Have you ever wondered how recruiters decide which resumes reading and which ones to discard?
They scan resumes for up to 5-6 seconds, at most, and in that timeframe, they decide if the resume is relevant or not.
They scan for things like your career highlights, qualifications, and specific skills.
And unless they can see that you’re relevant in a single glance, chances are, you’re not getting the interview.
And this is where your resume summary comes in.
This is the first section they’re going to check. Look at it as an introduction to your resume.
Do this right, and your resume summary will be a giant flashing sign that says “Hire Me!”
So, are you ready to create a convincing resume summary?
- What’s a resume summary
- How to write an effective resume summary
- 40+ inspiring real-life resume summary examples (for different fields)
What is a Resume Summary
So, what is a resume summary?
It’s a section that summarizes the rest of your resume - simple, right?
A good resume summary, in a sentence or two, highlights some of your biggest achievements to date, mentions your profession and includes 1-2 of your top skills.
For your resume summary to really stand out, though, it should also be tailored to the company’s needs.
What can you do for them?
At the end of the day, that’s the #1 thing the HR manager wants to know, and if your resume shows it, then they’re bound to be interested.
Here’s how to do resume tailoring the right way.
Let’s assume that you’re applying for this job.
A tailored resume summary might look like the following:
- Professional marketer manager with 5+ years of experience in digital marketing. Social media marketing experience, including Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn advertising. Experience in managing an account with a monthly budget of $30,000. B.A. in marketing management.
See what we meant by tailoring? You mention all the must-have information in your resume summary. This pretty much just screams out “I’m the guy for the job!”
Now, imagine using the following resume summary for this job ad:
- I am an experienced professional seeking an opportunity to use my background in data analysis and market trend research. I am a dedicated and detail-oriented marketing specialist looking for an opportunity to expand my professional skillset and help Company X grow.
Here’s what’s done wrong:
- Does not summarize career background
- Does not include specific numbers or data
- Is extremely generic, not related to the job ad in any way
Now, you’re probably wondering: “how do I write a resume summary if I don’t have any experience?”
Well, you don’t. Well, here’s what you need to know.
When to Use a Resume Summary
When building a resume, you can either include a resume summary or an objective, both of which are optional sections.
These sections explain why you’re the ideal candidate for the job, but in a different way.
Your resume objective describes your professional goals for the job you’re applying for. Unlike the resume summary, you don’t include work experience here.
A resume summary, on the other hand, sums up your previous work experience and explains how it can benefit the company you want to work for.
There’s a clear difference and it’s important to know when to use each.
Here’s how to decide:
- Do you have relevant work experience? Include a resume summary
- Don’t have a lot of work experience in general or you’re switching careers? Include a resume objective
Sticking to a resume summary? Just skip ahead, we’re going to more in-depth on how to write a summary in the next section.
If you want to create a resume objective, though, here’s how.
A good resume objective does three things:
- Describes your skills, education, and certification that’s relevant for the job.
- Mentions your purpose for applying.
- Explain how you’re going to help with the job
Essentially, the focus is more on your motivation than your experience.
Here’s an example of a resume objective done right:
- Results-driven computer science student from University X passionate about developing user-friendly software applications. Excellent problem-solving skills and ability to perform well in a team. Seeking to help Company Y develop their product as a software engineer, as well as grow and develop my own skills as a coder.
If you’re going to include an objective instead of a summary, make sure you:
- Are as specific as possible by tailoring your objective to the company or the position you’re applying to. Mention specific details about them, show them that you care. Don’t just say “I want to work in your company.”
- Include specific skills, knowledge, and abilities that you know will help the company
- Do not use complicated, vague language.
There’s a lot more to know about resume objectives than what we’ve mentioned so far. Still have some questions? Or maybe, you’re looking for some inspiration? Check out our 40+ Real-Life Resume Objective Examples.
Now, let’s get back to the topic of writing resume summaries. Here’s what to do it right.
How to Write a Resume Summary
So, a resume summary is a preview of some of your best work and achievements. But how do you write one without sounding like you’re bragging or showing off?
Well, it’s simple - just follow our 3-step framework.
In your resume summary, mention:
- Your experience summary (“e.g. Facebook marketer with 5+ years of experience with…”)
- Your general experience (e.g. “Experienced in managing 10+ Facebook ad accounts …”)
- Your top achievement (e.g “Managed over $100,000 in marketing budget over several accounts”)
Keep in mind, though, that you should be filling in the blanks with very specific information (e.g. achievements and important numbers) that is also tailored to what the company is looking for.
Sure, you’re a Facebook marketer with 5+ years of experience, but why would they care if they’re hiring an accountant?
Other than that, there are several other best practices you should keep in mind when writing a resume summary:
- Make your resume summary as specific as possible. Consider rewriting it for each job ad so that it’s tailored to what they’re looking for
- Write your summary last. Not sure how to summarize your entire career till now? List your work experience first and then come back to the summary once you’re done with that
- Include achievements over responsibilities.
- Add measurements to make your summary feel alive - consider quantifying your achievements if possible.
- Include specific skills only if they’re extremely relevant for the job. Rule of thumb, pick them up from the job description. “Critical Thinking Skills” or “Organizational Skills” aren’t specific enough to go in your resume summary.
Now, here’s a few general examples that follow the above approach.
Let’s take a look and see what they do right and wrong.
- Customer service representative with 5+ years of experience in telephone customer service, tech support, and customer care. Familiar with Intercom, Drift, and several other customer service software solutions. Very organized and meticulous with organizing customer interaction logs. Handled up to 100 calls daily, with duties including helping customers sign up and retrieving customer data.
Here’s what’s done right:
- Job title relevant to the position - you can use the same position as in the job ad word-for-word
- Specific achievement with numbers - “handled up to 100 calls daily”
- It’s short - keep it 2-4 sentences at most
- Passionate and high-skilled project manager with over 5 years of work experience with a sound knowledge of the industry. Hoping to take on new challenges and learn more on the job.
Here’s what’s done wrong:
- Too vague - no information about the specific industry or the company
- Not custom-tailored - reads like a one-size-fits-all summary, which should not be the case
- No measurements beyond the work experience - telling someone you have experience within the industry is great, but adding more specific information from your achievements is even better
Simple enough, right?
Now, if you need some inspiration before creating your own resume summary, here’s a huge list of 40+ convincing resume summary examples!
Read on and feel free to borrow some ideas.
40+ Convincing Resume Summary Examples (For Different Fields)
There are a lot of different ways your resume summary can look like, depending on what you do.
So, let’s take a look and break down each of them field-by-field.
Office / Administrative Jobs Resume Summary Examples
Office Manager Resume Summary
“Office manager with 5+ years of experience in controlling inventory, ordering and tracking new supplies, developing procedures and training material for staff. Strong communication skills, organized, with a track record of success.
Click here for the full office manager resume example.
Executive Assistant Resume Summary
“Accomplished executive assistant with experience in providing support to a high-level CEO and other executives for 4 years. Helped with everything from customer support, to data entry and preparing well-researched documents. Skilled at time-management, proficient in MS Office and Adobe Photoshop.”
Click here for the full executive assistant resume example.
Receptionist Resume Summary
“Customer-oriented and self-motivated receptionist with 5+ years of experience in customer support. Proficient in medical record-keeping software and MS Office. Thorough and attention to detail in daily professional matters.”
Click here for the full receptionist resume example.
Marketing Resume Summary Examples
Social Media Marketing Manager Resume Summary
“Creative social media manager with a passion for boosting brand awareness and customer engagement. Skilled in copywriting and basic graphic design tools. Personally started and grew a Facebook page for my consultancy brand from 0-1,000+ in just a month. Looking to help Company X establish an online presence and increase their social presence.”
Content Marketer Resume Summary
“Accomplished professional with 3+ years of experience in marketing, content writing, and outreach. Experience in writing for high-authority publications like Forbes, Business Insider, and more. Looking to help Company X increase their online presence and generate more leads through content.”
SEO Specialist Resume Summary
“Results and data-driven SEO specialist with experience in keyword research, developing and marketing evergreen content, and increasing overall website rankings. As a freelancer, grew Company X from 50,000 daily visits to 100,000 within a year by creating long-form content and conducting backlink outreach.
PPC Specialist Resume Summary
“Data-driven SEM professional with 5+ years of experience with Google Analytics, AdWords, Google Display Ads, and Facebook/LinkedIn Ads. Managed a monthly advertising budget of $50,000 over 4 clients.
Marketing Manager Resume Summary
“Marketing manager with 4+ years of experience in a corporate environment. Good eye for design, with experience in creating marketing materials with Canva. Intermediate copywriting skills, having worked on the company website, flyers, and several other content pieces.”
Click here for the full marketing manager resume example.
Copywriter Resume Summary
“SaaS copywriter specialized in improving landing page conversions. 4+ years of experience in delivering clear and compelling copy. Experienced in A/B testing software, including Firebase and Optimizely. Increased conversions at Company X by 15% in the first two weeks by creating and testing 3 new landing page variations.
Business and Management Summary Examples
Project Manager Resume Summary
“Project manager with a proven track record of working with agile and waterfall project management methodologies. Managed 5+ teams of software projects over the past 3 years. Basic understanding of several programming languages, including Java, React, and NodeJS.
Click here for the full project manager resume example.
Business Analyst Resume Summary
“Solutions-driven business analyst with over 5 years of experience in consulting businesses and analyzing their operations. Previous experience in working with Consulting Company X and Consulting Company Y. Strong understanding of digital transformation. Improved a client company’s processes by taking them online, which improved manufacturing output by 3%.
Human Resources Resume Summary
“HR professional with 5+ years of experience in recruitment. Worked with every part of the recruitment process, including sourcing, vetting, and onboarding of candidates. Passionate about IT recruitment, having worked as a tech recruiter at Company X. MBA from University X.”
Finance and Accounting Resume Summary Examples
Financial Analyst Resume Summary
“Dedicated financial analyst with a track record of successful investments. 5+ years of experience in investment banking, with a focus on the oil industry. Responsible for analyzing potential investments, as well as conducting industry, market, and company-specific research. MBA in Finance.
Click here for the full finance analyst resume example.
Accountant Resume Summary
“Licensed Certified Public Accountant with 10+ years of experience in budget analysis, financial audits, and forensic accounting. Created financial reports within a five-person finance team and managed a $500,000 budget. Over the two years working there, helped cut annual company expenses by 15%.”
Click here for the full accountant resume example.
Bank Teller Resume Summary
“Bank teller with 2+ years of experience in client-facing roles at Bank X, where I was handling customer transactions, cross-selling bank products, and keeping customers happy by providing a professional and efficient service. Followed a strict and safe deposit box operations and guidelines, and processed 100+ customer transactions daily.”
Click here for the full bank teller resume example.
Data Entry Clerk Resume Summary
“Data entry clerk with 3+ years of experience in verifying complex data, maintaining databases and producing monthly reports using advanced Excel functions. Known for quick typing skills, eye for detail, and the ability to keep clients and employers happy.”
Click here for the full data entry clerk resume example.
Food and Service Industry Resume Summary Examples
Restaurant Manager Resume Summary
“Professional bar manager with a strong interest in providing the highest standards of customer service and ensuring customer satisfaction. Skilled at reducing staff turnover and upselling techniques. Increased bar revenue by 20% through advertising featured cocktails and word-of-mouth strategies.”
Click here for the full restaurant manager resume example.
Waiter/Waitress Resume Summary
“Positive and friendly waiter with 3 years of experience in working at a fast-paced Italian restaurant. People skills with a proven ability to upsell alcohol, dessert, and appetizers to customers. Memorized restaurant’s wine stock and accompanying meals to the T.”
Click here for the full waiter/waitress resume example.
Education Resume Summary Examples
Tutor Resume Summary
“College graduate with a B.A. in English from University X, where I worked as an English tutor for 2 years. Strong understanding of grammar well as good essay writing skills. Helped freshmen proofread and write their essays. Taught English to international students online.”
Teacher Resume Summary
“Attentive and passionate secondary school social studies teacher focused on creating a positive environment in which students can learn and grow. Incorporates interdisciplinary knowledge in the classroom to engage students, strong knowledge of different teaching methodologies and developing lesson plans.”
Click here for the full teacher resume example.
Sales and Customer Support Resume Summary Examples
Sales Associate Resume Summary
“Enthusiastic and knowledgeable sales associate specialized in upselling furniture and dealing with customer objections. Proven track record of success at Company X, having exceeded department KPIs by 40-50% for 6 months in a row.”
Click here for the full sales associate resume example.
Customer Service Specialist Resume Summary
“Dedicated and trustworthy customer service specialist with four years of experience in online software troubleshooting, tech support, and customer care. Experienced in using Intercom and Drift. Received an average 87% customer satisfaction rating to date, 15% higher than the company average.”
Click here for the full customer service specialist resume example.
Account Manager Resume Summary
“Client-oriented account manager with a successful track record in the oil industry. Managed accounts worth over $500K while working with clients such as BP and Lukoil.”
Software Support Specialist Resume Summary
“Software support specialist with 5+ years of experience in providing support and assistance to clients, managing user accounts, and recruiting and hiring new IT support interns. Built customer relationships and trust with 20+ B2B clients. Talented in simplifying complex problems, making it easy for non-technical specialists to solve IT issues.”
Cashier Resume Summary
“Reliable and detail-oriented cashier. Skilled at thinking on my feet, solving any potential customer issues that arise without help from management. Experience in training and onboarding 3+ new cashiers at Company X.”
Click here for the full cashier resume example
Technical Resume Summary Examples
Computer Science Resume Summary
“Creative and people-oriented computer scientist with up to 2 years of working with tech startups. Advanced knowledge of software design principles and agile development principles. Led and managed a team of five in developing new software from concept to delivery.”
Click here for the full computer science resume example.
IT Specialist Resume Summary
“Competent IT specialist with 5+ years of experience working with Windows Server 2016. Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert. Advanced knowledge in SQL, C++, Bash, and Linux.”
Click here for the full IT resume example.
Software Engineer Resume Summary
“Results-oriented software engineer with a focus on the design and implementation of relational database systems. 8+ years of experience in developing cutting-edge engineering solutions with a wide range of eCommerce and technology features. Skilled in agile processes, backend and frontend development, and creating eCommerce websites that integrate with Paypal, Stripe and other payment APIs.”
Click here for the full software engineer resume example.
Data Analyst Resume Summary
“Detail-oriented data analyst passionate about helping businesses grow. Former small business owner where I conducted research using three different focus groups and increased sales by 10% over 4 months. MBA recipient with strong technical skills of data mining and data, survey creation, and quantitative methods.”
Click here for the full data analyst resume example.
Data Scientist Resume Summary
“Business-minded data scientist with a demonstrated ability of delivering valuable insights via data analytics. 10+ years of professional experience in working with CEOs and VPs of Fortune 500 companies. Deep understanding of statistical models, algorithms, and multivariate analysis.”
Click here for the full data scientist resume example.
Medical Resume Summary Examples
Nurse Resume Summary
“Registered nurse specialized in psychiatric nursing. Developed strong psychiatric evaluation and treatment planning skills after 5 years of working at Hospital X. Experienced in administrative work, management, and training new employees.”
Click here for the full nurse resume example.
Medical Assistant Resume Summary
“Certified Medical Assistant with 10 years of experience in working in a fast-paced environment, handling confidential paperwork, administering medication and providing quality patient care. Team-oriented with proven ability to create positive rapport with patients, family, and staff. Completed and submitted clinical documentation in accordance with hospital regulations, and experience in supporting diagnostic and technical treatment procedures.”
Click here for the full medical assistant resume example.
Dental Assistant Resume Summary
“Licensed dental practitioner with 4+ years in helping dentists prepare, perform, and document procedures. Strong hand-eye coordination, with skills in 4-handed dentistry and working with patients.
Graphic Design Resume Summary Examples
Graphic Designer Resume Summary
“Senior graphic designer with 6+ years of experience in website design and branding, across a wide range of industries. Extensive experience in multimedia, marketing, and print design. Highly skilled in communications, digital storytelling, and Adobe Creative Suite.”
Click here for the full graphic designer resume example.
Creative Director Resume Summary
“Experienced creative director, with 10+ years of experience in the advertising industry. Over the past 3 years, managed 2 separate creative teams, creating video ads for company clients. Worked with some high-profile clients, including IBM and Phillips.
Product Designer Resume Summary
“Creative designer with 7 years’ experience in product design, packaging, and graphic design. Expertise in new product design, brand identity, and market research. Created and launched a new line of award-winning tableware that generated over $1 million in sales the first year.”
UI/UX Designer Resume Summary
“Proactive UX designer with 5 years of experience in delivering enjoyable web and mobile products for the FinTech industry. Designed UI, UX and marketing materials for 6 apps and 3 games at Company X, 2 of which were featured in Apple’s App Store. Skilled with Sketch, and Adobe Creative Suite”.
Other Resume Summary Examples
Architect Resume Summary
“Professional and creative architect with 10 years experience in developing construction drawings, 3D models and doing design rendering. Served as a project architect at company X and won honorable mention as staff architect at XYZ Construction Awards 2016”
Click here for the full architect resume example.
Warehouse Worker Resume Summary
“Seasonal warehouse worker with experience working for Supermarket X and Supermarket Y. Diligent, organized and very hard working. Previous experience working in the service industry for 2+ years.”
Click here for the full warehouse worker resume example.
Housekeeper Resume Summary
“Hard-working house-keeper with 5+ years of experience. Past experiences include working as a house-keeper in hotels, as well as private residences. Proven time-management skills and deep familiarity with all cleaning materials and tools.”
To recap, the aim of a resume summary is to summarize your career highlights and important achievements to date in 1-3 sentences.
If you have any relevant work experience - then you should use a resume summary, instead of an objective.
An effective resume summary typically follows the following structure:
- Your experience summary (how many years, doing what, etc.)
- Your general experience (more specific skills, what’s your focus)
- Your top achievements (career highlights, include quantifiable change and data)
The goal if your resume summary is to catch the HR manager’s attention. If it’s relevant, they’re bound to read the rest of your resume.
Looking for extra career advice? Be sure to check out our career blog for more practical and actionable advice.