One of the most important parts of a resume that is often overlooked is the summary. So, how to write a great resume summary that makes a difference? Let’s find out how you can improve your chances of being noticed by this short and informative block of text.
A resume summary lets a hiring manager get some immediate insight into who you are as a job seeker before they get into the details of your work and education experience. Including a summary on your resume speaks to your professionalism, and it’s a good way to shortly explain many years of work experience in one field, as well as highlight specific areas of expertise.
Hiring managers appreciate a resume summary because it allows them to quickly assess a resume without looking through the entire list of previous experience. They can overlook something in your detailed resume, but they will rarely overlook those most important things in your summary. If a hiring manager is looking for any specific skills or job titles, seeing them in the summary will help the hiring manager to recognize the resumes they want to examine further. A great resume summary example is always made to highlight the strong sides of a candidate.
Experts often recommend tailoring your resume for the jobs that you’re aiming for, and the resume summary gives you an easy way to do that without having to rewrite your entire resume. Take the opportunity to tailor your resume summary based on the job description. The good idea is to include keywords that are in the job description. Keywords in your summary could also help automated search tools categorize your resume accurately.
There are different ways to highlight your skills and knowledge base in a resume summary. Whether you have a lot of experience in one area, or if you have a variety of experience in different fields, a resume summary can help you add focus and call attention to your best skills. Let’s have a look at some resume summary examples for a variety of jobs.
Resume summary example for Marketing Manager
Marketing manager with over five years of experience running online marketing campaigns. Profound knowledge of Facebook and YouTube advertising, plus solid social media management skills. My innovative marketing strategies have produced a 20% increase in online lead generation. Proficient in web content creation, social media strategy, and search engine optimization (SEO).
This resume summary does all the things it’s supposed to in just four short sentences. It could have also included some famous brand/company names the person had experience with. The summary includes the amount of experience the person has in this field (“over five years of experience”), it names the main task that the candidate is qualified to do (“running online marketing campaigns”), and it indicates a metric of success (“20% increase in lead generation”). Finally, it lists all major person’s proficiencies.
Resume summary example for Data Entry Specialist
Highly accurate data entry specialist with 4 years of experience. Typing speed of 75 wpm, close to zero errors. Experience with English/Spanish texts and database records. Proficient with major MS Excel formulas, plus some intermediate macros knowledge. I was involved in a regular data backup process and I tested proprietary software systems as a part of my previous job.
This short resume summary example includes specific details that highlight this person’s abilities. For a manual work position, the summary should exactly mention how much and which type of work the candidate can execute. This example of a resume summary tells a hiring manager exactly what they can expect from a data entry specialist: speed, range and extra proficiencies.
Resume summary example for Administrative Assistant
Efficient and reliable administrative assistant with over two years of experience supporting executives, managers, and sales personnel. Fluent in English and native in Mandarin. Previous duties included office stationery procurement, branded gifts production, high volume printing and scanning, cooperation with suppliers, and MS Office data input tasks. Fast learner able to improve outcomes, supporting different departments in your office.
This administrative assistant resume summary overlooks the wide range of duties in the previous position, pointing out that even though the candidate only has two years of experience, they got familiar with many administrative office tasks. Even lacking experience, this resume summary demonstrates the high professionalism of the candidate.
Resume summary example for Graphic Artist
Creative graphic artist and illustrator with over 6 years of experience designing marketing materials, logos, UI elements, and book covers. Deeply familiar with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, as well as the full Adobe Suite. Excellent interpersonal skills. Able to complete projects to deadline.
This resume summary example lists the specific kinds of graphic work that this artist has done, as well as their software proficiencies. One thing that would strengthen this summary is naming some of the major clients that this designer has worked with, or any logos of well-known companies the candidate helped to design.
Tips for writing a great resume summary
Now that we’ve taken a look at some white-collar resume summary examples, let’s talk about creating a great resume summary, no matter what your experience and skills are. Writing a resume summary takes some practice. A good place to start is by looking at the job description and finding the keywords that match your skills.
Another factor that makes a resume summary stand out is including metrics or statistics that illustrate your successes. It is easier when you regularly measure metrics as part of your job. But if you don’t have any hard numbers, you can still try to state a rough estimation or at least mention some specific achievements in your summary. Examples are especially helpful for positions such as Project Manager or Administrative Assistant, where you may have had a wide variety of duties.
If you have a lot of experience in the same field and want to highlight several specific achievements that are the most relevant to the position you’re applying for, you can use a bulleted list format instead of a paragraph so that each one stands out more clearly. Here’s an example of a resume summary for a property manager that highlights specific achievements:
- Managed 6 full- and part-time staff members
- Oversaw a portfolio consisting of 400 properties
- Handled $1m in monthly rent
If your work includes using specialized software that is particular to your field, you need to include that in your resume summary, especially if you’re applying for jobs that will utilize the same software. However, you don’t want to turn your summary into a list of every piece of software you’re familiar with, especially those that are commonly used in a variety of positions, such as the MS Office. These need to be listed outside of the summary. But there’s an exception to every rule, and if you’re an Excel expert applying for a position where you’ll be working in Excel all day, that’s important to mention.
Finally, the most simple part of the resume summary can be easy to overlook: the job title. If your current or previous job title is very similar to the jobs you’re applying for, be sure to include it in your summary. If you’re branching out, you don’t have to include your title if it’s not relevant to the positions you’re applying for. In the same vein, if you’re changing careers and have pursued education toward that end, you can list that right up front in your resume summary (like a bulleted list that highlights the skills you’ve acquired that are relevant to the new position you’re pursuing).
All in all, a good resume summary tells the hiring manager whether you have the skills for the job at a glance. It’s an elevator pitch for yourself, so be sure to highlight your strongest skills and your best achievements. Including a good catchy resume summary indicates that you put some real thought into your resume. Finally, if you’re applying for several jobs, consider making some little changes to your summary for each job to reflect the specifics that they’re looking for.