First impressions can make or break someone’s opinion of you.
Despite the popular phrase, we all judge a book by its cover. It’s built into our human instinct to do so. And with the first few words of your resume, it’s going to have an impact on your hiring manager.
More specifically, the resume summary plays an influential role in making a strong first impression.
In this guide, we’ll cover every bit of detail of what it takes to write a powerful resume summary. I’ve also included a secret to how you can write your own in only a few minutes. If that sounds interesting, be sure to keep reading on!
What Is a Resume Summary?
A summary on a resume is a short statement that provides an overview of your career highlights. For example:
- Educational background
- Areas of expertise
It’s usually one of the first things an employer will see when reviewing your resume because it comes right after your contact details. Technically, it’s the first resume section in the main body of your entire job application document.
The purpose of this section is to give an overview of your professional background and value. What that refers to is your main selling points as a professional that make you a good candidate to hire.
When looking at what to put on a resume summary, stick to your strengths.
Should a Resume Have a Summary?
They’re not mandatory to include in your resume but we recommend it regardless of your job position. It’s applicable for job seekers at all levels, e.g:
- Chief executives
However, this section should be targeted for the specific career path and job position you’re aiming for. If there’s something more relevant in your resume that you could talk about instead, then by all means go for it. Just don’t forget to match the company’s job description.
10 Professional Resume Summary Examples
We’ve listed a few samples of our ATS resume examples and added a few pointers underneath each one explaining why it works. For some of these, you’ll notice how candidates have included their corporate goals at the end. After this section, we’ll go through step-by-step how to create your own.
Without further ado, let’s break down each sample listed.
The customer service resume summary section uses two simple sentences.
Firstly, to provide a background of their strengths and skills and highlighting years of experience. Secondly, to make their corporate objective clear by showing how they can fulfill a need, i.e. analytical and critical skills to optimize interactions.
The corporate rotational graduate resume summary template does a good job of highlighting their passions and professional value.
It also uses good word choices so their application comes off more personally appealing. From the example, they’ve portrayed a growth mindset and willingness to learn which indicates long-term growth and the candidate’s self-motivation. For example:
- “I’ve found joy in creating value for people by creating digital products”
- “Learning about emerging technologies… inspires me”
To top things off, they’ve reinforced their area of interest in the final sentence too. Just remember that the maximum length of your summary should be 3 sentences long.
This management student resume summary example is the epitome of less being more.
It’s only one line and one sentence long. With this length, they’ve saved the recruiter’s time by keeping it as short and concise as possible.
As you can see, the highlight is the applicant's professional background/academic achievement as an MBA student and having experience in a reputable company. Throughout many of our resumes, you’ll find an application having bullet points that are one line long when describing each section. What’s more compelling is to show, not tell.
English Language Teacher Resume
The English language teacher resume is another example of a summary section that’s one sentence long.
Here, they’ve made their areas of expertise and passions clear. Some of these keywords used will align with the main job responsibilities too. As a result, they’ve already shown how they’re a good match for the company’s work culture.
The database engineer resume summary example starts strong by using an adjective to describe themselves i.e. fearless problem solver. They also outline their professional highlights, e.g. their years of experience in the corporate environment.
The account executive resume makes their strengths and career objectives clear in the first few words, i.e. managing global brands. By stating this level of responsibility itself, it already implies a high level of knowledge and expertise.
What’s more, it’s only a single line which makes it powerful enough to pique the reader’s interest.
In our international marketing manager resume summary, they’ve outlined two main things:
- Having 5+ years of experience in marketing and sales
- Being skilled at driving traffic and promoting brands
If you’re specifically aligning your resume skills with the job description like this, you’re showing the hiring manager that you have an equivalent background for the role.
This medical assistant resume summary is a classic format for this section in terms of its length. They’ve made their experiences clear in what tasks they’re familiar with and have made a brief list of other key job responsibilities that they’re experienced in.
The product marketing manager summary is centered around the candidate’s years of experience in specific fields. From the beginning, the reader gets the idea that the worker has a good track record.
They’ve also implied that the application is aligned with their interests by starting this section with the adjective “purpose-driven”.
Despite a high position such as a chief marketing officer, resume summaries are still applicable and useful.
One reason why it’s so effective is that it saves your employer the time of going through every detail of your resume. They’ll be able to see straight away what justifies you as a valuable asset to hire.
How to Write a Resume Summary
There are 3 simple steps to follow in order to create a compelling resume summary section.
This is where you make the best brief power statement that summarizes why you’re uniquely qualified for the position. As this part of your resume should be the most distinctive, there’s room for creativity.
1. Focus On Your Strengths
First things first, keep your resume summary centered around your strengths.
This will be different for every candidate since we all have our own experiences and are at different stages of our careers.
Here are some examples of what your professional strengths could be:
- Years of experience
- An achievement
- Academic background or certifications
- A positive outcome you’ve been responsible for
- A reputable business you worked for
- Previous projects you led
- Skills and field of expertise
- Areas of interest
By showcasing your best qualities, the likelihood of getting your reader’s attention is higher. It also works to embed your resume objectives too.
2. Use ATS Resume Keywords
After identifying your strengths and what makes you the most uniquely qualified candidate, you now have to align with the job description.
To do that, use ATS resume keywords to indicate you’re a good match for both the job and the company. Check against the company’s job posting to see what competencies and values the hiring team is looking out for.
Here are a few examples:
- Job title
3. No More Than 3 Sentences
Finally, the summary section should be no more than 3 sentences long.
This section should be the most eye-catching for the reader. It’s what they’ll see within the first seconds. If it’s compelling enough to catch their attention and interest, there’s a better chance of them reading through your entire resume.
How to Generate a Resume Summary with Rezi AI
Did you know that with Rezi’s AI writer you could create a resume summary in only a few minutes?
Resume writing may seem challenging, but we’ve made it simple. Here’s how it works:
You can generate as many resume summaries as you want until you have something you’re happy with. Or, you can take inspiration from each summary you generate and combine those ideas.
When you have a feature like this, you can easily write a resume summary section. It saves time and helps you get more creative.
We’ve helped job seekers such as Avi get hired at even the most competitive companies. Here’s what he had to say about Rezi after landing a job at Amazon:
“Rezi was a feature-rich minimal experience. Rezi helped me focus on content instead of resume formatting and that was exactly what I needed to successfully get my foot in the door”
The best resume summary sections play to the candidate’s strengths.
You’re better off keeping it as short as possible. We have many proven ATS resume examples from our users who have gotten good results by taking this approach.
With everything discussed, hopefully, you’re feeling more confident and inspired to send more applications to your employers.
If you want to save time and speed up the process, try using Rezi’s ATS builder. It’s built to help you create a hirable resume online that’s twice more effective than the standard resume on a Word document.