What’s a Resume Summary Section?
It is an “about me” paragraph that showcases your most relevant skills and experience. Since hiring managers often have to sift through dozens, if not hundreds, of resumes for each open position, a strong resume summary section can help your application stand out.
A summary should outline in two- to four-sentences what makes you the right candidate for the role. Here, you should outline what you’ll bring to the table if you are hired. The content should concentrate on what your work experience can do for the employer, not the other way around.
How to Write a Resume Summary Section in 6 Simple Steps
Make it straightforward.
Hiring managers often spend only six seconds looking over each application. Keep them reading with a strong but concise summary section. Choose either bullet points or a short paragraph made of three to four lines. You can even skip full sentences and use short phrases instead.
Write in the third person.
A professional summary is not an “I” statement. Since it’s about what you can do for the employer, write about yourself in the third person.
Include your job title and experience level.
Mention your job title and how many years’ experience you have under your belt. If you have many years of experience, this shows at-a-glance that you have a deep understanding of the role. The wording can be something like “Senior marketing executive with more than 12 years of experience.”
Focus on your most important skills and abilities.
There should be no fluff in your summary section. Look at the job description and incorporate key skills. Try to include three to four hard and soft skills that directly relate to the job. This shows the employer you are a serious contender.
Include data and metrics.
Show the impact your skills have had on your employer’s bottom line by including numbers in your summary. Mentioning impressive sales numbers, revenue saved or earned, or other quantifiable achievements will get a recruiter’s attention.
Strategically employ keywords.
Incorporating keywords and phrases from the job ad in your summary section is an easy way to demonstrate that you’re a good fit for the company. It also helps your document pass through an applicant tracking system (ATS).
4 Resume Summary Examples Written by Our Builder
The content of your summary section will differ based on the job title you seek and your career level. If you’re having trouble starting your summary section, LiveCareer’s Resume Builder can help thanks to our pre-written text.
The following examples were crafted at four different career stages using our builder. Take a look at the examples below for inspiration to write your own, or have our builder craft one for you!
Entry-level Summary Example
Self-motivated salesperson seeking a position in the auto industry. Strong communicator, persuasive, with strong professional and interpersonal skills. Willing to work long hours and weekends to help meet the company’s goals and develop solid relationships with customers.
Mid-career Summary Example
Key account manager with over 10 years of experience working with mid- and large- scale clients. Skilled at sales and revenue generation and detail-oriented, with the ability to manage multiple projects with accuracy and efficiency. Great communication skills and work well with all types of people.
Blue Collar Summary Example
A highly vigilant security guard with more than 15 years of experience working in busy high-rise office buildings. Great observation skills with the ability to communicate with others in a professional manner to diffuse situations and keep people safe. Patient, good judgment abilities, first-aid certified and trained in firearms.
Executive Summary Example
A seasoned account executive with over 30 years of experience in sales. Strong history of driving market share, increasing revenue, and positioning products in innovative ways. Strong communicator with the ability to develop new business and provide cost-friendly solutions consistently. Able to collaborate across multiple departments to deliver optimized results.
6 Dos & Don’ts for Writing this Section
- Do Study the Job Description If you’re unsure which terms or skills to use in the summary section, refer to the job description. It will list what’s important to the employer, and give you a roadmap of which skills should appear in your executive summary.
- Do Think of It as an Elevator Pitch Your summary section is a quick introduction to the value you can bring to the company. Point out your most sought-after skills, traits, and experience.
- Do Include Your Most Relevant Abilities Choose your three or four of your most valuable skills to include in the summary section. Think of your summary as your highlights reel and use only your most impressive skills and achievements.
- Don’t Make It Too Long Your summary section is meant to be brief, just two to four sentences to entice a recruiter to keep reading your resume. You can expand upon key elements of your resume in your cover letter.
- Don’t Use a Passive Voice Remember, your summary is a snapshot of your skills and accomplishments. Use compelling language and action words to entice a recruiter to continue reading your resume.
- Don’t Worry If You Have Minimal Work Experience Transferable skills and personality traits that fit with the position can show your ability to perform the role. Consider relevant skills you’ve gleaned through volunteer work, sports, or school and mention these in your professional summary.