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How to Write Summary for Resume? Tips with Examples

Creating a resume might seem complicated, given that you must fit in every detail about your professional life on a single page. However, recruiters don’t have the time to review your entire resume, as they scan thousands daily. You need to give them something they can go through in about 10 to 20 seconds. Here’s where a resume summary comes into the picture. 

A summary is the part of the resume that explains the individual’s candidature in two to three lines. It is generally added to the top of the resume where the candidate highlights their most important skills and achievements. The primary purpose of a summary is to give the recruiter an overview of your entire profile without going through the whole resume. 

Here’s how you can write a professional summary for resume and get work opportunities from leading companies. 

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What is a Resume Summary?

A resume summary tells the recruiter who you are in a few sentences. It summarizes your background and experiences and tells the company if you are the right fit for them. It is a section where you can showcase your skills and accomplishments to grab the recruiter’s attention. It is also known as an elevator pitch by some resume experts. 

When to Use a Resume Summary?

While writing a resume summary is important, it applies only to some. If you have more than three years of experience, you should compulsorily add a summary to your resume. A summary will help highlight the skills you acquired in your previous organizations. A summary for resume is also vital if you have worked multiple jobs and want to showcase your career graph to potential recruiters. Even if you are trying to switch industries, you must add a summary to offer a glimpse into your previous role.

Benefits of Writing a Resume Summary

You must curate a professional summary for resume to ensure that you put your best foot forward. Let’s look at a few benefits that will help you realize the importance of writing a summary. 

Become more noticeable

A summary highlights your best achievements, making your resume stand out. Generally, it is added below your name and contact details in most resume formats. Hence, the summary is the first thing that the recruiter sees. If you have a well-written summary, you are likely to be picked. 

Sell your strengths

The summary selection lets you articulate a write-up showcasing the strongest attributes. It also gives the window to highlight significant achievements. Hence, you get a window to show the recruiter why you are one of the best candidates and an excellent fit for the role. 

Makes your resume ATS friendly

While there are companies that read through resumes and shortlist the candidates, most of them use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to shortlist the candidates. Therefore, you can use the summary section to make your resume keyword-friendly. 

Understanding the Difference between Summary for Resume and Resume Objective

Several resumes have a resume objective instead of a summary. While both of these terms are used interchangeably, they are quite different from each other. A resume summary tells the recruiter about your candidature; however, an objective tells the company about what you are looking for in a job. 

Let’s take an example to understand it better. 

“To get a challenging and enriching role in a fast-paced technology company in the Search Engine Optimization vertical.”

The example above is a resume objective. Now, let’s look at an example of a resume summary to understand how it differs from a resume objective. 

“An experienced search engine optimization professional with 5+ years of experience handling digital marketing for tech firms. Well-versed in engaging users and growing the brand through various digital marketing tools.”

The resume summary tells the recruiter how you will be a perfect fit for the role and what you bring to the table, while a resume objective tells the recruiter about your expectations from the position. 

How to Write a Summary for a Resume

Consider several things before you start writing a summary for your resume. Apart from these considerations, you must also check a few resume summary examples. These examples will help you curate an impressive summary and set you apart from all the other applicants. 

You can apply a standard formula to ensure that your summary is effective and does the job. The formula includes the following:

  • Add a professional title
  • Key experiences
  • Years of work experience
  • Top achievements through your professional and academic life
  • Unique skills
  • Points highlighting how you can contribute to the role 

Let’s look at some of the crucial steps you must take before you start writing your summary for your resume. 

Conduct proper research

Before you begin writing the summary, finalize the kind of companies and roles you want to apply to. If you are unsure about the roles that will suit your profile, read about different industry roles that seek your interest. After choosing a role, read through the job description and understand the requirements. Try to find out the kind of person they are looking for and the skills they want an ideal candidate to have. 

Compare your skills

Once you are done with your research and have picked the roles you want to apply to, try understanding how you fit into the role. Note all your competencies and skills and compare them with the specifications of the job role. You can also try to understand how to improve the scope role with your contribution and add a line to your summary. 

Choose your best-selling points

A resume might have several achievements and experiences, but it is only possible to incorporate some while writing the summary. Hence, you need to pick the top achievements while writing your professional summary for resume. Talk about how you brought about a change in your previous organization. You can also add a few numbers to back your pointers up. 

Other important considerations

Apart from the points discussed above, there are a few things that you must keep in mind while writing your professional summary for resume. 

  • Use a professional title to start the summary if you have relevant work experience. However, if you are looking for a job for the first time, you must initiate the summary with the name of your degree. 
  • Before you write a summary, list your top achievements and contributions separately. You can then string them together to create an impactful summary. 
  • Be careful about the pronouns and the tense you use. In most cases, a third-person narrative and past tense in used while writing a resume summary. 
  • Ensure that the summary for your resume is keyword friendly. You can find some of these keywords from a few resume summary examples or the job description for that particular role. 
  • The pointers you add to the summary should be based on the role. You should tweak the summary based on the position you are applying to. 
  • You may choose to write your summary in pointers. However, a paragraph with highlighted keywords is a better option as it will break the monotony of your resume. 
  • Before you start writing your summary, go through a few professional examples and try to take inspiration from the exciting and impactful ones. 

Using the Keywords Right

While using keywords in the resume summary is popular advice, people might need help incorporating them. With companies switching from manual shortlisting to an Applicant Tracking System for screening candidates, the importance of keywords has increased. The ATS picks the resumes with most of the keywords that are relevant to the role. 

Here are a few ways to incorporate keywords into your summary and make it ATS-friendly. 

  • Go through the job description thoroughly and note the important skills and expertise required for the role. You can then incorporate these skills along with a few phrases from the description into your resume summary.
  • Don’t add more than 4-5 keywords, as it might appear unnatural if the recruiter decides to go through the resume manually or gets flagged as spam.

You can add a few keywords to the summary: stakeholder management, brand marketing, teamwork, sales leadership, P/L, research methods, etc. These keywords will differ from role to role. 

Resume Summary Examples

Listed below are a few examples of an effective resume summary. You can refer to them before writing a summary for your resume. 

  • “A self-motivated automobile engineer with 10+ years of experience handling electronic vehicles, engine design, and manufacturing. Exceptional team player with great communication capabilities.” 
  • “Office manager with five years of experience and expertise in managing inventories, acquiring and monitoring new supplies, and creating policies and staff training materials. Excellent organizational and communication skills, with a successful track record of managing the entire accounting system. “
  • “An experienced professional with 5+ years of experience in content and digital marketing. Worked with clients like Forbes, Swiggy, Walmart, and others. Helped Company A with increasing their social media engagement by y%.”

Conclusion

Now that you know how to write a resume summary, you can start acquiring a few skills you can highlight in your resume summary. Opt-in for impactful courses like Doctorate in Business Administration by the Swiss School of Business or Golden Gate University. These courses will give you pointers that can improve your summary and help you obtain exceptional opportunities among industry leaders!

Can I add both a career objective and a summary to my resume?

No, you cannot add both of them to your resume. You need to pick one depending on how you plan to look for the right job.

Should I write full sentences in the resume summary?

No, you should start a resume summary with a verb or an adjective that describes your role or experience in your previous organizations.

From where can I find keywords for my resume summary?

The keywords for the summary depend on the role you are applying to. Hence, you must review the job description carefully to find the right keywords.

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