What is a qualification summary?

A qualifications summary is a kind of résumé introduction that focuses on your top professional achievements. A qualifications summary for a resume has four to six bullet points highlighting your most impressive accomplishments, skills and experience.

This type of resume introduction is known by several other names, which are listed here:

  1. Qualifications summary
  2. Resume qualifications
  3. Proof of qualification
  4. Summary of skills

Who should use a qualification summary?

If you are a seasoned professional in your industry, writing a qualification summary is the easiest way to increase your chances of getting an interview as your most relevant and impressive experiences, skills and accomplishments will be at the top of your resume in hiring managers you will see immediately.

Use a qualification summary if you:

  1. Have a long record of successes in your field
  2. Have high level certifications for your target job
  3. Are able to demonstrate specific skills on your resume

A summary of qualifications is less suitable if you have little (or little) work experience or are moving into a new industry. The only exception is when you’ve developed a wide range of skills and gained experience from other activities such as studying in college or volunteering.

For example, if you’ve worked in student administration, you can write an effective qualifications summary detailing your achievements and leadership skills, as well as your academic achievements.

Summary of the qualification examples

Here is a sample summary of the qualifications of a senior executive assistant for a large public company:

Example of a qualification summary for an executive assistant
An exemplary summary of the qualifications.

And here is a text version that you can copy and paste:

Executive Assistant Qualifications Summary (Text Version)

  • Executive assistant with more than 10 years of experience in supporting the CEO of (company name)
  • Monitor the office budget of $ 47,000 per month
  • Reduce travel expenses by $ 7.4,000 by negotiating directly with service providers
  • Manage a team of 17 administrative support specialists

Are you looking for something more relevant to your own background? Here are some additional examples of a qualification summary for industries popular on our website:

Summary of qualifications (Customer Service Manager)

  • Manage a team of 47 customer service representatives
  • Resolve more than 95% of customer complaints referred by customer service representatives
  • Organize a roster for 3 shifts working around the clock with an error rate of <1%
  • Organized 4 annual customer relationship training courses that resulted in a 17% decrease in customer cancellations
Example of a summary of the qualification résumé

  • Manage $ 1.5M. Budget, with a cost reduction of 14.7% over 3 years
  • Supervise and organize a team of 7 junior employees, prepare trainings and make sure they are 100% efficient
  • Analyze delivery costs averaging $ 500,000 per month and secure 4% discount from suppliers
  • Applied fluent Mandarin skills to find new, 17% cheaper service providers from Malaysia
Summary of qualifications (manager)

  • Reduced turnover within my first year by ⅓
  • Exceeded sales forecast by an average of $ 10,000 over four years
  • Recruited, hired and trained 47 new employees to develop them into productive and competent team members
  • Recognized by headquarters as one of the top 10 managers across the country
Summary of qualifications for teachers

  • Increase the GPA of high school graduates by an average of 0.5 within one year
  • Promotion to Director of Science within 18 months due to strong management and organizational skills
  • Training of 5 newly certified science teachers over 6 years
  • Support for 7 promising students in the homeschool room, 6 of whom were accepted into Ivy League colleges
Summary of Qualifications on the Nurse Practitioner Resume

  • Development and maintenance of a new EMR system that increased efficiency by 17%
  • Intensive care for an average of 74 patients per year after surgery
  • Mentored 11 new registered nurses to deliver exceptional standards of clinical care
  • Recognized as Florida’s “Nurse of the Year 2021” based on COVID-19 response

How to write a skills summary

Each point of a qualifications summary should showcase your most impressive job-related achievements, certifications, and skills.

Not repeating yourself is key to writing a successful qualification summary. For example, if you’re a nurse, don’t repeat information about how many patients you’ve treated:

Repeated summary of qualifications

  • Intensive care for an average of 74 postoperative patients per year
  • Treated an average of 24 outpatients per day

Instead, try to focus your bullet points on different parts of your career:

Good summary of qualifications

  • Development and maintenance of a new EMR system that increased efficiency by 17%
  • Intensive care for an average of 74 patients per year after surgery
  • Mentored 11 new registered nurses to deliver exceptional standards of clinical care
  • Recognized as Florida’s “Nurse of the Year 2021” based on COVID-19 response

From top to bottom, these bullets focus on:

  1. Initiative and organizational skills
  2. Patient care
  3. Teaching and leadership skills
  4. Awards / honors

As you write your skills summary, keep the following in mind:

  • Years of experience
  • Important hard and soft skills
  • Creativity and times when you took the initiative
  • Efficiency in the workplace
  • Any awards you have won or recognized
  • Whether you held management positions

After you’ve narrowed down your list of qualifications, put the most impressive four to six at the top of your resume right after your resume header.

Summing up your bullet points for the job means your resume introduction needs to be different for each job you are applying for. However, if you’ve already compiled a long list of your most formidable achievements, skills, and experiences, then writing a new qualification summary for each resume should be as easy as swapping bullet points for others.

Finally, make sure that your qualifications summary looks good on the resume template you are using. Whenever possible, keep each bullet point on a single line like this:

Ideal format for the resume for a summary of qualifications
This resume format contains an ideal sized summary of qualifications.

Have fun looking for a job!