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.
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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.
Below are some elements that should be included in a summary of qualifications on a resume:
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
To impress employers, you can highlight your academic achievements and mention your extracurricular activities or personal projects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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--- Originally written by May Luong ---