According to statistics, you only have about 7 seconds to impress recruiters with your resume.
During these seconds, they decide whether to move you through to the next round, or whether to send your job application to the rejected pile.
As stressful as this might seem, there’s plenty you can do to put your resume at an advantage.
The very first step: write a convincing resume summary.
A resume summary is the very first section of a resume that most recruiters check. If you do it right, you’re almost guaranteed an interview.
Our guide covers all of the writing tips and examples you need to create a compelling resume summary for any experience level and job type.
A resume summary summarizes your top achievements, skills and responsibilities as a professional
You write a summary or an objective for your resume depending on your past work experience.
A resume summary should be short – 2 to 5 sentences (at most).
You should write a resume summary when you have relevant skills and experience to talk about, and a resume objective when you don’t.
A resume summary consists of three key elements: professional title, general experience, and top skills and achievements.
What is a Resume Summary?
A resume summary is exactly what it sounds like: a brief summary of what your resume contains. In other words, it’s a preview of who you are as a professional and what special qualities you bring to the table.
Specifically speaking, in a resume summary, you highlight your top skills, achievements, and relevant career experience in two to five sentences.
As a rule of thumb, the more applicable experience and accomplishments you have, the longer your resume summary should be.
Now, you might be wondering: why is this section necessary?
As briefly mentioned in the introduction, recruiters don’t have time to read every candidate’s specific job experience and responsibilities. Hence, they’ll scan your resume summary for specific keywords they look for in a suitable candidate.
If you grab their attention, they will read more, which in turn increases the likelihood of you landing an interview.
All of this said, there are a few scenarios in which you can skip writing a resume summary altogether.
Let’s check them out.
When Should You Use a Resume Summary?
When crafting a resume, you can choose between two optional sections to use as an introduction: a resume summary or a resume objective.
A resume summary gives the employer a recap of your past work experiences and accomplishments.
A resume objective, on the contrary, is a statement where you talk about your career goals in the field you’re applying to.
Both sections describe why you’re fit for the job, but there is a key difference.
A resume summary showcases your past experience, whereas an objective shows your future career goals for the job position. The summary is more focused on tangible evidence of your success, whereas in the objective, the focus is more on motivation and ambition.
Still not sure which one is a better fit for your resume? Check out these pointers:
Resume Summary Pointers
Write a resume summary if you:
Have relevant work experience for the position.
Are applying for a similar role in a different company or sector.
Write a resume objective if you:
Are switching careers.
Don’t have any work experience or any relevant work experience.
Now that you know the difference, let’s go through the step-by-step process of writing an effective resume summary.
How to Write a Resume Summary?
There are no hard and fast rules for writing a resume summary.
This said, an effective resume summary always includes the following elements (usually in chronological order):
Your professional title, e.g.: “Highly motivated and detail-oriented Marketing Manager with 8+ years of experience …”
Your general experience, e.g.: “Eager to demonstrate my skills in crafting paid advertisements, conducting email campaigns, and executing the use of software such as …”
Top achievements with measurable results (if applicable),e.g.: “Successfully led teams of 5-20 people across technology, production, and design departments …”
Let’s check out a good resume summary example that follows the above-mentioned framework for the position of a school psychologist:
Resume Summary Example
Sympathetic and driven School Psychologist with over 5 years of experience in assisting youth with academic, social, and mental health issues. Trained in personal and group counseling, developing new behavioral strategies, and coordinating effective social skills groups. Successfully performed over 100+ counseling sessions, with duties including identifying behavioral and emotional patterns, and making recommendations consistent with students’ needs.
Here’s why this resume summary is a good example:
It lists the professional job title relevant to the position
The years of working experience are highlighted
It signals that the candidate has general training and experience
Finally, it showcases a top achievement with measurable results and main duties
Now, let’s look at a bad example of a resume summary for the same position:
I am an experienced School Psychologist looking to use my background in child psychology and counseling. I'm looking forward to taking on new challenges and learning more on the job.
Here’s why this resume summary is such a bad example:
It’s vague and generic—there is little to no information relevant to the specific job. You can look forward to new challenges and learning in almost every job position.
It shows no measurable results or numbers to prove what’s being said. Saying you have work experience is good, but proving it with data makes you look even better.
Still need help writing your resume summary? Let’s go over some more helpful tips.
5 Tips to Write a Convincing Resume Summary
Here are our top 5 tips you can use to write a convincing resume summary:
Five Resume Summary Tips
Research the industry and company you’re applying for. Do this by analyzing the job ad and description, keywords, and phrases specific to the industry, as well as crucial job skills. Try to answer the following:
What kind of person does the company seek?
What are the key skills and expertise required?
What issues do they hope to address by filling this position?
See where you fit into the puzzle. In a spreadsheet, write down your key achievements, experiences, skills, and education that fit the job description.
Include numbers - years of experience, number of projects, number of customers or clients, team size, number of employees managed, and so on.
Use first person but leave out the ‘I’ pronoun. So, instead of saying “I am a registered nurse with 10 years of experience," say “Registered nurse with 10 years of experience”.
Include achievements over responsibilities, as they’re the most impressive.
4 Resume Summary Examples for Candidates with Different Experience Levels
So far, we’ve covered only the basics of resume summary writing.
But one of the most important factors that dictates how your summary will look is the level of experience you have in the industry.
So, let’s check out 4 resume summary examples of candidates with different experience levels, specifically: college, entry-level, career change, and management examples.
College Resume Summary Example
If you’re in college, you most likely don’t have a lot of work experience to showcase.
But don’t worry!
You can add academic accomplishments and extracurricular or volunteer activities to your resume summary to show the recruiter you are qualified for the job. Mention a strong GPA and focus on leadership and team skills.
Here’s an example of a college resume summary:
College student studying Political Science at XYZ University, seeking to leverage my 3.92 GPA and leadership skills to obtain the political research assistant position at ABC Company.
Entry-Level Resume Summary Example
Similarly, applying for an entry-level position means you don’t have much experience to brag about in your resume summary.
So, you have to ensure the recruiter that your relevant skills make up for the lack of experience.
Here’s an example of a resume summary for the position of an entry-level Content Writer, using bullet points:
Hard-working graduate with a degree in Creative Writing.
Proficient in Microsoft Office and comfortable with Content Management Systems such as WordPress.
Resilient and able to accept constructive feedback.
Organized, independent writer with strong time-management skills.
Career Change Resume Summary Example
When writing a resume summary for a career change, the first thing to do is to make a list of any transferable work experience and skills.
So, for instance, say you worked for 3 years as a Marketing Specialist and now you want to apply for a Business Consultant position.
What do both of these positions require?
To name a few: strong research and data collection skills, excellent interpersonal skills, and a degree in Business Administration or a related field.
This is how you’d turn these qualities into a summary for a career change resume:
Marketing Specialist with over 3+ years of experience in marketing research, ad campaigns, and pricing strategies looking to leverage data collection and interpersonal skills as a Business Consultant at ABC Company. Excellent track record of identifying business needs and weaknesses, averaging an increase in sales of $4,000 per month through a dedicated growth marketing plan.
Management Resume Summary Example
While individual roles and responsibilities for management positions vary depending on the specific industry you’re applying to, all management jobs require some interchangeable hard and soft skills.
These include budgeting, administrative skills, relationship management, critical thinking, and good time management. So, make sure to always incorporate these into your management resume, alongside your previous key work experience and accomplishments.
Here’s an illustrative resume summary example for the position of a human resources manager:
Attentive and communicative Human Resource Manager with 5+ years of experience. Strategic leader experienced in managing personnel records and payroll, hiring and training new recruits, and resolving employee conflicts. Earned Global HR Certification and increased employee satisfaction by 25% while working as a recruiter at XYZ Company.
45 Resume Summary Examples for Different Jobs
A resume summary can also differ depending on what you do, not just the level of experience you have.
So, let’s take a look at the main job categories and break them down field-by-field.
Administrative Jobs Resume Summary Examples
Administrative Assistant Resume Summary Example
“Organized and emotionally-intelligent Administrative Assistant with 3+ years of experience. Proven ability to simultaneously manage multiple products in a fast-paced work environment. Extensive experience with clerical tasks, Microsoft Office, and database management.”
Executive Assistant Resume Summary Example
“Energetic and accomplished Executive Assistant with 6 years of experience in providing support to the CEO and other executives at XYZ Industries. Helped with everything from reviewing, prioritizing, and responding to emails, to customer support and coordinating travel arrangements. Highly skilled at QuickBooks, Microsoft Office, Zoom, Slack, and Google Workspace.”
Secretary Resume Summary Example
“Attentive School Secretary with two years of experience providing administrative support in XYZ Secondary School. Possess outstanding communication and organizational skills, as well as a keen eye for detail. Capable of using basic computer applications and office equipment.”
Front Desk Receptionist Resume Summary Example
“Diligent Front-Desk Receptionist with five years of customer service experience. Efficient in handling administrative and front-desk duties in large offices. Fluent in English and Italian and proficient in Microsoft Office.”
Office Manager Resume Summary Example
“Organized and experienced Office Manager with 12+ years of experience managing offices, ranging from 10 to 20 members, in the real estate, finance, and marketing industries. Holds a Business Administration degree from the top-ranked Columbia University, has strong analytical skills, and is able to effectively work in a collaborative team.”
Marketing Jobs Resume Summary Examples
Junior Marketing Assistant Resume Summary Example
"Creative Marketing Assistant with 5 years of experience conducting in-depth market research and distinguished marketing campaigns. Recognized and awarded “Employee of the Month” for my ability to produce high-quality content and use digital marketing initiatives to boost click-through and conversion rates.”
Junior SEO Specialist Resume Summary Example
“Results-driven Junior SEO Specialist with extensive knowledge in conducting keyword research and generating organic traffic for companies. Possess Google Marketing Consultant Certification and have a passion for driving brand awareness and product performance. Prepared marketing proposals and content, resulting in an average annual traffic increase of 32% for clients.”
Copywriter Resume Summary Example
“Expert Copywriter with broad experience and strong skills in writing content and ad copy. Excellent persuasive writing abilities, as well as a keen sense of detail and accuracy. Able to collaborate effectively with all levels of management and team members.”
Social Media Marketing Manager Resume Summary Example
“Motivated Social Media Manager with 5+ years of professional experience in related roles. Implemented innovative marketing methods that increased brand recognition and online reach by 80% in only five months. Aspiring to use my experience and track record to help raise XYZ Inc's social media engagement even higher.”
Management Jobs Resume Summary Examples
Project Manager Resume Summary Example
“Qualified Strategic Project Manager with 3+ years of experience leading unique projects that exceed expectations, both on time and within budget. Exceptional time management, organizational, negotiation, and critical-thinking skills. Met all deadlines for 3 straight years, increasing Company ABC’s market share by 11%.”
Marketing Manager Resume Summary Example
“Driven Marketing Manager with an MS in Strategic Marketing and more than 4+ years of work experience. Oversaw the marketing budget every year, improved web presence using SEO strategies, and optimized advertising sources for Company A, increasing their savings by 26% in 2019.”
Human Resources Manager Resume Summary Example
“Human Resource Manager with 6+ years of experience and an MBA in Leadership and Organizational Psychology. Well-versed in designing and managing recruiting, onboarding, and compensation plans, improving retention rates by 11% annually. 2017 “HR Manager of the Year” award winner, as well as PHR and SHRM-SCP, certified.”
Hospitality Jobs Resume Summary Examples
Housekeeper Resume Summary Example
“Organized Housekeeper with over 3 years of experience maintaining a clean and pleasant environment for hotel guests. Self-directed and detail-oriented professional with great interpersonal skills, always aiming to achieve and maintain elegance.”
Server Resume Summary Example
“Experienced Server with more than 4 years of restaurant experience in fine-dining and upscale establishments. Greeted and seated customers in a 100-guest restaurant while maintaining a 97% or higher guest service rating in the past 4 years. Outstanding record of success in meeting each customer’s needs in a warm, friendly, and welcoming manner.”
Bartender Resume Summary Example
“Outgoing Bartender with 5 years of experience in cocktail preparation and running bar areas. Recognized for providing excellent customer service to 3,000+ weekly customers and for maintaining work areas organized, stocked, and tidy.”
Cook Resume Summary Example
“Cook with 3+ years of experience. Comprehensive knowledge of food industry standards and their utilization in a busy food establishment. Excellent attention to detail in both cooking and inventory management. Providing advanced food preparation methods, food hygiene standards, and the ability to serve delicious food on time.”
Bar Manager Resume Summary Example
“Accredited Bar Manager and seasoned mixologist specializing in classic beverages and modern masterpieces. Passionate about passing on knowledge and training the next generation of bartenders. Customer-first outlook and a strict focus on quality, delivering exceptional experiences that turn first-time visitors into long-term customers.”
Customer Support Jobs Resume Summary Examples
Customer Service Specialist Resume Summary Example
“Customer Service Specialist with five years of retail experience answering all types of customer queries. Career highlights included being named "Employee of the Month" 28 times in 60 months and obtaining 98% positive customer survey results. Seeking a position at XYZ Tech where I can utilize my service skills to achieve and maintain the best possible customer satisfaction.”
Technical Support Specialist Resume Summary Example
“Customer service-oriented Technical Support Specialist with 2 years of experience working at help desks. Excellent skills in system analysis, diagnostics, debugging, and conflict management. Outstanding organizational and problem-solving abilities. Certified as a Microsoft Solutions Expert and advanced in SQL, C++, Bash, and Linux.”
Account Manager Resume Summary Example
“Account Manager with 4 years of experience leading negotiations and managing 80+ agent-client relationships. Extensive experience with Hubspot, Salesforce, ROI analysis, and Microsoft Office. Increased brand awareness by 125% by effectively executing corporate and consumer media objectives.”
Sales Jobs Resume Summary Examples
Cashier Resume Summary Example
“Energetic, friendly Cashier with 2 years of experience, valued for fast and accurate handling of customer transactions. Able to efficiently address customer concerns and needs, while swiftly moving them through the check-out process. Announced “Cashier of the Month” 3 months in a row.”
Sales Associate Resume Summary Example
“Enthusiastic Sales Associate with 2 years of experience in retail customer service. Recognized for my ability to provide exceptional service that guarantees client retention and positive responses. Assisted an average of 40 customers a day, receiving a score of 97% or higher in customer feedback surveys.”
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Resume Summary Example
“Pharmaceutical Sales Representative for 2 years, with an MS in Pharmaceutical Health from the University of Georgia. Clear and persuasive communicator, with an engaging interpersonal style that allows me to establish a strong rapport with my clients and colleagues. In only two years, grew market share by 16% for 25+ products, as well as scored above 97% in quarterly product knowledge tests.”
Retail Manager Resume Summary Example
“Enthusiastic Retail Manager with more than a decade of experience and a history of success in retail management. Outstanding customer support, teamwork, advertising, and time management skills. Regularly surpassed quarterly sales targets by up to 16% in 2021.”
Education Jobs Resume Summary Examples
High School Teacher Resume Summary Example
“Committed and hardworking High School Teacher with a degree in Mathematics looking for a permanent role at ABC School. Highlights of my five years of teaching experience include growing the college admission success rate at XYZ High School by 45%. Excited to utilize my 5,000+ hours of classroom experience to create an uplifting learning experience for your students.”
Tutor Resume Summary Example
“English Tutor with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies, with 3 years of experience. Skilled at conveying complex knowledge in a clear, easy-to-understand manner. Looking to tutor high school students and first-year college students so that they can attain exceptional exam results.”
Special Education Teacher Resume Summary Example
“A pioneering Special Education teacher of 5 years with a strong passion for education. Known for fostering a caring and upbeat classroom atmosphere. Constantly looking for new ways to help kids go beyond their limits.”
College Professor Resume Summary Example
“Charismatic Economics College Professor with 6 years of experience teaching 300- and 400-level courses, as well as delivering educational assistance to over 400 students a year. Determined to provide students with the essential tools they need to achieve academic goals while instilling a love for Economics, research, and cooperative teamwork.”
Resume Summary Examples for Medical Jobs
CNA Resume Summary Example
“Credible, caring nursing professional with three years of experience as a CNA, providing excellent patient care and charting expertise. Empathetic and technically skilled in providing for patients in a variety of healthcare settings. BLS and CPR certified.”
Medical Assistant Resume Summary Example
“Qualified Medical Assistant seeking to use patient care abilities to assist service at Medical A Hospital. 7+ years of experience includes working in a high-volume care clinic for urgent care patients, taking vital signs, and assisting with all aspects of patient care. Top accomplishments include handling EHR paperwork for all visits, which resulted in 27% fewer errors than the average.”
Physical Therapist Resume Summary Example
“Physical Therapist with more than 8 years of experience providing physical therapy services in home healthcare and residential treatment health facilities. Capable of assessing patients' rehabilitation needs, establishing therapy and treatment plans, and directing physical therapy programs.”
Finance & Accounting Jobs Resume Summary Examples
Bank Teller Resume Summary Example
“Dedicated bank teller with 6 years of experience working at DEF Bank, where I adjusted ledgers, handled cash, and maintained accounts, among other things. Throughout my employment, I maintained a 98% customer satisfaction rating. Looking for an opportunity to use my communication skills, sharp thinking, and banking knowledge as a bank teller at Bank GMK.”
Data Entry Clerk Resume Summary Example
“Attentive Data Entry Clerk of 3 years, with extensive experience in delivering tasks to clients on time and without error. Extremely coordinated, with deep expertise in data acquisition work, customer support, and typing at speeds exceeding 72 WPM while ensuring privacy and precision.”
Junior Accountant Resume Summary Example
“Accurate and detail-oriented Junior Accountant. Capable of managing accounts payable, performing a thorough cost-benefit analysis, retaining all financial reporting records and files, and developing annual budget estimates. Excellent communicator with strong analytical and teamwork abilities. Managed to reduce overall business expenditure by 15%, saving $20,000 a year during my 5 years at ABC Company.”
Accounts Receivable Specialist Resume Summary Example
“4+ years of experience as an Accounts Receivable Specialist. Devoted to creditor compliance, implemented invoice optimization, and improved creditor contact protocols, resulting in a 23% decrease in default payments, equal to $82,000 in savings. Seeking to take on new AR challenges and achieve maximum payment received on terms.”
Financial Analyst Resume Summary Example
“High-ranking Financial Analyst with 5 years of experience looking for a position at Company B. Previous accomplishments include assisting Company A in reducing costs by more than 12% by reducing waste procedures. Competent in risk management, data validation methodologies, and other areas. CPA-certified.”
IT Jobs Resume Summary Examples
IT Specialist Resume Summary Example
“Reliable IT Specialist with 4+ years of experience delivering systems and applications support to end customers and infrastructure units. Dedicated to providing first-rate tech assistance to executives, clients, and vendors. CRISC certified with advanced knowledge in C++, Java, Oracle, Bash, and Linux.”
Software Engineer Resume Summary Example
“Seasoned Software Engineer with a track record of delivering first-class software for a broad range of clients. 10+ years of industry experience pioneering large engineering teams using Agile frameworks to achieve clear objectives on a tight deadline. Possess database management skills, and proficient knowledge in .Net, Java, C++, and MySQL.”
Data Analyst Resume Summary Example
“Demanding and careful Data Analyst, passionate about helping companies grow through informed strategic business decisions. Over two years of experience conducting research using personal surveys and 4 different focus groups, resulting in sales increasing by 15% in only three months.”
Web Developer Resume Summary Example
“Motivated and skilled Web Developer with a track record of creating award-winning applications for a broad range of clients. 5+ years of industry experience involving coding, troubleshooting, and schematic design. Every web application constructed for Software Y received 90%+ experience rankings.”
Resume Summary Examples for Other Jobs
Real Estate Agent Resume Summary Example
“Dedicated Real Estate Agent with almost 10 years of property management experience. Has closed 75+ successful transactions as the buyer's sole representative. An active member of the National Association of Realtors and the Estate Buyer’s Agent Council. Up-to-date with the most recent real estate trends and continuously improving property management skills.”
Electrical Engineer Resume Summary Example
“Committed Electrical Engineer with 2 years of experience in designing, maintaining, and constructing commercial electrical installations. Graduated with a BSc in Electrical Engineering from MIT with a 3.82 GPA. Proficient in design and calculation software.”
Junior Architect Resume Summary Example
“Competent and client-centered Junior Architectural Designer offering 5 years of experience in project management, 3D Revit modeling, completion of RFIs, as well as research, programming, and space planning. Possess technical drawing skills, computer proficiency, strong teamwork skills, and a passion for sustainable architectural design.”
Graphic Designer Resume Summary Example
“Creative and dynamic Graphic Designer with a rich background in marketing design. More than 3 years of experience in creating visuals for Google Ads, banner ads, and company logos. Skilled in Adobe Creative Suite, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat DC, InDesign, and more. Pursued outside-the-box branding initiatives that led to a 25% increase in customer interest.”