10 Resume Summary Examples & How to Write Guide
While creating a resume, you might fire up Microsoft Word and start typing out your information. Or you could use a resume builder for an even quicker method of laying out your professional details.
Regardless of your choice in how to make a resume, you should know more about one of its most important sections: the resume summary. Having resume summary examples, tips, and tricks will strengthen your resume and make sure it comes across professionally.
So, use this guide as a primer for creating your own resume summary. We'll go over what a resume summary is, when you need one, how to craft one, and share several resume summary examples for your convenience.
What Is a Summary on a Resume?
Let's start by answering, "What is a resume summary?" In the fewest number of words, it's a part of your resume that summarizes the rest of it. When you include a great resume summary, you condense your achievements into a few sentences while sharing some of your most significant skills to put on a resume.
When you write a summary for a resume, remember to tailor it for the job and industry. When someone reads your resume, they want to know what you can do. The resume summary is where you share that information. Use resume summary examples below to better learn how to create your own.
Why Is a Resume Summary Important?
As job seekers, you want to appeal to human resources, hiring managers, and recruiters with every word on your resume. However, the job search is only the first step. Creating a resume tailored to the job is the next. And on that document, the resume summary might be the most essential section.
As much as it can be disheartening to know this – most managers look at your resume for no more than five to 10 seconds. So your resume summary has to catch the eye, show why you deserve attention, and share the most important professional skills you hold.
Resume summaries are at the top of your resume, which means they're often the first thing someone sees. Catch their eye with the tips below alongside the resume summary examples, and make sure you are one of the applicants who move forward.
When Should Resume Summaries Be Used?
Assuming you have at least three years of professional experience in the type of job you're applying for, you should create a resume summary. It lets you show off your competencies to a project manager or other leader who might be interested in your experience and skills. Resume summaries can also be used with less experience but aren't required.
Resume Summary vs. Objective Statement: What's the Difference?
A resume summary and a resume objective statement are similar but different. Both act as a summary section that gives insight into why you deserve the job – but each does it differently. Unfortunately, many people mix the two terms up, so we want to distinguish them here.
A resume summary is composed of information about your past work experience and how it ties into how you'd do a job at a company you're applying to. On the other hand, a resume objective focuses more on your goals for a job you want to get and doesn't talk about past experience.
If you have past relevant experience, a resume summary is best. If not, a resume objective is an ideal option. Again, neither are mandatory, but many recruiters and managers expect to see them.
Professional Summary for a Resume: Examples for Different Industries
Now that we have the basics out of the way, we'd like to share several professional summary examples. We'll look at several industries so you can get summary examples for your resume that fit the position you're applying for. Whether you need resume summary examples for students, mid-level employees, or senior managers, you'll find them below.
Below are two resume summary examples in the healthcare world. Both are summaries for registered nurses to show how different techniques can work well in the same position. The same idea can be used for other healthcare positions.
Licensed registered nurse with 10+ years of experience and solid patient care skills. Improved nurse and patient communication at ABC Health to raise review grades by 15%. Scored 15% to 25% above average on patient education. Accepted regional compliance award for constant adherence to HIPAA, OSHA, and FDA rules.
Why It Works
This summary details the years of experience and work history achievements. It also weaves in the knowledge of soft skills like communication. It might not list certifications, but it delves into education and experience for the new home. Anyone searching for an excellent RN would appreciate the resume summary.
Registered nurse (RN) with extensive experience in psychiatric nursing. Developed robust treatment planning and psychiatric evaluation skills through an RN position at ABC Health to increase evaluation speed by 10%. Proven knowledge of medical administration, training, and management.
Why It Works
Hiring managers with a job posting want to see relevant experience. This summary shows work experience and soft and hard skills, such as patient care. Of the resume summary examples available, this one is ideal to use as a template for your own healthcare experiences and how to show you have a suitable skill set.
When you write your own marketing resume, look for resume summary examples with skills and achievements similar to your own. Whether an intern in digital marketing or a senior account manager, the same ideas apply.
Experienced professional with social media technologies and tools and a track record of implementing and creating successful campaigns on LinkedIn. Marketing manager with experience working closely with customers to create robust social media calendars, manage all digital marketing needs, and work from concept to implementation and optimization. Managed several accounts that saw an over 100% improvement in engagement.
Why It Works
This is a good summary for resume examples if you work in marketing. When you adapt it for your own professional resume summary, make sure to add your own achievements. It outlines why an applicant would be great at a job and explains the experience they already have that makes them a solid choice as a hire.
Marketing manager with 5+ years of experience leveraging a sales background and problem-solving skills. Seeking a position to leverage marketing strategies to raise ROI for ABC Marketing. Increased marketing returns at ZZZ Corp by 25% by implementing a robust data analytics program and lean cycle. Lowered costs by 20% through better vendor management.
Why It Works
Of our career summary examples, this one best shows off professional experience and achievements. It might not be suitable for an entry-level position since past successes are highlighted to show ability and skill. The applicant lists several achievements that will make a hiring manager interested in learning more.
Business resume summary examples can run the gamut since business is an industry composed of many positions and responsibilities. For instance, business analysts, intelligence analysts, and development managers are all under the same umbrella.
Results-driven and motivated business analyst with 7 years of experience in the financial sector. Previously increased after-sales services by 45% creating repeat business through excellent customer service. In possession of a marketing and management information degree and all needed business analyst skills.
Why It Works
This example of a good resume sample hones in on keywords that matter to the hiring manager. As with other resume samples, it offers evidence of achievements – in this case proving the applicant can bring additional profitability to the new company. The achievements are front and center but can be expanded later in the resume.
Inspired and passionate business intelligence analyst with 6+ years of experience in banking and financial sectors. Managed the complete life cycle of business intelligence projects to engage stakeholders and end-users at ABC Business. Redesigned an only system to allow clients to contact account managers directly for a 120% increase in query resolution within 48 hours.
Why It Works
In this summary for resume examples, you see the relevant skills and get information about past projects. The resume summary example would be used at a startup or a large corporation to show business savvy and a great suite of skills. In addition, it has information about how the applicant changed things for the better at a past job, something that could happen in their new job.
Whether a civil, electric, or software engineer, a resume summary is essential to show off your chops. Share how you revolutionized a project, cut costs, or created something new that changed the industry itself.
Energetic and experienced software engineer seeking to use proven skills in C++ and Python as an expert developer at ABC Tech. Debugged over 20 web apps, contributed to 10 GitHub projects and created 6 mobile and web apps. Worked on an independent basis to create code for more than two dozen client projects.
Why It Works
As with the other resume summary examples above, this one lets you know who a candidate is. It has all their skills laid out, and the summary talks about the various projects the applicant has been part of. This can be an excellent tactic for those who are self-taught in any discipline, especially coding. Again, project success shows skill even if the professional experience isn't there yet.
Analytical, performance-driven engineering pro with 10+ years of experience building cost-efficient, modern designs. Superior time-management and problem-solving skills with experience identifying the causes of problems and implementing unique, targeted solutions. Seeking a position to use my expertise in new content development, applied research, validation, and simulation.
Why It Works
Sentence one tells you who the applicant is and how much experience they have. Then you learn more about their skills and what they consider their best attributes are as a mechanical engineer. It follows up by speaking about the position they want and what they can bring to the table. This bridges well into the next section of the resume, where work experience is expanded on.
IT professionals power the world from solutions to customer service and e-commerce, as well as a suite of other technology issues. The resume summary is essential for showing what you're capable of and what impact you've had in the past.
Certified IT professional with 9 years of experience seeking a position at ABC Tech to use intensive leadership skills to maximize efficiency. Led team at XYZ Tech that created a corporate auditing system to save over $100,000 annually. Designed and implemented an intranet messaging program that saved 100 labor hours each year.
Why It Works
Experience, skills, and achievements are included without being overly verbose. An employer can see the top achievements, like saving labor hours and money, which will always appeal. While your own skills will dictate your capabilities, make sure to go for the big guns when you decide which things to include on a resume summary. It's a great addition to the experience section.
CompTIA A+ certified IT professional with 4+ years experience at a national technology corporation. Scored in the top percentile per region in QST based on internal reviews. Seeking a position to apply strong technical abilities and skills to streamline the IT processes as a consultant for ABC Tech.
Why It Works
Not everyone has many projects and initiatives to talk about, but you can still sell yourself. This resume summary example is an example of that. Achievements are presented, even if they aren't directly related to a specific task at a past company. It also shows that the employee wants to take on responsibility and grow.
How to Write a Resume Summary That Will Catch a Recruiter's Eye
Now that you have some examples, let's talk about how to write a summary for a resume. This is important since you might read a job description several times, but a manager is likely to look at your resume for only a few seconds. Therefore, the summary is at the top and acts as a hook into a further interest in your abilities.
The steps below will walk you through how to start a resume summary to ensure you have a resume that people keep reading through to the end. Deciding what to put in a summary of a resume can be just as crucial as highlighting things like communication skills and customer satisfaction. Resume templates can help you put everything together with other sections of this vital document.
Step #1: Summarize Your Experience and Track Record
You want to show you're adept at the position you want, so the hiring manager thinks "excellence" when they read it. However, you have a limited space to put all your skills and achievements, so you need to summarize what you've done at past jobs and how that has led to success for those organizations.
If you have experience, this will be used to craft the entire resume summary. Even if you don't, think about relevant tasks from your past that fit into the job position and its responsibilities.
Step #2: Indicate Your Highest Achievements
The first sentence of the resume summary will often explain who you are and what your job title is. Next, you might describe how long you're worked in the industry and what you did in past positions. The third thing to consider is what achievements you managed while in those positions.
The most traditional option here is to add your highest achievements as the second or third sentence. This is where you lay down that you increased the company's sales, streamlined communications, or otherwise made past jobs run better due to your hard work.
Step #3: Add Skills You Are Proficient In
No matter what you decide the best resume format is for your document, the resume summary has a specific look. It's short, packed with information, and shares all the best things about you. Of course, since you have four or fewer sentences to do this, each one has to count.
For the remaining text in the resume sample examples you've seen, you may notice that skills are highlighted above all else. This is the exact same thing you need to do. A sentence summarizing your skills is a great option, but include things relevant to the position.
Step #4: Be Sure You Included Keywords
You have a pretty good resume summary if you've made it this far. However, you should make sure it includes keywords. These are essential words found in the job description. Adding them to the resume summary shows a manager you know what they want and can ensure you make it through a computerized applicant tracking system.
So read through the description again and take note of words that stand out. If you have the skills, experience, and achievements mentioned, those should be listed in the summary for the best chance of getting the job.
Step #5: Proofread and Move Forward
Lastly, proofread this section carefully. It's the most likely to be read, and a typo or grammar issue could see you tossed out of the pile of potential new employees. So read over it a few times, including at least once reading it aloud. This is like an elevator pitch so consider that when you read the words.
Once your resume summary looks as good as possible, you can move forward to finish your resume. Getting through the process doesn't have to be challenging. You just have to get in there and get started.
What to Avoid When Writing a Career Summary for Your Resume
So, we talked about how to write a career summary resume, but you might want to know what you should avoid, too. There aren't many things to watch for, but the tips here are essential. Read over them and make sure you aren't falling prey to mistakes as you build a resume summary.
Point #1: Stay Within the Length Parameters
The rest of your resume can take up a page or two, but the resume summary must be short. Stay within the range of one to four sentences for the best results. If you go too long, it could make it hard for a hiring manager to stay focused on what you have to say. However, going too short may not give you room to sell yourself, so most people will have at least two sentences.
Point #2: Try Not to Be Vague
Vagueness is the enemy of an excellent resume summary. It doesn't show what you are capable of regarding the position you're applying for. For example, saying you know how to program isn't as illustrative as mentioning each language you know and what projects you have done. Get into the details, add numbers, and keep the person reading interested in what you have to say.
Point #3: Adding Irrelevant Information
Think about whether it's relevant before adding a skill, achievement, or past position to your resume summary. For instance, as an assistant attorney, you shouldn't be sharing details about your old summer job at a restaurant. It does nothing to show you're a good candidate. Space is at a premium, so use it for the details that matter.
Point #4: Consider Formatting
Bullet points, bold and italics, and extra formatting are generally unnecessary for resume summaries. Instead, the section should be a paragraph that stands up independently. There's no need to draw things out or make things look fancy. Instead, get across the facts while positioning yourself in the best light to have the best chance of moving on to an interview.
Final Points on Successful Resume Summary Statements
A job application isn't complete without a resume and cover letter. Whether you build those yourself or in a resume builder, the process has to be handled correctly. A considerable part of that is building a remarkable resume summary statement to head your document.
Use the resume summary examples above to craft your own and ensure you get a fair shot at a great job with the perks you want. It can be the most complicated part of the resume, but with tricks and tips, you'll be well on your way to creating a resume that everyone wishes they had.
FAQs Related to Resume Summary Examples
What are other names for a resume summary?
There are a variety of names that are used for a resume summary. For example, it might be called a resume profile, summary of qualifications, personal statement, career summary, professional summary, or a summary of experience. Many also use the term resume objective to describe what is actually a resume summary.
Does every resume need a summary?
A resume summary is recommended if you have at least three years of experience. For those with less experience, a resume objective can be used. Neither is mandatory, but most managers and recruiters will expect to find them on your resume. Adding one can increase your chance of getting the job.
How do you write a resume summary when changing careers?
The resume summary for a career change accounts for how your past experiences have prepared you for a new position. Explain your skills and experience and delve into how your past can help you do well in a new position. An alternative option is a resume objective with less background information.
How long should a summary be on a resume?
A resume summary should be between one and four sentences long. Be brief while including as much information as possible about your experience and skills. Adding achievements from similar positions can make a significant impact on a hiring manager. Avoid run-on sentences or unnecessary jargon.