Is your resume summary impactful?
You looked up several resume summary examples. You scrutinized every resume summary statement and scanned the best resume examples on the internet...but still, something is missing. You are now realizing that a resume professional summary is not a joke.
What do you do then? Are resume skills enough? How badly do you need a summary for resume?
Research has found that when it comes to shortlisting the initial pool of candidates, recruiters look at a resume for 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.
You can judge its importance by looking at the position which it occupies on your resume - THE VERY TOP!
Read on to get a clear understanding of the following topics that can help you draft a winning professional resume summary statement:
- What is a summary on a resume?
- What is the difference between a resume summary and an objective?
- What is the difference between a resume summary and a headline?
- Is a summary on a resume necessary?
- How to write a resume summary?
A professional summary for resume is one of the most (if not the most) important sections in a good resume. It is the first thing a recruiter will see on your resume. In some cases, it can often decide whether a recruiter will continue with your resume or not.
What Is a Professional Resume Summary?
Simply put, a professional resume summary statement is a short and powerful description of your skills and achievements, usually found at the top of your resume.
A resume summary is also called by various other names such as "career summary", "resume summary statement", "resume profile summary", "resume summary of qualifications", "summary of qualifications", "resume highlights", etc.
Following are the key elements of a powerful professional resume summary statement:
- A resume summary should match your expertise with the requirements of the recruiter.
- A summary for resume shouldn't just be a gist of your skills but should demonstrate how you can use those skills to deliver a quantifiable impact.
- A professional resume summary statement should include points showcasing a coherent cause-effect relationship.
Let's consider a few examples to better elucidate this.
Experienced business development manager with expertise in sales, business development, alliances and partnerships, vendor management, etc. Looking to apply this varied skill set in a challenging environment.
What's wrong with the above resume summary statement?
- There's no cause-effect relationship
- The resume summary is just a gist of the skills the applicant is armed with
- It describes what the applicant is looking for instead of describing how the applicant can add value to an organization
- It does not consider the requirements of the targeted organization
- There's no mention of the years of experience the applicant possesses
Now consider this:
10+ years experienced Business Development Manager with a prolific track record of spearheading 100-member teams to formulate and execute high-growth strategies across domains spanning pharma, banking, and financial services. Adept at forging strategic alliances and conceptualizing business growth initiatives for boosting profitability and directing expansion across continents.
Notice anything different in this resume summary?
- It starts with the number of years of experience that the applicant is armed with
- It's not a shopping list of things that the applicant is looking for
- It contains performance figures to elucidate and substantiate the claims in the professional resume summary statement
- It's not just a list of skills - it describes how the skills have been utilized to deliver a quantifiable impact.
Also Read: What is a Resume Personal Statement?
Resume Objective vs. Summary for Resume: Which to Use & When?
A resume summary statement incorporates your expertise and seamlessly aligns the same with the requirements of the targeted job profile.
Whereas a resume objective statement communicates your desire to learn and grow from the given opportunity.
You need a resume objective section if:
- You're entering the workspace as a fresher.
- You're re-entering the workspace after an extended absence.
- You're shifting careers or industries.
Draft a resume summary statement only if you don't fall in any of these 3 categories.
Also Read: What is a Resume Objective Section?
Resume Summary vs. Resume Headline
Is there a difference between a resume summary and a resume headline? Or are they the same things?
A professional resume summary statement is vastly different from a resume headline.
A resume headline comprises your contact information (contact number, email address, current location, hyperlinks of GitHub/LinkedIn, etc.) and a job title.
What is a job title?
The recruiter shouldn't have to scan your professional experience section to gauge your role and the position you're applying for. It's always better to provide a crisp job title right below your name. A job title can be a functional title that plainly describes your role and your potential contribution to the recruiter.
Examples of job titles can be "Business Development Manager", "Financial Analyst", "Software Engineer", etc.
Your resume headline is comprised of these details.
A professional resume summary, on the other hand, is a snapshot of your professional trajectory to date. It is in a paragraph form not exceeding 3-4 lines and should include the value which you can add as a member of the next organization.
Also Read: How to Draft a Professional Resume Header
Why Do You Need a Resume Summary?
A cover letter is picked up only if the resume is convincing enough. If you are relying on the cover letter to convey your value to the recruiter and your resume itself fails to deliver the necessary impact, you are doomed.
So what's your next big chance for communicating the impact you can deliver in your next organization?
Your professional resume summary statement!
It can help you showcase your most relevant and prominent achievements, skills, and contributions that are specific to your preferred profile.
By including the summary for resume, the recruiters can easily recognize your key skills and experience right from the start.
A resume summary statement is also one of the ideal places where you can include relevant keywords that connects your potential to the targeted profile.
How to Write a Resume Summary?
Writing a resume summary may seem a little hard at first.
Keep the following points in mind while drafting a summary for resume:
- Write the summary in a paragraph not exceeding 3-4 lines
- Mention how you used your skills to benefit the previous organization
- Use cause-effect methodology to frame your summary sentences
- Start your resume summary by mentioning the number of experience you have
- Quantify your resume summary
We'll break it down into 5 easy actionable steps so that you can create a great summary for resume that you'll be sending out to recruiters.
Step 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 of 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 & Recognition, etc.)
Once you've written all of these sections in your resume, you're in the perfect position to start writing your career summary.
Step 2: 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 must 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 the interview. Do not waste this opportunity.
Primarily, the job qualifications are the most important part of the job description which includes the following:
- Education level
- Work experience
- Required licenses and certificates
- Required skills
However, delve as deep as you can into the job description to analyze the following:
- What are the core skills the interviewer is looking for?
- What are the technical 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 increase the chances of your resume passing through an Applicant Tracking System.
Step 3: List Your Greatest Achievements
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!
Step 4: Map Your Achievements to Your Corresponding Skills
Skills on a resume play the most important role even when writing a resume summary.
Achievements simply listed down in your summary do not add as much credibility. Neither do keyword-driven phrases that mark your skills.
You must tell the recruiter what were the skills you learned and employed to achieve what you did.
So, when you incorporate your skills with achievement-based points you get a STAR actionable point.
Here's where the analysis of the job description you conducted in the 2nd step comes into play. You already know the skills the recruiter will look for in your resume.
All you need to do now is frame sentences in your summary to show which skills you employed and what did you achieve with the same.
Hiration Pro-Tip: Start your resume summary by mentioning the number of years of experience you have followed by your job title.
Moreover, by optimizing your resume to parse the ATS, you're adding keywords/skills to your resume that the recruiter (or the ATS) is looking for.
Step 5: Frame Powerful Resume Summary Points
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.
Use Power/Action Verbs
Power verbs bolster the impact of your resume summary.
Every candidate can use common verbs like "Managed", "Conducted", "Led", to communicate what they did.
How can you make your resume stand out from the rest?
By using power verbs such as conceptualized, orchestrated, executed, spearheaded, etc. in your resume summary.
Writing an Actual Resume Summary
We've seen the steps of how to write a resume summary.
Let's implement the steps to create actual resume summary examples.
Writing a resume summary for a Software Engineer (with steps)
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.
Step 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 application 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
Step 2: Research 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
Step 3: List Down 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)
Step 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
Framing the Resume Summary and Using Power Verbs
Finally, we'll use the table created above to develop a shining resume summary examples for Rick:
5+ years experienced Software Development Engineer with adept at enabling teams to champion end-to-end Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and deliver compelling business value to stakeholders. Highly skilled in engineering user-centric solutions across multiple platforms to drive breakthrough efficiency and enhance the overall client experience. Proficient in translating business requirements into technical solutions to achieve quality, security, and scalability of mission-critical projects.
Well, there you go.
Finally, do not use I, or any personal pronouns, in your summary.
Let us look at the usage of the following:
7+ years of experience across Hospitality, IoT, sports technology, e-commerce, and investment banking. I started my professional career with an investment bank in Singapore where I developed an understanding of capital markets and financial institutions. I returned to India to pursue MBA from IIM Calcutta. Post which I have been part of multiple startups from an early stage and have enjoyed diverse responsibilities across business development, operations, product management, and partnerships. I enjoy solving problems that are more customer-facing, designing scale solutions, and possess hands-on experience in leading teams.
Now let us look at a resume summary without the usage of personal pronouns
~5 years experience Business Development Expert and Certified Digital Marketing Professional armed with the skills deploying aggressive sales techniques and trend-based marketing methodologies to successfully achieve pre-established targets. Adept at networking and liaising with key stakeholders for forging strategic alliances and ensuring adherence to client requirements. Highly skilled in conceptualizing and implementing business development strategies for consistently achieving business goals and delivering compelling business value to key stakeholders and clients.
The above resume summary examples show that the usage of I:
- Reduces the consistency of your entire resume.
- Reduces the credibility of your resume.
Resume Summary Examples
Here are a few powerful resume summary examples for candidates with different levels of work experience:
Resume Summary for Freshers (Finance Graduate)
Dynamic and result-oriented Finance Graduate proficient in deploying analytical and database tools to scrutinize business operations. Adept at employing effective data analysis techniques to facilitate sound decision-making and successfully execute projects. An eager learner with excellent business communication skills and armed with the required skill set to be propelled to higher positions.
Resume Summary Examples for Entry Level Professionals (Marketing)
Dynamic Management Professional armed with a practical approach for creative problem-solving and possessing a track record of liaising with key stakeholders to formulate and execute marketing strategies. Adept at deploying analytical tools to boost brand positioning and product marketing. Highly skilled in analyzing market trends to bolster customer acquisition and deliver compelling business value to clients.
Resume Summary Example for Mid Level Professionals (IT Recruitment Specialist)
8 years experienced 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 the latest human capital practices to attract and retain high-potential talent. Forward-thinking change agent, adept at strengthening corporate culture and addressing grievances for ensuring cordial management-employee relations.
Resume Summary Example for Senior Level Professionals (General Manager)
20 years experienced Senior Management Professional and Port/Shipping Specialist armed with the skills of spearheading teams to champion operations management for inbound and outbound cargo across international trade lines. Adept at conducting audits and directing quality assurance initiatives for achieving business objectives. Highly skilled 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.
Resume Summary Examples: Business Operations
Business Operations Specialists are responsible for improving operations and ensuring regulatory compliances while Business Operations Managers coordinate all the departments within a company.
The resume summary for a Business Operations Specialist must include duties like:
- Analyzing customer needs
- Observing company operations
- Suggesting improvements
- Identifying ways to increase the value of businesses
- Managing the supply chain
- Training staff
While showcasing job skills like:
- Business Acumen
- Analytical Thinking
- Strategic Planning
- Problem Solving
- Decision Making
The best resume summary examples for Business Operations Managers list responsibilities like:
- Guiding Teams
- Negotiating Contracts
- Hiring Employees
- Designing and Implementing Office Procedures
- Monitoring Expenses
Among others, while demonstrating strong leadership skills and top skills concerning:
- Business Awareness
- Extensive Technical Expertise in Field
- Excellent Communication Abilities
F&B Operations Head Position Summary Example
13+ years experienced F&B Operations Expert with a track record of championing retail function to successfully achieve business goals. Proficient in conducting competitive analysis and mapping market trends to formulate strategies and exceed sales and business development targets. Armed with the skills of building and managing a cross-functional team from scratch and implementing innovative marketing techniques to boost store turnover and maximize profitability. Adept at creating a congenial work environment as a change agent to deliver a delightful consumer experience and incubate high-performing teams.
Operations Manager Profile Summary for Resume
14+ years experienced Senior Operations Management Professional with a track record of spearheading teams to champion business operations spanning diverse countries and conglomerates in the telecom and IT domain. Highly skilled in conceptualizing and implementing cost-effective strategies to streamline operations by optimizing processes for delivering user-centric solutions. Proficient in directing execution of end-to-end migration-based projects and deploying domain expertise to bolster the quality of service delivery and resolve escalations.
Resume Summary Examples: Sales and Business Development
A resume summary for a Sales Managers should highlight experiences in:
- Directing Sales Teams
- Creating and Implementing Sales Strategies
- Maximizing Company Revenues
While listing duties and skills in:
- Solving Customer Complaints
- Sales Orientation
- Leadership and Supervisory Skills
- Managerial Experience
Business Development Head Position Summary Example
20 years experienced Sales and Business Development Leader skilled in direct sales, channel sales, business development, marketing, team management, and relationship management in the publishing industry. Highly skilled in sales of different products across multiple channels as well as direct sales including selling to both corporate as well as the government. Armed with the skills of conducting pre-sales research as well as post-sales analysis.
Resume Summary Examples: Technical
Technicians work in a variety of industries and usually perform mechanical tasks. Technical resume summaries are 3-4 lines targeted around domains like:
- Service Centers
- Maintenance and Support - "Aircraft Maintenance"
- Medical or Veterinary Units
Duties vary by profession.
Typical job requirements which a technical resume summary has are:
- Record Keeping
- Detail Orientation
- Technical Skills
Senior Database Administrator Profile Summary for Resume
16+ years experienced Senior Database Administrator with a track record of spearheading diverse teams to effectively execute key project deliverables. Adept at providing and supervising end-to-end database solutions. Highly skilled in deploying complex database administration solutions and automation initiatives across database environments in different domains.
Resume Summary Example: Arts
The resume summary examples in the domain of "Art, Creative, & Design" showcase relevant and important points w.r.t. creativity, networking, communicating, designing, or creating virtually anything.
From artistic pursuits like painting to functional pursuits like designing products and websites, the wide-ranging field of Arts and Design offers wide opportunities for creative and visionary professionals to play with beauty and design.
While Artists showcase core skills in different types of art, like:
- Film and Performance
Responsibilities or roles might include:
- Networking with Material Suppliers
- Handling Publicity Strategies
- Attending Art Events
Formal education is not compulsory, but many Artists hold a degree in a related field.
Art Director Profile Summary for Resume
Award-winning art director with ~8 years of experience and proficiency in executing global campaigns for leading international brands. Adept at delivering out-of-the-box concepts, dynamic visuals, and innovative strategies for online and print deliveries. Armed with the skills of driving leading market share, record-setting response rates, and customer base expansion.
Resume Summary Examples: Finance & Accounting
The resume summary examples in the domain of Finance & Accounting showcases relevant and important points with respect to:
- Researching Financial Variances
- Analyzing Financial Data
- Preparing Monthly Financial Statements
- Preparing Month-end Reconciliations
- Assessing Risks
And key skills in areas like internal auditing, government, or public accounting.
Investment Banking Operations Specialist Profile Summary for Resume
12+ years experienced Investment Banking Operations Expert and Certified Six Sigma Specialist adept at leading cross-functional teams to effectively implement financial controls, processes, and systems. Possesses a proven track record of formulating strategies to direct project management and liaising with key external and internal stakeholders for process optimization and risk management. Highly skilled in leveraging human capital by motivating and mentoring professionals to align departmental objectives with organizational goals.
Investment/Research Advisor & Relationship Manager Profile Summary for Resume
~10 years experienced Series-VIII: Equity Derivatives Relationship Manager proficient in preparing projects on over and under-valued equity and managing portfolios of HNI clients in the private and corporate banking sectors. Armed with the skills of rendering technical assistance to clients on stock selection while analyzing financial and investment needs to drive 100% customer satisfaction.
Resume Summary Examples: Information Technology
The resume summary for the information technology industry should include expertise in:
- Website Management
- Technical Support
- Information Security
Top Level IT Professional & Program Lead Profile Summary for Resume
26+ years experienced Program Management Expert and Product Specialist armed with a stellar track record of incubating and managing high-performing teams to formulate strategies for executing multi-million dollar programs spanning geographically dispersed regions across the globe. Adept at translating complex customer requirements into actionable strategies to deliver user-friendly products by deploying expertise across product development, account management, and project delivery. Highly skilled in conceptualizing and implementing data-driven solutions to deliver compelling business value to key stakeholders and clients.
Resume Summary Examples: Product & Project Management
The resume summary examples in the domain of Product & Project Management showcases relevant and important points with respect to:
- Designing Schedules
- Assessing Risks
- Recruiting Teams
- Monitoring Staffs, Contractors, and Vendors
- Progress Tracking
And key skills like:
- Organizational Excellence
- Analytical Thinking
- Computer Competencies
Senior Project Manager & Product Expert Profile Summary for Resume
14+ years experienced Senior Project Manager and Product Specialist proficient in leading cross-functional teams to effectively manage multi-million dollar portfolios and successfully execute IT Infrastructure projects. Certified PMP and Prince 2 Professional armed with the skills of spearheading end-to-end migration initiatives, SCCM/Middleware support, and application packaging. Adept at liaising with multiple stakeholders and senior leadership to optimize processes, facilitate sound decision-making, and deliver compelling business value to clients.
Resume Summary Examples: Medical
For the Medical domain, the resume summary could be a little longer.
Radiology & Sonology Profile Summary for Resume
12+ years experienced Senior Radiologist highly skilled in radiology, sonology, and operating MRI machines and slice machines. Proficient in all the functions concerning radiology including cross sectional imaging–neuroradiology, MSK, Onco Interventions, and body imaging. Demonstrated skills and abilities in taking proper care of the patients and providing the utmost medical attention.
Public Policy Head & Government Relations Expert Position Summary Example
15+ years experienced Public Policy Expert and Government Affairs Specialist armed with the skills of collaborating with state and Central governments to revamp public perception and reform growth-inhibiting policies for conglomerates. Possesses a track record of adding USD 200 million+ to top-line growth by aggressively advocating organizational interests to achieve positive clarifications. Adept at managing sensitive issues and employing out-of-the-box thinking to handle crises situations and manage risks.
You can now use the above summary examples to create your professional resume summaries which will help you outshine the competition.
- Include the summary for resume if you have more than 3 years of professional experience.
- Draft a professional summary for resume only after the rest of the sections are done.
- Limit your resume summary statement to 3-4 lines to enhance its readability.
- Highlight your core skills in your resume profile summary to validate your potential.
- Compose a professional summary that contains only the most crucial information.
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