How to Write a Resume Summary: Steps and Hints

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How to Write a Resume Summary: Steps and Hints

How to Write a Resume Summary: Steps and Hints

We’ve looked at 10 great resume summary examples . As you begin writing a resume summary for yourself, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind: 

  1. Read the employer’s job description. Your career summary shouldn’t be a long list of everything you’ve done; it should be a refined list of skills and experiences that demonstrate you’re a fit for their job.
  2. Mention your current job title if relevant. One common way to begin your resume summary is to state your current job title.
  3. Explain how you can help employers achieve their goals or solve their problems.
  4. Consider using bold text to emphasize one or two key phrases.
  5. Include any relevant metrics and data like dollar amounts, years of experience, size of teams led, etc. This helps your resume stand out.
  6. Focus on making the employer want to read more. The goal of your resume summary isn’t to show everything you can do, but to grab their attention and show enough that they continue reading.

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.

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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 (and make sure you tailored that info to fit the job description).

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, I’d likely use one single paragraph packed with skills, accomplishments, and exactly why I’m ready to step into the job I’ve applied for and be successful!

Even for a manager resume summary, I recommend a very short length.

However, if you’re changing careers, or you’re looking for jobs without any work experience, the summary section needs to stand on its own, and should be longer. That’s why some examples above are a bit longer.

Formatting Your Resume/CV Career Summary

You may have noticed a variety of different formats in the career summary examples above. There isn’t one “right” way to format this section on your resume or CV. However, I recommend either using one or two brief paragraphs, or combining a short sentence or paragraph with bullets.

Avoid writing three or four long paragraphs with no special formatting like bullet points. That’s simply too much text for your summary section and will cause recruiters and hiring managers to skip over it in some cases.

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Should You Include a Resume Objective?

You do not need to include an objective on your resume, and doing so can make your resume appear outdated. Use a resume summary instead of an objective. Follow the resume summary examples above and focus on discussing your skills, qualifications, and achievements, rather than stating your objective.

Employers know that your objective is to obtain the position you’ve applied for, and the resume objective has no place on a modern resume/CV in today’s job market.

After You Start Getting Interviews, Make Sure to Take Advantage…

If you follow the advice above, you’ll have a great professional resume summary to make your qualifications stand out to employers.

But landing the interview is only half the battle… So make sure you go into every interview ready to convince employers that they should hire you, too!

If you write a great resume summary example that gets employers excited to interview you, they’re going to ask you questions like, “tell me about yourself” early in the interview to learn more about your background. So make sure you’re prepared with an answer.

I also recommend you review the top 20 interview questions and answers here.

Your resume caught their interest, so naturally, they’re going to follow up with a variety of questions to learn more about your professional background. 

The bottom line is: A strong professional resume summary, followed up by other well-written resume sections will get you the interview, but your interview performance is what determines whether you get the job offer!

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