If you're a college student who is new to the job application process, you may be unfamiliar with the benefits of writing a resume summary statement. Because modern resume formats prioritize summary statements, as opposed to obsolete and vague "objective sections," you'll be able to briefly explain your unique skill set in a more personalized way. Instead of listing your job history in the body of your resume, a summary statement allows you to showcase your value and experience in an organized paragraph.
What to Include in a College Student Resume Summary Statement
When writing a resume summary statement, include the most important details of your work and school life so far. If your work experience is limited, pull from your school experiences and volunteer activities to develop a summary of your strengths. Things like relevant coursework should be saved for the education section. Next, list any hard skills that you have; common abilities include computer skills and particular kinds of certification, such as CPR certification. Lastly, sketch your personality using a few carefully-selected adjectives.
How to Format a College Student Resume Summary Statement
It's important to keep format in mind when writing a resume summary statement. This section is meant to summarize your skills, not explain them in depth, so providing extensive details is unnecessary. This section should be between four and six lines. College students may have less to mention, so sometimes three lines will suffice. Note that it must be in paragraph form; it cannot be a bulleted list.
As for the voice, the rule is to use the first-person voice while leaving out the actual pronouns. So, instead of "I am a hardworking college student," write, "Hardworking college student."
Tips for Writing a College Student Resume Summary Statement
Use appropriate action words, as these help the reader understand exactly what your skills and previous responsibilities involved. Strong words like "executed" and "fulfilled" can go a long way in setting the tone of your summary statement.
Writing a resume summary statement is comparable to pitching a sale, so you want to grab the employer’s attention. As with all sections of your resume, make sure your spelling and grammar usage are on point; typos can distract the reader and will work against you. Have someone else take a look at your summary statement to ensure that you haven't overlooked any mistakes. Avoid touching on controversial topics like religion and politics.
Examples of Summary Statements from College Students
Consider this example when writing your summary:
Hardworking, responsible, and meticulous college student majoring in elementary education. Experienced babysitter and volunteer tutor. Thrives in fast-paced environments that provide consistent challenges and opportunities for growth. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Effective leader and team player.
While this is a perfect summary statement for a job as a nanny, it would need some tweaking if you were seeking a job as a cashier, for example. Avoid including any information that could be considered irrelevant, as that will give employers the impression that you are unfit for the job. Instead, prove that you’re a versatile employee.
Writing a resume summary statement is essential to your search for employment. If you need additional help creating, editing, or writing the rest of your resume, you can visit LiveCareer for more suggestions. LiveCareer is a professional resource for individuals who are assembling a competitive resume. You'll find expert advice, templates, and assistance.