BlogResume WritingHow to Write a Summary of Qualifications for Your Resume

How to Write a Summary of Qualifications for Your Resume

summary of qualifications

What a blurb is to a book, a summary of qualifications is to your resume; it will either invite a reader to keep reading and learn more or make them throw it away.

A recruiter sifts through hundreds of applications per job posting, spending no more than 6–8 seconds on each resume or cover letter. If you fail to grab their attention in those several seconds, your application will be discarded.

To prevent this, we’ll teach you how to write a monumental summary of your qualifications. Keep reading!

Key Takeaways

  • A summary of qualifications highlights the most notable achievements and experiences from your resume.

  • While it’s similar to a resume summary, a qualification summary offers more specific figures and facts to support your key accomplishments and skills.

  • To craft an impressive summary of qualifications, list your KPIs and problems you’ve solved, as well as significant awards and publications.

  • Besides drawing a recruiter’s attention, a qualification summary lets you personalize your application, clearly demonstrate your strongest achievements, and highlight your soft skills.

What is a Summary of Qualifications?

A summary or statement of qualifications refers to the first (and usually optional) section of your resume that shows your competencies that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Formatted as a bullet list, it is placed below a resume header and highlights your key professional achievements, relevant experience, and skills.

The primary purpose of this section is to entice a recruiter or hiring manager to read your resume to its very end by drawing their attention right off the bat. 

Besides that, it is ATS-friendly and allows you to pass the screening system. It includes a bunch of position-specific keywords that an applicant tracking system will immediately recognize. 

Typically, professionals with extensive experience will include a summary of qualifications in their resumes. The reason for this lies in the fact that they have lots of achievements to mention, which hiring professionals can spot instantly in this section. 

Still, this doesn’t mean that you should skip this part if you have little to no experience. On the contrary, you can make the most of it by specifying your best academic achievements. This way, you can compel a recruiter to keep reading and discover why you would be a good fit for an entry-level role.

Summary of Qualifications vs. Resume Summary/Objective

Though both a resume summary and a resume objective may be similar to a qualification summary at first glance, the difference between them is significant. 

A statement of qualifications focuses more heavily on the accomplishments and skills you’re most proud of and provides more specific details such as figures, statistics, or percentages to support them.  

A resume summary is an overview of your professional background. It consists of two to four sentences and emphasizes both experience and achievements, but not in much detail. As such, it’s suitable for professionals with several years of expertise in the industry. 

A resume objective, on the other hand, summarizes your career goals in two or three sentences. It doesn’t highlight experience and professional achievements, so it is perfect for students or graduates looking for their first job or professionals who are seeking a career change.

Check out an example of a resume summary:

Resume Summary Example

Experienced and result-oriented marketing professional with a proven track record in digital marketing. Expertise in strategic planning, campaign execution, and data analytics. Skilled in driving brand awareness, engagement, and revenue growth. 

And this is what a resume objective looks like:

Resume Objective Example

Aspiring marketing professional eager to apply their enthusiasm and strong academic background in marketing to learn in a dynamic entry-level role. Looking for an opportunity to contribute to a team, develop practical skills, and grow within a supportive environment.

How to Write a Summary of Qualifications

When writing your qualification summary, there are several tips to follow and things to pay attention to:

Summary of Qualifications Guidelines

  • Select the four strongest parts of your resume and paraphrase them. Highlight years of experience, the hard and soft skills you possess, successful projects, awards and recognitions, and leadership positions.

  • Let the top bullet describe your professional title in the best way possible.

  • Make sure that you always tailor your qualification summary to the job application by selecting the qualifications you possess that resonate with it.

  • Peruse the job description to grasp what a recruiter looks for in a candidate, then use your summary of qualifications to explain why you’re a good match for the job.

  • Make each achievement measurable by supporting it with figures and percentages.

  • Keep your qualification summary brief and on the spot. Every bullet point should be one line long in order to keep your resume neat and intelligible.

  • Use active voice to convey a more impactful message.

  • Avoid using words such as ‘I,’ ‘me,’ or ‘my;’ start your clauses with action verbs instead.

  • Include job- or industry-specific keywords to pass the ATS. If you’re unsure of where to find them, refer to the job description. Make sure that you don’t overuse these, though, as your resume may end up flagged.

3 Expert Qualifications Summary Examples by Level of Seniority

job search websites

If you’re still unsure of what this section should look like, check out the summary of qualification examples for different seniority levels we’ve prepared for you.

#1. Standard Candidates

If you are a seasoned professional with plenty of work experience, begin your qualification summary with your professional title. Next, add how many years of experience you have and select three to four achievements you’re most proud of.

Here’s an illustration of a summary of qualifications for a customer service manager:

Customer Service Manager Example

  • Customer Service Manager with 7 years of experience managing a team of 50 customer service agents

  • Successfully resolved 96% of customer complaints passed on from customer support agents

  • Developed roster for three shifts working 24/7 with less than 1% error rate

  • Organized 5 annual training sessions on customer relations that resulted in a 20% drop in customer cancellations

#2. Entry-Level Candidates

Crafting the statement of qualification may be a bit tricky if you’re just starting out. Still, it’s not unattainable. You should only swap the traditional information on experience and accomplishments with achievements you’ve made as a student and add relevant skills.

Here’s how:

Entry-Level Candidates Example

  • Recent graduate with a BA in Economics and Finance with a solid academic record focusing on financial principles

  • Proficiency in quantitative analysis and data interpretation using tools for effective decision-making

  • Developed strong financial modeling skills, demonstrating the ability to forecast and evaluate financial trends

  • Proactive learner committed to continuous professional development and staying informed about evolving trends in finance and economics

#3. Career Changers

If you’re changing careers, the summary of qualifications section is your opportunity to shine. Use it to persuade the recruiter that you’re the right candidate by listing the most unique skills you have.

Here’s an example:

Career Changers Example

  • Creative professional with a background in art education transitioning into a graphic design career

  • Solid understanding of artistic principles and design fundamentals, with a focus on creating visually compelling and impactful designs

  • Proficient in graphic design software and producing high-quality and aesthetically pleasing artwork

  • Strong eye for detail and design aesthetics

5 Summary of Qualification Examples by Industry

In case you were wondering how to describe your qualifications for a job, we present you with summary of job qualification examples for various industries. 

Check them out:

#1. Retail Worker

This is how to create a summary of qualifications if you’re seeking employment in retail:

Retail Worker Example

  • Result-oriented Retail Professional with 5 years of experience.

  • Accomplished a 20% increase in sales through effective upselling and cross-selling techniques.

  • Reduced inventory discrepancies by 15% through meticulous tracking and efficient restocking procedures.

  • Maintained a 95% customer satisfaction rate by addressing inquiries and resolving issues promptly.

#2. Sales Manager

Check out the example of a qualification summary for a sales manager:

Sales Manager Example

  •  Dynamic Sales Manager with 7 years of experience leading high-performing teams.

  • Surpassed quarterly sales targets by 25%, leading a high-performing sales team.

  • Implemented a new sales strategy that resulted in a 30% increase in revenue within six months.

  • Fostered key client relationships, contributing to a 20% growth in repeat business.

#3. Marketing Manager

Here’s an example of a summary of qualifications for a marketing manager:

Marketing Manager Example

  • Strategic Marketing Manager with 8 years of experience in developing and executing successful campaigns.

  • Executed a digital marketing campaign that boosted online engagement by 40%.

  • Led a rebranding initiative, resulting in a 15% increase in brand awareness.

  • Achieved a 25% conversion rate improvement through targeted marketing strategies.

#4. Project Manager

This is what a summary of qualifications for a project manager should look like:

Project Manager Example

  • Detail-oriented Project Manager with 5 years of experience in planning and executing projects.

  • Successfully delivered projects on time and within budget, resulting in a 15% increase in customer satisfaction.

  • Implemented Agile methodologies, reducing project completion time by 20%.

  • Led a cross-functional team in the successful completion of [X number] of projects, totaling a budget savings of 18%.

#5. Administrative Assistant

Here’s what a summary of qualifications for an administrative assistant looks like:

Project Manager Example

  • Highly organized Administrative Professional with 10 years of experience.

  • Maintained a highly efficient office environment, resulting in a 15% increase in overall productivity.

  • Successfully managed calendars and appointments for executives, reducing scheduling conflicts by 20%.

  • Implemented streamlined document management processes, leading to a 25% reduction in filing errors.

What to Include in Your Summary of Qualifications

Here’s what you can include in your qualification summary:

#1. Problems You Solved

Problem-solving skills are one of the most sought-after types of skills in candidates. To impress a hiring professional with these, list issues that you managed to identify and solve in previous positions. Don’t forget to highlight the final results by adding figures and percentages.

Make sure that the issues you’ve listed are relevant to the position you’re applying for. There is no point in mentioning how you’ve helped a customer resolve a network issue if you’re seeking opportunities as a software developer.

#2. High Key Performance Indicators

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a quantifiable metric that demonstrates your achievements and tracks your progress toward a specific goal. 

Include your KPIs from your previous role to highlight your contribution to the company. Quantifying your accomplishments gives not only credibility to your qualifications but also offers a clearer grasp of your impact.

Again, list only the KPIs that are relevant to the job you want to apply for.

#3. Awards

An award is another achievement that is both measurable and unique. As such, it can help validate your professional supremacy and set you apart from other candidates. Whether it’s for outstanding performance, project excellence, or leadership accomplishments, awards serve as evidence of your devotion and expertise.

Thus, if you’ve received any accolades or honors, either within your organization or externally, add them to your summary of qualifications.

#4. Publications

If you’re seeking opportunities in academia, including your publications in the summary of qualifications is a must. These demonstrate your research and writing skills, as well as your organizational skills.

When adding publications to your statement of qualifications, you can emphasize the number of papers you have published or demonstrate your contribution to other papers.

#5. Degrees

Listing your college or university degrees in your statement of qualifications is a good idea in several situations:

When To List Your Degree

  • In a summary of qualifications for students and fresh graduates looking for an internship or their first job opportunities

  • If you’ve obtained a Ph.D. or a master’s degree

  • If a job description instructs you to do so

The Key Benefits of a Qualifications Summary

You might think that the advantage of a qualification summary is to catch a recruiter’s attention and make them read your entire resume. While this is nothing but the truth—in fact, this is the key purpose of this section—there’s more to it.

Here are some of the key benefits of including this section in your resume:

Qualifications Summary Benefits

  • You can personalize your job application. Adding your key strengths and achievements to the qualification summary lets you tailor your resume to a specific job position. This way, you’re not only making it ATS-friendly, but you’re also personalizing it.

  • It clearly shows your accomplishments. A brief and concise summary showcases your key accomplishments in a clear and organized manner, offering a recruiter a quick view of your qualifications and inviting them to learn more about them.

  • It demonstrates relevant skills and expertise. By focusing on the most pertinent skills and achievements, the summary of qualifications shows the potential employer that your job application meets their needs.

  • It highlights your soft skills. Soft skills are as important in the workplace as their technical counterparts. A well-structured qualifications summary enables you to highlight some of your best soft skills, such as interpersonal or leadership skills, adaptability, decision-making, etc.

Final Thoughts

You may have an exquisite professional background, but it may fall through if you can’t compel a hiring professional to learn about it. To encourage them to read your resume for more than a few seconds, you need an impressive summary of qualifications.

This short section entices a recruiter to keep examining your resume in order to learn why you’d be a perfect candidate for the job they’re offering. While crafting such an attractive summary may seem daunting at first, the right guidelines will make any challenge feasible.

We hope that our comprehensive guide will help you craft a summary of qualifications like a pro! 

Isabelle Dupont
Isabelle Dupont
Content Writer & Editor
Isabelle Dupont is from Portland, but she now lives and works in sunny San Diego. She is a content writer and editor for She loves casual Fridays and carefree days spent on the beach and has been writing for several years now. Whether it’s creating content or fixing it up, she’s always on point and makes sure no stone is left unturned. In her free time, Isa loves to immerse herself in fantasy novels, go on long hikes, and spend time with her friends and family.

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