[2018] Resume Summary — Guide + Resume Summary Examples

August 13
5 min read

Resume Summary — Guide + Examples


Resume summary statements can set you apart as a job seeker among a sea of other similar candidates. Using a resume professional summary demonstrates your qualifications for the job you are applying quickly and efficiently, providing concrete examples and professionally introducing yourself.

Should you use a summary for your resume? Read ahead to learn more about the resume summary and review some examples.

What is a Resume Summary?

A resume summary is a brief description at the top of your resume that describes your previous experience and what you have done in the past that could benefit your desired employer. It’s important to briefly expand and elaborate on items in your resume that you want the hiring manager to read first.

resume summary

Often, recruiters or hiring managers only glance at your resume before quickly deciding if they're going to continue reading and pursuing you as a candidate. The resume summary is a great way to grab attention and convince hiring managers of your strength as an applicant.  

What to Include in a Resume Summary? 

Choose some of the most relevant work experience that you will bring to the position to which you are applying. Maybe you increased sales by 150%, or you implemented a new inventory tracking system.

These are great things to elaborate on in your resume summary. This statement is called a summary, so it's important only to summarize your qualifications, picking a few fundamental skills, and not just regurgitate the information from your resume. 

What is the Appropriate Length of a Resume Summary? 

Keep it short. Since brevity is essential for your resume, you’ll want to keep the summary to 50 words or less. You don't want to reiterate what is already on your resume below, but offer up essential tidbits of information that will intrigue the hiring manager and compel them to learn more about you and your experience. 

Isn’t a Resume Summary Similar to a Cover Letter? 

The information you include on your resume summary might be the same information you include on your cover letter. However, hiring managers review applications very differently.

Some only glance at your resume before deciding on whether to read further while others may choose the cover letter first.

If you include a resume summary statement, you are covering off on both types of hiring managers, striking them with relevant and inspiring facts first that demonstrate how you’re the best fit for the position. 

Still have questions? Here are some resume summary examples. 

Okay, so you can see the importance of including a good summary statement on your resume, but how do you know where to start or what to add?

It can be a daunting task, but we have you covered with some relevant examples. Use these resume summary samples to inspire your own.

Resume Summary Example #1: Bullet Points to the Rescue

Leadership and Organizational Turnaround

  • Developed strategies to target new business opportunities that resulted in a 125% growth in revenue. 
  • Negotiated partnerships with leading industrial companies such as GE.
  • Implemented training programs to bring salesforce up to speed on product offerings and best practices to revitalize underperforming sales numbers. 
  • Hosted leadership seminars to inspire leaders within the organization to grow and develop.

If you're not sure what to write, highlight your skills using a few bullet points. This summary statement is strong because of its brevity and detailed information.

By including the percentage growth stats and key business partners, this candidate demonstrates their strength in networking to promote business growth and build relevant relationships. In this case, the use of bullet points allows the hiring manager to scan the summary.

Resume Summary Example #2: Brief and Impactful Summary

Marketing Manager with over ten years of experience. Proven success in running email marketing campaigns that generated a 25% increase in high-quality leads. Expert in content marketing and inbound marketing tactics.

This summary statement is direct and jam-packed with information. By immediately writing the years of experience, the hiring manager doesn’t need to spend time adding up the years of work experience on the resume.

The candidate’s most robust statistic is called out here to entice the hiring manager to learn more. Another tactic to use is highlighting some critical characteristics before the summary, as shown. 

Resume Summary Example #3: Showcase Soft Skills

Healthcare Professional | Sales Training Expert

A dynamic professional with a proven ability to build relationships and inspire top-performing sales teams. Skilled in building cross-functional teams and coaching individuals to success. An adaptable leader with the ability to work independently and maintain critical thinking skills in the face of unforeseen challenges. 

This summary statement works if you are entering the workforce or re-entering after a hiatus. You may not have impactful statistics to highlight or strong experience to reference. In this case, demonstrating the strength of your softs skills can set you apart from fellow applicants. 

Resume Summary Example #4: Changing Careers

Uncover key business initiatives and identify opportunities in sales, leadership and account management to drive revenue. Demonstrated a tenacious quest for success and learning by earning MBA in just three years while working full-time. Ability to manage corporate culture and allow team members to thrive. 

Just like the previous example around soft skills, this resume summary highlights skills that can be transferable across industries.

Leadership skills and demonstrating a strong work ethic is essential when changing careers because it shows the hiring manager you will be willing to work to learn the industry. The candidate’s tenacity and desire to learn shines through, which hiring managers like to see. 

Resume Summary Example #5: Startup or New Business Summary

An experienced entrepreneur and startup aficionado with a passion for building businesses from the ground up while challenging the status quo. Over 15-year track record in developing new business strategies, launching new initiatives and delivering operational efficiency. 

This resume summary sets the candidate apart by demonstrating a genuine passion for the startup industry. The startup industry is grueling and requires an individual with a specific set of skills.

This summary illustrates why the candidate would be driven to work tirelessly for a startup organization, which is enticing for any new business or startup owner. 

Conclusion

Utilizing a resume summary statement showcases why you are the best fit for a position. By summarizing your work history and accomplishments into a bite-sized format, hiring managers can quickly read and determine if you are a fit for the job.

What you choose to highlight in your summary statement can separate you from the competition and elevate your resume to the top of the stack. 

Use these resume summary examples to influence your summary statement. The key is to ensure that your summary is brief, specific and attention-grabbing.

Don’t be afraid to use some specific statistics here to seize the intrigue of the hiring manager.

By simply including a resume summary statement as the examples shown, you have the tools and tactics to help you land a coveted interview.  

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