11+ Resume Summary Examples By Job (Marketing, Sales, Student) [2020 Updated]

resume summary examples

Writing a good resume summary is an art form. But with a little science behind it, you can make sure that you catch the readers attention and push to have them continue to read your resume.

Resume summaries are increasingly more important because of the fact that HR managers, recruiters, interviewers and professionals of all kinds are only reading resumes for an average of 7.4 seconds. The Ladders “Eye Scan” survey conducted in 2018 proved that most readers of resumes simply scan the document for important pieces of information vs. read the entire resume.

Your summary is the eye-catching component to your entire resume. It may declare whether or not the reader finishes your resume.

Ready to get started with your resume summary? Let's go!

Table of Contents

Where Does The Resume Summary Go?

The resume summary should be located at the top of your resume, underneath your professional heading (this is your name and contact information) but above your previous job experience.

Your resume summary can be titled “Accomplishments”, “Qualifications Summary” or “Summary” as the heading and below it should be your resume summary.

What Should I Write In The Summary Of My Professional Resume?

The ideal resume summary contains 1-3 data points that are key to your experience in the job function and a small introduction to what you’re able to do as a professional. The difference between this and what might go inside the bullet points for each of your previous job experiences is that you’ll want to focus on what you’re able to do as a career professional vs. what impact you had on that specific company (prior experiences).

What should go inside the summary:

Pro fact: CareerBuilder.com performed a study and found that 48% of hiring managers will automatically dismiss a resume or cover letter that isn’t customized or tailored to the job posting.

What The Best Resume Summary Contains

The best resume summary contains data. It’s important that you consider simple impactful ways to deliver a strong message. Factual statements can help do that. For example, “Raised 30% of revenue streams on average in each one of my prior jobs” would be a great statement for those looking to go into sales.

Use factual statistics and data points to support the fact that you have plenty of experience and bring a strong work ethic to the table.

writing a great resume summary

Why Is The Resume Summary Important

Your resume summary is your hook. It can act as a conductor between you and the reader. While your resume summary doesn’t exactly guarantee that you’ll land an interview or get an employment offer, it does help to ensure that the professional who is reading your resume continues to read your resume.

Pro tip: NACE’s Job Outlook Survey performed in 2019 mentioned that the three key skills employers want to see as part of their resume (for experienced professionals or recent graduates) is communication skills (written and verbal), problem-solving skills and the ability to work as part of a team.

For the most part, that’s all we really want. For the reader to get slightly caught off guard with a useful piece of information that indicates they should invite you to an interview or speak to you over the phone about a particular part of your resume.

Resume Summary vs. Professional Summary

A resume summary and professional summary are the same thing. If someone is referring to a professional summary it means that they are referring to a resume summary (the one we’re speaking about in this guide). Other names that you might hear would be:

Resume Summary Examples For Students

Driven student of economics with a high GPA, ability to execute, passion of the finance industry, captain of the La Crox team and economics club president.

Resume Summary Examples For Entry-Level Positions

Experience across a wide variety of functional areas, devoted team player who utilizes empathy to help guide decision making in the workforce. Cares about collaboration and meeting customer expectations.

Resume Summary Examples For Customer Service

A 10+ year veteran in the customer service field. Ability to execute and develop customer service pipelines for a variety of industries (finance, consumer, B2B).

Resume Summary Examples For Retail Associates

A retail associate with experience directing store needs, handling customer complaints, managing inventory, working alongside strong peers, and driving store success.

Resume Summary Examples For Nurses

RN Certified, 10,000 hours+ hospital floor experience, BSN bachelors degree, ER experience, ICU experience.

Resume Summary Examples For Software Engineers

Polyglot engineer with 8+ years experience working in multiple industries (finance, healthcare, consumer, b2b). Ability to help coordinate marketing, finance, leadership goals into actionable engineering paths.

Resume Summary Examples For Art or Creative Directors

Experienced digital creative, passion for well-designed products, multi-disciplinary player/coach, experience in a variety of product types (B2C, B2B, B2B2C).

Resume Summary Examples For Management

Multi-disciplinary leader and player/coach. Experienced digital manager with P&L management experience. Frequently managed a team of 10+ creatives, engineers, other managers.

Resume Summary Examples For Accounting & Finance

Detailed balance sheet owner with experience in many financial scenarios (debt, consolidation, M&A, audit, corporate tax). Comfortable in fast-paced and heavy regulatory environments.

Resume Summary Examples For Sales

Dynamic and motivated professional with a proven track record of driving revenue and corporate sales through relationship building. Ability to execute client needs from concept to completion. Agile player/coach with the ability to drive growth in a solo working environment or with a strong team.

Resume Summary Example for Human Resources

Below is one of our resume summary statement examples for Human Resources professionals.

Resume Summary Examples For Those With No Prior Work Experience

Highly motivated individual seeking an opportunity to prove my passion for the industry. Fast learner, agile, willing to do anything required to ensure our customers are happy. Excel, MySQL, Google Apps certified.

How To Get The Data For Your Summary

If you’re building your personalized resume summary, you may have noticed that in each one of the examples above they contain company information that might be hard to find. For example, knowing that you accounted for a certain percentage of overall sales as a sales executive.

Getting this information isn’t as complicated as you might think. If you ask your current or previous employer for this information, they’ll be happy to provide it.

Here’s how you might want to initiate the conversation with them:

Hi [Person]—

I’m always looking to add to my executive summary in my resume and periodically I collect information on my performance to add to it. I would love to know if there’s anything in particular that stands out to you in terms of my performance and how it’s affected the company. For example, do you know what percentage of sales I accounted for last year?

Thank you so much,
[Your name]

resume summary mistakes

Strong Sample Bullet Points For Your Resume Summary

If you’re looking to fill out your bullet points and aren’t exactly sure what might be impactful. Here is a list of focus areas to help you through the thought process of finding your own achievements:

Resume Summary FAQ's

Below are common questions job seekers ask when writing a resume summary.

Should I include my social media links in my resume summary?

No. Only include previous work accomplishments or a statement regarding your desire to advance yourself in your career. Using your accomplishments is sometimes referred to as a summary of qualifications. And using your desire to advance yourself is often referred to as a summary statement.

Should I include what I'm proficient in? Software or other hard skills?

You don't need to. But if you don't have previous work accomplishments, let's say if you're a recent graduate or inexperienced professional, then you may want to include proficient software or other soft skills that you're adept in that might make you stand out as a candidate.

If I'm applying to a job, will my resume summary increase my chances of being hired as a candidate?

It certainly can. Resume readers often spend only 7 seconds reading a resume. Your resume summary, a summary of qualifications, or summary statement can help your hiring manager get an idea of you who are very quickly and move you forward in the interview process.

Should I include client work or service work in my resume summary?

Certainly. Even if you aren't applying to a position in an agency, including your clients in your resume summary can be beneficial. If your clients experienced growth in their services or products due to your work, then they are just as important as being employed by a company full-time.

Should I include my strengths as an employee?

Only if you are writing a resume statement, and don't have prior work to reference. In that instance, highlight your strengths, skills, and proficiencies can be very helpful to your employer.

Should I include when I can start in my resume summary?

Including information about when you can start your job is very beneficial to your employer. Though your start date should not be included in your resume summary. It is the best fit for your cover letter or job application email. And even if you mention start date in those assets, your employer may have a different idea in mind.

What about the words expert and spearheading as action verbs for my resume statement?

Action verbs and resume keywords can be very useful. Though the terms expert and spearheading or spearheaded are often overused. No one is truly an expert. And even if you are, that can sound slightly arrogant. Instead, try "mastering" as an alternative.

What makes a great resume summary?

What makes a great resume summary is impactful previous work accomplishments. It is important that you spend time considering what those might be based on your prior experience before you write a resume summary.

When writing my resume should I write this first or after my previous experience?

You should wait to write a resume summary until after you've completed your previous work experience. You'll most likely include bullet points in each previous job that will highlight what you were able to provide that company. It will make it easier to use that information to roll-up into your summary.

What are some common mistakes when writing a resume summary?

Common mistakes when writing a summary is to make it long and to make it sound like a plead for a job opportunity. Instead, focus on what you can provide to your employer and what makes you stand out as a candidate.

What are some of the best strategies for writing a winning resume summary?

When writing your resume, be sure to set aside some of your best accomplishments. One of the best strategies for your resume summary entails taking key attributes or your best accomplishments from your previous work experience and aligning those to accomplishments that your future employer might want to read. This targets and aligns your abilities as a candidate to what the employer might have as a goal for the position.

Why is creating your resume first more important than your resume summary?

Simply put, it will save you time. You can wrap up your best accomplishments and make your life a little easier.

Why do people start statements with how many years of experience they have?

This is an older method for creating a resume statement. I would avoid speaking about how many years of experience that you have in lieu of speaking to your accomplishments. If you think about it from an employer's point of view, your years of experience is only relative to what you were able to accomplish. And then wrapping that up into a career level point of view is what the summary really provides to the employer. It is one of the best strategies for making a great statement.

How do I ensure what I create is accurate?

Have a friend or colleague look at it. If they feel it's not precise. Then try to create another statement, doing the same thing. Ask a friend or colleague to review it. Ensure that it properly aligns with your career and background as a professional. And highlights you in a positive way.

How much should I speak to my background in my statement

Very little. Speaking to your background is like speaking about your year's experience. Saying, "I have a background in marketing and digital marketing with 5 years of experience" isn't going to help you very much.

Is there a resume example showing the use of a resume objective or summary statement?

You should be able to find a resume example for the job type you have in our resume sample database here.

What is a resume headline?

It is different than a statement. A resume headline is a quick blurb about yourself, like a slogan. The use of a resume builder can be beneficial for you if you don't know the difference between these.

Should every resume have a summary section?

It should. You should try to list bullet points of your accomplishments versus a statement, though. You don't have to include each previous job title when you do this. Making it easy for your recruiter or hiring manager to quickly grasp your work history and professional experience.

Should I list transferable skills in this section?

It's better to list relevant experience and accomplishments than say, interpersonal skills. This will make you stand out to the recruiter or hiring manager and shows more extensive experience than simply listing skills. This is what turns a good resume summary into a great resume summary statement.

Career objective, objective statement, resume summary section, qualifications summary, which one is it?

Yes. There are far too many ways to describe this section. Ideally, all you need to do is list your greatest accomplishments at the top of your resume, ideally 3-5 bullet points showing your career accolades, and that's it. Don't worry about what to call it. Don't list each prior job title or job position name. Just list your greatest accomplishments, that's it. It's the way to start a perfect resume from the start.

What's the best career advice you would give to a job seeker when they're building their resume?

Think about what your potential employer wants to see out of the person in this job title. Go through the company's website and look at their mission. Try to fit within that mission. And then being to think about your resume summary statement. Align yourself with their objectives. Spend a lot of time on this if you really feel like this is going to be your dream job. Your effort will pay off. And trust in the process, your prospective employer will notice.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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