TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is a resume summary and why is it important?
The summary section of your resume is the first section a recruiter or hiring manager will see when they review your resume.
For that reason, a strong resume summary is critical for any job seeker who wants to make a dazzling first impression.
A well-written resume summary consists of two to four sentences that emphasize your unique value to an organization. Think of it as a sales pitch that lists your top qualifications.
Highlighting your most relevant skills and experience shows potential employers what you’ll bring to the table if hired.
Resume summary versus resume objective
Depending on the resume format you choose, this section might be called “Professional Summary” or “ Resume Objective.”
Resume objectives or “objective statements” are slightly different from resume summaries. They focus more on what you want to achieve rather than what you’ve done and have to offer an employer.
Resume objectives are usually for these two scenarios:
- You have less than two years of experience. So, focusing more on what you hope to achieve rather than your accomplishments makes sense.
- You’re applying for a job in a new industry. In this case, you should sell your passion or motivation for the change.
For most people, it’s advised to include a professional summary if you have enough experience. Read on to see the DIY six-step process of writing your resume summary from scratch.
If you’re ready to jump into the writing process now or want an extra edge in creating a great professional resume summary, consider a faster option! Check out LiveCareer’s most powerful resume tool, our Resume Builder.
Our builder can help you create a resume in just 15 minutes because it automates the whole process!
Beyond step-by-step guidance, our builder will even provide suggested text and examples of well-worded resume summaries that you can customize and use!
Our team of career experts created the text suggestions. They’re job-specific, well-written and will help get you noticed!
How to Write a Resume Summary: 6 steps
Study the job ad.
Before writing, gather basic information from the job ad or post.
Make a list of the required skills and experience mentioned. You should incorporate these keywords and phrases into your summary section!
As you study the job ad and the requirements, ask yourself what makes you the right person for this role. This is what will electrify your summary.
Spend time on the company website to see how they describe their business and mission. What do they describe as their core values?
Is the writing casual and light? Or does the company use a dry, professional tone?
You’ll want to mirror the same tone in your summary statement. Reflecting their style will help show you’re a fit for the company culture.
Write your introductory sentence.
Create a sentence that includes one or two words to describe you and your experience as it relates to the job ad. For example, “Friendly and engaging server with five years of experience in busy neighborhood dining establishments.”
Highlight relevant skills, experience and education.
You’ve learned the skills, work experience and education most applicable to the position from studying the job ad. Use those keywords to describe what you bring to the table in a sentence or two.
For example, if the job post calls for organization skills, work ethic and verbal communication, you could say something like this: “Strong work ethic and highly organized. Excellent verbal communication skills and a proven track record for developing strong relationships with coworkers.”
Mention at least one relevant achievement.
If you are an experienced job seeker, add a sentence or two describing your most significant professional achievement(s).
Doing so tells employers instantly what you’ll bring to the role. This can be done through a short sentence describing your achievement or by adding data and metrics to the summary.
For example, “Regularly turned up to 35 tables during Sunday brunch. Praised by management for the ability to upsell high-profit menu items and fine wines.”
Put it all together.
Here is an example of what you will have crafted if you follow the steps above:
“Friendly and engaging server with five years of experience in busy neighborhood dining establishments. Strong work ethic and high-organized. Excellent verbal communication skills and a proven track record for developing strong relationships with coworkers. Regularly turned up to 35 tables during Sunday brunch. Praised by management for the ability to upsell high-profit menu items and fine wines.”
Resume summary examples by career type
Accounting resume summary examples
- “Efficiency-driven CPA with 4+ years experience developing and executing financial systems. Ethical professional with expertise in local tax codes. My strong data analysis and problem-solving skills help me reduce business costs.”
- “Accurate accountant brings 11 years of experience from the health care industry. Adept at bookkeeping, inventory assessment and cutting operational costs. Clear communication and honesty are the bedrock of my career success.”
- “Reliable CPA with eagerness to learn, discipline and a great educational background. My attention to detail, foresight and financial analysis skills are valuable assets for the business.”
Administration resume summary examples
- “High achieving executive assistant has 5+ years experience providing support to CEO and other executives. Provided everything from customer support to data entry and prepared well-researched documents. Great time management skills, proficient in MS Office and Google Workspace.”
- “Versatile administrative manager brings 8+ years of experience overseeing smaller and larger (10+ people) administrative teams. Adept at facilitating meetings, conference calls, workflow management and spreadsheet creation. My track record of efficient office operation is thanks to my effective organizational and problem-solving skills.”
- “Eager-to-please office assistant brings two years of experience and a positive attitude. My exceptional organization, planning and calendar management skills have earned me much verbal praise and recognition from employers.”
Customer service resume summary examples
- “Dedicated and friendly customer service specialist brings three years of experience in verbal troubleshooting, tech support and customer care. Received an average 91% customer satisfaction rating last year, 13% higher than the company average.”
- “Focused customer service agent has 7+ years of know-how dealing with customer complaints and turning them into positive experiences. My friendly demeanor and active listening help identify problems, and my analytical nature guides me to practical solutions.”
- “Committed customer service agent with experience helping a variety of customers for over two years. As a detail-oriented professional who works well under pressure, I meet deadlines and quotas and increase customer satisfaction.“
Design resume summary examples
- “Creative and detail-oriented graphic designer brings four years of experience and skills in various mediums, such as digital, print and video art. Fluid with programs in Adobe Creative Suite, including InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Extensive experience executing digital marketing plans via social media and web content.”
- “Experienced design manager wields 15+ years of experience leading graphics and computer animation teams. My reputation as a visionary comes from my prediction of industry trends, creative interpretation and freethinking management approach. The strength and longevity of many of the teams I’ve built show the consistency and dedication I can inspire.”
- “Aspiring graphic designer touts firm internship experience, an eagerness to learn and a portfolio showcasing my creativity. Adept at following instructions, I take feedback seriously and always finish projects by deadline.”
Digital marketing resume summary examples
- “Savvy digital marketing consultant with 3+ years of cutting-edge training and experience. My background working for top SEO firms has honed my abilities in attracting organic traffic and boosting conversion rates by over 11%. My career success is thanks to my ability to create good relationships with collaborators and exceed client expectations.”
- “Veteran content strategist has a 12-year career publishing web pages that lead to user engagement and conversion. During my tenure at WebPredix, I oversaw a 700% increase in page traffic. My ability to scale content, develop funnels and build user trust are the cornerstones of my success. Up-to-date on industry trends, good at forecasting and quick responses to algorithm updates.”
- “Ambitious digital marketing specialist brings a solid foundation of social media expertise and a knack for creating engaging content. My ability to empathize with user pain points, market solutions and build an audience is the key to my success.”
Education resume summary examples
- “Conscientious and motivational high school English teacher has a seven-year history of helping students thrive. Well-versed in using social skills and empathy to manage students; adapts student feedback to create effective lesson plans to help them improve test scores.”
- “Veteran math teacher combines 14+ years of experience managing students with a boundless passion for education. Introduced standardized testing and state curriculum; helped 41 out of 48 students to get scores of 3 or higher on the AP Calculus exam. Maintain helpful contact with parents and help at-risk students course correct and pass standardized tests.”
- “Motivated teacher brings inner city classroom experience and an unstoppable attitude. Received Student Teacher of the Year award in 2022. My training in early childhood education, friendly demeanor and empathy give me the well-rounded skill set to make an impact.”
Health care resume summary examples
- “Patient-focused and empathic registered nurse has a five-year background at a growing medical practice. Bringing integrity, compassion and extensive knowledge following protocol and communicating to better patients’ lives.“
- “Compassionate medical assistant with 11 years of experience dedicated to helping patients achieve optimal health. Provides superior patient care with calm under pressure, using effective communication and critical-thinking skills. My work has earned numerous accolades from the physicians I’ve assisted.”
- “Detail-oriented nursing assistant has two years of experience working in a children’s hospital. Skilled at following instructions, reading vitals and being gentle with patients, I’m reliable and remain calm in stressful emergencies.”
Management roles resume summary examples
- “Fastidious project manager offers 8+ years of industry successes, including market research, product roadmap development and cross-functional communication. Adept at identifying opportunities and maximizing revenue. Self-motivated and possessing a sharp eye for data analysis, I specialize in project enhancement.”
- “Experienced fine-dining restaurant manager has over 20 years in the service industry. Excelling in staff education, my gastronomic and wine knowledge runs deep and is up-to-date on trends. Adept at scheduling, event planning and reducing food waste.”
- “Visionary business manager brings 4+ years experience as an accountant managing a small team. Highly advanced in financial monitoring, budgeting and business forecasting, my team building and conflict-resolution skills make me a well-rounded leader.”
Sales resume summary examples
- “Results-driven sales professional has five-year track record closing deals and building lasting relationships. Personable by nature and determined to surpass every goal, I’m always on the hunt for new accounts and business opportunities.”
- “Tenured software sales associate mixes charm with 14+ years of experience to keep clients happy. Consistent with following up on accounts and ensuring customer satisfaction, I keep up-to-date on cloud technology and SaaS. My commitment to detailed product knowledge only matches my passion for sales.”
- “Driven sales associate brings excellent training and two years of car selling experience. Strong at reading customers, building trust and negotiating deals, I was the second-highest grossing associate at my Toyota dealership last year.”
Web development resume summary examples
- “Seasoned web developer brings guru-level knowledge to software testing and debugging. My 12-year career has numerous accolades, including an Awards nomination for a new e-commerce site I created. Approachability, creative thinking and crossfunctional communication have been the drivers of my successful work.”
- “Passionate web developer combines a personal obsession for gaming with a cutting-edge education from AppAcademy. Beyond my coding, troubleshooting and problem-solving skills, I have the team spirit, attention to detail and eagerness to grow that will help produce next-level apps.”
Resume summary examples by experience level
Your summary statement will change throughout your career. Here,
we provide examples of what this section should look like for job seekers at every career stage.
- “Focused and attentive assistant professor of English. Recently completed Ph.D. Experienced in cultivating welcoming and engaging learning environments. Friendly and personable with the skill to stay organized and on top of important deadlines. Dedicated to developing an English curriculum reflective of the needs of students and work environments. Strong knowledge of teaching methods and techniques.”
- “Clear communicator who practices multitasking and excellent problem-solving and relationship-building abilities. Helps organize and participate in office events such as open houses, fundraisers and office meetings. Adept at doing tasks spanning all plant operations, including performance and efficiency, contract, and project management.”
- “Enthusiastic personal fitness trainer capable of providing personalized attention and professional instruction to maximize clients’ health and fitness goals. Adept at tracking and recording data to show the progress of each client. Skilled at counseling clients in nutrition for fat loss and muscle growth.”
- “Motivated individual with a bachelor of science in mathematics. Possessing strong accounting and deductive reasoning skills. Eager to accurately and efficiently maintain client and company balance at J Cooper Trading. Successfully assisted in the Payson School District’s payroll disbursements and two consecutive internal audits.”
- “Results-driven data scientist with a proven track record in processing and analyzing large amounts of data. Proven ability to identify business needs and develop valuable solutions to drive accuracy and process efficiency. Seeking an opportunity to drive business effectiveness through making recommendations based on data findings.”
- “Experienced Transportation Inspector possesses strong attention to detail. Talented in maintaining safety standards through outstanding problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Capable of serving as a point-of-contact for all transportation-related inquiries and issues.”
- “Compassionate, solutions-oriented genetics counselor dedicated to providing exceptional care and testing/treatment options for children, adolescents, and adults dealing with genetic conditions. Comforting approach with a deep understanding of related issues and options.”
- “Patient-focused doctor with over 15 years of experience in acute and residential care. Expertise in therapeutic care for patients with mental, behavioral, and poly-substance disorders. Team-oriented with success in leading nursing teams and coordinating care for adolescent to geriatric patient populations.”
- “Gifted Spanish speaker with an aptitude for conveying emotion, style, and content of Spanish speakers. Bringing in-depth knowledge of cultural context and idiosyncrasies. Proven ability to provide translations quickly and accurately developed over five years of teaching Spanish. Looking to utilize my expert Spanish skills in a new position as a translator.”
- “Well-organized professional bringing excellent multitasking abilities developed over six years of support experience. Commended for consistently driving team success with knowledgeable enforcement of company procedures and skillful personnel training. Looking to leverage skills and passion in cars as an automotive technician.”
Resume summary examples by resume format
Your level of professional experience largely dictates the contents of your summary statement.
Your career stage also impacts the resume format you choose, influencing the type of summary statement you write.
Here we outline the relationship between your resume summary statement and the three main resume formats.
A chronological resume is the right choice for those job seekers with significant professional experience in their field who want to showcase a long work history, an impressive career trajectory or significant professional achievements. This resume type calls for a summary section that is titled “Professional Summary.”
Who should use this resume format:
- Anyone with over 10 years of experience.
- People with a continuous history of career growth.
- Executive-level applicants.
How a professional summary should appear in this resume format:
“Effective project leader and problem-solver with advanced programming skills and a hard-working mentality. Talented at managing all facets of business operations, including financial tracking, inventory coordination, and social media marketing. Seeking to apply expertise and extensive experience in marketing to take on a challenging new role with a growing team.”
A combination resume format is an excellent choice for various applicants since it allows them to highlight their work history and skill sets. This resume type calls for a summary section that is titled “Professional Summary.”
Who should use this resume format:
- Entry-level applicants with relevant work experience, such as an internship.
- Professionals with several years of relevant work experience who want to show off both skills and career progression.
- Applicants who are making a career change.
How a professional summary should appear in this resume format:
“Responsible management professional well-versed in setting the direction for work areas and ensuring the quality and accuracy of performance within multiple stores. Skilled at creating innovative and eye-catching merchandise displays to boost income. Leveraged decisive leadership approaches to boost key metrics continuously.”
The functional resume is skills-focused, making it perfect for those who are just entering the workforce or making a career change and therefore don’t have direct relevant work experience. The functional resume format most often uses a section called a “Career Objective” or “Summary Statement” rather than a traditional professional summary.
Who should use this format:
- Entry-level applicants.
- Those with gaps in their employment histories.
- Freelance and gig economy workers.
- Job seekers who need more relevant work experience.
How a career objective or summary statement should appear in this resume format:
Career objective: “Former police officer looking to transition into a role as a security guard. Well-spoken, polite, with strong conflict-resolution skills.”
Summary statement:“Motivated accounting professional focused on maintaining accurate, compliant records and controls responsive to dynamic operating conditions. Highly skilled in account reconciliation with an eye for identifying and correcting errors. Detail-oriented and organized with excellent mathematical skills, GAAP expertise and IFRS knowledge.”
4 Tips for writing your resume summary
A clear and short summary focuses the reader directly on your qualifications. Quickly explain why you meet the criteria required for the role.
You will get to explain in detail how you applied those skills in other sections of your resume and during the job interview.
Keywords are listed in the job post or description. Study the exact language used in the job ad and stick with it!
With more and more companies using applicant tracking systems (ATS) in the hiring process, these keywords become critical to landing an interview. ATS software scans resumes for keywords to eliminate unqualified candidates.
If keywords don’t appear in your resume, it won’t get seen by a human recruiter.
3List both hard and soft skills.
Many job seekers are tempted to focus on hard skills on their resumes, but soft skills count just as much.
These personality traits, like a positive attitude, good work ethic or problem-solving skills, are difficult to teach, so employers actively seek applicants who possess them.
Your summary section is a great place to describe yourself in your own words. Use it to call out the soft skills that make you great at your job.
4Use memorable details.
The goal of the summary section is to entice the hiring manager to want to learn more about you. So, give them some information that will make you memorable and keep your name in their heads.
Do you have a special skill, attractive credential, or something in which you excel? Is there something you do that no one else can? Including these details will make an employer want to hire you.
The fastest way to create a professional summary for a resume
Here are five ways our Resume Builder can help you craft a compelling resume summary:
- Job-specific content suggestions
- Skills targeted to the job
- Keyword recommendations
- Grammar and spell-check
- ATS compatible fonts
A resume builder saves you time because it does all of the above for you!
It’s like having an expert look over your shoulder to guide you! It’s the best help you’ll get short of hiring professional resume writing help.
Resume Summary FAQ
How long is a summary statement?
A good summary statement should be between two to five sentences or around 50 words maximum.
You want something that is easy to read and has a quick flow, so you keep your reader’s attention! Make your summary statement shorter than five sentences so it doesn’t get wordy.
Should I use a resume objective or a summary?
This depends on your level of experience and the goal of your resume.
A professional summary is a descriptive catalog of your accomplishments in an active voice. A professional summary is typically used in a combination or chronological resume format.
Usually, resume objectives are only featured on functional resumes because they’re for people who lack experience. These consist of one to two sentences that solely convey the job seeker’s professional goals.
The general rule is to use an objective statement only if you have less than two years of experience or are transferring to a new industry. Using a professional summary for your resume is best if you have more than two years of experience working.
What is a good summary for a resume with little experience?
Just because you don’t have a wide range of experience doesn’t mean a summary isn’t for you.
If you have little experience, you can use the space to tie the skills or qualifications mentioned in the job posting to your transferable skills to show potential employers how you might thrive in the role.