Crafting a Powerful Summary of Qualifications for Your Resume: Tips and Examples

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A summary of qualifications on a resume can go under various names such as resume qualifications, statement of qualifications, or skills summary. The purpose is to summarize the skills and qualifications listed on your resume, which makes it different from a resume summary or personal statement.

Although a resume summary of qualifications is optional, it can be very helpful for you to provide highlights of your qualifications and achievements in the field to catch the hiring manager’s eye.

What is a Summary of Qualifications on a Resume?

A resume summary of qualifications is placed at the top of your resume or in a separate section. Instead of briefly introducing you, this part emphasizes your key achievements, work experience, hard skills, personal traits - simply put, summarizing your skills and qualifications relevant to the position you're applying for.

Unlike a personal statement or career objective, a resume summary of qualifications should be written in a bullet point format and consist of 3 to 5 most impressive elements of your professional profile. 

Adding highlights of qualifications to a resume is not a must; however, it can benefit different types of job seekers. 

  • Entry-level job seekers: A summary of qualifications is especially essential for an entry-level resume as there might not be much to write about in the employment history section. With limited work experience, fresh graduates should draw employers’ attention to transferable skills, personal projects, or extracurricular activities
  • Career changers: A resume summary of qualifications is a useful tool for job seekers who are switching their careers. It's an effective way to showcase their transferable skills and de-emphasize the lack of relevant experiences in the field. 
  • Experienced professionals: For job seekers with extensive work experience, a summary of qualifications is the best way to demonstrate their expertise, capabilities, and achievements without taking up too much space on the resume. 

What to Write in a Summary of Qualifications on the Resume?

Below are some elements that should be included in a summary of qualifications on a resume:

🖋 Achievements

Achievements are what you’ve accomplished in previous roles and positive impacts you’ve made, either at school or in your career. By showing the most outstanding achievement in the highlights of qualifications on your resume, you can stand out from the crowd and get a leg up on the competition. 

📚Further reading: How to Write Achievements in Your Resume [+Tips & Examples]

🖋 Awards & honors

Awards and honors are accomplishments that are both measurable and unique to your expertise or work experience. These can be a great way to prove your competencies over other candidates.  

🖋 Problems solved

The ability to resolve problems is one of the key skills that employers seek in job applicants. Hence, you can impress them by describing how you identified issues and worked things out in the past. Make sure the problems solved that you include in the summary of qualifications of your resume are relevant to the position you’re applying for or demonstrate related transferable skills.   

🖋 Publications 

For those looking for a writing job or a career in the academic field, it’s important to include publications in the summary of qualifications to demonstrate your expertise and writing, research, and organizational skills. You can choose to highlight the number of papers that you have published or showcase your contribution to published works.

🖋 Certificates

Certifications and licenses are qualifications that demonstrate your knowledge and abilities to work in a certain field. As many industries require specific certifications, you can highlight them in the summary of qualifications in your resume. 

🖋 Degrees 

Normally, you can list your degrees in “Education” or “Educational Background”. However, there are some cases in which you should showcase your degrees in the resume summary of qualifications, for example:

  • You’re a fresh graduate with limited work experience.
  • You’ve obtained a Master’s or Doctoral Degree. 
  • The job description specifies your educational background as a requirement.

🖋 Initiatives 

Taking initiatives is a specific leadership quality, demonstrating that you proactively create opportunities and/or resolve any problems at work. 

3 ways to add these in the resume summary of qualifications: 

  • Adopt powerful verbs such as led, initiated, developed, drove. 
  • Indicate self-created roles.
  • Include side projects related to the job opening.

How to Write a Summary of Qualifications for a Resume?

1. Brainstorm and list all your achievements

First, list down all achievements and accomplishments you have achieved, both professionally and academically. Then, sort out the achievements relevant to the position opening.

Here's an example of achievement to include in a resume’s highlights of qualifications: 

“Exceeded monthly KPIs by 35% for the last six months of 2020.”

2. Read the job description carefully

As hiring managers aim to recruit the most suitable candidates to fill the vacancies, make sure your resume content matches the skills and required experience set out in the job ad. Hence, go over it carefully to tailor your resume in general and the highlights of qualifications in particular. 

3. Select 3 or 4 strongest and most relevant achievements

Imagine that all candidates have the same academic and professional background. So, what makes you stand out from the crowd? 

The answer is achievements that indicate how far you’ve gone in your career and how competent you are. The more achievements you show, the greater impression you make on employers. 

4. Add numbers or specific details to prove your achievements

Quantifiable achievements on your resume are a great tool to further prove yourself and evaluate your work performance. Employers will also find your achievements more impressive and convincing when they come with numbers.

Here's an example of quantifying results in a resume’s highlights of qualifications for a writer: 

“Produced nearly 100 how-to blogs on the How To Chimp site that attract 1500+ readers per month.”

5. List the summary of qualifications in the summary header

As mentioned earlier, the highlights and qualifications for a resume should be placed at the top. You can list them under your personal information or resume summary, depending on how you design your resume. 

6 Tips for the Best Summary of Qualifications for the Resume

💡 Keep it short

Similar to a resume summary and career objective, a summary of qualifications should be brief and consist of the key highlights about you as a job applicant. Think about it as a self-introduction to recruiters about where you are and what you’ve achieved in the field.

💡 Use bullet points

Bullet points are actually beneficial on so many ways. They will help draw employers’ attention to key points while allowing them to read through your resume summary of qualifications faster. Bullet points will also help save a lot of space on your resume compared to a paragraph. 

💡 Don’t repeat similar information

When writing a summary of qualifications, you may repeat what you’ve mentioned in the resume summary, skills, and work experience sections. So, avoid this to save resume space and employers’ time. 

💡 Customize the summary of qualifications for different jobs

Customizing your resume summary of qualifications to the specific position is critical if you want to prove that you're the right fit. Since every job has its own specific requirements, you need to demonstrate your relevant experiences and skill sets to that certain job. 

💡 For entry-level job seekers and career changers: list transferable achievements or skills

If you just graduated or want to enter a different career field, you may not have plenty of relevant work experience. For that reason, you don’t have much to show in the summary of qualifications on your resume. Transferable achievements and skills thereby can be a game-changer that could prove your potential and deemphasize unrelated career accomplishments.

💡 Insert relevant keywords from the job ad.

Resume keywords are critical to helping your resume to get through the Applicant Tracking System and get noticed by employers. Hence, you should include keywords not only in the summary of qualifications but also throughout your resume to increase your chances of landing a job interview.

Summary of Qualifications Examples

Below are the highlights of qualifications examples for 7 different roles. Check them out to know better how to create a summary of qualifications for your resume!

1. Summary of qualifications examples for students

To impress employers, you can highlight your academic achievements and mention your extracurricular activities or personal projects.

  • Freelancing as a translator and worked on 10+ English-Korean jobs 
  • Able to speak English, Chinese, and Korean fluently.
  • Major in Journalism, excelling in Reporting and Writing (passed with A+).
  • Volunteered for projects that helped disabled children by publishing comics.

2. Fresh graduates summary of qualifications example

If you’re writing a summary of qualifications for fresh graduates, ensure you include the internship and relevant hard skills. This way, you can demonstrate your capabilities and work experience even though you haven’t worked full-time.

  • Fast learner with a can-do attitude. 
  • Able to motivate other members within a team.
  • Adept at using Adobe Creative Suite and WordPress.  
  • Earned a paid internship in Cosmopolitan as a graphic designer.

3. Summary of qualifications example for teachers

As a special education teacher, the writer creates a summary of qualifications for teachers by focusing on relevant work experience and personal traits in the same role. Hiring managers thereby can determine whether he/she is the right fit for the job opening.  

  • Detail-oriented, passionate, and patient. 
  • Participated in 5 abroad volunteer teaching projects to help children with autism.
  • Able to create inspirational hands-on lessons and IEPs. 
  • Help special students reach their maximum potential in an adaptable educational atmosphere. 

4. Programmer summary of qualifications example

It’s important to list out essential technical skills for technical jobs like a programmer. Adding certifications and career achievements in the summary of qualifications can be beneficial for a programmer. 

  • 7 years of experience as a Sr. Programmer. 
  • Proficient in key programming languages (Python, Javascript, HTML5/CSS), frameworks (Django, Angular, ASP.NET, Laravel), and tools (jQuery, Unix, Git).
  • Led a team of 8 developers and computer programmers, ensuring 100% uptime. 
  • CEPP – Certified Expert in Python Programming. 

5. Customer service summary of qualifications example

Customer service jobs are available in all industries. Hence, you should tailor your summary of qualifications for customer service for the specific position to stand out from the crowd. 

  • Great communication, negotiation, and problem-solving skills.
  • 7 years of extensive experience in customer service, client relations, and process improvement.
  • Engaged in various industries, including Food & Beverages, tourism & hospitality. 
  • Developed and managed a portfolio of nearly 90 client relationships, comprising more than $6 million in company assets and liabilities.

6. Project manager summary of qualifications example

The project manager qualifications summary above has demonstrated the writer’s qualifications in terms of soft skills, a brief work history, and expertise in the field.

  • Strong communication, leadership, and decision-making skills. 
  • 8 years of experience in project management and working with leadership tools & techniques. 
  • In-depth knowledge in resource planning and budgeting. 
  • Ran 45+ projects with maximum performance and efficiency. 

7. Administrative assistant summary of qualifications example

Similar to customer service, admin assistant jobs are available in all organizations. Make sure you personalize your summary of qualifications for administrative assistants by adding significant achievements in previous roles to impress hiring managers better. 

  • Familiar with the fashion and beauty industry. 
  • 5 years of experience with proven organizational, communication, and event scheduling skills. 
  • Trained 3 admin interns into full-time employees.
  • Speak English, Spanish, and Portuguese fluently.

🔑  Key Takeaways:

  • A strong summary of qualifications on a resume could earn you a chance at an interview for your dream job.
  • Showcase the best about you to pique the hiring manager’s interest from the start, including professional expertise, personal traits, and significant achievements in the field.
  • Tailor it to the job description by going over the posting carefully and inserting relevant keywords. 

With Cake’s resume builder tool, free resume templates and resume examples, you could showcase your best qualifications to land your dream job. Try making a resume online (free download) now!

--- Originally written by May Luong ---

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