Home » Career Advice » Resume Tips » Why Your Resume Needs a Professional Summary (and How to Write One)

Resume summary

Why Your Resume Needs a Professional Summary (and How to Write One)

A resume summary is a brief statement that summarizes your skills, experience, and accomplishments in a few sentences. It’s typically the first section of your resume and serves as an introduction to the rest of your document. While some job seekers may overlook the importance of a resume summary, it can make a significant impact on whether or not you get called in for an interview. In this article, we’ll explore why your resume needs a professional summary and how to write one effectively.

The benefits of a resume summary

A resume summary is an opportunity to showcase your most impressive accomplishments and highlight your unique selling points. When recruiters and hiring managers receive a large number of applications for a position, they often only have a few seconds to scan each one before deciding whether or not to consider it further. A well-written resume summary can grab their attention and entice them to read the rest of your resume.

Additionally, a resume summary can help you stand out from other candidates who may have similar qualifications. By highlighting your unique skills and experience, you can demonstrate why you’re the best fit for the job.

Finally, a resume summary can help you tailor your application to the specific job you’re applying for. By including keywords and phrases that match the job description, you can increase your chances of getting past the applicant tracking system (ATS) and into the hands of a human recruiter.

What to include in a resume summary

A resume summary should be concise and focused on your most relevant experience and qualifications. It should be no more than three to four sentences long and should avoid using generic or overused phrases. Instead, focus on specific accomplishments and quantifiable results.

Here are some key elements to include in your resume summary:

Your professional title or job target – Include your current or desired job title to show that you have a clear understanding of the position you’re applying for.

Years of experience – Highlight your relevant experience in the field to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in the role.

Key accomplishments – List some of your most impressive accomplishments, such as awards, certifications, or successful projects you’ve led.

Relevant skills – Highlight your most relevant skills, especially those that match the job description. This can include technical skills, soft skills, and industry-specific knowledge.

Personal traits – Include personal traits that make you a good fit for the position, such as strong communication skills, attention to detail, or a passion for the industry.

Examples of effective resume summaries

Here are some examples of effective resume summaries:

  1. Experienced marketing professional with over 5 years of experience in developing and executing successful campaigns for Fortune 500 companies. Skilled in project management, data analysis, and digital marketing strategies.
  2. Ambitious sales manager with a track record of exceeding quotas and driving revenue growth. Proven ability to lead high-performing teams and develop strong client relationships.
  3. Detail-oriented administrative assistant with 3 years of experience supporting executive-level staff. Proficient in Microsoft Office and skilled in managing calendars, travel arrangements, and expenses.
  4. Certified nursing assistant with 2 years of experience providing compassionate care to patients in a hospital setting. Skilled in monitoring vital signs, administering medication, and assisting with daily activities.
  5. Innovative software engineer with a passion for developing cutting-edge applications. Proficient in multiple programming languages, including Java, Python, and C++, and experienced in agile development methodologies.

Tips for writing a strong resume summary

Here are some tips for writing a strong resume summary:

  • Tailor your summary to the job description – Review the job description and use keywords and phrases that match the requirements of the position.
  • Keep it concise – Your summary should be no more than three to four sentences long.
  • Focus on your most relevant experience – Highlight your most relevant experience and qualifications, rather than listing every job you’ve had.
  • Use quantifiable results – Whenever possible, use specific numbers or metrics to demonstrate the impact of your accomplishments.
  • Avoid using generic phrases – Avoid using clichéd phrases like “results-driven” or “team player”. Instead, use specific examples to demonstrate your skills and accomplishments.
  • Write in the first person – Write your summary in the first person to make it more personal and engaging but leave out the pronoun (I, my, we, etc.).
  • Proofread and edit – Make sure to proofread and edit your summary for spelling and grammatical errors.


A resume summary is a crucial part of your job application. It provides a snapshot of your skills, experience, and qualifications, and can help you stand out from other candidates. By tailoring your summary to the job description, focusing on your most relevant experience, and using specific examples and quantifiable results, you can create a compelling summary that entices recruiters and hiring managers to read the rest of your resume.

Remember, your resume summary is your chance to make a great first impression. So take the time to craft a professional, concise, and effective summary that showcases your unique qualifications and sets you apart from other candidates.