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When companies publish a help wanted ad, they are likely to get tons of responses. People may submit resumes even if they think they have an inkling of a chance to land the position. This leaves recruiters with the task of sorting through possibly hundreds of resumes to find the best applicants, and most of them will lighten their load by starting with the resume summary.
The resume summary is a brief paragraph located at the top of the resume just below the applicant’s contact information. As the name suggests, it summarizes the contents of the resume.
But creating the summary is easier said than done. What should the summary include? What information should be left in and what should be taken out?
If you are stressing out about how to write your summary, never fear. This article will explain what’s needed, and it will provide resume summary examples that will get you headed in the right direction.
What is a Resume Summary?
Let’s start by breaking down what a resume summary is.
A professional summary for resume will be 3 -5 sentences long. It will include your profession, one or two of your top skills and your biggest achievements.
This will be enough to let the interviewer know if you are right for the job and it will give them an idea of whether they should call you in for an interview, or even finish reading the resume!
Benefits of a Resume Summary
A resume summary is an important feature to include on your resume. Here are some of the benefits it provides:
- It Increases Your Chances of Getting Interviewed – Many recruiters will look through the resume summary first. This will help them decide if you are the right fit for the job. If you don’t have a summary included, they may not even bother scanning the rest of your resume, and they may decide to pass on your application completely.
- It Will Make You Look More Accomplished – Listing your experience and achievements on the top of your resume will make you look more impressive to the person reviewing your resume.
- Includes Keywords – The use of ATS (applicant tracking systems) are on the rise. ATS systems are tools that recruiters use to scan resumes for keywords. If your resume does not contain the right keywords, then a recruiter may never even look at your application. To figure out the keywords, look at the job listing for skills, important software that will be used on the job, or education level. Incorporate those keywords in your resume summary and throughout your resume to increase your chances of getting a call back.
Tailor Your Resume Summary for the Listing
When you write a resume, it’s advisable to have a resume template that you can tailor and change according to the job you are applying to. Changes should be made to your resume professional summary as well.
So, let’s say you are applying for a job that requires 3 years of customer service skills, a BA in Communication, and experience doing bookkeeping for high level accounts. Then you have a clear idea of the information your resume summary should contain.
You can write a summary such as the following:
I started my career with a B.A. in Communication. Overtime, I have become an experienced executive assistant with 3 years of customer service experience. Through this experience, I developed my bookkeeping skills, and handled two multi-million-dollar accounts.
This definitely screams, I am the person for the job.
What NOT to Do When Writing Your Resume Summary
Here are a few things to avoid adding to your summary on resume:
Don’t Include the Small Stuff: Your resume summary must come in at no more than five sentences, and the shorter the better. You don’t want to sweat the small stuff. So if the listing mentions secondary skills, like being detail-oriented or fluent in English, that can come later.
When it comes to thinking about how to write a resume summary, focus on the major skills that are required so hiring managers can see right away that you may be a perfect fit.
Don’t Summarize Your Career Background: When writing your resume summary, listing your profession will be enough. You don’t need to waste words by including your entire career background.
Don’t Include Specific Numbers (Unless It’s Necessary): A good resume summary will not include specific numbers. For example, you won’t want to say you boosted a company’s revenue from a certain amount to a certain amount. This information will be most beneficial in the section detailing your previous jobs/experience.
An exception may be if the listing mentions numbers. For example, if it requires the handling of accounts over $100,000 then you should provide numbers for the accounts you handled. You may also reveal how many years of experience you had in a certain position.
Don’t Include Details That Aren’t Relevant to the Job: Don’t include general characteristics that make you look more attractive to the employer if they are not specifically mentioned in the listing. For example, you won’t need to write that you are prompt or that you speak German fluently, unless these are characteristics the position calls for.
What if I Don’t Have Any Relevant Skills for the Job I Am Applying For?
When writing a good summary for resume, you should always include the skills you have that are relevant to the position. But what if you don’t have any skills that are relevant to the position? This could be the case if you are making a career switch or if you are just joining the work force.
In these situations, it’s advisable to use an objective instead of a resume summary.
Unlike a resume summary that describes your skills, an objective describes your professional goals in applying for the job. It will not include achievements and work experience. Rather it will focus on the following:
- Any skills, education or certifications you have that are relevant to the job.
- Your reasons for applying.
- What you can bring to the table.
Here is an objective sample you may use for inspiration when creating your resume.
I am a hard working recent graduate with a B.M. from the University of Michigan. I am passionate about producing great music in a studio environment. I have an excellent ear for tone, pitch and vibe. I am looking for opportunities to help Smith Music Productions become a leader in the music industry, while developing my personal career skills.
When writing an objective, you want to include language that mentions the business you are applying for and tailor it to the job responsibilities required. Include any knowledge, skills and abilities that apply. Stay away from wording that is overly complicated or too vague.
How to Write a Summary for a Resume
Now let’s break down exactly how to write a resume summary.
Ideally, your resume summary will be made up of three sentences that summarize three key points including the following:
- A statement specifying your profession and years of experience.
- Your past duties that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
- Your top achievements, which may vary depending on what field you are working in.
The information you use should be specific to your experience and it should be tailored to the company you are applying to. Here are some other tips that may help you create a good resume summary:
- Make your summary as specific as possible even if it requires rewriting it for every job you apply to.
- Write your summary after writing your resume. Once you have reviewed all your work experience, you will know which points will make you shine.
- Include achievements over responsibilities. If you are looking to make your resume summary fit the 3 -5 sentence formula and aren’t sure what to take out, always eliminate skills and experience over achievements.
- Make your summary stand out by adding unique elements.
- Only include skills you feel are relevant to the job. Vague skills like ‘detail-oriented’ and ‘highly organized’ typically won’t be specific enough to mention.
- Include Measurements (if necessary). Numbers tell the entire story. If you include the fact that you answered 100 calls a day or helped increase company’s revenue by a certain percentage, you will present your employer with statistics that will be valuable in your line of work.
With this in mind, let’s look at some good and bad samples of a resume summary for a customer service rep position.
Dedicated customer services rep with 4+ years of experience answering phones, dealing with customer issues and providing tech support. Familiar with Intercom, Drift and other customer care software. Handled up to 100 calls a day in a fast-paced environment.
Detail oriented customer rep with five years of work experience and a clear understanding of the skills relevant to the industry. I look forward to bringing my expertise to your company.
The first is a good example because it mentions a profession, years of experience and the volume of calls handled. It’s also brief and to the point. Can you guess why the second example is a no-go? Well for one, this is way too vague. It does not include any numbers, there are no specific schools listed and it’s not at all custom-tailored to the job the applicant is applying to.
Resume Summary Examples by Career
Now here are some other resume summary examples that will help you create a strong employee profile.
Entry Level Candidates (This may be seen as a resume summary or an objective)
I am a passionate digital marketing rep with a strong background in social media communication. I am currently seeking to increase the social reach of ABC company. I have a keen understanding of analytics and metrics. My articles have been used as an example in a blogging workshop.
Student Resume Summary
I am a motivated student working towards my B.A. in Business Management. I am hoping to join the Jones Firm as a junior manager and team leader, with the intention to boost productivity and efficiency within the firm. I have three months of internship experience as an executive assistant with many responsibilities, including the co-management of a five-person production team.
Career Change Resume Summary Examples
I am an accomplished IT technician eager to use my Spybot and Hitman Pro skills to improve the cybersecurity of XYZ company. I would love to take on the responsibility of creating well-developed web sites and troubleshoot everyday issues. My overall goal is to contribute to the prevention of fraud on many of our networks.
Office Administrative Position Resume Summary
I am a dedicated administrative assistant with over 8 years of experience in the industry. I have organized the scheduling of five senior executives, while performing general job duties including bookkeeping, filing, and customer service. I have implemented organizational systems that saved the company $10,000 annually in administrative task related expenses. I’m eager to bring my skills to the Smith Corporation.
Receptionist Resume Summary
I am a detail-oriented receptionist with 5+ year of experience in financial organizations. I have developed skills in handling sensitive subject matter and multi-line systems with high call volumes. I have suggested software updates that cut company spending by 25%. I am keen to bring my organizational and communication skills to Lala Industries.
Bookkeeper Resume Summary
I am a certified bookkeeper with 8+ years’ experience. I am skilled in QuickBooks and Quicken. I have handled three major accounts with over one hundred transactions monthly. I was responsible for identifying instances of overspending. I helped the company save over $5000 monthly. I am hoping to bring my skills to the L & M Network.
Data Entry Clerk Resume Summary
I am a detail-oriented data entry clerk with over three years of professional experience skilled with Infinity, Zoho Forms and Entrypoint i4. Successfully completed up to five highly detailed 10 thousand cell excel sheets a day. Provided a detailed eye to identify and eliminate errors saving the company $10,000 annually. Keen to bring my high level of service to increase efficiency at Kaplan Industries.
Bank Teller Resume Summary
I am a bank teller with 4 years of experience providing financial customer service including the handling of transactions and product sales. I followed strict security guidelines and processed over 100 transactions a day, while bringing in a $1000 a month in sales revenue. I am eager to bring my skills to Southeast Bank’s diverse and innovative culture.
Project Manager Resume Summary
I have worked as a motivated Project Manager for over 10+ years. I have a proven track record for overseeing and completing construction-related projects on time and under budget. I successfully managed five teams to complete 7 major projects in the last 10 years. I’m eager to bring my expertise to Major Construction to increase efficiency and boost its bottom line.
Human Resources Resume Summary
I am a dedicated HR professional with 5+ years of recruitment experience including sourcing, vetting and onboarding processes. In the last 5 years, I was successful in recruiting a team that boosted company efficiency by 25% and saw a 50% increase in employee retention. I am looking forward to bringing my job skills to boost production at DEF Corporations.
Restaurant Manager Resume Summary
I am a hard working restaurant manager with 10+ years in the food and hospitality industry. I am skilled in budgeting, customer service and culinary duties. I successfully increased bar and restaurant revenue by introducing daily specials to the venue. I am eager to bring my expertise to provide efficient systems to Mom & Pop’s Diner.
Waiter/ Waitress Resume Summary
Friendly waiter with 2+ years’ experience working at a fast-paced Mexican restaurant, familiar with POS and 7 Shifts scheduling software. Successfully served up to 20 customers a day and upsold dessert items and cocktails to boost revenue by 10%. A strong ability to memorize orders and menus to provide the ultimate in service and efficiency.
Tutor Resume Summary
Math tutor with a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Florida and 5+ years hands on experience with a strong understanding in all areas of math in every grade level. Helped students advance by at least one grade level across the board. Keen to join ADC tutoring to aid students in reaching higher levels of success.
Nurse Resume Summary
I am a registered nurse, specializing in senior nursing with strong evaluative skills and experience with rehabilitation. I worked with 20 seniors a day and helped them experience a higher quality of life with a 50% reduction of reliance on medication. I am hoping to bring my exceptional level of care to provide increased wellness to patients at the Johnson Senior Facility.
Sales Rep Resume Summary
I am a motivated sales rep with 5+ years of experience in automotive sales with skills handling CRM and lead management software. I have successfully surpassed my quotas by at least 10% on a consistent basis and helped my company establish over 100 long lasting client relationships within a five-year period. I am excited to help the CBS Company reach its revenue goals.
Graphic Designer Resume Summary
I am a detail-oriented graphic designer with 10+ years freelance and company experience. I was responsible for creating designs for web sites and ad campaigns for hundreds of clients with the goal of helping them increase revenue and web site visits by at least 10%. I am eager to step in with the Chainblock company to provide engaging media to boost growth and brand identity.
Warehouse Worker Resume Summary
I am a hardworking warehouse worker with certification and 3+ years of experience in handling forklifts, pallet jacks, hand trucks and platform trucks. I also possess a strong knowledge of inventory tracking software. I have successfully brought hundreds of products to and from the shop each day to increase company efficiency by 10%. I was voted employee of the month for the upkeep of sanitary conditions within the warehouse. I am eager to bring my skills to the Union Industry to keep the company organized and well managed.
Housekeeper Resume Summary
I am a hardworking housekeeper with 5+ years of experience in residence and business settings. I am skilled at keeping interiors and exteriors clean. In the past, I was responsible for overseeing a team of workers, where I had to develop the capabilities of handling private and sensitive issues. I am excited to offer services to maintain an elegant appearance at the Stanley residence.
Bartender Resume Summary
I am a friendly bartender with 8+ years of experience working at parties, restaurants and bars including several upscale establishments. I have successfully served hundreds of drinks a night, upsold cocktails and created drink specials to bring in an additional 10% revenue at the bar. I am eager to join KK’s Bar and Grill to increase efficiency and boost growth.
Barista Resume Summary
I am a personable barista with 2+ years’ experience working at coffeehouses. I am skilled at using espresso tampers, frothing pitchers and syrup pumps. I have deep familiarity with a variety of coffee drinks. I have successfully upsold food and beverage items to increase company revenue by 10%.
Delivery Driver Resume Summary
I am a prompt and reliable delivery driver with 2+ years’ experience. I have extensive skills in delivery and map applications. In the past, I was responsible for the delivery of 20+ items in an 8-hour shift. Through this, I successfully boosted team efficiency by 25%. I am eager to bring my knowledge to the Kemp Foundation to help the company reach delivery quotas.
Babysitter/ Nanny Resume Summary
I am a loving babysitter and mother of two with CPR and first aid certifications. I have been responsible for caring for several youngsters, including a family of five children between the ages of 3 months and 12 years old. I took over household responsibilities to help the mother get through schooling and embark on a successful career.
Office Manager Resume Summary
I am an experienced office manager in the industry for over 5 years, with advanced skills in Office, QuickBooks and a variety of email applications. I have successfully supervised an office of 20 employees and increased productivity by 25%. I am eager to bring my skills to the table to boost the efficiency of the BNB Offices.
Social Worker Resume
I am a dedicated social worker with 10+ years’ experience and a BA in psychology. I have helped 20+ families achieve a higher quality of life within a five-year period. I am eager to join NB, Inc. to continue my rewarding career path.
Caretaker Resume Summary
I am a kind-hearted caretaker with 8+ years’ experience in physical therapy, rehabilitation, senior care and medical assistance. I have a BA in healthcare administration. I have successfully nursed 5 patients to achieve a higher quality of life within a five-year period. I am excited to become a part of the G & R team to continue providing optimal care to patients in need.
Accountant Resume Summary
I am a certified CPA with 10+ years in the financial industry, I have extensive experience with Quicken and QuickBooks. I have successfully organized finances for businesses and individuals, which helped them increase revenue by 10% and provide optimal tax refunds. I am eager to bring my expertise to the P & G Firm to ensure a healthy financial future.
I am an insightful data analyst with 10+ years of experience using Excel, Splunk, Quikview and other analytics software. I am capable of converting big data numbers to help companies create smart marketing strategies. I am also proficient in providing high success rates with a 25% revenue increase. I am hoping to bring my skills to the table to take J & G Industries to the next level.
A resume won’t be as effective if it doesn’t have a good resume summary. The resume summary examples in this article will get you headed in the right direction when it comes to creating a strong opening statement. Which will you be using to advance in your career?