What Is A Professional Summary
A professional summary is a brief sales-pitch description of your work experience.
Its a brief two to four sentences that argue the case for why youre the best candidate for the job with the strongest and most efficient reasons you can give.
It lives at the top of your resume, right underneath your contact information.
That means: Your professional summary statement is the first helpful information that an employer sees about what youre like as a job candidate.
Given that hiring managers generally spend less than seven seconds looking at a resume, this means that the professional summary may be the only thing they read when they skim!
So, executing a professional summary well is critical.
That said, a professional summary isnt appropriate for every resume!
Well tell you how to know for sure if you should write one on your resume, and better yet, how to write a professional summary that works.
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.
Why Resumes Are Important For Job Seekers
Your resume, along with a cover letter, is an essential part of the hiring process, and is a base requirement to be considered for a position.
A good resume is the first part of your application any hiring manager will see, so its important that it conveys your qualifications accurately and convincingly.
Your resume should offer employers a digestible overview of your relevant skills, employment history, education background, and accomplishments. Based on this information, they can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to interview or hire you.
But writing a resume from scratch can be time-consuming. To simplify the process, try using our online resume builder. Just type in your information and our software will help you assemble a perfectly formatted resume that is sure to impress any hiring manager.
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Officer Manager Resume Summary:
Organized office manager seeking a full-time position. I am experienced in streamlining office operations and reducing costs.
Organized and results-oriented office manager with 5 years of experience. With a background in healthcare tech, I cut costs by 23% and introduced new scheduling software to streamline office operations.
While in the first summary example we can see the utilization of buzzowrds, because of the lack of accomplishments, the summary falls short.
Senior Regional Talent Acquisition Consultant
A result-driven Recruiting Professional who blends strong recruitment experience with a background in Branding and Marketing. Proven record in the ability to understand business needs and building rapport with Talent Acquisition Teams and Hiring Managers. Proven ability to source, select and secure top-notch candidates for multiple concurrent positions
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How To Write A Summary For A Resume With No Experience
If you have no experience, you should consider using an objective statement instead of a professional summary.
The reason is simple: If youve never worked, then you have nothing to summarize! You dont want to throw extra fluff on your resume, so its better to give an employer a sense of what motivates you for a role.
Now, that said, many people dont realize that its not only paid experience that can count or benefit you on a resume.
You can describe school projects, unpaid or volunteer experiences, parenting or babysitting gigs, yard work, or other authentic forms of work that dont always receive compensation.
If you have done these types of often overlooked labor, then this is an experience you could include in a professional summary!
Introduction To Resume Summaries
Hiring managers look at resumes for an average of 6 seconds. An average of a few seconds implies that most resumes are just being glanced at.
The top of your resume is typically the first place that resume reviewers look. And the first impression matters a lot. That’s why your resume header can have the most influence on whether your resume lasts longer than just a glance.
Resume reviewers need a strong nudge to continue looking at the rest of your resume. When written correctly, a professional resume summary is the fastest way to deliver the best pitch about your candidacy.
There are various ways to phrase your resume summary to best position yourself for the job, depending on your level of experience.
But what exactly is the best way to phrase your resume summary?
In this guide weâll cover:
- What is a resume summary and when to use one
- How to write a killer resume summary
- The difference between a resume summary and a resume objective
- Common mistakes when writing a resume summary
- 10+ Examples of resume summaries
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Match Your Master List With The Skills Needed For A Job
The skills you write on your resume should be whatever overlaps between your master list and the list of skills you created from researching jobs.
A general rule of thumb is to never include skills that arent important for the job you are applying for.
For example, if you are applying for a project manager position, there is no need to list that you know yoga or CPR.
Bad Example: Content Strategist Resume Summary
This example is a bit more specific but still fluffy in comparison and different in terms of language. Further, the words reliableand dependable are redundant.
Notice that keep learningworks if youre an apprentice, not precisely an expert as the job requires and, theres still something missing, like some background or professional achievements.
You should apply for your dream position even if you dont fit all the requirements however, if you match just one or none requirement, you should aim for another position, whether in another department or company or at an entry-level.
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Benefits Of A Resume Summary Statement
There are a number of benefits to including a summary statement in your resume. The main benefit is that it helps your resume stand out. When hiring managers are reading through dozens, even hundreds, of resumes, they often skim through each and miss information. By beginning with a statement that concisely describes why you are qualified, you are more likely to get a closer look.
However, just writing a resume summary statement does not guarantee that employers will be interested in your resume.
You need to make sure your resume summary statement concisely demonstrates why you are an ideal candidate for the specific job and company.
How Long Should A Resume Summary Be
As you read the resume summaries above, you probably noticed there are some short single-paragraph resume summary examples and much longer career summaries that are two to three paragraphs plus bullet points.
So how long should YOUR professional summary be?
If you have relevant work experience, keep your summary to one or two paragraphs. The piece you really want the hiring manager reading is your most recent work experience .
The resume summary is just a bridge to get the hiring manager into your experience.
If I were writing my own career summary right now, Id likely use one single paragraph packed with skills, accomplishments, and exactly why Im ready to step into the job Ive applied for and be successful!
Even for a manager resume summary, I recommend a very short length.
However, if youre changing careers, or youre looking for jobs without any work experience, the summary section needs to stand on its own, and should be longer. Thats why some examples above are a bit longer.
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How To Write A Great Resume Objective
Consider your resume objective the introduction to your resume. Your resume objective may be the first thing your potential future employer ever reads about you, so you want to make sure its both powerful and to-the-point.
Keep these items in mind when writing a resume objective statement:
1. Keep it concise. In most cases, a recruiter or hiring manager is sifting through several resumes at a time to determine which applicants have the skills and experience necessary to move on to the next step in the hiring process. By making your resume objective short and strong, you will be more successful in holding their attention. Try removing filler words, such as a,the and like, to help keep the reader focused on the most important parts of your resume.
2. Tailor it to the position. Instead of writing a general objective statement, adapt it specifically to the job youre applying for. Start by reading the job description and highlighting skills or requirements that align with your strongest attributes or experiences. When you include an objective thats specific to the job role, the recruiter is more likely to dig deeper and learn more details about your professional experience.
3. Lead with your strongest attributes. Consider strengths that are not only relevant to the job role, but also attributes youre proud to share. For example, Organized and driven,Dedicated and experienced,Motivated team player or Accomplished leader.
Career or industry change:
Executive Summary Vs Objective Statement
Candidates typically use either an executive summary or an objective statement at the beginning of their resume. While they’re both only a few lines long, they have different purposes. An objective statement allows you to describe your interest in a role to the hiring manager. It focuses more on your interests as a candidate. The executive summary explains what you can offer the employer by highlighting your relevant qualifications.
While both are useful, an executive summary does more to make your application competitive. An objective statement contains information the hiring manager already knows. An executive summary tells the hiring manager what you can offer their company. An objective statement might be easier to write, but writing an executive summary helps you understand your strengths better, which can be advantageous to career growth.
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Figure Out The Skills Needed For The Job
When applying for jobs, it is important to identify the set of skills that are needed. Picking out the needed skills will help you determine if you are a good fit for the role. It will also help you tailor your resume skills to the specific job you are applying for.
There are two main ways to determine the skills needed for a job.
The first is to dissect job descriptions and job postings that are posted on career websites and job boards. To do this, go through a job description and highlight each quality that describes the candidate the company is looking for.
For example, here is a job posting for a cashier position:
Then create a list of all the qualities described, making sure to write each skill using the same wording that is used in the job posting.
The second way to figure out what skills are needed for a job is to search for people on LinkedIn who are already performing the role.
Use A Resume Summary Statement
Professionals who work with career coaches and those who have done some solid web research have come to understand that they need to master their Elevator Speech.
This speech is a short summary of an employees value proposition and should be thought of as a sales pitch that is ready to go anytime you run into a potential hiring manager or networking contact.
A carefully prepared Elevator Speech is customized to the person giving the speech and contains information that makes the professional stand out while still focusing on things the employer wants to know .
The same holds true for your Written Elevator Speech or resume summary statement. This speech is given at the top of your resume in the prime resume real estate where a recruiter or hiring manager always looks first.
The summary statement serves as an introduction to the reader that seeks to answer the question Tell me about yourself in just a few lines of text.
The resume summary statement will help your resume stand out by:a. Catching the readers attention immediately
b. Ensuring a clear understanding of your top selling points at a glance
c. Putting emphasis on your career highlights and key strengths in an easy-to-scan format
d. Briefly communicating your professional objective if relevant
Every resume can benefit from a summary statement. For some candidates, it can be critical.
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Digital Marketing Resume Summary:
Im an experienced digital marketer who has worked on every aspect of digital marketing for a variety of clients. Im looking to grow my career and gain valuable new experiences.
Seasoned digital marketer with 6+ years of experience building and implementing strategies focused on SEO, email marketing, and Adwords largely for small to medium-sized eCommerce sites. Successfully grew organic revenue by 74% in 8 months through content creation and link-building strategy.
A recurring mistake with resume summaries is the lack of clarity. When looking at the second example, the job recruiter might ask What new aspects have you worked on? What type of clients have you worked with? What valuable new experiences are you seeking?.
Every sentence should clearly further your message. If its meaningless, youre wasting the employers time and youll most likely fail to get into an interview.
Resume Summary Example For Marketing Managers
Productive marketing manager with deep sales background. Looking to leverage 9 years of marketing experience to raise ROI for Kensington APT Global. At Hasida-Taylor, increased marketing ROI 28% through implementing a robust data collection and analytics program and a lean analytics cycle. Cut costs 22% through improved vendor management.
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Write An Amazing Resume Summary Statement
What is the best way to start my resume?
How do I get the attention of the hiring manager?
These are questions we have all asked ourselves at one point or another. And to muddy the waters a little bit, we have the ongoing battle between Team Resume Objective and Team Resume Summary Statement. What, youve never heard of this age-old war over the real estate at the very beginning of your resume?
Dont worry, its a relatively new struggle brought about by our constant desire for finding an advantage over the other candidates vying for the same jobs we are. And weve made all of this much easier by giving you our free Resume Summary Cheat Sheet.
FREE BONUS PDF CHEAT SHEET:Get our resume summary PDF Cheat Sheet that hands you word-for-word resume summary samplesyou can use today.
But whats the difference, and which one is right for me?
In a previous article we tackled Resume Objectives and what they are and who should use them .
Generally speaking, people who were just entering the work force, perhaps lacked experience in their fields, or were in the middle of a massive career change benefited most by using an objective statement.
But what about someone with experience or someone who isnt changing their field?
Well, thats where the summary statement comes into play!
Professional Summary Examples Based On Experience
Your professional summary should do a great job of communicating your experience level and where youre at in your career.
Its OK to be inexperienced however, always try to be realistic about where youre at experience-wise. Communicate to employers in a clear way and doesnt seem like youre trying to hide or gloss over anything.
Here are example professional summaries based on different levels of experience:
Intern professional summary example:
Ambitious second-year law student with a passion for social justice and bankruptcy law brings self-motivation and eagerness to the table. My standing GPA is 3.7, which serves as evidence of my determination and work ethic. Furthermore, my attention to detail, research, and written communication skills enable me to perform any task needed.
In this case, the candidate uses the work theyve done as a student and the solid GPA to appeal to an employer effectively. In addition, the candidate also mentions a few of their top skills in a way that demonstrates how they would help the law practice function.
Entry-level job professional summary example:
Hardworking job seeker with excellent people skills is motivated and eager to learn. Good at following directions and customer service, I bring a professional attitude and ability. Im on time, responsible, and ready to make your customers satisfied.
Experienced professional candidate professional summary example:
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How To Write A Resume Summary With Examples
You should know how to write a resume summary if youre writing a resume and applying for jobs. Resume summaries show busy hiring managers and employers what you can offer them quickly and easily on a resume. This article will explain what a resume summary is, who needs one in their resume and how to write a resume summary.