In today’s competitive job market, you as a candidate have to make sure that the resume you draft stands out in more ways than one. An easy yet incredibly effective way to do this is to use a professional profile summary at the beginning of your resume.
In this article, you will get to know how to write a professional summary for a resume, no matter you are a fresher with no work experience or an experienced job seeker for career change. In the end, we provide an extensive amount of resume summary examples & templates for 20+ different jobs and professions to help you create the best career summary statement for resume.
Table of Contents:
Like the name suggests, a summary for resume is a one or two sentence outline that describes you, your experience and your most valuable skills. This profile summary should be carefully crafted to highlight your best features as a potential candidate. It is usually going to be located at the very beginning of your document right after your name and your contact information. This ensures that your resume summary is one of the first things the recruiter reads.
Now let’s take a look at why it’s important and the benefits it provides for your job prospects.
The biggest and most obvious benefit of a resume summary is the fact that it helps you get noticed quicker. Employers have to go through hundreds of applications a day and you only have 7 seconds to catch their attention. If you make your relevant skills and experiences easy for them to locate, it will greatly increase the likelihood of them reading your entire application and seeing what you have to offer. This increased attention will get you bumped up to the top of the pile and differentiate you from the rest.
Moreover, when applying for a job, if you carefully scan their requirements and understand exactly what they’re looking for in a perfect candidate, you can include the important things they’ve mentioned in your resume summary. This shows the recruiter that you paid close attention to what they asked for and more importantly that you have the potential of being the right person for the job.
A common point of confusion for job seekers working on crafting the perfect resume, is the difference between a resume summary and a resume objective.
For the vast majority of cases though, a professional resume summary will be the best option because it highlights the candidates' unique skills and shows their competence upfront.
Now that you understand the importance of a resume summary statement, let’s take a look at a very popular question we've got asked all the time: “What to put for a summary on a resume?”
We’ll take you through the process step by step and tips on how to make the most out of your profile summary.
Read the job description of the position you’re applying for. Take note of the specifics they mention in their requirements or what type of experience they’re looking for. For instance, if you’re applying for a software engineering job, look very closely at the coding languages they require candidates to be proficient in.
You should already have your resume formatted and written. Go over the most important experiences and skills that are relevant to the job posting and the specifics they require. Make note of them and ensure you don’t miss out on anything important.
Armed with information from the previous two steps, start drafting a profile summary. This should be no more than a couple of sentences so it’s important for you to use only the most relevant and impressive items from your research into the company and your skills. We’ll talk more about some specifics in terms of language in the next section.
If you’ve received any awards from your previous employer or some other awards, include it in your CV summary. Only do this if the award is prestigious and hard to get, otherwise it won’t have a positive impact.
2. Soft skills
You can include soft skills if you're particularly good at speaking or dealing with people. Make sure you have proof in your resume to back this up.
3. Technical skills
If you’re proficient in a software language or have experience with IT, be sure to include the technical skills. This applies for all jobs, not just software engineering positions.
4. External achievements
If you had a special position somewhere or did something unique, it might be a good idea to include it in your resume overview. This should not be irrelevant to the job, and you have to be careful on what you include, as you still want to come across as professional.
5. Educational background
If you’re a fresh graduate or a student, make sure to include any relevant degrees or courses you’ve completed. However, if you’ve left school for a while and have more relevant experience to include, it is suggested to leave your educational history behind, unless it can somehow prove your qualification, such as certifications of vocational training institutions or online learning programs.
1. Cliche openings and summaries
This applies to resume objectives as well. Don’t include vague statements like “Driven professional seeking career growth.” This is very ambiguous and is used by every other applicant. Make your resume summary sound unique and personal.
2. Generic resume summaries
Attempting to create the same summary for every job is a very common mistake, and will seriously hinder your chances of getting the job. Cookie cutter resumes and profile summaries are not hard to spot, and they show the hiring manager that you didn’t bother reading the job description and don’t actually care.
3. Not being specific
Like we’ve mentioned earlier, your resume summary should be tailored for that specific job and should have their requirements front and center.
4. Being too lengthy
We’ve already touched on the importance of being concise and not including everything irrelevant in your resume summary.
5. Being too short
Don’t be too concise either. Be sure to include all the important things and don’t leave anything crucial out.
It’s time to discuss specifics. Now that you understand what goes into a resume summary and things to avoid. Next, we’ll talk about how you should craft your resume summary for specific scenarios and your level of experience.
When you’re trying to write a summary for resume as a fresh graduate, there are some things you should keep in mind to ensure you make a great first impression. You will likely be looking to write an entry-level resume summary and for that purpose, you need to leverage your education strategically. If you’re applying for a job and know that your education would be a plus for it, make sure it’s the first thing you mention. Also, include the fact that you just graduated and make sure to highlight if you were at the top of your class or any other special academic achievements.
Here are some examples on how you should start your resume summary. Keeping in mind the principles we’ve highlighted in the previous section as well.
“Energetic, highly-motivated Business student with exceptional leadership capabilities, who likes to take initiative and welcome new challenges.”
“4th year mathematics student passionate about data analysis. Experienced project leader and team player. Contributing member of Illinois University’s Mathematics Club.”
If you’re looking to write a resume profile summary as a high school or college student, you should follow the resume objective approach. Try to focus on your goals and what you wish to achieve working with this company. You should make it interesting and unique while still being professional. Again, you need to make sure your resume summary makes the hiring manager want to read further and call you in for an interview.
One important thing to understand here is that you should try to emphasize what your employer will gain by hiring you and not the other way around. Start with your strongest trait, then go on to mention how your education or experience will help you perform on the job. Mention the company’s name and the position, and give reasons for how you can add value to their operation.
“Dedicated team player with exceptional leadership and communication skills. Seeking an opportunity to use his/her talents as a (position) at (company name). Possess the positive attitude and work ethic to achieve (company targets or goals).”
Resume summary for experienced job seekers follow the same principles we’ve discussed previously, but focus on one key attribute that should make you stand out: your professional experience!
If you’re writing a resume summary for a career change or to break into a new industry, having previous experience is a great plus. Include any relevant experience you have at the beginning of your resume summary, and if the company or organization you worked for is a respected institution, mention their name as well.
After this, simply follow the previous advice on including your relevant skills and expertise to seal the deal.
Let’s put together everything we’ve learned so far with some examples for various job positions.
“Call Center representative capable of handling high volume calls in customer support. Exceptional computer skills and telephone etiquette.”
“Motivated individual with a proven track record of driving sales and profits. Experienced at managing projects from start to finish. A leader with an entrepreneurial spirit and a drive to improve workflows.”
“Goal-oriented retail manager with 7+ years of experience. Eager to join the (company name) to lead the staff and operations, and seek solutions to create an efficient work environment. Helped previous employer reach No.1 position statewide and bought an extra $300k profit in a single quarter.”
“Technologically-savvy and goal-oriented Administrative Assistant. Driven and motivated to help (company name) grow. Highly skilled in prioritizing and completing work independently. Exceptional experience with Microsoft Office and Apache OpenOffice.”
“Highly-motivated self starter fully committed to proving himself/herself in a new career. Seeking the position as (position) at (company name) to leverage over 8 years of experience in a challenging office environment, to quickly learn and grow in a (profession field) career. Strong communication skills with the proven ability to develop relationships and manage competing demands.”
“Senior Project Manager with 15+ years of experience in the (field) sector. Developed project plans and proposed new solutions that led to a 20% growth in annual revenue. Seeking a project manager position to improve profits and revenue at (company name).”
“Senior Sales professional with 25 years of experience providing assistance in office environments within (field), looking for new strategies to engage and inspire new team members and customers at (company name).”
“Result oriented CPA with 15 years of experience at (previous company name). Looking to leverage proven skills in account reconciliation and IT for (company name). Enhanced cloud computing practices to save 800 hours per year. Found issues that saved $1 million annually.”
“Passionate, Yale certified (field) Manager, seeking a (position) at (company name). Past management experience includes leading the outreach team and onboarding 50+ clients. Volunteer recruiter for local (organization), helped increase their recruitment by 28%.”
“Self-aware and flexible middle school (field) Teacher well versed in using social skills and empathy to enhance student behavior. Utilized feedback from students to create compelling lesson plans that are customized according to their strengths and weaknesses.”
“Driven Business Analyst with extensive experience in leading cross functional teams. Seeking professional opportunities at (company name), to transform company procedures into fresh & cost-effective solutions.”
“Technically-oriented Mechanical Engineer with 8+years of experience in reliability and maintenance activities. Highly capable with mechanic supporting sanitation systems and equipment. Completed a masters in thermodynamics and has a professional engineering license.”
“Passionate and quick learning Software Engineer with 4 years of experience in computer science and UX design for a wide range of projects and industries. Seeking a (position) at (company name) to help increase software development efficiency, while gain large project management experience.”
“Certified Medical Assistant with 8+years of experience in (name / field) hospital. Exceptionally skilled and accurate in recording data. Implemented a new pull system to reduce wasted supplies. Seeking to use his/her expertise to assist (organization name) in expanding and setting up new patient tracking system.”
“Hardworking and trustworthy Private Household Manager with proven home maintenance skills. Seeking a role as a housekeeper at (company / household name) to offer expert knowledge of cleaning learned from well-known training center and extensive experiences.”
“Detail-oriented individual with extensive experience in banking, finance and management. Possess a keen sense of logic and proper number instinct. Seeking a cashier position with a growth oriented company offering advancement and professional development.”
“Motivated and team-oriented Data Analyst with extensive experience in increasing readability of reports and presentations. Highly-educated, with a bachelors, a masters, and a professional certification in business analytics.”
“General Warehouse Worker with 6+years of experience. Physically fit with the ability to lift packages over 80lbs. Sharp on-the-job learner, passionate about acquiring knowledge while advancing skill-set. Seeking a warehouse package handler position at (company name) to support package shifting based on warehouse and business needs.”
“Compassionate and patient-focused Nurse who is attentive to details and time management. Seeking a position as a registered Nurse at (organization name) to provide quality healthcare to patients, meanwhile put to use his/her exceptional educational and practical skills.”
“Looking to put 9+years of experience to work as an HR executive for (company name). Equipped with HR expertise, teamwork & collaboration skills, and exceptional evaluation abilities.”
--- Originally written by Aitazaz ---