Are you ready to send out your resume to recruiters and potential employers to get that dream job?
Before you do, just put yourself in the shoes of the recruiters. You have thousands of resumes coming in from potential candidates everyday and a limited amount of time. How do you shortlist resumes?
The answer might surprise you. Research has found that for initial shortlisting of candidates, recruiters look at a resume for a mere 6 seconds.
6 seconds! That's all you'll have to impress your recruiter or hiring manager. So, what do you do to ensure that you get the interview?
One of the biggest opportunities that you have to impress recruiters is your Resume Summary. A professional resume summary is that short (4-5 lines) paragraph at the top of your resume which summarizes your profile.
You can judge its importance by looking at the position which it occupies on your resume- THE VERY BEGINNING!
A summary in resume is one of its most (if not the most) important sections. It is the first thing a recruiter will see on your resume. In some cases, it is the only thing the recruiter will see!
At this point, you may have a lot of questions like: How to write a professional summary for resume? Where can I find some good resume summary examples? How to optimize the summary in resume? What is a resume summary statement? Is is the same as a resume summary? etc.
Well, don't worry. We're going to resolve all these queries and more in this in-depth guide to writing resume summaries.
This guide will broadly cover the following topics related to resume summary:
What is a resume summary (with examples)?
How to write a professional summary for resume?
Steps of writing a resume summary with live examples.
What are some good resume summary examples?
What not to write in a resume summary?
Resume Summary vs. Resume Objective.
You can directly view professional resume summary samples for more than 50+ professions directly on our online resume builder. Just start editing the sample resume summary to build your own resume within no time.
What is a resume summary?
A resume summary is a short and powerful description of your skills and achievements, usually found at the top of your resume.
It spans 4-5 sentences and highlights the most important aspects in your profile. Think of it like how you would formally introduce yourself to a recruiter.
It is one of the best tools you can employ to get shortlisted for any job.
A resume summary is also called by various other names such as career summary, resume summary statement, resume profile summary, resume summary of qualifications, qualifications summary etc.
Here are examples of a powerful resume summary section for candidates with different level of work experience:
- Resume Summary - Fresher (Finance Graduate)
Dynamic and result-oriented Finance Graduate adept at deploying analytical & database tools to scrutinize business operations. Proficient in employing effective data analysis techniques to facilitate sound decision-making & successfully execute projects. An eager learner with excellent business communication skills & armed with the required skill set to be propelled to higher positions.
- Resume Summary - Entry Level Professional (Marketing)
Dynamic Management Professional armed with a practical approach for creative problem-solving & possessing a track record of liaising with key stakeholders to formulate & execute marketing strategies. Adept at deploying analytical tools to boost brand positioning & product marketing. A goal-seeking professional with an expertise in analyzing market trends to bolster customer acquisition & deliver compelling business value to clients.
- Resume Summary - Mid Level Professional (IT Recruitment Specialist)
8 years experienced & result-oriented Senior Recruitment Expert with a track record of spearheading teams to formulate and effectively execute pan-US recruitment strategies in the IT domain. Proficient in employing latest human capital practices to attract and retain high-potential talent. Forward-thinking change agent adept at strengthening corporate culture & addressing grievances for ensuring cordial management-employee relations.
- Resume Summary - Senior Level Professional (General Manager)
*20 years experienced, value-driven & result-oriented Top-level Management Professional & Port/Shipping Specialist with a track record of spearheading teams to champion Operations Management for inbound/outbound cargo across international trade lines. Highly skilled in conducting audits and directing Quality Assurance initiatives for achieving business objectives. Proficient in conceptualizing cost optimization measures and enhancing utilization of resources for delivering compelling business value to key stakeholders. *
Here's how a resume summary will look on an actual resume. Notice that the resume summary is always at the beginning of the resume.
If you want to use this and similar ATS optimized resume templates, you can login to our resume builder to create your resume.
You can also view our Professional Summary: Resume Samples for all industries
How to write a resume summary?
Writing a resume summary may seem a little hard at first.
We'll break it down into easy actionable steps so that you can create a great summary for resume that you'll be sending out to recruiters.
1. Complete all the other sections of your resume (write the resume summary at the very end)
The resume summary section is not something that you can sit down and start writing.
Although it is the first section on a resume, the resume summary should be written at the end.
It is exactly what its name suggests, a summary- of everything else on your resume.
You need to have a clear understanding of all these sections before you proceed to write the resume summary:
- Key Skills
- Professional Experience
- Miscellaneous Resume Sections (Certifications, Extra-curricular activities, Awards, etc.)
Once you've written all of these sections on your resume, you're in the perfect position to start writing your career summary.
2. List down your greatest achievements from your resume
Since you would already have completed all other sections of your resume, you'd have all your achievements in handy from your work experience section, or any other section.
Make a note of your greatest professional achievements from your resume.
This would form the base of your resume summary. These are the highlights of your career and should be the backbone of your resume summary.
Your achievements directly exhibit your ability to add value for your potential employer. If you only have one thing to show to the recruiter, it should be this!
3. Thoroughly analyze the job description
We can't stress this point enough:
You need to analyze the job description for the job you are applying to!
You've got to create separate summaries for all the different jobs that you're applying to!
The job description is your only window into the mind of the interviewer before you actually go in for the interview. Do not waste this opportunity.
Delve as deep as you can into the job description. Analyze the following things:
What are the core skills the interviewer is looking for?
What are the soft skills the job requires?
What are the strict NOs mentioned in the job description?
The answers to these questions will determine how aligned your resume summary is with the expectation of the recruiter.
Moreover, it will definitely increase your chances of your resume passing through an Applicant Tracking System.
4. Map your achievements to the skills you possess
Achievements simply listed down in your summary won't cut it.
You need to tell the recruiter what were the skills you learned and employed to achieve what you did.
Here's where the analysis of the job description you conducted in the 3rd step will come into play.
You already know the skills the recruiter will be looking for in your resume.
All you need to do now is frame sentences in your summary to show which skills you employed to achieve what.
Think about it, you're giving the recruiter exactly what they want!
Moreover, you're optimizing your resume to clear the ATS test. Essentially, you're adding keywords (skills) to your resume which the recruiter (or the ATS) is looking for.
Although this exercise is time consuming, this can work wonders for your resume.
Can you see how your resume summary can make or break your chances of getting your dream job?
You can read resumes along with resume summaries collated by our experts by visiting our resume examples for more than 50 professions.
5. Frame powerful resume summary points by clubbing skills with relevant achievements
Well, we're finally here!
Start framing sentences by validating your skills with your achievements.
While framing sentences for your resume summary, just ensure that you develop clear and coherent sentences which follows a basic structure like this:
Employed some skills to achieve something (validate the achievement with numbers if possible)
You don't want the recruiter to lose interest in complex sentences. An action-result kind of framework along with supporting claims will work best.
6. Use Power Verbs or Action Verbs to increase the impact of your resume summary
Every candidate can use common verbs to communicate what they did. These include managed, conducted, led, etc.
What makes your resume special?
Well, there are certain verbs which you can employ in your resume summary to differentiate your resume from the crowd.
They carry a much greater impact with seasoned recruiters!
You can find a list of action verbs by doing a simple Google search. These include verbs such as conceptualized, orchestrated, executed, spearheaded, etc.
We have already done all the hard work required to create your resume. Just login to our resume builder and create your resume within minutes.
Writing an actual resume summary (actual example)
We've seen the steps of how to write a resume summary.
Let's implement the steps to create an actual resume summary.
We'll be developing the resume summary for one of our actual clients (let's call him Rick) who is a software engineer.
We'll follow the steps listed in the section above.
1. Complete all the other sections of your resume
Rick has completed his entire resume apart from the summary part.
He has ~2 years of professional experience in a single organization. Here is his professional experience from his resume:
- Spearheading a team of ~20 to conceptualize and effectively implement the Mark for Upload feature for the company
- Commissioning the development of Logging Framework across all platforms including iOS, Android & Windows
- Conceptualizing and developing a library for the company to reduce additional costs involved in using third-party libraries
- Developing client-side libraries across both iOS and Android for enabling the app developer to use the feature of offline sync
- Proposing a common network layer for all network calls to be used by the product to effectively optimize SDK size
2. List down your achievements/major milestones
Here's the list of achievements we derived from Rick's resume:
- Created value for all stakeholders
- Carried out process optimization to increase efficiency significantly
- Enhanced client experience
- Achieved unprecedented quality
- Ensured impeccable security
- Scaled the product to 2M users
- Led a team of 20
- Worked across multiple platforms (Software Development)
3. Researching the job profile
On researching the job description, we created the list of skills required:
- Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Management
- Proficiency with multiple platforms
- Software Engineering
- Process Optimization
- Client Management
- Security & Scalability Management
- Team Management
4. Mapping Skills to Achievements
The table maps Rick's relevant achievements to the skills from the research we conducted on the Job Description.
Mapping skills to achievements
Led a team of 20
Created value for all stakeholders,
Client & stakeholder Management
Worked across multiple platforms (Software Development)
Software Engineering, SDLC Management
Carried out process optimization to increase efficiency significantly
Security & Scalability Management
5 & 6. Framing the resume summary and using power verbs
Finally we'll use the table created above to develop a shining resume summary for Rick:
Dynamic and result-oriented Software Development Engineer with a track record of enabling teams to champion end-to-end Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) & deliver compelling business value to stakeholders. Adept at engineering user-centric solutions across multiple platforms to drive breakthrough efficiency and enhance overall client experience. Proficient in translating business requirements into technical solutions to achieve quality, security & scalability of mission-critical projects.
Well, there you go.
You can now create your own professional resume summary which will definitely outshine the competition.
Check out our online resume builder and directly use summary examples for resume making process.
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