A resume summary is the brief professional statement that sits atop your resume. It is basically the first thing that recruiters see when you are applying for a job. You need to be careful in writing it since employers only take approximately seven seconds to scan the resume and find out if an applicant is qualified. With that in mind, you need some resume summary examples to take a look at before writing your own.
What is exactly a resume summary?
Your resume summary is the short statement at the beginning of your resume that describes your experience, expertise, and professional achievement. This statement typically consists of three to five sentences that expound on your job qualifications. The purpose of a resume summary is to convince your potential employer to read the rest of your resume.
A good resume summary highlights your best career achievements to date, your profession, and the relevant skills to your desired position.
To stand out among a sea of applicants, you need to tailor your resume summary according to the company needs. Remember, recruiters want to see how invested you are in your application. You must prove to them your genuine interest by curating a resume that fits the given job responsibilities—starting with the resume summary.
When to use a resume summary or a resume objective
You have the option of including a resume summary or an objective in your resume. However, whichever you choose poses a unique purpose, so you need to know the difference.
A resume objective highlights your skills, education, and professional goals for the job you are applying for. As opposed to a resume summary, there’s no need to include your work experience in this section.
On the other hand, a resume summary consolidates your job qualifications, including experience, skills, and achievements, into one short statement. It aims to explain how you will contribute to the company.
With the difference loud and clear, here’s when you should choose to write a resume summary or objective:
Pick the resume objective when:
- You don’t have a lot of work experience.
- You are switching careers.
Pick resume summary when:
- You want to highlight your work experience as a strong credential.
- You want to be specific with your proven results to impress the employer.
How to write a compelling resume summary
Here are the best practices to apply in writing an effective resume summary:
- Pick one impactful adjective that best describes you.
- Add a relevant certification or license that boosts your credibility.
- Mention your current job title.
- Include years of experience.
- Highlight a goal that you can contribute to the company.
- Include some key achievements proving your ability to deliver.
- Pick 1-2 specific skills related to the job.
- Stick with 2-3 sentences to write your resume summary and use numbers.
Resume summary examples of achievements
Here are some achievements you can include in writing your resume summary:
- Specific problems you have resolved
- Metrics you helped improve
- Costs you helped save for the company
- Targets achieved, including numbers or figures
- Number of people managed
- Number of people trained
Resume summary examples for particular professions
Here are some excellent resume summary examples to take a look at:
1. Data Analyst
“Disciplined data analyst with over 5 years of experience analyzing organization processes. Eager to leverage huge data interpreting and visualizing skills at (company name) to increase growth and generate better sales results. In a previous role, was able to name major process issues, cut operational costs by 25%, and help save the company $220,000 a year.”
2. Project Manager
“Project manager with a proven track record of working with Scrum and Agile project management methodologies. Managed 9+ teams of accounting projects in the last 4 years. Extensive understanding of several accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks, and Wave Accounting.”
“Licensed Certified Public Accountant with 7+ years’ experience in financial audits, cost analysis, and public accounting. Prepared financial reports within a 10-person finance team and managed a $700,000 budget. With 3+ years’ experience working in the current employer for the last 3 years, helped reduce annual company costs by 20%.”
4. Sales Representatives
“Results-based sales representative with 8+ years of experience. Seeking to help improve sales metrics at (desired company) with effective relationship building skills. At (current company), built firm relationships with 300 new clients. Regularly exceeded sales goals by 10%+.”
5. IT Managers
“Driven IT manager with 6+years of experience managing 20-person team of ITs. Seeking to utilize in-depth management skills to boost operational efficiency at (desired company). At (current company), spearheaded the team that designed an automated business processing system that cut costs by $80,000 annually. Developed a customer database system that saved 100 labor hours per year.”
6. Graphic Designers
“Innovative graphic designer with 5+ years of experience working with Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Seeking to provide top-notch creative designs for (desired company). Produced 500+ graphic design projects at (current employer) with 99% client satisfaction. Reduced production expenses amounting to $80,000 annually by developing a client outsourcing strategy.”
7. Human Resources (HR) Manager
“Committed HR manager with 5+ years of experience in recruitment. Driven to improve employee retention at (desired company). Adept in every part of the recruitment processes, including applicant sourcing, vetting, and onboarding. At (current company), boosted employee retention by 20% in the past 2 years. Improved employee engagement by 30% and increase employee effectiveness to 20%.”
What to avoid in writing a resume summary:
Now that you have an idea of what to include in your summary of qualifications, here are the mistakes you should avoid when writing:
- Writing overly vague information about your past experience and previous company
- Not tailoring your resume summary for the specific job—a general resume summary is a major no-no
- Lacking measurements for your achievements and notable deliverables
- Including the exact phrase from the job description—diversify
- Putting obvious skills that do not set you apart from other candidates
- Mentioning experience that is not relevant to the position you are applying for
- Using cliché terms and phrases to describe your qualifications
- Skipping to proofread your resume before submission
Those were the essentials you need to know in polishing a resume summary that impresses recruiters at one glance. There are still lots to learn in building a resume that stands out among a pile of other applicants. Here are some Skill Success courses worth the look:
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