Did you know that hiring managers only spend an average of 7.4 seconds glancing at your resume?
That’s why you need a resume summary. A good summary can grab the hiring manager’s attention and convince them to read the rest of your resume.
In this article, we’ll show you how to write an attention-grabbing summary. Plus, we’ll provide you with lots of resume summary examples to help inspire you.
What is a resume summary?
A resume summary is a brief statement at the top of your resume that highlights your professional skills, experience, and achievements. It makes the hiring manager want to read your resume and get to know you better.
Think of your resume summary like it’s an elevator pitch: a quick, punchy way to say “Here’s what I can do.”
As far as length, most HR experts agree that your resume summary should be between one to four sentences.
Where to put your resume summary
Your resume summary should appear below your contact information and before your work experience section.
If you’re using a resume headline, your summary should appear just below that.
Here’s an example of a resume that uses both a headline and a summary:
How to write a resume summary
So, how do you craft a winning professional resume summary statement? Just follow this formula:
Professional Title (if relevant) + Key Experiences (with the total number of years worked) + Top Achievements (preferably measurable results) + Top Skills/Expertise/Unique Values (relevant to the job and industry).
To fill in this formula with the most relevant information, follow these steps:
Step #1 – Research the company
Analyze the job description for the position you want. Write down the job requirements, industry-specific keywords and phrases, and the key skills required for the job.
Here are a few questions to consider:
- What kind of person is the company looking for?
- What key skills and expertise do they require?
- What problems do they want to solve by hiring for this position?
Step #2 – See how you fit into the job
How do your key achievements, work experiences, and skills tie into the specific job you are applying for? Determine how you can add value to the company by helping them solve its problems.
Step #3 – Highlight your top selling points
Write down your top achievements, your unique skills and expertise, and your relevant work experience. Mention how your previous employers’ operations improved because of your contributions.
Always try to back up your accomplishments with numbers if you can. Here are some ideas for numbers to include in your resume summary:
- Sales and Revenue: Dollar amount or percentage growth.
- Cost Savings: Amount or percentage of costs saved.
- Productivity: Time saved or percentage increase in output.
- Project Management: Projects completed ahead of schedule or under budget.
- Customer Satisfaction: Improvement in satisfaction ratings or retention rates.
- Team Management: Number of people managed, mentored, or trained.
- Marketing Metrics: Audience growth, engagement rates, or campaign performance.
- Product Development: Number of products launched or users acquired.
- Quality Assurance: Percentage decrease in errors or audits passed.
- Networking: Number of strategic partnerships formed or events attended.
Step #4 – Tailor your resume summary
Most people send out the same resume to every job they apply to. Sure, this is easy, but it’s not very effective.
To get more job interviews, try to tailor each resume to the specific job you’re going for. This includes tailoring your resume summary!
Why is tailoring your resume so important?
Because of application tracking systems, or ATS. This is a computer software that most companies use today to help them manage the hiring process.
When you send in your resume, it doesn’t go directly to a hiring manager. Instead, it goes into an ATS database.
Hiring managers then look through the database for qualified job candidates. They do this by typing certain keywords in the search bar. These keywords are usually job titles and skills.
If you only send out the same resume with every application, it won’t contain a lot of the keywords hiring managers are searching for. So they won’t find it.
How do you tailor your resume? Just read the job description and see what skills are required. Then feature those skills on your resume (if you have them).
For example, if you were applying to this accountant job, you’d probably want to include some of the underlined keywords in your resume summary:
If you were writing a resume summary for this job, it might look something like this:
The only problem with tailoring your resume like this is that it’s time consuming. It can also be hard to know which keywords are the most important.
That’s why savvy job-seekers are turning to online tools like Jobscan’s resume scanner. This tool analyzes your resume against the job description and tells you exactly which keywords you should try to add to your resume.
To use Jobscan’s resume scanner, all you need to do is:
- Paste your resume into the scanner.
- Paste the job description in the scanner.
- Click “scan”.
You’ll then receive a match report telling you how to effectively tailor your resume to the job.
Here’s an example of a match report. In this case, the job description was for a medical practice administrator:
As you can see, this resume is missing the crucial keyword “billing”. Since the hiring manager looking to fill this position will probably type “billing” into the ATS search bar, it’s unlikely this resume will ever be found.
ATS are used by most companies these days, including over 97 percent of Fortune 500 companies. That’s why tailoring your resume with relevant keywords is the best strategy for success.
In fact, people who use Jobscan’s resume scanner to tailor their resumes get 50% more interviews than people who don’t use the tool!
15 resume summary examples
Here are 15 professional summary examples that cover a variety of situations and industries.
Each example features a bad example followed by a good example. Then we tell you why the good example works.
1) Student resume summary example:
Recent Marketing graduate. Passionate about optimizing product value and increasing brand awareness.
Recent marketing graduate with two years of experience in creating marketing campaigns as a trainee in X Company. Adept in search engine optimization (SEO) and social media marketing. Eager to learn more about growing businesses and optimizing product value.
Why this works: This summary quickly tells us the candidate has a marketing degree and real job experience at a specific company. It also highlights important skills in SEO and social media. It also shows the candidate is keen to learn and grow in their career, making them look both skilled and motivated.
For more information, read How to Write a College Student Resume.
2) Career change resume example:
Registered nurse who has a huge passion for running and managing a business. Has strong leadership and managerial skills. Able to work with others and take charge of a diverse team.
Registered nurse with 10+ years of management experience leading teams of medical and non-medical staff. Looking to leverage leadership skills as the Operations Supervisor at Company XYZ. Has 3+ years of experience running a family business, helping manage operations, and growing the business. Has strong leadership and managerial skills and has a huge passion for building businesses. Able to learn fast and adapt to changing circumstances.
Why this works: This resume summary shows the applicant has lots of management experience, both in nursing and in running a family business. They make their new career goal clear, wanting to be an “Operations Supervisor”. Their passion and quick-learning ability show they’re serious and ready for this new role.
For more information about changing careers, read The Ultimate Guide for Your Career Change.
3) Administrative assistant resume summary example:
Administrative assistant with strong organizational and administrative skills. Has worked with various agencies and has contributed greatly to every previous employer. Able to manage multiple tasks and create effective systems.
Administrative Assistant with 4+ years of experience doing administrative work and office support in 3 different agencies. Created a filing system that resulted in a 10 percent decrease in slack time within X Organization. Has strong organizational skills and a strong eye for detail. Able to create effective systems and documentation that are critical for the success of any organization or company.
Why this works: This resume summary shows four years of administrative assistant experience and success in different agencies. It quantifies achievements (10 percent decrease in slack time). It also highlights strong organizational skills and a focus on effective documentation.
Learn the top 10 skills required for an administrative assistant job in 2023.
4) Marketing manager resume summary example:
Experienced marketing manager seeking an opportunity to share her expertise on growing brand and increasing social media presence at X Company. Passionate about driving innovation in every marketing campaign and engaging users to more effectively reach and engage with them.
Digital marketing manager with over 20 years of experience. Spent 12+ years learning and focusing on search engine optimization (SEO), digital marketing, and social media marketing.
Why this works: Even though the good example is shorter than the bad example, it’s more effective. This is because it details the applicant’s experience and mentions specific areas of expertise (SEO, social media, etc…).
Learn the top 10 skills required for a marketing manager job in 2023.
5) Operations manager resume summary example:
Operations manager with proven leadership skills and strong communication skills. Has led various teams under different companies. Seeking to add value to X Company and help build the business from zero to one.
Results-driven operations manager with Lean Six Sigma Certification and 6+ years of experience leading teams, managing projects, and overseeing operations. In-depth knowledge of supply chain management, total quality management, and project management.
Why this works: This summary quickly tells us the applicant is results-focused and has important certification (Lean Six Sigma). With “6+ years” managing teams and projects, and special knowledge in areas like “supply chain management,” they’re presented as a well-rounded, experienced manager.
Learn the top 10 skills required for an operations manager job in 2023.
6) Customer service resume summary example:
Motivated customer service professional with years of experience working in customer service across different MNCs. Has strong communication and interpersonal skills and is seeking to join X Company to grow more in CS.
Customer service representative with 10+ years of experience dealing with different customers and resolving different customer complaints, issues, and inquiries. Has strong knowledge and experience in driving customer loyalty and building strong linkages with existing and repeat customers and clients. Consistently awarded as “Customer Service Representative of the Month” at X Company.
Why this works: This summary quickly shows over a decade of experience in customer service, dealing with various issues and building customer loyalty. Mentioning “Customer Service Representative of the Month” awards at a specific company highlights recognized success and dedication in the role. This makes the candidate appear reliable and skilled to potential employers.
Learn the top 10 skills required for a customer service job in 2023.
7) Teacher resume summary example:
A teacher who is very passionate about physics and imparting knowledge to high school students. Physics coach for several years. Introduced Physics modules and reviewers that helped many students pass exams and win physics competitions within the country.
High school physics teacher with more than ten years of experience teaching high school students. Coach of school’s physics team for 8 consecutive years and has consistently won in national physics competitions. Passionate about providing quality education to students and pushing them past their limits so that they can maximize their potential.
Why this works: This resume summary statement is oozing with passion, but it is also specific. It details the robust experience of the applicant and mentions their notable success coaching a physics team to national victories.
Learn the top 10 skills required for a teacher job in 2023.
8) Accountant resume summary example:
Certified public accountant for 15 years. Worked for big auditing firms within the country and has strong experience in tax accounting, risk analysis, and fund management.
Certified public accountant with 15 years of experience in tax, risk analysis, and fund management working with Ernst & Young for 10 years and Deloitte for 5 years. Responsible for cutting overhead by 10 percent in EY in 2020. Has strong analytical skills and is an expert in different accounting software and systems.
Why this works: This professional summary states the years of experience as well as the companies the candidate has worked for. Since Ernst & Young and Deloitte are two of the biggest accounting firms, this should impress hiring managers. The summary also includes tangible results (“cutting overhead by 10 percent”).
Learn the top skills required for an accountant job in 2023.
9) Cashier resume summary example:
Enthusiastic cashier with years of relevant experience working in X company. Works well under pressure and is willing to learn new skills to better serve customers.
Customer-focused cashier with 5+ years of experience serving different customers and creating a warm and friendly store environment. Has increased sales by 5 percent through strong communication and interpersonal skills. Has strong knowledge of managing financial transactions and creating end-of-day cash position reports.
Why this works: This summary immediately tells us the cashier has over five years of experience and has positively impacted sales by 5 percent. A range of useful skills is mentioned, such as creating friendly environments, managing financial transactions, and producing reports.
Learn the top 10 skills required for a cashier job in 2023.
10) IT resume summary example:
Experienced and knowledgeable IT professional seeking to contribute skills and knowledge to X Company.
Goal-oriented IT specialist working in the industry for more than 5 years creating databases, maintaining IT systems and infrastructures, and training others in IT. Automated a complex system and helped the company save 10 percent in overhead.
Why this works: This summary quickly shows the applicant has over 5 years experience in the field. Mentioning a specific achievement (“automating a complex system”) that saved the company money highlights practical, successful application of skills.
11) Data analyst resume summary example:
Enthusiastic data analyst with a knack for working with numbers and a desire to help companies make data-driven decisions.
Detail-oriented data analyst with 6+ years of experience in leveraging statistical analysis and data visualization tools to drive business improvement. Successfully implemented a data tracking and forecasting system at XYZ Corp that resulted in a 15 percent improvement in budget adherence. Adept at translating complex data into actionable strategies, and proficient in SQL, Python, and Tableau.
Why this works: This summary quickly shows the applicant has solid experience, knows useful tools like SQL and Python, and has successfully used their skills to improve a company’s budget use by 15 percent.
Learn the top 10 skills required for an data analyst job in 2023.
12) Graphic designer resume summary example:
Creative graphic designer who loves to create cool designs. Experienced in Photoshop and enjoys working in a fun environment.
Innovative graphic designer with 8+ years of experience creating compelling visuals for brands like [Brand A] and [Brand B]. Spearheaded a rebranding campaign for [Company X] that increased customer engagement by 20 percent. Proficient in Adobe Creative Suite, with a proven track record of marrying design theory with practical application to drive business success.
Why this works: This summary immediately mentions the “8+ years of experience,” providing a sense of the candidate’s career depth. Highlighting specific brands and quantifying accomplishments (“increased customer engagement by 20 percent”) emphasizes the applicant’s expertise in the field.
Learn the top 10 skills required for a graphic design job in 2023.
13) Pharmacy technician resume summary example:
Friendly pharmacy technician who knows a lot about various drugs and likes to help customers with their prescription needs.
Certified pharmacy technician with 7+ years of experience in retail and hospital settings. Reduced medication errors by 25 percent by implementing a new verification process at ABC Pharmacy. Skilled in utilizing pharmacy management systems and adept at fostering positive and trusting customer relationships through accurate and safe dispensing.
Why this works: This summary shows the applicant has a lot of experience and success in important areas like reducing medication errors, managing medicine, and working with pharmacy systems. It also demonstrates their ability to create trust with customers, offering a clear picture of a skilled and reliable employee.
Learn the top 10 skills required for a pharmacy technician job in 2023.
14) Recruiter resume summary example:
Recruiter who has hired people for various roles and likes to work with different companies.
Dedicated recruiter with 5+ years of experience in talent acquisition for tech and healthcare industries, successfully placing over 300 candidates in permanent and contractual positions. Introduced a new hiring strategy at XYZ Corp, reducing time-to-hire by 20 percent. Skilled in leveraging LinkedIn Recruiter and other sourcing tools to identify top talent, while fostering strong relationships with hiring managers and candidates alike.
Why this works: This summary pairs a solid 5+ years of recruiting experience with quantifiable achievements, like placing over 300 candidates and reducing hiring times by 20 percent. Mentioning proficiency with tools like LinkedIn Recruiter showcases specialized skills.
Learn the top 10 skills required for a recruiter job in 2023.
#15) Web developer resume summary example:
Web developer who likes to code and design websites. Has worked on various projects and likes to learn new coding languages.
Learn the top 10 skills required for a web developer job in 2023.
Who should use a resume summary?
Certain types of job seekers will benefit the most by using a resume summary. They include:
- Experienced professionals: Those with a significant amount of work experience in a particular field can use a summary to emphasize their top achievements and most relevant skills.
- Career changers: If you’re transitioning to a new industry or role, a summary can be useful to highlight transferable skills or experiences that make you a fit for the new position.
- Candidates with a unique selling proposition (USP): If you have a particular strength, accomplishment, or trait that sets you apart from other candidates, the resume summary is a great place to highlight it.
- Professionals returning to the workforce: If you’ve taken a career break (for example, to raise children or due to personal reasons) and are now returning to the workforce, a resume summary can help provide context and showcase your relevant skills and experiences.
- Candidates applying to senior or executive roles: For senior or executive positions, it’s important to quickly demonstrate leadership qualities, achievements, and strategic vision. A resume summary can help convey these efficiently.
- Those with complex career trajectories: If your career has involved a mix of freelance work, part-time jobs, contract positions, and full-time roles, a summary can help present this information in a cohesive and understandable manner.
Who should use a resume objective?
While a resume summary is a powerful tool, it’s not always suitable for everyone. Some job seekers might benefit from using a resume objective instead.
While resume summaries highlight past experiences and achievements, resume objectives focus on career goals and aspirations. They tell employers what the job seeker hopes to achieve in a specific role or industry.
Here’s an example of a resume objective:
“Recent college graduate with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration seeking an entry-level marketing position to apply strong analytical and communication skills.”
The use of resume objectives has become less common these days. Employers now prefer resume summaries or targeted cover letters, especially for mid-level to senior professionals.
However, resume objectives can still be effective for some job seekers, including:
- Recent graduates: Those who have just finished their education and lack extensive work experience can use an objective to highlight their educational background, skills, and enthusiasm to start in the professional world.
- Career changers: For those transitioning from one industry or role to another, a resume objective can convey the motivation behind the change and how their skills can be applied in the new field.
- Re-entering the workforce: People who’ve taken a hiatus from their careers (e.g., for family reasons, personal health, or further studies) can utilize an objective to explain their return and define their goals moving forward.
- Specific role seekers: If someone has a very clear idea of the specific job or role they’re aiming for, an objective can make that crystal clear to potential employers.
- General applicants: In cases where a job seeker is applying to a broad range of positions and wants to express their overall career aspirations, a well-crafted objective can be useful.
What is a summary on a resume?
The resume summary is a brief paragraph that showcases who you are, how you are able to help the employer with your skills, experiences, and expertise, and why you are the best person for the job.
Should you include a resume objective?
You don’t need to include a resume objective in your resume. Most HR professionals think the resume objective is obsolete and outdated.
Should a resume summary be written in the first or third person?
Your entire resume, including the resume summary, should be written in the third person. You can also eliminate pronouns in the summary.
“He is a licensed teacher with 10+ years of experience. He has strong communication skills.”
For this career statement, you simply say:
“Licensed teacher with 10+ years of experience. Has strong communication skills.”
Where does a resume summary go on a resume?
The resume summary comes directly after your name and contact information.
Should you always use the same resume summary?
No. A resume summary should be tailored for each job application. If you want to apply to five different job applications, then you need to prepare five different resumes tailored to a specific job posting.
How long should your resume summary statement be?
A resume summary can be one to four sentences long. It can be written as a short paragraph or listed in bullet points.
What is a summary of qualifications?
A summary of qualifications is the same as a resume summary. It emphasizes on key accomplishments and qualifications and presents why you are the best candidate for the job.
What are the other names for resume summary?
A resume summary statement is often referred to by other names, including:
- Career summary
- Career synopsis
- Personal statement
- Professional summary
- Summary of experience
- Summary of qualifications
- Qualifications summary
What is a good summary for an entry level resume?
A good summary for an entry-level resume should focus on educational achievements, relevant coursework, transferable skills, and any related internships, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities.
How to start a resume summary?
Starting a resume summary effectively means grabbing attention fast. You can lead with your experience, skills, or top achievements to immediately show you’re the right fit.
What should a resume summary include with no experience?
When crafting a resume summary with no experience, focus on your educational achievements, relevant coursework, and transferable skills from activities like volunteering. Emphasize your eagerness to learn, dedication, and how your background aligns with the position you’re seeking.
Do you need a summary on your resume in 2023?
While a resume summary isn’t required, it can provide a concise snapshot of your qualifications and make you stand out, especially in competitive fields or when targeting specific roles. However, the decision should be based on the job you’re applying for and your individual experience.
The resume summary is a critical part of your resume that highly impacts your chances of getting noticed by recruiters and landing interviews. So make the most out of this prime real estate by crafting a winning, keyword-rich, and compelling resume summary.
Here are important pointers:
- Recruiters and hiring managers only spend about 7 seconds skimming your resume.
- Neglecting the resume summary is a wasted opportunity.
- Whether you are a recent graduate, a career-changer, or a job seeker with diverse experience, you can greatly benefit from having a strong and compelling resume summary.
- A well-written resume summary can quickly grab the attention of recruiters and increase your chances of getting an interview.
- The professional summary focuses on your key skills, achievements, and experiences and convinces the employer why you are the best person for the job.
- It is essential that you include relevant keywords in your resume to get it past the ATS.
- Use Jobscan’s resume scanner to help tailor your resumes and resume summaries.
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