A professional resume summary introduces you and your value to the employer. This section allows you to cement your position as the ideal candidate by highlighting relevant skills and expertise. All in all, creating a strong professional summary is the most important thing you can do to improve your resume and make yourself stand out among a sea of applicants.
How to start writing a resume summary
Your resume summary aims to highlight your expertise and qualifications. This brief paragraph (three to five sentences) should emphasize the value you can bring as an employee. It’s crucial to make it succinct and impactful because it’s one of the first things a reader will see. The key here is to avoid overused, repetitive phrases and dull language.
Instead, provide examples. Use numbers. Quantify your achievements as much as you can. Don’t say you exceeded target goals; specify by how much. Don’t claim your ad campaigns were successful; show how many new customers they attracted. The numbers in your resume are proof of your abilities, so don’t skimp on them. In the competitive job market, your success is based on proven results. And remember that once you use these specific examples in your summary, your work history section should expand on them.
What to include in a resume summary
An effective summary should be concise yet compelling and impactful. So, to create a strong resume profile that highlights your most valuable expertise, consider these six factors:
- Job title/functional field/industry
Always use the exact job title as the job description, such as sales specialist or regional manager.
- Number of years of work experience
Quantify your experience but keep your focus on industry-relevant work history.
- Expertise, skills, and specialization
What’s the one thing you can do better than anyone else on your team? Show the employer that your expertise is invaluable.
- Proudest accomplishment(s)
Again, quantify your accomplishments as much as possible. If applicable, you can also mention the specific skills or qualifications you used to achieve these.
Don’t be afraid of mentioning your education and training in your resume summary. Especially if it’s particularly unique or relevant to the job, it could boost your chances.
- Personal profile/management style
Here, you can include your best character traits and soft skills that make you a great employee.
Resume summary vs. resume objective
While a resume objective summarizes your career goals, a summary focuses on your skills and expertise. Which one should you use? It depends on many factors, including industry standards or your seniority level.
For entry-level applicants with limited work experience, a resume objective can be the most effective. But a professional summary is more suitable for those with accomplishments and skills worth highlighting.
Professional resume summary examples
No experience summary examples
Highly motivated college graduate with seasonal experience in customer service and scheduling. Possessing a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a client-focused approach and a drive for exceeding goals.
Sociable team-player fluent in English and Japanese with experience in intercultural communication. Comfortable in fast-paced environments with strong leadership abilities and passion for online media.
Student resume summary examples
University graduate with a BSc in Biochemistry and hands-on experience with laboratory equipment. Fast learner with a proactive approach, exemplifying integrity and self-motivation.
Dedicated Tutor with 2 years of experience assisting students in improving grades and understanding. Able to identify problem areas and adapt to individual learning styles in various subject areas and education levels.
Entry-level summary examples
Passionate graduate with 2+ years' experience in fitness through summer jobs and working with friends. Adaptable and flexible with strong leadership skills and effective written and verbal communication.
Physically fit yoga instructor with 2+ years of experience in leading non-profit yoga clubs and providing weekly training. Skilled in team building, breathing exercises, and instruction delivery. Received certification for leadership and continuous learning.
Sales summary examples
Customer-oriented Consultant with 8 years of experience innovating strategies to maximize sales. Possesses superior problem-solving and communication skills.
Organized Office Manager with 5+ years' experience maintaining efficient office workflow. Skilled in managing a team of 7 employees and promoting a positive brand image.
Customer service resume summary examples
Resourceful Customer Service Representative with 3 years of experience. Committed to forging strong customer relationships and ensuring satisfactory problem resolutions. Skilled in active listening and effective verbal and written communication.
Passionate Receptionist with 5+ years of experience assisting guests and organizing schedules. Possesses strong communication and organizational skills, a high level of professionalism, and independence.
Finance summary examples
Dedicated Certified Accountant with 7+ years of experience in financial audits and database analysis. Managed a $1 million budget and developed a financial overview with a three-person team. Helped cut monthly expenses by 10% by spearheading a financial audit and devising an effective strategy.
Solutions-driven Financial Analyst with an MBA in Finance and a 10+ year track record of successful investments. Bringing expertise in the tech industry, including investment opportunity analysis and market research.
Marketing summary examples
Senior Marketing Manager with 12 years of experience creating international marketing campaigns. My team has increased company sales by more than 18% in 5 years by managing complex marketing strategies.
Sales and marketing specialist skilled in account management and digital and print marketing. Bringing 8+ years of experience in successfully using a $2 million marketing budget to increase sales by 12%.
Your professional resume summary sets the tone for your whole application. As with all other application materials, you should always tailor it to the job you’re applying for. Essentially, ensure it speaks directly to the skills and expertise required for the position. Creating an impactful summary that grabs the reader’s attention can make or break your chances of landing an interview. So, take the time to craft one that will leave a stellar first impression.