How to Write a Resume Summary Statement (+10 Examples)
Your path to writing a perfect interview-winning resume starts with a summary statement. It is your chance to introduce yourself and show your fit for the role. With an enormous amount of resumes hiring managers get these days, it makes sense to use every opportunity to grasp and keep their attention. A well-crafted summary statement works just fine.
However, it’s tough to avoid popular resume writing mistakes if you’re not a writer by trade. Resume summary does not tolerate mistakes. It is the first thing that hiring person sees! And if you manage to lure them in by showing off the game-changing facts from your career biography, the rest of the document will get a thorough consideration as well.
So, how do you do this? How do you create a resume summary better than that of 99% of other job-seekers?
The below guide from the best resume writer will help your summary shine.
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Does your resume need a summary?
The answer is yes. Every resume benefits from a strong opener which is the career summary. Although this section is still not considered mandatory, including it will give you a head start at the resume screening stage.
However, in certain cases a summary is an absolute game-changer. If you skip it, your resume will be tossed without further review. Here’s when you absolutely need to include a career summary:
- You’re a student or graduate – at the beginning of the career, you don’t have much experience to offer. Your future direction might not be obvious as well. As you include the customized summary, you’ll present the exact skills and personality traits that the company looks for.
- Your career trajectory is uneven – you began as a salesperson, then proceeded to your own beauty business and now would like to work as a B2B marketer. For those switching fields and responsibilities, summary helps to highlight the needed skills for your target role.
- You’re making a significant career change – let’s say you’ve worked as an account manager for 15 years and would like to pursue a designing career. Without a summary that makes your intentions clear, your resume will be tossed since your experience isn’t traditional.
If you need a final argument in favor of adding a summary, here it is. The famous eye tracking study conducted among recruiters revealed that the top of the resume is read thoroughly. Now, let’s proceed to create a summary that makes the difference.
How to write a resume summary statement: 6 main rules
As we’re getting down to business, let’s have a look at the resume summary section structure. Typically, it’s a 3- to 5-sentence paragraph encompassing the career details that make you an asset for the role. This may include hard and soft skills, certifications, experience, education, and accomplishments.
Some experts compare it to an elevator pitch or a movie teaser – something that presents critical facts right up front. The summary should be always placed at the top of the page, under your name and contact info.
Have an objective above the summary? Ditch it. Objectives are recruiters’ pain in the neck and completely out of date.
1. Prepare a list of things that define you as a professional
To create an interview-winning summary, you need to prepare in advance. Simply extracting a few skills from the rest of the resume won’t work. Decide on the skills and credential which describe your professionalism most efficiently.
Let’s say you’re a sales manager. Every sales manager can lead a sales team, prepare reports and train new employees. But if you manage to settle all conflict situations with difficult clients, this superpower deserves being mentioned in a summary.
With this list next to you, you won’t puzzle over the question “What should I write in my summary statement?”
2.Start the summary with your title
When introducing yourself professionally, you typically start with the most important facts from your biography, don’t you? Crafting a winning summary requires the same approach. Here’s a working formula: begin with your job title, years of experience, and an important education/certification:
- A PMP-certified Project Coordinator with 12+ years of experience…
- An enthusiastic MBA graduate with 4+ years of leadership experience…
See? This immediately captures the attention. In the next few sentences, you are going to specify what your superpowers are and what exactly differentiates you from similarly qualified candidates.
As you are reworking the summary, you might need to rewrite the rest of the resume in line with your new strong introduction. The writers of our website have prepared a quick cheat sheet so you wouldn’t miss anything: http://resumeperk.com/blog/a-cheat-sheet-to-rewrite-resume-like-a-pro.
3.Focus on the skills and achievements
Job-relevant skills and accomplishments are your two biggest assets for writing a summary. Specialists recommend that you include 2-3 skills and the same number of accomplishments. Review the list of your biggest professional moments you’ve created before and get down to writing.
The reasoning between listing your skills is pretty simple. An employer looks for a person with exact blend of qualifications, and your summary is meant to proactively address them.
But what about the accomplishments? Your past achievements are seen as an indicator of what you can deliver in the future. For example, if the company is looking for a sales representative to enter a new market and you have a long list of successes increasing a market share, the interview (and probably the job) is yours.
Pro tip: if creating a resume summary looks exhausting, check out our tips to increase your creativity now. The expert advice will help you get focused and look at things differently.
4.Quantify your accomplishments
To make the most out of your accomplishments, you need to make them measureable. Achievements without the context look lifeless. Check this out:
- Successfully completed large projects under budget
Sounds good, but not so impressive, doesn’t it? Now, let’s add some specifics:
- Successfully completed $2M+ projects and saved 15% of planned budget by scaling down the unnecessary features
That’s what can make hiring managers turn heads, can’t it?
Accomplishments with figures read like facts and serve as another proof of your professionalism. They also mention what kind of results the target employer can expect from you. If you manage to add 1-2 highly relevant, quantifiable achievements to the summary, your interview chances just skyrocket.
Not sure if your resume is good enough to land quality interviews? Contact us for a free resume review service. An experience resume consultant of our company will point out at the strengths and weaknesses of your resume, helping you create a flawless resume.
5.Be careful with buzzwords
You may have seen the summaries like this before:
- Dedicated, proactive office manager who enjoys leading a team, thrills in a fast-paced environment and works well under pressure. A hard worker with great communication skills…
Looks like it shows the portrait of a candidate, but to a recruiter, such summary says nothing. What size of team? In which demanding situation did they perform well? Who did he communicate with, and what was the result?
There’s no surprise that hiring managers typically skip summaries full of buzzwords. There’s even a list of most hatred buzzwords you should avoid in your resume at all costs. I think you’ve got my point.
The solution? Replace the buzzwords with facts. Instead of “strong copywriting skills”, say “doubled the number of blog readers in five months”. Instead of “hardworking designer” write “led several projects simultaneously with high client satisfaction rate”.
Replace each adjective with a situation in which you demonstrated a skill or competency. If you can’t think of an example, cross it out.
6.Use the keywords from the job posting
Resume keywords are like a formal dress for interview. They subtly show that you are suited well for the job.
All big companies now use the specific software to weed out the irrelevant resumes. To help yours pass this selection, you need to insert relevant keywords. Most importantly, the keywords used at the top of the document weight more than those used on the second page.
Where do you get those keywords? Use the powerful words and phrases from the job ad that intersect with your own qualifications. For instance, if you are good at managing teams but the job calls for ‘staff supervision’, use this exact phrase.
Replacing your own qualifications with synonyms won’t change the meaning. However, it will help you look a better fit from the hiring manager’s perspective. By the way, if you are curious to find out how employers actually read resumes, see here: http://resumeperk.com/blog/what-employers-look-for-in-your-professionally-done-resume.
10 good resume summary statement examples
Writing rules look dull without the examples, don’t they? Here are the 10 powerful samples of summary statements. Each sample resume summary statement illustrates the above-mentioned rules and principles.
Customer service/Sales summary samples
- Enthusiastic Customer Service Representative with 3+ years of experience increasing sales and growing customer loyalty for Bloomberg. Increased client satisfaction by 28% by proactively troubleshooting advanced technical issues.
- Versatile Sales Professional experienced at leading team of 20 and overseeing $35M in sales annually.
- Leveraged technology skills and psychology background to provide the first-class service and increase customer retention rate from 43% to 67%.
- Streamlined the implementation of reporting procedures that reduced labor costs by 9% and increased client satisfaction by 35%.
Project management summary samples
- Resourceful Project Manager with 7+ years of proven experience implementing IT solutions for Fortune 500 companies.
- Used advanced development methodologies to increase the coding efficiency of the corporate portal by 30%.
- Introduced the Agile methodology and started using the project management software, resulting in completion of 90% projects within budget.
HR/Office management summary samples
Dedicated Human Resource Manager fostering internal employee development and team effectiveness to boost engagement in line with the corporate strategy.
- Supervised 5 office assistants in a technology company, growing new contracts by 20% and reducing costs by 15% through the optimization of daily operations.
- Provided administrative support to 25 team members, handling multiple tasks simultaneously and maintaining inventory with 100% accuracy.
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