What is a resume summary?

A resume summary is a 1 to 5 sentence introduction at the beginning of your resume that highlights your key professional experiences, skills, and achievements. If you have a lot of career highlights, your resume professional summary will be longer.

Example of a general resume summary for a job seeker with work experience
Good examples of resume summaries show you how to write your own.

The first sentence of a resume summary should always contain your biggest professional selling points. And for most employers, these selling points are yours:

  1. highest job title or degree
  2. Years of relevant experience
  3. Main responsibility or successes in these years

Each sentence of your professional summary needs to highlight good examples of why you are best suited for the role.

Good example of a resume summary

Senior Customer Service Representative with more than 7 years of experience in leading a call center team. Every day more than 90 sales, technical support and customer care are handled personally, which corresponds to a customer satisfaction rating of 95%. 100 WPM typist with Salesforce CRM certification.

This 3 sentence summary for a customer service resume relates to the candidate’s work experience (7+ years), type of job (over 90 calls handled daily), achievement (95% satisfaction rating), skill (100) WPM ) and even a relevant certification (Salesforce CRM).

If you are able to summarize your key selling points so effectively in your professional summary, you won’t be looking for a long job (since you will get a job offer first).

Does a resume need a summary?

No, you don’t need a summary on your résumé. However, if you have a number of accomplishments relevant to the job you want, whether related to work, school, or volunteering, then you can write a good resume summary that encourages hiring managers to read on.

Resume summary vs. resume goal

The main difference between these two resume introductions is that a resume goal focuses on your motivation and business goals, while a resume summary focuses on your career highlights (experience, skills, accomplishments, and other qualifications).

In addition, a resume summary can be used for all applications in your area, industry or profession. On the other hand, every time you send out your resume, a resume goal needs to be edited and possibly rewritten to target that particular company.

How do I write a resume summary?

To write a good resume summary, think of your greatest first Professional, academic, and personal achievements.

Are any of these benefits related to the type of job you want? Do they alone prove that you are qualified for such work?

Whether you are a seasoned manager, a mid to high level job seeker, or no work experience at all, we’ll show you exactly how to create a professional resume summary that shows your ability to succeed in your field.

If you are a manager

It only takes three sentences to write a summary of a professional resume for an executive position (but you can add more if you want to highlight other related details):

  • First sentence: # Years of relevant management experience and your biggest responsibilities as a manager
  • Second sentence: An example of your greatest leadership achievement
  • Third sentence: Additional achievements, certifications, or skills that highlight your management skills

Example of a summary of the summary (administration)

Sales manager with more than 8 years of experience planning, leading and executing sales strategies in the Pacific Northwest. In 2021, he successfully led a 15-person team during our regional spring sales campaign and exceeded the company’s projected profitability by 35% through the implementation of creative sales strategies and new sales software. CPSP certified, strong written and oral communication skills and passionate team building in the workplace.

This manager resume summary example effectively summarizes the candidate’s key experiences from the first sentence. Without relevant experience, it is almost impossible to work as a manager, but this opening line quickly establishes the candidate as experienced and qualified.

After this seasoned manager has described an important career highlight that proves that he can have a valuable influence in a leadership role, he includes a relevant certification and addresses his key management skills. In three short sentences the employer knows that this candidate is:

  • Experienced and qualified
  • Proven to be effective
  • Adept in management work
  • Interested in building a team and growing

If you are of intermediate to high level

If you have at least 1-2 years of work experience in your field, you can write a compelling resume resume in three simple sentences.

  • First sentence: # Years of relevant professional experience as well as your most important tasks in this profession
  • Second sentence: Your best workplace skills and how they helped you achieve your greatest professional achievement
  • Third sentence: Other related skills, certifications, and accomplishments that will make you a worthy candidate

Example of a summary of the summary (middle level)

Executive assistant with more than 4 years of experience in daily management support. Due to the high organizational standards, I introduced an inventory supply software (Zoho Inventory) into the management in 2018, which enabled us to save 5% of the operating costs every year. 115 WPM typist who is very familiar with QuickBooks, Zoom and Google Workspace.

Once this candidate begins with their experience and primary professional responsibility, they provide a good example of how a soft skill (in this case, organization) has helped them make a quantifiable, positive impact on their company. Saying you have a skill on your resume is simply less effective than giving an example of that skill in action.

The candidate concludes their professional summary with some strong, related hard skills that they can apply to their work immediately upon hiring. Combined with their experience and quantified performance outlined in the first two sentences, they have prepared the rest of their resume for success by effectively summarizing the value they can offer an employer at the top of their resume.

If you have no experience

No experience in your area or your branch? You can still write a good resume summary by using the following 2-3 sentence structure:

  • First sentence: Descriptive adjective + your current status (student or job seeker is fine), GPA (from 3.5+) and any relevant experience inside or outside the classroom
  • Second sentence: Your most important relevant skills and how those skills have helped you succeed (e.g. on a semester project or on receiving an academic award)
  • Third sentence (optional): Additional skills, achievement, or experience outside of the classroom that will make you a better candidate for jobs in your field

Summary for resume example (no experience)

Highly motivated journalism student in his 4th year with 4 semesters of experience as editor-in-chief of the newspaper at my university. My passion for text editing and writing earned me the Jim D. Goodfellow Award for Outstanding Journalism in the Journalism Department (2020 academic year).. He is familiar with all Google Workspace products, Office 365 and Evernote and can type 95 words per minute.

After reading this resume summary, it is clear that even with no work experience, this candidate is qualified to work in an entry-level job that requires writing skills and a strong work ethic.

And if that candidate’s degree isn’t relevant to the position they’re applying for, writing is still a transferable skill that applies to other areas as well (e.g. marketing). Any company looking for an inexperienced but hardworking and capable writer will be drawn to this candidate for their professional resume.

Need help sourcing ideas for your resume summary with no experience? Check out these resources and mix them up into your own writing:

Over 40 professional resume summary examples

Let’s look at some examples of resume summaries from different industries and experience levels so you can create your own summary of your professional resumes.

Whether you have no work experience or are applying for a leadership role, we have sample resume summaries that can help you craft your perfect resume.

10 good examples of entry-level resume summaries

It doesn’t matter if you are writing a resume summary with no experience. If you have achieved success in relation to the position you are applying for, writing a resume summary can help you with the farm work.

Here are 10 summaries of resume examples written by candidates with no relevant work experience to give you some ideas:

Related examples of resumes:

Competency overview (2 examples)

Last but not least is the skills summary.

If you have extra space on your resume and want to show off your introduction even better, you can try writing a competency-based summary for your resume

Using Indented lines and bold skillsThis type of professional summary has the same effect as a good three-sentence summary, but adds a nice visual element with the bold type.