What’s a Qualifications Summary and Why Is It Important? (and How Do You Write It?)

Marcey writes:
I’ve heard that writing a summary of qualifications or summary of skills section on the
resume is important but I can find almost no in-depth informative information on why
this is so or how to do it. The sources I have been able to find seem to have contradictory
information — bullets vs. paragraph etc. Can you provide some information and some

The Career Doctor responds:
First remember that there are very few agreed upon rules of resume writing. Just
about everyone has a pet thing they love or hate related to resumes. Thus your best
bet is to follow the generally agreed-upon rules of resume development — and these are
the rules I talk about in this blog and on my Website.
The qualifications summary — sometimes also referred to as your professional profile
or summary of accomplishments — has become a pretty widely accepted element for
resumes. I love them because it sharpens the focus of the resume and gives the reader
a quick overview of your most important qualities. I think of the qualifications summary
as the executive summary of your resume. And when employers only have 10 seconds
(or less) to make a decision about your resume a well-written qualifications summary
can be your edge.
The qualifications summary should include the three or four attributes that make you
unique and best qualified for the job you seek — your key selling points.
I personally prefer a bulleted list in the qualifications summary because the bullets
make it much easier (and faster) to read. However it is not wrong to have it as a short
and concise paragraph.
Finally you can use a job objective and qualifications summary together to give your
resume an even sharper focus.
Read more of my suggestions for resumes in
elements and rules of resumes
published on Quintessential Careers.