How to Write a Resume Summary?

When you are writing your resume, what is the first thing that you think of? When hiring managers takes a look at your resume, what is the first thing they look for? Better yet, when you are buying a book, how do you decide if you will like the book or not? When someone reads a research paper, what do they look for first? The summary! The abstract. The objective.

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We don't like to dive deep into something we don't know anything about. We look for a summary or an idea of what we are getting into. When we go to cinema to watch a movie, we take a look at the trailer first to make sure we don't end up wasting our time and money watching something we don't like.

Only and only if we like the first impression, we indulge further. So, let's get to it! How to write a resume summary? At first, it might seem very simple part of the resume, however for best results (getting hired for the dream job!) you need to put in some extra efforts in this part of your resume.

They might say don't judge a book from the cover but how many people actually live by that? After all, if you don't like the cover, you are not likely to read the book. It is human nature. And just like that, if the hiring manager doesn't like the summary, they are not likely to go over the rest of the resume.

You can learn everything about the resume summary in this article and then check out the resume examples so that your work is done in few minutes!

how to write a resume summary

What is the Summary in Resume?

Sales pitch! Trailer! Book-cover!

Your resume will have various sections and a lot of details about your education, relevant experience, contact details, skills and more. The summary is a short recap of all those details in the beginning of your resume.

As mentioned above, resume summary statement is like a book cover or trailer for a movie. It is a sales pitch that explains 'why should you hire me?', in shortest manner possible.

It explains what skills and achievements you have, what is your cumulative relevant job experience and why you will be the perfect fit for the company you are applying to.

Summary is usually 3-5 lines long and absolutely crisp.

Resume summaries have varieties as well. You may see summary for a fresher's resume, an associate level professional's resume summary, and expert level professional's resume summary. Resume summaries can vary by the industry of the profession.

⚠️ Remember: Your resume summary has to be personalized with your experience, key skills and achievement along with the company you are applying to. Do not ever, copy a summary from somewhere else, not even from a fellow professional with the same background.

Difference Between Resume Summary and Resume Objective

You may have seen resume summary and also resume objective. So what is the difference between the two?

The difference is pretty simple. A resume objective is description of your goals. What is your objective while you are applying for the job or as a job seeker. What do you aim to achieve and where do you wish to reach.

how to write a resume summary

This shows what your expectations are going forward. It may also have a brief bridge between the journey(experience so far) and the destination(your end goal).

Now the, resume summary statement is more about convincing the employer to hire you because you have xyz skills, qualifications and experience. It is about what you bring to the company and why the company should hire you; how the company will benefit from you.

Once you understand the difference, you can easily decide if the particular job application will require a summary or an objective section in your resume.

Why the Summary is Important in Resume?

A summary in your resume, shows that you have something to offer. Something strong and clear rather than vague and ambiguous. You have measurable experience, achievements and skills to offer.

how to write a resume summary

The summary is also where you can include relevant keywords and that will increase your resume's chances of getting past the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). When you are aiming to get through filters, it is beneficial to have as much space as possible to include relevant keywords. This will get you more job interviews.

💡 According to a LinkedIn blog, only 10-20% of resumes get an interview after passing through the ATS! Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-percent-resumes-get-through-atss-actually-phil-rosenberg

With the summary in your resume, your resume will get noticed. For example, you might ignore the books that don't have a plot summary on the back or an unattractive or generic cover. But you will definitely check out the book with attractive cover and a plot summary.

Same applies to your resume. The hiring manager who is looking at a job candidate is likely to get interested to carefully check out your whole resume if you have a summary on the top of your resume.

Because the crisp details will

  • Ensure them that your resume has what they are looking for
  • The short details will intrigue them to learn more in detail.

What to Write in Resume Summary?

Most important question yet! What to write in resume summary? With the limit of 5 lines maximum, you might get confused about what to include and how to write the section. Don't worry, we have all the answers.

how to write a resume summary

As mentioned before you need to include your notable achievements(meaning not all), experience summary(meaning all of experience in numbers and few words, not many sentences), your skills and most importantly -why you are a perfect fit for the company.

You need to make sure that the details you include are in sync with what the company is looking for, everything extra you can leave out of the summary and mention later. The section is your letter to company, personalize it, tailor it for the company.

You should always write your summary section in bullet points. It should look something like this:

Current Job Title

  • Experience
  • Achievements
  • Skills

Make sure your summary section is short: 3-5 lines/2-5 sentences/3-5 bullet points.

Include all the important keywords. Keywords related to your job, professional title, your occupation and industry. Also include the keywords from the job description of the job posting you are applying to.

Most importantly, keep the details crisp. Use numbers wherever you can. Use truthful information and avoid any jargon or pointless extra words.

What to Avoid in Resume Summary?

Most important thing to avoid is the long length! Wordy sentences and extra words will make your summary look like pointless rambling. Stick to the defined limits above- 3-5 lines or 2-5 sentences or 3-5 bullet points. Not more than that.

how to write a resume summary

You must not write all the details in one paragraph. You need to use bullet points and short sentences.

We often use jargon, unnecessary words and fluff content because that's how formal/professional communication goes. Your summary doesn't need any of that. Your details should be to the point, crisp, short and inclusive of real numbers.

🎁 Extra Tips for the Perfect Summary

Apart from all you have learned until now, here are some extra tips that are cherry on top!

Have No Experience?

Summary is mostly about experience and achievements, but if you are a fresher, what should you write in summary?😥Don't worry!

You can write all about relevant course work, extra curricular activity-experience, special programs you might've participated in. Skills you learned during studies. Any remarkable results that you achieved during studies.

When to write it?

Write the summary at last, after you have written all the other sections and their details. This will give you a bigger picture of everything and you will see an outline of whole resume easily.

Chronology

We have mentioned before all the details you should include. Here's the right chronological order for those details. First start with the job title, then the experience. After experience you can write the key achievements and skills, you can club them together or write separately, that's your choice.

And last but not least, close by talking about how you will contribute to the company and what they will gain from you. This is where you address the personalization for the particular position at the company.

Revise Everytime

You may not need to revise your entire resume everytime however you should revise the summary section for every new job application. Tailor the details according to the position and the company you are applying for, everytime.

Key Takeaway

We have covered all you need to know about resume summary. Before we give you examples-

📌 Let's recap important points:

  • Bullet points, short sentences
  • No paragraphs
  • No fluff, crisp details
  • Numbers
  • Include keywords
  • Write it last
  • Follow chronology- Title, experience, key skills and achievements, how you will contribute
  • Revise for every application

If you keep in mind these points while writing a resume summary, you will surely write a really succinct, effective and good resume summary for your resume.

Although, you should personalize your summary according to your own particular experiences and key skills along with your proven track record, we have listed here some of he examples for your reference.

Your resume summary can change the whole job search scenario for you. With a good resume summary you can easily get number of interviews which you would otherwise miss out on with a poorly written resume summary.

Resume Summary Examples

Here are some of the summary examples for few common professions. You can use them as a reference for your own summary in resume.

how to write a resume summary

Business development executive

  • 5+ years of experience with real-estate and education industry.
  • Acquired US $ 2.5 million contract for the company and contributed to the revenue boost of 36%.
  • Awarded the business development executive of the year in 2014 for performance and (increased)impressive sales figures
  • Seeking opportunity to contribute with the accumulated knowledge and skills of effective marketing and sales.
how to write a resume summary

Dental assistant

  • 7+ years of experience in private & public medical facilities
  • Assisted with dental procedures & surgeries
  • Managed sterilization, record-keeping and other tasks
  • Increased the weekly patients by 25% with effective patient-friendly approach
  • Seeking an opportunity to contribute with the skills and knowledge in challenging environment
how to write a resume summary

Cashier

  • 3+ years of experience as cashier at heavy customer flow stores
  • Courteous and customer friendly nature with patience
  • Handling 3000+ customers daily with no difficulty
  • Looking for opportunity to contribute at with punctuality, dedication and commitment for the customer satisfaction
how to write a resume summary

Software engineer

  • 10+ years of experience in software development
  • Proficient in Java, JavaScript, SQL and more
  • Consistent and on-time project delivery
  • Eager to join the marketing industry and build solutions in demand
how to write a resume summary

Receptionist

  • 10+ years of experience in commercial sector
  • Pleasant, patient and people-friendly person with excellent communication skills
  • Won Receptionist of the Year Award in 2016 for professional and effective assistance
  • Worked with Hilton and Renaissance
  • Seeking an opportunity to work with Taj and contribute with accumulated skills and knowledge
how to write a resume summary

Human Resource Manager

  • 12+ years of experience in human resources industry
  • Skilled for talent acquisition, retention, payroll, tax data, corporate communication
  • Enhanced the internal corporate communication and productivity along with company reputation
  • Hoping to get an opportunity to contribute with the skills and better ideas
how to write a resume summary

Financial analyst

  • 5+ years of experience working with reputable companies
  • Skilled financial analyst and reporter with remarkable forecasting skills
  • Increased the company revenue by 45% with cost-analysis skillset
  • Seeking opportunities to contribute with analysis skills and help increase the revenue

These are only few of the common and good professional resume summary examples. You can easily find more of professional summary examples for your resume summary statement.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the language standards for resume summary?

Your resume summary section and other sections as well, should be written in third person, past tense and without any pronouns.

What is a professional summary?

Professional summary is the same as resume summary. Other interchangeable terms are career summary statement, experience summary, qualifications summary.

Should I write the summary and objective both in my resume?

No, you only need the resume summary in your resume. Objective has become an old trend now and unnecessary. Hiring managers will only need the summary of your profile in your resume.

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