Great Resumes Fast » Career » Why Your Resume Must Have A Career Summary.

Ok, so we all know objectives are out and career summaries are in, but let’s go into a little more depth about what constitutes a good career summary. A career summary should do three things:

1. It should tell the employer exactly what you are qualified to do
2. It should tell the employer exactly what you want to do
3. It should be captivating, powerful, and concise

I could probably add a fourth one in there about keywords, but that is a whole other blog post. For now, let’s focus on these three things.

Number 1. Without coming out and saying I’m a qualified Project Manager, your career summary should tell the employer what you are qualified to do. For example, consider the following statement: “Award-winning sales strategist with 10-plus years’ expertise in Contract Negotiation, New Product Launch, and Sales Lifecycle Management”

See how I dropped in three industry specific keywords, while simultaneously telling the employer that my client was so great at their job they had won awards—without having to spend two sentences telling them which awards? It is important to hone in on keywords that are relevant to the position you’re trying to obtain; be sure to put those in your career summary. And just think—you can still use 3-5 more sentences to wow them!

Number 2. They should be able to tell what you want to do. Don’t come out and say, “I want a job as a Customer Service Rep with ABC Inc.” Instead, focus the entire career summary on what you are qualified to do AND is also related to that position. If, in your career you’ve been in IT, sales, and health care, don’t relate all that info in the career summary unless all three apply to the particular position (i.e., You’re applying for a job to a health care sales company as their network analyst). Instead, pick a course and follow it. Ok, so now you’re not interested in IT or health care—now you only want to work in sales. Craft your entire career summary around your sales experience and expertise; don’t delve into all the dirty details about every single job you’ve ever had if they don’t apply to the position you want now.

Number 3. Captivate your audience, use powerful statements, but don’t be too wordy—be concise. The career summary should be 3-5 sentences long—no more, no less. Tell the audience about yourself, use unique descriptors, strong action verbs, and industry specific keywords. Do not use “I” statements, don’t give them your life story, and do not provide information that is not relevant to the position to which you are applying.

Here’s a tip: Have three different career summaries geared toward three different positions. Then you can cut and paste and use them as needed without having to reinvent the wheel every time you want to apply to a different position.

Good luck writing your career summaries and if you need some professional assistance you can always check us out at and request a free resume analysis.

Also – we are currently offering a new promotion called: A New Year – A New Career. Use promotion code: newyear when placing an order for any professional resume writing services to receive 15% off!

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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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