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How to Write a Resume Summary

Updated 1/24/2019

A general summary of qualifications will rarely produce impactful results when writing your resume summary. Writing a laser-focused professional summary that speaks to your work history, qualifications, years of experience, and the skills you can offer to the organization will generate much higher resume response rates from a potential employer. So in order to assist you in stepping away from generalities in your summary statement and a vague career objective that tends to find its way into so many resumes these days, I’m going to provide you with some tips on how to write a powerful professional career summary for your executive resume.
Think about your most notable career accomplishments and how they relate to the position you’re applying to–then write a statement that highlights all of that. Powerful career summaries are targeted to the position you’re interested in. Include the job title to the position you’re applying for within the first sentence of your career summary. Additionally, follow that resume introduction with 2-3 sentences that support your qualificationsskills, experience, and how you can be an asset to the organization.

How to Write The Best Resume Summary

The best resume summary will present your qualifications, extensive experience, accomplishments and professional track record in a compelling and concise resume profile. A great resume summary statement condenses your years of experience into 3-5 meaningful and loaded work experience statements that speak to your skills, brand, experience, and value proposition.

Example of a resume summary

sample of resume summary

A great formula to use for your resume heading is:

Keyword | Keyword |Keyword
Put some thought into what the employer‘s hiring needs are for that specific position, and then include in your professional summary how you can meet them. Use keywords in your qualifications summary to showcase your principal areas of experience and how well they match the hiring manager‘s requirements for the position. Create variety in your sentence structure; this will keep the reader’s attention and induce him or her to continue reading the resume summary. Using keywords in your career summary will also help position you as a subject matter expert and substantiate your value to the organization. Creating a captivating professional summary is important to the overall success of your resume and its response rate. If you want the hiring manager to read the rest of the resume, you need to invest a significant amount of time and attention in this summary–especially since the hiring manager will spend only about 6-10 seconds with their initial resume scan. Typically, the professional summary receives the bulk of the initial scan–and can make or break the hiring manager‘s decision to read the remainder of the resume.

The difference between a resume summary and an objective statement

An objective is a very broad and sweeping statement on your resume that typically sounds like:

Seeking a position where I can learn and contribute to the growth of a company.

They’re very general. They’re usually focused on what you want versus explaining what you can do for the potential employer.

While I think a career snapshot is much more effective than a resume summary, a qualifications summary when written correctly can add value and attract employer attention. The key is to be specific when you’re talking about what you can do for a prospective employer and not to be general.

A couple of additional resume summary statement tips:

– Do not use a resume objective. An objective should not be used when writing a resume. Unless you’re an entry-level student with no years of experience to include on your resume. I’d completely avoid an objective statement.
– Avoid using resume templates to write your resume summary statement. You’ll find that it’s too easy for other people to copy the resume summary they find on resume summary examples and resume samples on the internet. It’s OK to look for inspiration for your resume summary on executive resume samples or search resume examples online just don’t copy a sample resume word-for-word. It defeates the purpose of standing out. You’ll end up blending in and won’t attract employer attention because the hiring managers get tired of reading the same content over and over.
Accomplishments and experience that are unique to your career are ideal to include on your resume. Hiring managers are really interested in seeing information in your resume summary that doesn’t sound like everyone else.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed with the task of writing a resume summary? If you’re struggling to find the right wording for your resume and cover letter a professional resume writer can help. Our executive resume writers can create a polished and professional resume.
Would you like feedback and suggestions for your resume? Email your resume to us  for a free resume review.
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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


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  3. Accord Consultants on February 21, 2018 at 5:22 am

    Thanks for sharing information. Nice Article. For more information click on Free Career Tips

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