A resume summary statement, also commonly known as a career summary or summary of experience, is a short paragraph at the start of a resume that highlights a job seeker’s professional skills and experience. This section gives recruiters a sneak-peek into job seekers’ expertise before reading the entire resume. In other words, a career summary summarizes your expertise described in the resume.
Sometimes, you will hear this section been referred to as personal statement, professional summary, a summary of qualifications, and qualification of summary. The goal of adding this section is to allow job seekers to show their unique values at the beginning of a resume.
Table of Contents
Positioning your summary statement
This section sits right below your contact information and right above the body of the resume. Unlike other parts, a professional summary is usually short (2 – 3 sentences long) and always tailored to the job posting.
When to use a resume summary
Include a summary statement if you have many years of work experience in the same field, and you will be continuing in that field.
When not to include a summary statement
- If you have little experience. Use the space to expand on your work experience.
- Have gaps in your resume
How to write a professional summary statement
- Write your professional summary last
First, work on the other parts of your resume and them wrap up by writing your resume summary. That way, you will have the ingredients for your summary.
- Start a summary with your title
Make sure to start your professional summary with:
- A single descriptive adjective (optional)
- Professional title
- Key certification (if you have one)
- Years of experience
Here is an example.
A passionate, certified ethical hacker with 3+ years of experience…
- Pack your summary with achievements and skills
Make sure to give employers a wealth of information about your achievements and skills. Consider asking yourself the following questions before packing your summary with achievements and skills.
- What are my brightest moments?
- What am I proud of achieving?
- What do I love most about what I do?
- What do I do best?
Note. Remember to quantify your achievements to make your career summary solid. In other words, quantifying makes your achievements real. For example, you can say you managed a team of 30 employees to accomplish a complex task.
Summary statement examples
Below we have wrapped a few examples:
Senior graphic designer, responsible for daily content design for a medium-sized firm. Worked regularly on graphic, layout, and production materials. Recipient of the 2016 BigCommerce Design award. Developed 200+ graphic design projects (logos, brochures, advertisements, infographics) that increased client transactions by 25%.
Industry recognized executive in General Management (P&L) with over 20 years of experience working for leading technology companies in core networking, security, and wireless infrastructure space.
Senior Account Executive, with experience helping companies clean and enrich their data with sales intelligence tools in Marketo, Salesforce, Pardot, and Eloqua. Managing big data effectively, I have helped over 200 clients reduce IT infrastructure overhead by up to 40%.
By adding a summary statement on your resume is to provide uniqueness to the recruiter’s eye. Recruiters might receive hundreds of resume so what opportunity are you going to provide them to stop and take the time to read yours versus others?