Examples of Good Resume Summary Statements

I think writing a good Summary is one of the hardest parts of putting together a resume. I figure I'm not alone, so I want to share some examples of good resume Summary statements, along with a few of my writing tricks. I just finished working on these and I think you might find them helpful.

Show Us Your Best Stuff!

Let's start with my six brainstorming ideas about what to write in your Summary section. You don't have to cover all of them — you can just pick the ones that show off your very best stuff. Or, you might be able to combine some. (For example, the first and second points often work well together.) Here you go...

  • Indicate your career objective.
  • State how much relevant experience you have.
  • Summarize your qualifications for your job objective.
  • Talk about a highly relevant or an overall career achievement you're proud of.
  • Give a brief sense of your work or management style.
  • Refer to a personal trait that supports your job objective.

Try to limit your Summary section to three or four statements, and keep each statement to no more than three lines. That way the whole section won't look too long and time-consuming to read. (Think "summary," not "War and Peace.")

Examples of Good Resume Summary Statements

When I'm working with folks on the Summary parts of their resumes, I use a bunch of questions to help them write good statements. Here's what I ask and some examples of the results:

What is your career objective?
Making your career objective clear to an employer is key to your resume's success. The quicker your reader can figure out what job you want, the faster he can start picturing you working for him in that role.

In this section, you'll find 28 sample resume Summary statements about career objectives (too many to list here).

How much relevant experience do you have?
This is the first question most employers want answered, so it's a good idea to address it in the first bullet of your Summary section. Here are some examples of good resume Summary statements that answer the "experience" question.

In this section, you'll find 67 sample resume summary statements about experience.

What are the qualifications for the job and how do you measure up?
Having the required skills and knowledge for the job is essential. An employer will want to know this upfront, so use your Summary section to tell him you have what it takes to do the job well.

Here's how some job seekers did just that:

  • Familiar with MS Word, Excel, InDesign, and Internet applications; able to learn new programs.
  • Skilled in research, analyzing data, writing, and editing.

And now for some full resume samples that used this method.

What is an overall career achievement that shows you'd be good at this job?
It's one thing to claim that you're good at something. But you make a much stronger case when you give a clear example of how you've already succeeded in your career. And if you can quantify your success, all the better.

Here are examples of resume Summary statements, each showing an overall career achievement.

  • 6 years as the Health Care Administrator of a major hospital system, ranked 4th in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Consistently recognized for sales growth.

Let's see how two job seekers wrote about their career achievements in the Summary sections of these resume samples.

What's your management or work style?
An employer wants someone who fits into the company culture. By saying something about your work style or management approach, you can set yourself ahead of your competition for the job.

See what Summary statements others wrote to give a sense of their style on the job.

  • Careful and thorough proofreader who ensures that a consistent message is maintained and the smallest details are not overlooked.
  • Adept at managing multiple projects simultaneously while maintaining composure and a sense of humor.

I have a few sample resumes that refer to long-term achievements in there resume Summary sections. Take a look...

What personal attributes do you have that your next employer will value?
I'm talking about your soft skills, your personality, those things that people like about working with or for you. Can you put a finger on them and make a good resume Summary statement about one or more of them?

Here's what others have written:

  • Detail-oriented, accurate, and dependable, with an uncompromising work ethic.
  • An active listener with strong interpersonal skills. Strive to understand client needs and provide exceptional results.

Here are some resume examples that show passion or personal traits that are well-suited for their job objectives:

More Help With Summary Statements

If you want to see more questions that draw out good Summary statements and more examples, see Write a Summary of Qualifications.

Note: All the the resume Summary statements in this post are from members of my Ready-Made Resumes online resume builder. After I reviewed their resumes, these members kindly gave me permission to show their resumes to help others. Pretty nice, huh?

What works for you?
You probably have a few techniques for writing your resume Summary. Please tell us about them. We're always looking for new ideas.

16 thoughts on “Examples of Good Resume Summary Statements

  1. The examples provided for good resume summary statements are spot on. However, the career objective subtitle is misleading as I would think that would be to secure the position for which you are applying.

    The example outlined above appears to be more appropriate for relevant work experience.

    With that being said, I question the relevance of making your career objective part of the summary statement.

    • Hi Marc,
      Using the first line of your Summary section is ONE way of making your objective known. It works really well if you want to stay in the same line of work.

      If you’re making a career change or you’re an entry-level job seeker with little experience, then you would be better off using a job objective statement. In that case, you might use your first Summary statement to say that you have the skills or knowledge for the job you seek.

      The reason some people prefer to use the Summary statement to announce their job objective is because many recruiters say they don’t like job objective statements on resumes. Not all recruiters feel this way, but some do. So the Summary section is a good way around that, as long as you want to stay in the same career field.

      Thanks for bringing this up. Hope your job search is doing well!

  2. First off, I find you web site very informative. I do have a question though. I worked at one job for 34 years. It was a pension consulting firm where we designed and administered retirement plans for small to medium size businesses. The company was sold so at 61 I found myself unemployed. I was offered (and accepted) a job as office manager of our local hardware store. I was able to use skills from my prior job in a much different atmosphere. I worked there for about a year and store closed. I have some strikes against me. My age, I worked at one job for so long and I have no college degree. My question is what style of resume should I use and do I use a summary statement? I’m just at a loss!!! Thank you for your help.

    • If you had growth in your long term career you should write a combination resume highlighting your progress or advancement in the company you worked at the longest. Have it part chronological to show you are still capable and willing and that you know how to transfer your skills to a much different environment. (hardware store)

      Also, you mention no college degree. Many companies will take lengthy work experience in lieu of a college degree.

      I personally like bullet lists for skills. I think they draw the eye, make good use of white space and HR sees immediately what skills you have that can benefit their company.

      • Hello Melissa,
        I don’t quite get your logic for using either the combination or chronological resume format. Here’s an article that may help you decide: Choose a Resume Format.

        Best to you in your job search!

  3. Hello Susan,

    I just wanted so say thank you for taking the time to offer this great resource to me. I have found your website’s content, valuable and very helpful to scaling the daunting resume wall! This post on good resume summaries was super-helpful, as well.

    Thank you kindly,
    Jeff

  4. Hi Susan, I have been graduated from college but do not ever have any working experience in company. I work at home for my family for 10 year but need to find a job now. I am wondering if this is difficult to find a job since I am not young anymore and do not have any job experience? How should I write in my resume which might help?

    • If it was your family’s business you worked for, simply put the name of the business as your employer. There’s no need to explain that it belongs to your parents. Treat it just as you would any other employer.

      Good luck in your new job search!

  5. So, I’m a bit confused. Should I use an objective AND a summary statement or summary of qualifications?

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