writting resume summary

How to Write a Resume Summary

These days, writing a resume summary at the top of your resume is very important. Without a professional summary for resume, you have a very slim chance of being seen. This means that you can’t afford the traditional one-sentence statements, such as “Objective: To obtain a position as a content writer” anymore.

A resume summary is a statement that describes your experiences that could benefit the company the most. It is usually two or three lines long and most experts say to keep it to 50 words or less. That way, the job highlights will be the first thing that an employer sees. Hence, you’re more likely to be contacted for an interview.

The Reason that the Traditional Objective Statement is No Longer Feasible

The traditional objective statement states only the name of the position that you want. It does not state why you think you’re right for the job, how your past experiences relate to it, etc. These days, employers only care about what you can bring to the job. The traditional objective statement does not say anything about that.
Again, a resume career summary is what gives employers a much better idea upfront of how your experiences and skills can benefit your ability to work for that job.

Here’s an example:

  • Successful sales professional with 15+ years of experience in upscale retail environments. Rectify cost controls to reach the company target. Maximize bottom-line performance through staff management and inventory management.

Here’s what you don’t need to do:

  • Advocate for an LGBT organization looking to take my persuasion skills to a Women’s Rights company. Know how to use Microsoft Word.

Never mention in your resume summary statements companies that could be considered controversial or obvious skills!

What Goes into a Resume Summary Statement?

Most experts recommend thinking of your resume summaries as an elevator pitch. That is, to visualize a somewhat chance meeting with the employer and making your pitch to him or her without delay.

While you’re writing your resume, it is recommended that you study the job description advertisement, brainstorm your unique experiences and make a note of them.
The three main factors you need to consider to have a good summary for resume are your work history, skills, and special accomplishments.

Work history example:

  • 5+ years of experience in IT management.
  • Babysat for three years in high school.

If you have a college degree, anything high school-related shouldn’t be mentioned.

Skills example:

  • Counselor, IT manager, etc.
  • Mattress sleeper.

Special Accomplishments example:

  • Nobel Peace Prize, 2001.
  • Employee of the Month at Hamburger Inc. September 2010.

3 Tips for Your Resume Summary of Qualifications 

  1. Your Work History. How do any of your previous job duties relate to the one that you’re applying for? Even a common company culture can count.
  2. Special Skills. What skills for resume do you have or have gained that will greatly benefit the job that you’re applying for?
  3. Your Significant Accomplishments. Have you accomplished anything significant in any job leaving out things like Employee of the Month? For example, if you helped boost the company sales and know by how much, state that. If you helped establish a new program, mention that. You can also mention things like school- or job-related awards.

Don’t Forget the Power of Keywords!

Don’t hesitate to add resume action words. For example, if you’ve worked for a Legal or Market Research company and it relates to the job that you’re applying for, don’t hesitate to mention that in your summary. Even if it’s just in a single phrase or word.

Think of yourself as having your own unique brand of experiences as a job seeker. Remember that companies have their own brands, too. Whether or not you land the job is never about you personally. It’s about whether your “brand” of experiences matches the company.

When You Don’t Have Any Experience

If you’re fresh out of college, you’re more than welcome to emphasize it on your resume summary section. You will need to mention what your degree is in, whether you took any special leadership positions in anything extracurricular and with that you can say, “proven leader”.
If you’re fresh out of high school or only have a high school level education, mention your passions. Such as whether it’s technology, making a difference in the world through advocacy, etc.

Here’s an example:

Highly motivated Psychology graduate who is a natural leader and passionate about assisting the elderly.

Other General Examples that Highlight Your Strengths

Work History and skills: 

  • Extensive involvement in helping banks increase their profits by $1b+.
  • Proven ability to effectively problem-solve in a very short amount of time.
  • Strong facilitation skills for diverse groups of students and professionals.


  • Counselor
  • Chef
  • Teacher
  • Health
  • Writing
  • Design
  • Technical
  • Policies
  • Certification
  • Retail
  • Operations

Some examples of different names that can mean the same or very similar things: 

    • networking and recruiting
    • information technology and social media
    • healthcare and hospital
    • hospitality and server
  • forecasts and public services

Consider Your Target Industry

Here, we’re not talking about just studying the job advertisement. We are talking about pursuing your dreams upfront. It is always a good idea to look for something in an industry that you’re passionate about and want to work for.

Keeping up with your field’s trends on your own shows your potential employer how much you want to work for him or her. We’re almost mentioning this because it can make a huge difference in how you choose to word your resume profile summary.

Consider this…

Highly motivated and passionate about innovating Jungian therapeutic techniques for clients who are traumatized.

This is a very specific and professional summary for resume. It also shows the passion without going overboard.

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