Step 6: Your Summary of Qualifications

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The Summary of Qualifications section on your resume contains three to four brief (no more than three lines each) statements that say why you're the best prospect for the job you want (your job objective).

What Goes in Your Summary of Qualifications?

When we say "Summary of Qualifications," we mean "Summary of Qualifications for your job objective." Remember, your resume is a marketing piece for your next job, not the story of your whole life. So, rather than summing up your entire career in your Summary of Qualifications, you just need to write about how you qualify for the next step in your career: your resume job objective.

In your Summary section, you can write about your experience, credentials, expertise, personal values, work ethic, background, or anything that qualifies you for the job you're going for. You're free to make claims, drop names, and do your best to entice the reader to finish reading the resume. Remember, all claims must be substantiated later when you write the body of the resume, so be honest while giving yourself full credit.

Brainstorm for Good Summary Statements

Here are some questions and examples to help you come up with strong summary statements:

1. How much experience do you have in this profession, in this field, or using the required skills?

Someone staying in the field of financial management might answer, "I've worked as a financial manager for a mid-sized company for the last 14 years."

Summary Statement:
14 years as the financial manager of a company with current sales of $75 million.

2. Imagine your best friend is talking to the hiring person for the job you want. What would your friend say about you that would make the employer want to call you for an interview?

The best friend of a job hunter desiring an editorial position with a newspaper might answer, "She even won the Pulitzer Prize! No one from the Examiner had ever done that before."

Summary Statement:
First syndicated journalist at the Examiner to receive the Pulitzer Prize.

3. How is success measured in the position mentioned in your objective statement? How do you measure up?

A software developer wishing to make a move into technical writing might answer, "Many different users have told me that my explanations are easy to understand."

Summary Statement:
Reputation for writing clear and concise explanations for technical and nontechnical users.

4. What is it about your personality that makes this job a good fit for you?

A customer service representative staying in the same field might answer, "I am very diplomatic, so I get good results."

Summary Statement:
Outstanding diplomacy that consistently produces win-win results for customers and company.

5. What personal commitments or passions do you have that would be valued by the employer?

Someone wanting to lead an environmental organization might answer, "I am committed to educating people about industrial waste hazards that are endangering the environment."

Summary Statement:
Strong commitment to preserving nature through education about environmental hazards.

6. Do you have any technical, linguistic, or artistic talents that would be useful on the job?

Someone applying to be a teacher in a multilingual school might answer, "I can speak Spanish, Italian, and Russian."

Summary Statement:
Multilingual: Spanish/English/Italian/Russian.

More Examples of Summary of Qualifications Statements

Here's a related post I wrote after reviewing quite a few resumes: 12 Examples of Good Resume Summary Statements. All of the statements in the post came from real job seekers who used my Ready-Made Resumes online resume builder.

90 Resume Samples
Susan Ireland's Ready-Made Resume Builder
Professional Resume Writers

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