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

Published on: 21 August 2020 Last updated: 13 October 2020

Resume summary statements are a short section that goes after the resume header. The goal is to outline all of your most important and relevant experience, accomplishments, and knowledge into just a few sentences.

After reading your resume summary, the employer should be able to identify your core skills and value. It helps give them a good idea of whether they want to work with you, and influences them to continue reading the rest of your resume.

A few benefits of having a resume summary include:

  • Preframe your entire resume 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

Why Use A Resume Summary Section?

The purpose of having a resume section is to introduce your expertise to the hiring manager. Essentially, you’re showcasing to the recruiters your professional background.

Use this opportunity to intrigue and draw them further into your resume by helping them get a quick understanding of what you’re capable of.

You’re giving the job recruiter a glimpse into what you can potentially do for their business. Depending on how you wrote it, they may or may not want to pay more attention to the next following resume sections where you go more in-depth.

If you don’t have much experience or work history to show for, or whether you’re a student or a fresh graduate out of university, it’s better if you used this section to talk about your objectives. It’s still effective and compelling, and definitely better than having a weak, limited overview.

Recommended read: Resume Sections – Everything You Need to Know

When Should You Use A Resume Summary?

In your resume summary, either highlight your resume objectives, goals, and intentions, or your previous employment history, skills, and expertise.

If you lack the relevant background or experiences, take advantage of using this section to talk about your long-term goals. What can you do, and how are your intentions going to benefit the company you’re applying for?

Whichever route you go, both should be showing the value that makes you a beneficial business asset they won’t want to miss out on.

(Note: not all resumes have a resume summary section)

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

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

Take a look at Carole’s resume. Despite not having a resume overview, her 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

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 reader to get an insight into what it would be like to have you on-board. Therefore, you should be mentioning job titles and corporate experiences that are credible for who you say you are and to support your statements.

Think about your skills and what you’ve done that directly corresponds to the job position.

Take note of the keywords, skills, and responsibilities the hiring manager wants you to fulfill at a high standard. 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.

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

Have A Short Description to Follow Up

How are you going to benefit the organization and contribute to helping them reach their goals and objectives?

Add the key information to follow along with what you’ve brought up from the previous step.

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

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

You need to be able to convey value very briefly. It’s a resume summary, so you can’t go as in-depth as you want to. That information should be shown subtly anyway through the impact of your sentences.

Once that’s done, you dig deeper into all the details later in the work experience and skills section of your resume.

(Extra tip: use actionable words and positive adjectives that correlate to what they’re demanding to show that you can contribute positively towards their success!)

Aim to use no more than 3-5 sentences

We recommend having only 3 sentences for your resume summary.

We’ve found that one-page resumes generally perform better than 2-3 page resumes. So, try to keep your resume summary short and minimal.

But, depending on your job and if you need to include more details, then you can push the limit to 5 sentences maximum.

With less than 3 sentences, it helps the reader get through your resume and quickly identify the important information because it’s readable and easy to consume.

Another reason why keeping this short with keywords is so effective is for the ATS (applicant tracking system). It helps get you recognized and see that you’re a qualifiable person to consider for an interview.

So, carefully select your sentence choices and have fewer words that show more. 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. You need to paint a vivid image to the hiring manager through short, profound, and descriptive language.

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

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. It focuses on work-related experiences and brings up an accomplishment (B.E. graduate). It doesn’t go in-depth about skills because that’s what the skills section is for. This resume summary lets the reader 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.

 

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.

 

The first example is too vague and doesn’t quite paint a clear picture. It’s not as specific when you compare it to the summary 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 since they directly outline their skills and experience.

See below for another mechanical engineer resume objective example:

Objective Example: Right

ABET-accredited BSME graduate seeking an entry-level mechanical engineering position. Highly skilled at engineering design with a specialization in Vehicular dynamics seeking an entry level position at Tesla.

 

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.

 

The problem with the first resume summary of the content marketer’s application is that it’s too generic. There’s nothing that strikes us or has a profound effect on our impressions since it’s quite dull. When comparing it to the second example, it fails to grab our interest because it lacks social proof.

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” since it seems amateur and looks unprofessional. Second, 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 any valuable meaning extracted 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.

Public Relations Specialist Resume Objectives:

 

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 him. 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 doesn’t seem professional. In contrast to the one 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 a 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 have an effect on the reader. If it’s meaningless, you’re wasting the employer’s time and you’re most likely to fail to get into an interview.

Officer 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.

 

The first applicant uses buzzwords, but because it’s not being used properly. It fails to let the recruiter see exactly what they’ve managed to accomplish since they mention nothing about what they’ve achieved. Overall, it’s generic and doesn’t convey much value at all.

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

Data analyst. Manage and analyze YouTube channel data and content using YouTube analytics, Excel, Python, and Tableau. Create weekly, monthly and Ad-hoc channel performance reports. Help make data-driven decisions to produce, schedule, and broadcast video content. Analyze 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 3 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 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!

Kal Dimitrov

Kal has 10 years of experience as a marketer and lecturer in youth leader organisations, with a focus on career and job skills enhancement. He has written and edited over 100 resume creation guides for different jobs. Kal is also a co-founder of a career accelerator hub that helps students and recent graduates excel at job interviews and get the job of their dreams.

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