How to Write a Resume Summary (With 5 Examples)

How to Write a Resume Summary (With 5 Examples)
JobStreet content teamupdated on 17 November, 2023

Landing the perfect job in today's competitive market is no walk in the park.

But don't sweat it, we're here to help you out. A powerful resume summary can be your key to getting noticed, acing the interview, and ultimately landing your dream job.

Sounds like a plan? Let's dive right in.

The importance of a resume summary

So, why is a resume summary such a big deal? Well, a resume summary is like a teaser for a movie. It's a short snippet that gives the recruiter a taste of what you bring to the table. A compelling summary can intrigue the recruiter, making them want to read more, just like a thrilling movie teaser prompts you to watch the film.

A well-crafted resume summary can set the tone for your entire resume and convince the recruiter that you're the right fit for the job and not just like other entry level job seekers. Even if you are a fresh grad, a fresh graduate resume summary can be compelling as well. It's not just about listing your skills and experiences. It's about highlighting your unique value and how you can contribute to the company's goals. Sounds a bit daunting, right? Don't worry, we've got you covered.

What is a resume summary?

A resume summary is a short statement at the top of your resume, just below your contact information. Its purpose is to quickly showcase your qualifications for a job. Imagine it as a 30-second elevator pitch to the recruiter.

The purpose of a  good professional summary is to quickly communicate your key skills and experiences that are relevant to the job you're applying for. It's your chance to show the recruiter that you're not just a great candidate, but the best person for the job.

So, how does a resume summary differ from a resume objective? A resume summary focuses on what you can offer to the employer based on your past experiences. On the other hand, a resume objective is more about what you want to achieve in your career.

In today's job market, a resume summary is generally more effective because employers want to know upfront what you can do for them. But remember, it's not just a list of your experiences. It's a carefully crafted message that shows how your skills and experiences can benefit the employer.

Understanding your target audience

Who's going to read your resume summary? That's right, it's the recruiter or hiring manager. So, to create an effective resume summary, you need to put yourself in their shoes.

Start by identifying your target audience. Who's the company? What's the industry? What's the role you're applying for? Understanding these factors can give you a better idea of what the recruiter is looking for in a candidate.

Next, think about their needs and expectations. What skills and experiences are they looking for? What challenges is the company facing, and how can your skills help address these challenges? Tailoring your resume summary to your target audience is key to making it resonate with them.

If you want a digital marketing job, the recruiter will look for skills like SEO, content creation, and data analysis. So, in your personal summary, show how you've used these skills to get good results in your past roles.

Key elements of a resume summary

man writing resume summary

The length of a good resume summary should ideally be around three to five sentences. Remember, it's a summary, not a novel. You want to get your point across as succinctly as possible to get your hiring manager's attention.

The tone and style of your resume summary should be professional yet engaging. It's not a place for jargon or complex language. Use simple, straightforward language to clearly communicate your qualifications.

The use of keywords in your resume summary is crucial. These are the words or phrases that are related to the job you're applying for. Incorporating these keywords can make your resume more relevant to the job description and increase its visibility in Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).

The structure of your resume summary should start with a strong statement about who you are as a professional. Then, you should highlight your key skills, proven ability and achievements that are relevant to the job. And finally, you should indicate in your resume objective statement how you can use these skills and experiences to benefit the employer.

Writing a compelling and professional resume summary

Ready to write a well written resume summary? Let's start with the hook. The first sentence of your resume summary section should grab the recruiter's attention and make them want to read more. It could be a standout achievement, a unique skill, or a compelling statement about your professional identity.

Next, you should highlight your key skills and achievements. Don't just list them out. Use dynamic action verbs to describe how you've used these skills to achieve results in your previous roles.

Using metrics and numbers to quantify your accomplishments can make your resume summary more compelling. Instead of saying "improved sales," say "increased sales by 20% in six months." This gives the recruiter a clearer picture of what you can achieve.

Your unique value proposition is what sets you apart from other candidates. Maybe you have a unique combination of skills, or perhaps you have an impressive track record in a specific area. Whatever it is, make sure it shines in your resume summary.

Now, let's talk about some common mistakes in resume summary writing. First, avoid vague statements like "hard-working" or "team player." These phrases are overused and don't give the recruiter any specific information about your skills or experiences.

Instead, focus on concrete skills and experiences that are relevant to the job. For example, instead of saying "excellent communication skills," you could say, "presented at three industry conferences and received positive feedback for clear and persuasive communication."

5 resume summary examples

Now, let's look at some real-life examples of successful resume summaries.

Example 1:

"Digital marketing specialist with over five years of experience in managing successful social media campaigns. Skilled in SEO and content creation, with a successful track record of increasing website traffic by over 30%. Looking to leverage my expertise in digital marketing to drive growth and engagement at [Company Name]."

In this example, the candidate starts with a strong statement about their professional title and identity. They then highlight their key skills and use numbers to quantify their accomplishments. Lastly, they show how they can use their skills to benefit the employer. It's concise, compelling, and tailored to the job.

Example 2:

"Entry-level software engineer with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from the Ateneo de Manila University. Completed an internship at [Company Name] where I worked on a team that produced a mobile application used by thousands. Proficient in Java and C++, and eager to leverage my problem-solving skills and passion for technology at [Company Name]."

This example is suitable for an entry-level position. This great resume summary highlights the candidate's educational background, internship experience, and key technical skills that align with the job requirements. It effectively conveys the candidate's potential, despite them having no professional experience.

Example 3:

"Experienced accountant with a keen eye for details. Managed finances for big companies for more than 10 years. Saved up to $500,000 each year by using smart money-saving strategies and making processes better and in a timely manner. Now, I want to use my financial know-how and leadership skills to improve [Company Name]'s money situation."

This example showcases a blend of both interpersonal soft skills and hard accounting skills. It demonstrates the candidate's extensive experience and quantifies their achievements in financial savings, which shows tangible value.

Example 4:

"Bilingual customer service representative with over four years of experience in a high-volume call center. Commended for resolving 99% of customer queries on the first call and voted "Employee of the Month" three times for excellent customer service. Hoping to utilize my interpersonal skills and commitment to customer satisfaction at [Company Name]."

Here, the candidate uses their language skills as a unique value proposition and provides concrete tan-your-career/ccp-inevidence of their customer service skills for hiring managers. They show their ability to handle a demanding workload while maintaining high-quality service.

Example 5:

"Dynamic project manager with a proven track record of completing large-scale construction projects on time and 15% under budget. Holds PMP certification and consistently receives positive feedback for exceptional team leadership and problem-solving skills. Aspiring to bring project management excellence to [Company Name]."

This summary example is excellent for a more specialized role. The project manager candidate emphasizes their PMP certification, an industry-specific credential that showcases their expertise. They highlight key accomplishments, showcasing what they can bring to the table for their potential employers.

These five examples highlight different situations and industries, showing how a resume summary can be effectively tailored to suit a candidate's experience and the job ad they're applying for. Remember, a good resume summary should reflect your unique skills, achievements, and career goals.

Tailoring your resume summary statement to different industries

man listing down resume summary

Just like different jobs require different relevant skills, different industries also have unique requirements. It's essential to tailor your resume summary not just to the specific job posting, but also to the industry you're applying to.

Understanding the unique requirements of different industries can be as simple as carefully reading job postings and company websites, or as detailed as conducting informational interviews with industry professionals. You want to identify the skills, experiences, and qualifications that are most valued in the industry and highlight these in your personal resume summary.

For example, if you're applying for a job in the tech industry, you might want to highlight your technical skills and in depth knowledge, such as programming languages or software proficiency. But if you're applying to the healthcare industry, it might be more important to emphasize your interpersonal skills, as well as experience in patient care and administrative tasks.

Professional summary examples that are industry-specific

Tech industry

"Full-stack developer with five years of experience in developing robust and user-friendly applications. Proficient in JavaScript, Python, and SQL. Successfully increased user engagement by 50% in my current role by implementing new features based on user feedback."

Healthcare industry

"Compassionate registered nurse with over eight years of experience in fast-paced hospitals. Specialize in pediatric care, with a patient satisfaction rate of 98%. Committed to providing high-quality care and improving hospital efficiency."

As you can see, these professional summary examples are tailored to showcase the candidate's skills and experiences that are most relevant to the industry. Remember, the key to a successful resume summary is relevance. The more relevant your summary is to the job and industry, the more likely it is to catch the recruiter's attention.

Tips for optimizing your resume summary for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

In today's digital age, many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes. These systems scan resumes for keywords related to the job posting, and only the most relevant resumes are forwarded to the recruiter.

Understanding how ATS works can significantly increase your chances of getting your resume past the system and into the hands of the recruiter. Here are some tips for optimizing your resume summary for ATS:

Using relevant keywords and phrases

Scan the job posting for important skills, qualifications, and experiences, and include these keywords in your resume summary. But remember, don't just stuff your summary with keywords. Make sure they're used in a meaningful way that makes sense in the context of your summary.

Formatting your resume objective for ATS

It doesn't matter if you're writing a data analyst resume summary or an executive assistant resume summary. Keep your formatting simple. Avoid fancy fonts, colors, or graphics, as these can confuse the ATS. Use standard section headings like "Summary" or "Professional Summary" for your resume objectives and summary. Stick to a popular font like Arial or Times New Roman, and keep the font size between 10 and 12.

The dos and don'ts of resume summary writing

Writing a compelling resume summary can seem like a daunting task. But with these do's and don'ts, you'll be well on your way to crafting a good resume summary that will make you stand out from the competition and differentiate you from an entry level job seeker.


Tailor your summary to the job

Your resume summary should be customized for each job you apply to. Use the job posting as a guide to understand what the employer is looking for and highlight these qualifications in your summary.For example, if you're writing a cashier resume summary or applying to be a customer service professional, highlight your people and social skills.

Use action verbs

Dynamic action verbs like "led," "managed," "improved," or "developed" can make your resume summary more engaging and impactful.

Quantify your accomplishments

Whenever possible, use numbers to show the impact of your work, most valuable skills, and professional accomplishments. This can be percentages, dollar amounts, or other quantifiable measures.


Use vague or generic phrases

Avoid phrases like "team player" or "hard worker," as they don't provide specific information about your skills or experiences. Instead, focus on concrete skills and accomplishments.

Make it too long

Your resume summary should be concise and to the point for the hiring manager. Aim for three to five sentences that effectively communicate your qualifications.

Use first-person pronouns

Avoid using "I," "me," or "my" in your resume summary. Instead, write in the third person or use no pronoun at all.


Phew, that was a lot of information, wasn't it? But don't worry, with some practice and effort, you'll be crafting compelling resume summaries in no time.

Remember, a well-crafted resume summary can make a significant difference in your job search. It can set the tone for your entire resume and convince the recruiter that you're the right fit for the job. So, take the time to craft a summary that highlights your unique value, most relevant skills and aligns with the job and industry you're applying for.

In a nutshell, your resume summary should be concise, tailored to the job, and full of action verbs and quantifiable achievements. Avoid vague phrases, keep the tone professional, and remember to optimize for ATS.

And most importantly, let your personality shine through. After all, companies don't just hire qualifications, they hire people.

We hope this guide has been helpful in your journey to crafting a winning resume and summary statements. With these tips and strategies, you're well on your way to standing out from the crowd of job applicants and landing your dream job. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the ideal length of a resume summary?
    The ideal length of a resume summary is three to five sentences. You want to get your point across as succinctly as possible, without leaving out important information.
  2. Should I include my career objective in my resume summary?
    No, you generally should not include your career objective in your resume summary. These two elements serve different purposes. Your resume summary is meant to showcase your qualifications, relevant job experience, key skills, and achievements, while a career objective states what you're looking for in a job. It's best to keep them separate, and many modern resumes don't include a career objective at all.
  3. How do I tailor my resume summary to different job postings?
    To tailor your resume summary to a specific job posting, start by carefully reading the job description. Identify the key skills, qualifications, and experiences the employer is looking for. Then, write your summary in a way that highlights these key points. Make sure to use relevant keywords and phrases from the job posting.
  4. Can I use the same resume summary for different job applications?
    While it's time-saving to use the same resume summary for different job applications, it's not the most effective strategy. Each job and company is unique, and what's valued in one role may not be valued in another. Tailoring your resume summary to each job you apply to can significantly increase your chances of getting an interview.
  5. How do I make my resume summary stand out from the competition?
    There are several ways to make your resume summary stand out from an entry level resume summary to a hiring manager. Use strong, action-oriented language. Quantify your achievements where possible. Highlight any unique skills or experiences that set you apart. Finally, make sure your summary is tailored to the specific job and industry you're applying to.

Browse top search terms

Did you know many candidates preparing a resume also research their industry by exploring top search terms?
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