Think of your proudest moments during past jobs. Perhaps you increased your company revenue, accelerated sales, or handled a crisis without loss. Try to quantify those results and highlight the most significant ones.

  • Noticeable qualifications, skills, and proficiencies

To find the suitable and relevant skills the market is looking for, you need to study job postings. Then, select the top three qualifications that match your position and highlight them in your summary. Those skills and abilities will be the keywords the hiring managers will grab into while reading your resume summary.

When you have this information collected, you сan start creating your summary. Use active voice and action words, as well as relevant keywords you found during your research, and incorporate them while writing your summary following the plan:

  • The number of years of relevant experience and biggest responsibilities.
  • Impressive quantitative achievements.
  • Skills, abilities, and knowledge relevant to the desired position.

How Long Should a Summary Be?

As a rule of thumb, the summary should be short and to the point, consisting of around five to eight sentences and not more than 100-150 words. However, there are no strict limits, and it is up to your experience to decide how long your summary might be. Typically a beginner summary for a resume is shorter than the executive’s and is more concentrated on knowledge and abilities when the more experienced professional can elaborate on their work history and skills. Below you might look at a few real resume summary examples to better understand the correlation between the professional level and summary statement length.

Related: How Long Should a Resume Be?

Resume Summary Examples

Take a look at the seven examples of summary statements created by our certified professionals. You may use it as an inspiration for your own resume, but do not forget to tailor the text up to your unique work history.

  • Leading IT field Executive with extensive 15+ years experience in developing and implementing sales and business development strategies that enhance business volumes, growth, multi-million-dollar revenue targets, and profitability. Proficiency in operating leading world-known companies with up to $100 million service revenue. Repeatedly boosted business operations and increased revenue through identifying new business prospects, entering new markets, acquiring new consumers, and gaining a major market share during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Digital-native Professional with 5+ years of proven track record of delivering successful content- and visual-rich digital marketing initiatives focused on story-telling, brand development, & customer engagement. Expertise in managing digital products, website development, and product roadmaps. Proficiency in modern product discovery and delivery strategies. 
  • An entrepreneurial Head of Agency Partnerships and Ad Tech Sales with a proven track record of business partnership and organization establishment. Expertise in launching and growing marketing technology as a new business pillar from scratch that leads to revenue increases. Experienced in analyzing trends and forecasting sales to develop long-term relationships. Results-driven team builder with repeat success in developing teams up to 70 professionals that consistently achieve all significant quality and financial results. 
  • Strategical expert at leading large, diverse construction and facility management teams, including project management, customer expectations, and team motivation. Proficient in applying policy and applicable directives in interpreting blueprints and drawings. Long-term demonstrated expertise in high-volume logistics planning, coordination, synchronization, and accounting for global construction and facility operations. Develops plans for the acquisition and maintenance of facilities, supplies, and equipment. Establishes control processes to ensure that the priorities and objectives are achieved on time and with the most profitable result. 
  • Supervisory IT Specialist with 20+ years of proven track record in developing and implementing complex technical operations, network engineering, escalation support, network/system administration, and logistics. Expertise in delivering high technical support, managing network operations, and maintaining networks across multi-platform environments. Strong management skills, with the ability to direct large-scale development and installation projects. Outstanding communication skills and ability to understand business requirements to cross-collaborate and reduce costs. 
  • Mission-driven Registered Nurse with extensive insight into providing care to patients. Skilled in providing professional nursing care to promote, attain, maintain, and restore patients’ health in multiple healthcare settings. Committed to showing efficiency and collaboratively to achieve clinical operational delivery excellence when representing clinical delivery to consumers. Strong willingness to serve humanity better. 
  • A Software Engineer Professional with 3 years of experience in programming in C/C++, running in a real-time operating system, hardware and software interactions, and development of unit tests for machine control. Proven ability to contribute to all phases of the development cycle, including specification, architecture, design, test, and field support. Capable of effectively setting priorities for the team, getting results across boundaries, ensuring an inclusive work environment, developing employees, and managing performance and risks.

Summing Up

The introductory summary statement is an essential part of the resume that describes your most important and valuable job history moments with all challenges and achievements just in a few sentences. A professionally written summary should state right here and right now why you are the best candidate for the job and why your credential is the one that a future employer lacks. Skipping this part of the resume preparation process might greatly influence your impression as a professional. If you can’t tell anything exciting about yourself, who else will?

Writing a summary might only look like an easy job, but it takes deep self- and market research to determine which information is worth highlighting in the resume summary.

If you don’t want to spend time thinking about what to put in the summary of resume and how to make it spot on to attract within seconds, try our resume writing service. Our Certified Resume Writers will know how to portray your professional profile within five sentences in a way you could never imagine yourself.

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