A resume summary is your first, and sometimes only, chance to make an impression on your recruiter or potential employer. While it’s good to be thorough in detailing your work history and accomplishments, not all hiring managers will take the time to read your entire resume.

The ideal resume summary should highlight your most relevant qualifications and achievements to give the reader a glimpse of what you can offer. This should be enough to hook them in and encourage them to read the rest of your resume.

Let’s dive into the essentials of crafting a resume summary to help you get more interviews and land more jobs!

Key Takeaways

  • A resume summary is an introduction to your resume that highlights your skills and achievements.
  • Resume summaries are an important part of your resume, as they can quickly communicate your most relevant qualifications to the hiring manager or your potential employer.
  • Add a resume summary when you have significant relevant experience or when changing careers and want to emphasize transferable skills. On the other hand, skip it if you have limited experience or if it won’t add any value.
  • When writing a resume summary, it’s important to tailor it to the job, showcase your best achievements and skills, and use action verbs.
  • Keep in mind that an effective resume summary is positive, concrete, concise, and detailed.

What is a Resume Summary?

A resume summary is a brief section at the top of your resume that serves as an introduction to your professional history. Think of it as an elevator pitch for your resume.

An effective resume summary should introduce you, your skills, and your relevant experiences in two to four sentences. It should feature a strong professional title, your years of experience in the industry, your areas of expertise, and other notable achievements.

If you don’t have a lot of professional experience, using a resume summary wouldn’t be the best move. Instead, consider writing a resume objective.

Resume Summary vs. Resume Objective

Like a resume summary, a resume objective is a concise statement that serves as an overview of your resume. Unlike a summary, however, resume objectives focus on the position you want and your goals and aspirations. This makes it ideal for entry-level candidates or recent graduates.

Resume summaries, on the other hand, are recommended if you have at least 2-3 years of experience. This is because they allow you to highlight your key qualifications and experiences without overwhelming the reader.

For freshers, a resume summary can still be beneficial if you have relevant internship experience or if you took specific courses in college that can help you in the role.

Why is a Summary Important For Your Resume?

A summary is important for your resume because it can help grab the reader’s attention. Recruiters have to sift through hundreds of resumes a day, and oftentimes, they only have seconds to spare for each one. Aside from an ATS-friendly resume, a well-written summary can help you make an impression in those few seconds.

Recruiters and hiring managers look for a summary to quickly assess if the candidate’s skills and objectives align with the requirements of the job. This saves them valuable time in the screening process.

A resume summary offers an opportunity to showcase your writing skills. By being able to discuss your skills and experiences concisely, you demonstrate your ability to communicate efficiently. The tone and language you use also reflect your professionalism while allowing your personality to shine through.

When to Write a Resume Summary

Although resume summaries are an effective way to capture the attention of recruiters, there are situations where it’s best not to include one in your resume at all.

We recommend writing a resume summary when:

  • You have a lot of experience. If you have several years of experience in a specific field or industry, a resume summary allows recruiters to understand your best qualifications in a short amount of time.
  • You are changing industries. During a career change, a resume summary can help bridge the gap between your previous experiences and your new career path. Be sure to highlight any relevant accomplishments or skills that can help you in your new role.

On the other hand, it’s best to skip the resume summary if:

  • You don’t have any experience. For recent graduates or those with minimal experience, a resume objective may be more appropriate since your resume won’t have much information in it yet.
  • It doesn’t add value to your resume. When done right, summaries can be a powerful addition to your resume. However, if they take up too much space or don’t add value, it’s best to remove them to make room for your work history.

How to Write a Summary For a Resume

resume summary

To write a summary for your resume that will help you land more interviews, consider the following tips:

#1. Tailor it to The Job

Make sure your resume summary aligns with the specific job you are applying for. Sending out a generic one that discusses your entire work history defeats the purpose of a summary.

Review the job description and identify the qualifications and requirements the employer needs. Then, focus on highlighting the experiences and skills that demonstrate your ability to succeed in the role. It’s also important to mirror the language used in the job description, as that will show your understanding of the role and the industry.

#2. Showcase Achievements

Your summary is your first chance to make an impression, so don’t waste it discussing things that a recruiter would already expect from your job. For instance, if you work in sales, don’t simply say that you helped increase sales or that you brought in a large number of clients.

Instead, quantify your achievements. Discuss the best revenue you generated in a month or the top number of clients you brought on board. By showing results, you will stand out from other applicants and showcase your strengths to potential employers.

#3. Use Action Verbs

When writing your resume summary, use action verbs and descriptive language to discuss your experiences. Instead of just listing your responsibilities, using action words can help show the impact you made in your previous position.

Always provide examples of your achievements when discussing them. Rather than saying, “Was responsible for managing a team of 5”, you can say, “Led a team to exceed monthly sales targets”. Using action verbs also helps break up the text and make it easier and more interesting to read.

#4. Mention Skills

While it’s important to discuss past achievements in your resume, don’t forget to list any relevant skills that can be advantageous for the role. For instance, when discussing your increased sales revenues, mention the skills that helped you do so, such as negotiation and time management.

Highlight a range of skills to showcase your versatility as an applicant. We find that a combination of technical skills and soft skills is best in a resume summary, especially for students who do not have much working experience.

11 Resume Summary Examples

Here are some resume summary examples for different industries to help you write your own and ensure a successful job hunt:

#1. Marketing Resume Summary

Marketing Manager

Results-driven marketing manager with over 6 years of experience. A proven track record of driving a 30% increase in brand awareness through digital campaigns at FlyingFish. Skilled in using data analytics to optimize marketing strategies. Helped achieve a 20% improvement in customer acquisition at Markets Inc.

Digital Marketing Specialist

Creative digital marketing specialist experienced in SEO, SEM, and social media marketing. Responsible for boosting online sales by 25% in a month through targeted PPC campaigns At Firefly Inc. Helped increase website traffic by at least 60% through SEO optimization techniques.

What makes these a compelling resume summary for marketing is that they highlight the applicant’s skills, such as data analytics and social media marketing, and support these with the results and numbers that prove their expertise.

#2. Finance Resume Summary


Seasoned financial analyst with 5 years of experience in financial modeling and risk management. At LMI, successfully conducted an in-depth financial analysis that reduced operational costs by at least 15% and implemented strategic investments that resulted in 10% portfolio growth.

Investment Banker

Detailed-oriented professional with experience in investment banking and portfolio management. Led due diligence efforts for $150 million transactions, resulting in successful deal closures, and contributed to generating over $4 million in advisory fees.

These resume summaries showcase the applicant’s achievements through their previous contributions. They also highlight their skills and experience first and show how they used them to achieve said results.

#3. Business Resume Summary

Business Development Manager

Strategic business development manager with a successful track record of driving revenue and growing market reach. Skilled in identifying business opportunities and negotiating contracts. Secured several partnerships at Klemens Inc. that resulted in a 30% increase in sales volume and negotiated contracts that generated $3 million in annual revenue.

Operations Manager

Efficient operations manager with proven expertise in streamlining business operations and improving productivity. Implemented changes that reduced operational costs by 15% and improved customer satisfaction by 20% at Footprints Inc.

These resume summaries are effective because they focus on the applicant’s leadership skills. These skills helped them achieve great results in their previous roles and can set them apart from other candidates with similar skills.

#4. Legal Resume Summary

Litigation Associate

Results-oriented litigation associate with a strong background in civil litigation and dispute resolution. Skilled in case management, legal research, and courtroom advocacy. Proven track record of securing the most favorable outcomes for clients. Won 75% of cases in 2021 using strategic litigation tactics and negotiated settlements that resulted in over $800,000 in client savings.

Corporate Attorney

Experienced corporate attorney specializing in mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and contract negotiations. Strong analytical skills and attention to detail with a commitment to delivering high-quality legal services. Negotiated contracts for corporate clients, resulting in over $2 million in cost savings.

These resume summaries highlight the most important skills necessary for those in the legal industry, such as attention to detail and research. They then support these qualifications with quantified results to show potential employers what they can achieve.

#5. Healthcare Resume Summary

Registered Nurse

A skilled nurse practitioner with a strong clinical background. Passionate about providing personalized care to patients. An expert in assessing patient needs and developing care plans.

Healthcare Administrator

Experienced healthcare administrator with a proven track record of improving operational efficiency. Implemented changes at Healthy Hospital that resulted in a 15% reduction in wait times and a 30% increase in patient satisfaction. Skilled in budgeting, resource allocation, and regulatory compliance.

Patient care and satisfaction are important in the healthcare industry. This is why resume summaries that highlight skills that can achieve these are ideal. While you can still add specific numbers, especially in situations where your decisions led to a significant change, it can be difficult to quantify achievements in these roles.

#6. Administrative Resume Summary

Office Manager

Dedicated office manager with 7 years of experience streamlining administrative processes and enhancing productivity. Implemented cost-saving measures that reduced overhead expenses by 15% at XYZ Company. Developed a new filing system that reduced retrieval time by 40% at Hope Corp.

Administrative Assistant

Efficient administrative assistant with 3 years of experience in supporting executive teams in fast-paced environments. Managed schedules, resulting in a 15% reduction in meeting conflicts. Recognized for exceptional multitasking abilities and attention to detail at HJI Corporation.

These resume summaries highlight specific achievements that demonstrate the applicant’s impact in their previous position, which can be valuable in an administrative role. They emphasize the candidate’s proficiency in specific tasks and their ability to develop solutions for the company.

#7. IT Resume Summary

IT Specialist

Innovative IT specialist specializing in network administration and cybersecurity. Proficient in troubleshooting technical issues and providing timely solutions. Implemented network upgrades at UTK Inc. that improved system performance by 45% and reduced downtime by 30%.

Software Developer

Expert software developer with a passion for developing cutting-edge applications. Led a team that delivered a software solution that increased user engagement at QWE Company by 40%. Experienced in full-stack development to deliver high-quality software products.

These kinds of resume summaries are most effective for IT roles because they highlight the relevant technical expertise that the applicant has. After listing their best skills, they provide concrete examples of their successful projects and achievements to show the applicant’s value to potential employers.

#8. Hospitality Resume Summary

Hotel Manager

Guest-centric hotel manager focused on delivering exceptional customer service. Implemented service enhancements at Flighty Hotel that resulted in a 20% increase in guest satisfaction scores. Skilled in staff training and performance management, ensuring a positive guest experience.

Event Coordinator

Experienced event coordinator with a track record of planning and executing successful events. Expertly managed events with budgets ranging from $10,000 to $150,000 in 2022 while consistently meeting or exceeding client expectations.

Achieving client satisfaction and success is crucial in the hospitality industry. This is why, for your resume summary to be impressive, it’s best to focus on the hospitality skills that can help you achieve that. Make sure you provide examples and detail any previous successful projects.

#9 Education Resume Summary

Elementary School Teacher

Dedicated elementary school teacher committed to fostering a positive learning environment. Helped improve student test scores by 15% through personalized instruction and unique teaching strategies. Skilled in classroom management and curriculum development to help support student success.

Academic Advisor

Academic advisor passionate about helping students achieve their academic and career goals. Advised over 100 students in 2019, which resulted in a 20% increase in graduation rates. Experienced in academic counseling and program planning.

Crafting a powerful resume summary for a teacher or any position in education involves having the right combination of technical skills and compassion for students. These summary examples do a great job of describing the applicant, showcasing their skills, and supporting these with their best achievements.

#10 Non-Profit Resume Summary

Outreach Coordinator

Dedicated community outreach coordinator focused on driving social impact and positive change. Organized more than 50 outreach events in 2020, engaging 2,000 community members and raising $150,000 in donations for local non-profit organizations.

Development Manager

Development manager skilled in fundraising and donor relations. Was able to secure over $500,000 in grants and sponsorships to fun critical programs and initiatives for 10,000 individuals in need within the community.

For non-profit positions, it’s crucial to have the right technical skills, as these roles involve navigating complex legalities and interacting with different people. By showing proof of your previous success, you are more likely to be selected for the position.

#11 Self-Employed Resume Summary

Freelance Writer

Seasoned writer with over 7 years of experience writing compelling content for a diverse range of clients. Produced 500+ articles, helping to achieve an average engagement increase of 40% and driving organic traffic growth by 25% through SEO-optimized content.

Web Developer

Web developer and designer experienced in creating visually stunning and user-friendly websites. Brought 50 projects to fruition in the last year, helping improve the average loading time of websites by 50% and increasing client conversion rates by 30%.

Since freelancing or contract positions don’t usually last long, the key to creating a compelling self-employed resume summary is to highlight your success in previous projects. Be as specific as possible and include any relevant statistics for the role you are applying for.

4 Pro Tips to Consider When Writing a Resume Summary

An effective resume summary can help you make a lasting impression on recruiters or potential employers. We share the following tips to keep in mind when writing your summary:

  • Be concise. A resume summary should be concise. It should cover your most relevant skills and qualifications in two to four sentences and. Avoid fluff or filler language. These add no value to your resume and will only distract the reader.
  • Be concrete. When discussing your achievements, provide examples to support your claims. These could be through numbers, metrics, and percentages. By providing specific examples, your potential employers can better understand how you can contribute to their company.
  • Be positive. Humility is a good trait to have, but when it comes to your resume summary, it’s best to be confident. Highlight your strengths and accomplishments, and use language that shows your enthusiasm and positive attitude.
  • Be detailed. Include measurable data, such as sales figures, cost savings, and project timelines, in your summary. Be as detailed as possible to help make your accomplishments more compelling.

Final Thoughts

It can be challenging to fit all your experiences and qualifications into a few short sentences. But with these tips and examples, you can create an impactful summary to help you stand out from the competition.

Be strategic when using a summary, and skip it completely when not necessary. Remember to always customize your resume summary to meet the requirements of the job you are applying for. This will increase your chances of getting an interview and being selected for the job.