Resume Summary: How-To Guide (30+ Examples You Need To See)

Published on: 26 March 2021 Last updated: 26 March 2021

Resume summary statements are short sections that go under the resume header. They serve as a career summary and when done correctly, it outlines your most relevant experience accomplishments and knowledge in less than four sentences.

At a glance, the potential employer should easily identify your core skills and the value you can bring to their business. Ideally, you should be striving for a concise, punchy cv summary that makes the recruiter continue reading.

Benefits of having a resume summary include:

  • Preframe your entire application clearly by summarising your career and pointing out the key points or highlights;
  • Take advantage, and use the keywords very early on in your resume to consolidate a powerful impression
  • Define yourself very briefly so hiring managers quickly grasp a good idea of your character and get fast recognition

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at why you should use a summary statement, as well as how to write one, and we’ll go over some of the best resume summary examples you can take from for your own resume.

Why Use A Resume Summary Section?

You should use a resume summary section when you want to highlight your skills, experience, and overall showcase your professional background to recruiters.

Use this opportunity to intrigue and draw them further into your resume by helping them get a quick overview of your know-how and how you can be a valuable asset.

You’re giving the job recruiter a glimpse into what you can potentially do for their business. And, depending on how good of a job you’ve done writing your summary, recruiters will either give you their full attention or click the “x” on their screen and go to the next applicant.

“But… I don’t have much of an experience to write about.” Yeah, well, rest assured, you aren’t alone. If you’re just fresh out of school or you’re doing a major career switch, you can always include your goals and objectives.

Recommended read: Resume Sections – Everything You Need to Know

When Should You Use A Resume Summary Statement?

Ideally, you should include a resume summary when you have three and more years of work history. That’s because this section is designed to flatter your skills, expertise, and employment history.

If you’re just starting out in your professional career and you don’t have much to write about in your summary statement, a better option would be a resume objective statement section.

The main difference between a summary statement and a resume objective is what you focus on. The objective statement shows your future professional goals, while a summary statement focuses on your strengths, skills, and what you can do for the business you’re applying to.

And even if the objective statement isn’t your thing, consider using a substitute section. The Enhancv resume builder has tremendous resume sections like “resume headers” and “key achievements” (also known as a summary of qualifications) that can help you present yourself in the best light possible.

 

Whichever route you go, both should show you in the best light possible.

(Note: not all resumes are designed to have a summary section.)

While nearly all CVs you’ve probably seen have a resume overview, they’re not entirely necessary. Depending on the job position you’re applying for what matters more is how it’s going to be used to increase your chances for an interview.

You can still build a strong application even if you don’t have a resume summary section. Here’s an example of an accounting analyst resume that has no summary, but still secured the job.

Take a look at Carole’s resume. Despite not having a resume overview, it didn’t stop the employer to hire her. All the years of experience make up for it and it doesn’t look too bad overall.

Although I’ve mentioned they’re not always needed, I highly recommend you have one for your resume to emphasize you’re a perfect fit for the job.

Now without any further ado, let’s get to how you can write an outstanding resume summary.

How to Write An Effective Resume Summary Section

Writing a good resume summary can be boiled down to three main points. It doesn’t matter if you’re applying for a nurse position at a hospital or as a real estate broker.

And if you decide to build your resume with our resume builder, you can choose a template suitable for your industry, click on “+ Add Section” and choose the “resume summary” from all the templated sections we have on our website.

First, use your most relevant experiences and strong points/characteristics.

How do you identify what your most relevant experiences and strongest points/characteristics are? How do you choose the right ones to mention?

You want the employer to understand how you can be valuable to their team.

Therefore, you should focus on any significant achievements, skills, and certifications that correspond with the job position you’re applying to.

Take note of the keywords, skills, and responsibilities the hiring manager is looking for. Use that information to reflect on your skills or experiences. Then, combine them accordingly to show how you’re going to be a high-performing asset and an ideal fit. These are the details you want to implicate in your summary.

Make sure that what you talk about is directly linkable and relevant to what they need as this is what will appeal to them. Even if you have the right information, you need to ensure it’s properly aligned to match the job description.

Second, have a short description to follow up.

Experienced professionals know that showing how you can help an organization is key to getting a call for an interview. As this section sits at the top of your resume, this is what will get the attention of human resources recruiters.

Let the employers instinctively know you’re more than capable of working for them.

Keywords are one thing and buzzwords are another. Implement those specific phrases into a short description after mentioning your most relevant strengths.

You have to convey value very briefly. It’s a resume summary, so you can’t go very in-depth. Instead, focus on glancing over your experience, and leave the details for later in your work experience section.

(Pro tip: Use actionable relevant keywords, positive adjectives, and personal pronouns that correlate to what they’re demanding to show that you can contribute positively towards their success!)

And thirdly, aim to use no more than 3-5 sentences.

Keep your summary short and punchy. Just three sentences should be enough.

We’ve found that one-page resumes generally perform better than 2-3 page resumes. Depending on your job and if you need to include more details, then you can extend up to 5 sentences but no more.

With around 3 sentences, the reader gets through your resume and quickly identifies the important information as it’s readable and easy to consume.

Another reason you’d want to keep this section short (and use keywords) is because of ATS (applicant tracking system). It helps to get you recognized and see that you’re a qualifiable person to consider for an interview.

So, carefully select the words you’re going to use. Go for fewer but more impactful words. It’s a resume summary after all – not a dissertation.

Apart from your resume header, this section should be one of the smallest sections on your resume.

As promised from the headline, we’ve handpicked 30 unique resume summary examples to help you stand out. These include career overviews and objectives, and some of these will also show a good and bad example so you know what to avoid.

(The job title links take you to a full guide for how to create a resume for that exact job, and what’s expected of you. Feel free to check them out!)

Resume summary examples and samples you can inspire from

Entry-Level Engineer Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Right

A recent B.E graduate of IIT who led a team of undergraduate engineers during a Chicago Waterfront fair project with extensive experience in district-scale waste/water consulting volunteer work is looking for a position in water construction.

 

Summary Example: Right

Recent B.E. graduate with cooperative learning experience at GLW Construction is looking for a position in municipal and transportation fields.

 

Both of these resume summaries work. They focus on work-related experience and bring up an accomplishment (B.E. graduate). It doesn’t go in-depth about skills because that’s what the skills section is for. This summary lets the recruiter know what you’re looking for, and what experience you’ve had in the past.

Mechanical Engineer Resume Summary (Objectives):

Summary Example: Wrong

Seeking an opportunity to work with a team in the field of engineering in order to develop my skills as an engineer, learn new information about the occupation and to put my current skills to good use.

The first summary example is too vague and doesn’t quite paint a clear picture. It’s not as specific when you compare it to the one below. We can see that there’s more detail in the second mechanical engineer applicant’s summary and that they’re more skilled at what they do as they outline their skills and experience clearly.

See below for another mechanical engineer resume objective example:

Summary Example: Right

Mechanical Engineering graduate, demonstrating leadership and communication skills within a team. Proficient in engineering design, specializing in aerodynamics, material selection, and project management. Previous experience as a summer intern with a multi-disciplinary consulting engineering firm, working heavily in CAD design and surveying.

Content Marketing Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Wrong

 
A content marketer with 5 years experience creating compelling content that sells across multiple media platforms. Passionate about creative writing and detail-oriented especially in adapting different styles and tones that will suit my audience.

 

Summary Example: Right

A content marketing expert with more than 5 years working experience in developing compelling content that easily sells across multiple media platforms, as seen in Huffington Post, Forbes, NY Times, and etc. Accustomed to creating different types of content such as infographics, webinars, videos, and articles.

 

Read through both.

You can clearly see that the first summary is pretty dull, boring, and it doesn’t have anything that makes a recruiter want to invite them to an interview, unlike the second example, where the hiring managers have social proof that makes it memorable

In the case of a content marketing resume, you want to showcase industry authority by having your name out there and flaunting it to your hiring managers.

Marketing Manager Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Wrong

I’m a highly skilled marketing manager with experience leading teams in a variety of marketing areas. With my diversity of experience, I’m looking for all types of opportunities to lead marketing projects and teams.

 

Summary Example: Right

A skilled marketing manager with 5 years experience leading largely content-focused teams. Led a 3 person team that boosted revenue by 64% for an eCommerce company via a 6-month content marketing campaign. Subsequently took over a 10 person B2B focused team, reformed their CMS to boost content production by 45% while reducing employee turnover from 25% to 0% in the first year.

 

Firstly, for all resume summaries, you generally want to avoid referring to yourself as “I” as it looks unprofessional. Secondly, it’s vague – “diversity of experience” and worst of all, you can tell the applicant has probably sent the same thing to hundreds of other job applications.

Notice that the second summary has maintained only three sentences. While it’s briefly describing the results and success experienced in the past, it essentially tells the recruiter you’re a marketing manager who’s capable of getting results.

PPC Specialist Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Wrong

Level-headed and inventive PPC specialist with a demonstrated record of completed projects and customer satisfaction. Deep knowledge of digital marketing trends, strategies, and techniques. Able to work well in a team of like-minded individuals, or independently when given tasks.

 

Summary Example: Right

Google, Amazon & Bing Ads certified PPC specialist with over 8 years of experience in driving qualified leads for SaaS & B2B companies. Responsible for cutting costs of ad spend by 60% with a simultaneous 40% increase in ROI. Good knowledge of JS & proficiency in Excel, able to produce complex reports with Vlookups, pivot tables and advanced charting.

 

Summary Example: Wrong

Highly-qualified Digital marketing & PPC expert with over 10 years of experience in marketing and sales. Managed big company budget with high ROI and low CPC. Proven record of client satisfaction. Seeking to contribute with my technical and soft skills to take [ABC company] to new heights.

 

Summary Example: Right

Paid Ads professional with over a decade of track record in driving MQLs & SQLs via Google, Bing & Facebook platforms. Managed to improve the PPC performance of [ABC company] by 60% leading to over 400 000 USD of net income. Led a team of 8 digital marketers in managing a 6-figure monthly ad budget.

Public Relations Specialist Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Wrong

Public Relations Expert with extensive experience in Brand communication, Advertising, Marketing & Customer Service Experience. Produced branded blog posts, articles for big media and social media posts. Looking forward to bringing my great team management skills and leave a positive mark on your company.

 

Summary Example: Right

PPR Certified PR Executive with over 10 years of experience in Marketing & Communications teams. Skilled in Brand Leadership, Customer Experience Communications, Advertising & Direct Marketing. Led a team of 10 in producing 350+ media coverage press releases for tech companies resulting in 500% traffic growth.

 

The first example claims that the applicant is an “expert”. However, it doesn’t really show much to the job recruiter, and there isn’t anything valuable to be learned from it.

In the second one, we can easily tell the applicant is an expert since he has “over 10 years of experience”. There’s a higher degree of benefits obtained, and if you’re applying for this role, you should be taking advantage of numbers and results.

Here are two more examples for PR specialists:

Summary Example: Wrong

Smart and motivated PR specialist graduated recently from Cornell University looking to bring problem solving skills and positive attitude to the team at [ABC Company]. Seeking an entry-level position as a PR intern where I can make use of my great content skills.

 

Summary Example: Right

Cornell University post-graduate with honors in Marketing Communications looking to bring three years of internship and volunteering PR experience at [ABC Company]. Skilled in creating engaging online content and press releases for IT industry. Winner of CAHRS Award for 2016.

 

Unlike the first applicant, the second applicant includes examples of work experience and tasks that they’ve worked on before. The first is more focused on talking about themselves and what the company can do for them. Whereas, the second is showing what value they can bring to their organization.

Social Media Manager Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Wrong

I’m an experienced social media manager familiar with all platforms and many different business types. I can grow followers by up to 10k per month as I have done this for several clients before.

 

Summary Example: Right

5+ years of social media management experience focused largely on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Adept at studying and understanding brands from both a marketing and business perspective, resulting in the ability to work with little need for direct management. Successfully grown engaged subscriber bases by an average of 12.5% per month and translated that growth into 15% average revenue increases for both B2B and B2C clients.

 

Again, you should be avoiding referring to yourself as “I”. As a social media manager, you want to be very specific and use numbers to be perceived as credible.

The wrong example looks shady and far from professional. In contrast to the second example above, it’s vague and has no meaningful value derived from what they’re saying.

Digital Marketing Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Wrong

I’m an experienced digital marketer who has worked on every aspect of digital marketing for a variety of clients. I’m looking to grow my career and gain valuable new experiences.

 

Summary Example: Right

Seasoned digital marketer with 6+ years of experience building and implementing strategies focused on SEO, email marketing, and Adwords largely for small to medium-sized eCommerce sites. Successfully grew organic revenue by 74% in 8 months through content creation and link-building strategy.

 

A recurring mistake with resume summaries is the lack of clarity. When looking at the second example, the job recruiter might ask “What new aspects have you worked on? What type of clients have you worked with? What valuable new experiences are you seeking?”.

Every sentence should clarify further your message. If it’s meaningless, you’re wasting the employer’s time and you’ll most likely fail to get into an interview.

Office Manager Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Wrong

Organized office manager seeking a full-time position. I am experienced in streamlining office operations and reducing costs.

 

Summary Example: Right

Organized and results-oriented office manager with 5 years of experience. With a background in healthcare tech, I cut costs by 23% and introduced new scheduling software to streamline office operations.

 

While in the first summary example we can see the utilization of buzzwords, because of the lack of accomplishments, the summary falls short.

Sales Representative Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Right

A results-driven sales representative with 5 years of experience in B2B sales and a proven track record of closing multi-million deals in healthcare and finance markets is eager to join the ABC company, adhering to its highest standards for personal and team excellence.

 

Summary Example: Right

A goal-driven salesman with 5 years of experience in B2C retail and pharmaceutical sales and a consistent history of surpassing annual quotas by up to 200% is eager to join the ABC company as a sales representative

 

Both of these resume summaries are effective because they’re tailored for the vacancy. And two, it’s emphasizing their soft skills and includes technical details to support their statements.

Assistant Manager Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Wrong

Assistant Manager with 7 years of experience. Expert in customer service and communication. Increased sales and ensured positive customer feedback. Looking for a new job with higher pay and a better work environment.

 

Summary Example: Right

Assistant Store Manager with 7 years of experience working in clothing retail stores. Expert in customer service and communication. Practiced in inventory control and store management. Achieved a yearly average of 170.000$ in revenue. Ensured 100% customer satisfaction and positive feedback. Seeking to leverage my store management expertise and sales skills at Nordstrom.

 

The first one includes relevant skills and experiences. However, it lacks details to follow up with the skills they claim to be an expert in.

Just by looking at the first summary, we can sense the applicant prioritizes what the company can do for them (“higher pay”) instead of what they can do for the company. And that’s not a pleasant thing to see as a recruiter.

Business Data Analyst Resume Summary:

Summary Example: Right

Experienced data analyst with 3+ years of experience who loves to automate and streamline processes in a fast-paced environment. Intermediate knowledge of analytical stack (Python, Java, SQL). Experienced in preparing detailed documents and reports while managing complex internal and external data analysis responsibilities.

 

Summary Example: Right

Managed and analyzed YouTube channel data and content using YouTube analytics, Excel, Python, and Tableau. Created weekly, monthly and Ad-hoc channel performance reports. Helped make data-driven decisions to produce, schedule, and broadcast video content. Analyzed audience retention data, demographics, viewer trends, etc. to produce content to reflect the wants and needs of the audience.

 

Both of these resume summaries let us know they’re professionals in the industry because of three main things:

  • Clarifies technical details and lets us know about their background (3+ years experiences who loves to automate and streamline in a fast-paced environment)
  • Instead of being vague and generic, the applicants are specific and also use examples to support their points
  • As a hiring manager for data analysts, we can see what tools they use and how adept their knowledge is for software application

Conclusion: Resume Summary

Resume summaries bring together the highlights from your career and empower the value shown to the recruiter.

If your job title wasn’t mentioned in any of these examples, take a look at Enhancv’s 530+ resume examples here. You’ll also get a full guide that specifically teaches you how to create a resume for your chosen profession.

***

On the other hand, did you find your job title in our chosen examples? Is there anything else we’re missing? Let us know in the comments below!

Astley Cervania

Astley Cervania is a UK-based copywriter and content strategist. Often curious and observant, he specializes in helping B2B and SaaS companies scale their content marketing through his writing and SEO skills. You can visit his page at minimalist-copy.com.

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