A resume is a powerful tool in your job search because it details your work experience, skills and training, educational qualification, and professional accomplishments. The term ‘resume’ comes from a French word meaning ‘summary,’ and rightly so. A resume summarizes your skills, qualifications and achievements for your future employer. It also informs prospective employers of your career objective and the value you can bring to their company if hired.
The summary for a resume is something that job seekers often neglect in a rush to highlight their skills, qualifications, and professional exploits. However, if written thoughtfully, the summary can serve as a powerful introduction to your resume.
So, what is a resume summary statement and how to write one? Read on to find out!
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What is a summary for a resume?
A resume summary, also known as a summary statement or professional summary for a resume, is a short paragraph at the beginning of a resume showcasing a job seeker’s most valuable professional skills and experience.
Ideally, one to two sentences long, the summary statement gives employers a peek into the job applicants’ expertise before delving into their resumes. Hiring managers have to deal with hundreds of resumes, and an impactful summary section can make your resume stand out.
Why do you need a professional summary for a resume?
Before we look at some resume summary examples, it is worth understanding the benefits of a resume summary statement and why we need it.
It helps your resume stand out
Hiring managers read through hundreds of resumes and often skim through each. So, a concise summary statement at the beginning of the resume is more likely to grab the recruiter’s attention.
It reduces the complexity of your resume
If you have extensive professional experiences and skills, trying to fit all of them into your resume will make the document too complex for recruiters. A summary section helps reduce the complexity down to the most relevant and valuable points and make it simple.
It addresses relevant keywords
A resume summary is the most effective way to address keywords specified in a job posting. Look out for sections like “Experience,” “Requirements”, and “Education” to decide the specific skills and experiences to include in your resume summary.
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How to Write a Professional Summary for a Resume
Reflecting on your relevant professional accomplishments and skills is the first step to creating an effective resume summary.
Here are some tips for developing a powerful summary statement for your resume:
- Consider your strengths, accomplishments, and experiences that are unique to you. It can include soft skills, technical skills, certifications, awards, and other professional achievements.
- Based on the job description, determine what value you can bring to the company. Review job descriptions for positions you are interested in and pay attention to the job requirements that match your qualifications.
- Include relevant keywords in your resume summary. Resume keywords typically refer to hard skills and job titles listed in job postings. Examples of resume keywords are ‘content marketing, ‘budget evaluation,’ ‘demographic research,’ ‘human resources,’ and ‘financial planning.’
- Put together a summary in one or two sentences, briefly showcasing your skills. Use active voice, begin your resume summary with a compelling adjective for yourself and include action verbs to describe your experience.
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Take a look at this example of a resume summary:
“Creative and motivated content manager with over five years of experience developing and managing web and social media content for top brands.”
Resume Summary Examples
Here are some resume summary examples you can use as a guideline when creating your own:
- “Highly creative, self-motivated and multitalented Graphic Designer with 10+ years of experience in print design, multimedia and marketing. Exceptional collaborative and interpersonal skills; dynamic team player with well-developed verbal and written communication abilities.”
- “Industry-recognised executive in General Management (P&L) with over 15 years of experience working for leading technology companies in security, core networking and wireless infrastructure space.”
- “Organized and artistic Cosmetologist with 5+ years of experience offering personalised experiences. Thrives on providing skin and beauty enhancement services, increasing profits with carefully implemented strategies, and creating unique customer experiences.”
- “Sales and marketing professional with 10 years of experience in digital and print marketing, account management, project management, and relationship development. Experienced in project selection, planning, promoting, and execution.”
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Resume Summary vs Objective Statement: What’s the difference?
A resume objective statement is like an introductory statement specifying the job applicant’s needs and future goals without mentioning skills, experiences, or accomplishments. Here’s an example:
“Resume Objective: To obtain a job as an SEO Manager at a reputable tech company.”
Resume objective statements have become obsolete since they take up space without adding value to the resume.
On the contrary, a resume summary statement highlights the unique skills and accomplishments of the job seeker that are specifically related to the job position. Unlike a resume objective statement, a resume summary informs the recruiter of the job seeker’s abilities and the value they may add to the company.
Summary resumes often include quantifiable metrics to support the job seeker’s expertise in a specific field. Here’s an example of a resume summary for the position of SEO Manager:
“Accomplished SEO specialist with over ten years of experience in digital marketing. Have increased organic search traffic by 24% (YoY) over the past five years.”
When should you use a professional summary for a resume?
A professional summary for a resume is ideal for job seekers with more than three years of professional work experience in the same field and who wish to continue in the same area. The accomplishments earned in those years are enough to build an impactful and effective summary statement.
On the contrary, resume summary statements may not be the best option for job seekers with less than three years of experience or significant gaps in their resumes, such as career switchers or fresh graduates. Instead, they could focus more on the resume’s body instead of writing a summary that adds no additional value.
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The summary statement is the first thing a recruiter notices when skimming through a resume. Short and precise, the primary goal of a resume summary statement is to highlight your most relevant professional skills and experiences that make you stand out from the pack. So go through these resume summary tips and examples and create a stellar job application!
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Why do I need a resume?
The objective of a resume is to provide a brief overview of your professional skills and experience and demonstrate your abilities for the job you are applying for.
What's the difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae?
A resume is a brief, typically one-page document focusing on work experience and skills required for job applications. On the contrary, a curriculum vitae (CV) is an academic resume for college/university teaching and research positions. A CV is relatively lengthier since it includes a more detailed account of one’s qualifications, papers presented, publications, etc.
What is a resume summary statement?
A resume summary statement is a short paragraph at the beginning of a resume showcasing a job seeker’s most valuable professional skills and experience. It is typically one to two sentences long and highlights the most relevant competencies of the job applicant.