How to Write a Resume Summary

What Is a Resume Summary?

A resume summary provides a brief overview of your work history along with skills relevant to the position you’re seeking.  It is often written in paragraph form of up to four or five sentences at the very top of your resume.  While a resume objective emphasizes goal-seeking and focuses on your future, a resume summary highlights past accomplishments.  This is your pitch, a chance to sell yourself to your future employer.

What makes you the best person for the job?  What are your values?  Passions?  Skills?  Your resume summary should be authentic, a true reflection of your personal best.  It should illustrate a track record of success and progression down your chosen career path.  If you happen to be changing careers, share the narrative (briefly) of how you got from there to here.

Avoid vague, clichéd language like "excellent communication skills" or "team player."  These are excellent traits to have but better expressed through a listing of specific achievements.  Use industry-specific terminology where appropriate.

Sample Resume Summary

Here's an example of an effective resume summary section:

Financial service professional successful at advertising multi-billion dollar corporations, small businesses, and individual clients. Areas of expertise include asset allocation, investment strategy, and risk management.

LiveCareer’s Resume Builder

Powerful, intuitive and convenient, LiveCareer's free Resume Builder contains dozens of customizable summaries that can be inserted into our templates with the click of a button.  You'll also find a list of suggested "Power Words" for writing your own. Our Resume Builder takes the guesswork out of creating a winning resume.

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