Your resume summary is the first impression you make on potential employers, so it's crucial to get it right
When it comes to job applications, your resume is often the first point of contact with prospective employers. It's essential to make a good impression right from the start and that's where your resume summary comes in. Your summary is a brief statement at the top of your resume that highlights your skills, experiences, and achievements, making it a key part of your job application.
In this article, you'll learn how to write the ultimate resume summary that will grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. You'll discover what makes a good summary and what to avoid, as well as how to sell yourself effectively to potential employers.
You may be wondering: what exactly is a resume summary and how do I write one? We'll answer these questions and provide examples of professional summaries for various industries.
By the end of this article, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to create a standout resume summary that will help you to land your dream job.
What is a resume summary?
To understand a resume summary, it's important to understand the challenge that good summaries are designed to overcome. Employers who are looking for new hires often need to compare many dozens or even hundreds of resumes to find the best candidates for the job. Few hiring personnel have the time needed to thoroughly examine every single resume that they receive.
Instead, employers typically spend no more than five or six seconds scanning any given resume. If a resume manages to capture their interest in those few seconds, they'll take the time to read it in greater detail.
However, if your resume doesn't grab their attention, it's likely to be rejected without any further examination. So, the challenge is to find a way to quickly earn the reader's interest and inspire them to read the rest of the document.
That's where your resume summary comes into play. As you'll see from our resume summary examples, a good summary is the resume equivalent of a salesperson's elevator pitch.
This brief statement should highlight your experience and job title, one or two key skills, and a couple of your most prominent achievements. When your summary is crafted well, it will provide the employer with a quick overview of your potential value as a new hire.
Once you've written your summary, you should place it right after your contact information and resume headline, so that it's the first thing employers see. If you've done your job properly, that summary will be compelling enough to make the reader want to learn more about the type of value you can bring to the job.
How should you start a resume summary?
After your headline, you should include a brief opening statement that summarizes who you are. This statement should be concise and compelling, and it should clearly communicate your unique value proposition. Here are some examples of strong opening statements:
Innovative Marketing Manager with over five years of experience in developing and executing successful campaigns for Fortune 500 companies
Results-driven Sales Executive with a proven track record of exceeding revenue targets and building strong client relationships
Skilled Customer Service Representative with expertise in problem-solving, conflict resolution, and communication
Tips for writing a resume summary
To make sure you get your summary spot on, follow our top tips:
When writing a resume summary, it's essential to be specific and quantify your achievements wherever possible. Instead of saying, "Experienced marketing professional," try saying, "Experienced marketing professional with expertise in managing successful social media campaigns, resulting in increases of up to 30% in website traffic."
This provides concrete evidence of your skills and demonstrates your value to potential employers.
Reflect on your career
When it comes to writing a strong resume summary, you should engage in some self-reflection. Before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), take some time to think about your key skills, experiences, and achievements. This will help you to identify the most important information to include in your summary. Review your past roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments, and think about how they relate to the job you're applying for. Ask yourself:
What have I achieved in my career?
What skills have I developed?
What makes me stand out from other applicants?
Identify your key skills
One of the most important things to include in your resume summary is your key skills. These are the abilities that set you apart from other candidates and demonstrate your value to potential employers. Begin by making a list of your top skills, then prioritize them based on relevance to the job you're applying for.
Highlight your relevant experiences
Next, think about relevant experiences that you can include in your summary. This includes any previous jobs or internships, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities that have given you valuable experience. Consider what you've learned and achieved in each role and how that relates to the job you're applying for.
You should focus on what is most relevant to your target job. Here are some examples:
Proven ability to increase sales revenue by 20% year on year
Expertise in project management and team leadership
Proficient in Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft 365
Confident working with a diverse range of clients and stakeholders
Keep it concise
Remember, your resume summary should be concise and to the point. Stick to the most important information and avoid filler words or irrelevant details. A good rule of thumb is to keep your summary to 3-5 sentences.
Use action verbs
When describing your experiences and achievements, use strong action verbs and adverbs to convey a sense of accomplishment and momentum. For example, instead of saying, "Responsible for managing social media accounts," say, "Successfully manages social media accounts."
Quantify your achievements
Wherever possible, use numbers and statistics to quantify your achievements. This provides concrete evidence of your skills and demonstrates your value to potential employers. For example, instead of saying, "Helped to increase sales," say, "Helped to increase sales by 20% in the first year."
Tailor it to the job
Make sure your resume summary is tailored to the job you're applying for. This means highlighting the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the role. Look at the job description and identify the key requirements, and then make sure your summary addresses these points.
Professional resume summary examples
Since there's nothing quite like seeing an example of a great summary, we've compiled twenty-seven great resume summary examples that you can use as inspirational templates for your own perfect resume. Below, you'll find summary examples for a variety of different job roles, including:
Customer Service Representative
Human Resources Manager
Data Entry Clerk
Mental Health Counselor
High School Teacher
Digital Marketing Manager
Software Support Specialist
1. Customer Service Representative resume summary example
"Highly motivated Customer Service Representative with 5 years of experience in delivering service excellence. Skilled in conflict resolution and problem-solving, resulting in a 95% customer satisfaction rate. Proven ability to multitask in fast-paced environments while maintaining accuracy and attention to detail."
Why it works: This summary highlights the candidate's experience and skills while also showcasing their relevant achievements in ensuring customer satisfaction. It mentions how much experience they have and calls out a measurable success.
2. Sales Representative resume summary example
"Dynamic Sales Representative with a track record of exceeding sales quotas by 20%+. Proficient in consultative sales techniques and relationship building. Exceptional communication and negotiation skills with the ability to close deals."
Why it works: This summary provides a quantifiable achievement to show the candidate's success in their previous sales roles while also highlighting their key skills in relationship building and communication.
3. Marketing Manager resume summary example
"Strategic Marketing Manager with 7+ years of experience in developing and executing successful marketing campaigns across multiple channels. Skilled in market research and analysis, campaign optimization, and team leadership. Proven track record of driving revenue growth and increasing brand awareness."
Why it works: This summary emphasizes the candidate's experience and leadership skills while also showcasing their ability to drive results through successful marketing campaigns. The candidate has also demonstrated their ability to grow revenues and raise brand awareness.
4. Project Manager resume summary example
"Accomplished Project Manager, with confidence in leading cross-functional teams and managing project timelines, budgets, and resources. Strong communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to build relationships with stakeholders. Proven track record of delivering projects on time and within budget."
Why it works: This summary highlights the candidate's extensive project management experience and emphasizes their ability to successfully deliver projects while working with multiple stakeholders.
5. Software Developer resume summary example
"Innovative Software Developer with 5+ years of experience in designing, developing, and implementing complex software applications. Skilled in programming languages including Java, Python, and C++. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in Agile environments to deliver high-quality code on time."
Why it works: This job seeker has taken the time to highlight some of the technical skills they possess, while emphasizing their ability to work in Agile environments. They also call attention to the fact that they can take a software development project from design to implementation.
6. Human Resources Manager resume summary example
"Experienced Human Resources Manager specializing in talent acquisition, employee relations, and performance management. Skilled in developing and implementing HR policies and procedures that align with business objectives and values. Proven track record of building and managing high-performing teams."
Why it works: This summary highlights the candidate's experience in various HR functions and emphasizes their ability to build and manage teams. It also shows that they can perform managerial functions like developing policies and procedures.
7. Graphic Designer resume summary example
"Creative Graphic Designer with particular expertise in developing and executing visually stunning designs for print and digital media. Proficient in Adobe Creative Cloud, with a focus on typography and layout. Strong communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously."
Why it works: This summary works well because it showcases their technical skills and experience while also emphasizing creativity and an ability to work collaboratively.
8. Registered Nurse resume summary example
"Compassionate Registered Nurse with over 10 years' experience in providing high-quality patient care. Skilled at patient assessment, medication administration, and treatment plan development. Strong communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to build rapport with patients and their families."
Why it works: This summary emphasizes the candidate's clinical and patient care experience and highlights their key nursing and interpersonal skills.
9. Financial Analyst resume summary example
“Detail-oriented Financial Analyst with a strong background in financial modeling, data analysis, and forecasting. Combines advanced Excel skills with the ability to create and manage financial reports. Able to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams.”
Why it works: This summary showcases the applicant's specific skills and experience in financial analysis and highlights their proficiency in Excel, a crucial tool for the role.
10. Administrative Assistant resume summary example
“Skilled Administrative Assistant with 8 years of experience in administrative support and office administration. Resilient, detail-oriented, and able to work under extreme pressure in a team environment. Excellent interpersonal, client management, and interdepartmental liaison skills. Committed to successful management of multiple simultaneous projects, strict adherence to deadline requirements, and accurate maintenance of schedules, meeting obligations, and records.”
Why it works: An Administrative Assistant wears many hats and experiences many challenges. This resume summary covers a lot of ground to demonstrate that the candidate understands those obstacles and knows how to overcome them.
11. Data Entry Clerk resume summary example
“Task-driven and results-oriented professional with more than 10 years of experience in data entry, project coordination, and customer service. Uses interpersonal skills including effective communication to build rapport and positive relations with customers, gather vital information, and ensure rapid and accurate entry of data into designated software programs.”
Why it works: This resume summary is effective because it gets right to the heart of the job: dealing with customers and entering data into databases. The candidate also emphasizes their results-focused mindset, project skills, and key soft skills.
12. Business Analyst resume summary example
“Results-driven Business Analyst with a proven record in expanding profitability by 55% in the retail industry. Confident carrying out data-focused analysis that provides key insights and recommendations for growth strategies. Strong interpersonal and team building skills, innovative approach to problem-solving, and resolute commitment to efficiency and productivity.”
Why it works: Business analysis is all about using data and research to deliver key insights that result in improved operations and greater business success. This summary hits all the right notes as it focuses on key skills, a solutions-oriented mindset, and notable achievements that reflect real value for employers.
13. Operations Manager resume summary example
“Results-oriented Operations Manager with more than 10 years of supervisory experience in high-level operational environments. Adept at coordinating both large and small teams, outside consultants, and mid-level management personnel. Successfully introduced Lean manufacturing principles that reduced costs by 32% via waste elimination and process revitalization.”
Why it works: This candidate's summary emphasizes key skills that the employer wants to see in any managerial candidate, while also showcasing their knowledge of best operational practices and a commitment to cost reduction.
14. Mental Health Counselor resume summary example
“Compassionate Mental Health Counselor with more than a decade of experience addressing mental health issues and behavioral concerns. Proven success in both individual and group counseling environments, assisting clients in gaining insight and understanding of their unique conditions. Specialized focus on working with young adults and families, with an emphasis on addressing substance abuse root causes and other social factors involved in mental health.”
Why it works: This resume summary is notable for citing important skills like empathy and compassion. It also focuses attention on the candidate's experience in dealing with common mental health concerns and hints at their preferred approach to assisting patients.
15. High School Teacher resume summary example
“Dynamic high school teacher with 12 years of experience developing approved curricula for more than 500 students in grades 9-12. Proven track record of helping students to achieve a 98% passing rate in both Western Civilization and World History instruction. Actively engaged in every aspect of education, at the district, local, and parent-teacher level.”
Why it works: This candidate's resume summary highlights their vast experience, while illustrating their success in ensuring that their students learn what they need to know to pass the class. They also demonstrate their commitment to the educational process by highlighting their involvement in every area of education.
16. Accountant resume summary example
“Diligent and detail-oriented CPA with seven years of experience in accounting, process improvement, and problem-solving. Skilled at identifying inefficiencies and using reporting to offer insights that can guide employers to better practices and greater profitability. At XYZ Corp., identified labor usage inefficiency that motivated management to introduce new scheduling that eliminated $300,000 in labor waste.”
Why it works: In addition to highlighting a wide range of valuable skills, this candidate also focused on a quantifiable achievement that illustrates real value. This type of summary would certainly capture a hiring manager's attention and make them want to read more!
17. Event Manager resume summary example
“Resilient and creative Event Manager with 6 years of corporate experience. Detail-oriented perfectionist with experience in project management, team leadership, and customer relations. Successfully organized and executed more than 40 major business conferences, hosting thousands of guests. Major clients have included three Fortune 500 firms with multi-million-dollar event budgets.
Why it works: As Event Managers go, this one has certainly made the rounds. That summary of achievements highlights their ability to manage even large-scale events, dealing with every aspect of the project. How could a serious hiring manager not want to learn more about this candidate?
18. IT Manager resume summary example
“Dedicated IT Manager with significant experience in an innovative and growing tech firm. Skilled leader with experience in systems analysis, database architecture, problem-solving, and troubleshooting. Superior client satisfaction rate of more than 99%. Created and implemented IT troubleshooting process that reduced internal client service time by 30%.”
Why it works: This IT professional focuses attention on their key leadership skills, while also mentioning the hard skills that any hiring manager is likely to be looking for. There's also a nice nod to their history of satisfying clients, as well as a notable and measurable achievement.
19. Product Designer resume summary example
“Innovative Design Engineer with 5 years of experience in the development of products and packages. Skilled in market research, brand development and alignment, and design elements. Led team of seventeen Designers in the creation of industrial products that yielded $20 million in sales in the first month after launch.”
Why it works: This resume summary uses some important keywords, action verbs, and descriptive language to describe the candidate's key skills and experiences. It also cites an impressive product design achievement, along with real numbers that showcase value.
20. Content Marketer resume summary example
“Creative marketing professional with 7 years' experience as a Content Marketer. Skilled writer who understands how written communication empowers business growth and expansion. Expertise in development of compelling content that drives activities across multiple media channels. Adaptable, detail-oriented, and focused on a brand-building approach to content strategy that drives real results. Developed a cross-platform content strategy that boosted sales conversion rates by 37%.
Why it works: This Content Marketer focuses on their key skills and keen insights into how content impacts business profitability. They even included a measurable result that demonstrates their focus on adding value to their employer's bottom line.
21. SEO Specialist resume summary example
“Results-focused SEO expert with 6 years of experience in keyword mastery, the promotion of sustainable content, and growing organic website search engine rankings. Proven track record of SEO success, using content development and link outreach to expand website traffic activity from 10,000 daily visitors to more than 2,000,000 per year.”
Why it works: Many hiring managers may not fully understand SEO, but they will understand the need to get more eyes on their digital content. This candidate speaks to that need by focusing on website rankings, content, and overall web traffic - while including a quantifiable achievement that demonstrates their ability to make things happen.
22. Copywriter resume summary example
“Website Copywriter with 5 years of experience in developing content that creates real conversions. Cross-channel expertise including website content, advertising, newsletters, press releases, email, and podcast / video scripts. Proven track record of increasing social traffic by 36% and driving a 22% boost in landing page conversions.”
Why it works: This candidate's summary is focused not only on the type of things they write, but how those content pieces directly contribute to the company's online presence and sales conversion rate. This illustrates the writer's understanding of how their work aligns with their employer's business needs and goals.
23. Bank Teller resume summary example
“Empathetic and personable Bank Teller with more than 4 years of experience in client interactions at First Bank. Detail-oriented customer management approach, focused on superior customer experiences and client retention. Strict adherence to bank policy, including safety deposit guidelines, customer account security, and due diligence. Efficiently and effectively processed more than 200 client account interactions each day.”
Why it works: For a Bank Teller, much of the role's value lies in the employee's ability to serve as the face of the branch. This summary is effective because it showcases the Teller's knowledge of bank procedures, while also highlighting their commitment to creating an excellent customer experience.
24. Software Support Specialist resume summary example
“Problem-solving Software Support Specialist with 8 years of experience in customer-facing user assistance. Provided key problem resolution services for hundreds of customers, with a focus on maximizing their satisfaction with the company to increase loyalty and retention. Experienced in both customer and B2B interactions, with a specialized talent for explaining technical problems in language that is easily understood by the average layperson.”
Why it works: This resume summary focuses not only on the candidate's specialized skills in solving computer issues, but also highlights their ability to simplify their explanations to customers.
25. Data Scientist resume summary example
“Committed Data Scientist focused on analytical insights that can drive company growth and development. More than eight years of experience providing data-driven analysis to Fortune 500 executives, based on comprehensive statistical models and detailed historical data patterns. Successfully provided insights and recommendations used to increase company profits by 32% over a two-year period.”
Why it works: Data science may not seem like the most exciting field, but hiring managers are always on the hunt for candidates who understand why data matters. This candidate's focus on providing insights that can translate into real value for the employer is something that is likely to earn a hiring manager's interest.
26. Dental Assistant resume summary example
“Dental Assistant with 5 years of experience with patient preparation, processing, and administrative support. Keen attention to detail and a commitment to dental health and aesthetics. Skilled in dental impressions, hands-on assistance during procedures, x-rays, and record maintenance. Fully committed to developing rapport with patients that creates a welcoming environment and a joyful experience.”
Why it works: This candidate's resume summary not only highlights key Dental Assistant requirements, but also conveys their personal approach to teamwork and patient care.
27. Architect resume summary example
“Creative Architect experienced in high-end architectural design and development oversight. Ten years of proven success in creating sustainable designs that earn rave reviews and commendations from clients. Skilled in adapting to new challenges and working under pressure to achieve every client's vision. Consistently produces designs and project plans that come in on time and under budget, at 10%-30% less cost than industry competitors.”
Why it works: In this summary, the candidate highlights key skills that employers will want to see, while also emphasizing quantifiable results that demonstrate competitive value for the employer. They also showcase their ability to not only design architectural structures but to do so with a conscious awareness of critical factors like budgetary concerns, deadlines, sustainability and market competition.
Bonus: how to write a resume summary if you have no experience
Of course, it's also important to know how to write a resume summary if you have no experience. Here's a quick resume summary example that you can adapt if you are just entering the job market:
“Recent Marketing graduate, seeking an entry-level position to kickstart a career in the field. Demonstrated strong leadership and teamwork skills gained through involvement in various extracurricular activities, including volunteering at local events and leading group projects. Proficient in Microsoft 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud. Passionate about using marketing strategies to create engaging content and drive brand awareness.”
Why it works: This summary works because it highlights the candidate's relevant hard and soft skills and qualifications, even though they don't have direct career experience. The use of action words such as "demonstrated" and "proficient" shows the candidate's confidence in their abilities, which can be attractive to potential employers, showcasing the candidate's potential for success in an entry-level marketing role.
A well-written resume summary can make a significant impact on a job application. A good summary should highlight relevant skills and experiences, use clear and concise language, and avoid unnecessary information. Feel free to customize any of the resume summary examples we've provided to help ensure that your resume captures the attention of potential employers.
We know it can be difficult to condense a whole career full of skills and achievements into a paragraph of only a few sentences. If you're unsure about the document you've crafted, why not send it for a free resume review by our team of expert resume writers?