Everything you need to know about writing a resume summary statement section

March 11, 2021

A resume resembles a book: its goal is to pull a reader in quickly, impress them with the intro, and incite their curiosity to keep reading. A resume summary statement bears a great responsibility. It is the anchor that should captivate and hold attention long enough for a reader to decide to give a CV a chance.

Those who are still new in job searching or unsure about the sections a resume should contain are perhaps unfamiliar with a summary statement. Whether you don’t know what it is or how you are supposed to structure it, we will help you write it in a well-organized and compelling manner.

Here is everything you need to know about a resume summary statement.

What is a resume summary statement?

This element is also known as a profile section, about me, professional summary, career summary, and personal statement. It represents a short paragraph between two and five sentences, placed at the top of a CV.

A summary statement should introduce the relevant skills, experience, and achievements of a candidate. By presenting a captivating and professional introduction, this section allows recruiters to briefly uncover the highlights of a candidate’s expertise and career. Candidates should write the summary statement in a way that puts their accomplishments at the forefront, showing their unique value.

The summary statement is usually listed below the contact information section to distinguish a candidate’s relevant qualifications and demonstrate why they would be an invaluable asset to a company or organization.

When should you use a summary statement?

Even though a resume summary helps you highlight your accomplishments and allow recruiters to get a glimpse of your career, that might be tricky if you don’t have much experience. Hence, this section can be a challenge for young job-seekers and those with gaps in their CV.

But you’re not obliged to include this category, no matter how nice or useful it looks. If you have less than three years of professional experience, it might be better to keep it out altogether.

Another situation when it’s recommendable to exclude a summary statement is when you’ve been working in the same field and position for less than ten years. It is better to use that space to elaborate on your work experience.

On the other side, if you’re a skilled professional or someone with many years of experience and achievements in the same field, a summary statement will help you organize and concisely present your career.

If you want to add this section but don’t understand its benefits other than being useful for organizing your experience, here’s why writing it is a good idea.

The benefits of a summary statement

After you decide to include a summary statement, it’s useful to know the advantages of having this section.

Compel recruiters to notice you

Hiring managers typically skim through a resume before deciding whether a candidate is worthy of consideration. That means they are scanning if you have the necessary skills and qualifications, and they’ll expect to find it with ease.

A captivating summary statement at the top of your CV quickly allows recruiters to decide whether you might be the marvelous talent they need. If you write it right and highlight what makes you the right person for a company, you will help them remember you.

It is why, if you have enough experience, you should use this section to ensure recruiters find the skills they’re looking for, which will make them more interested in your resume.

Declutter your resume

The last thing a recruiter wants to see is a messy, disorganized, and hard-to-read resume. Many people fill their job-application document with unnecessary sections that give an impression of a bulky CV.

With a concise summary statement, you declutter your CV and reduce the words you’d probably write in the section for your experience. That way, you make it seem less intricate and easier to navigate.

Highlight the keywords

Yes, what you heard is right. Nowadays, even resumes should include proper keywords to be more readable and noticeable. However, it is not as complicated as it might sound. All it takes is to carefully read a job description and choose skills and qualifications-related keywords.

The goal is to use your summary statement section to address these keywords. To do so, use the same words to highlight your abilities and experience. Not all your skills will correspond to the requirements, so only address what applies to you and what you can offer.

Give your summary a personal touch while adding the keywords.

Imagine the example below is a job posting.

"We are looking for a varied copywriter with five years of experience. The ideal candidate should have a history of writing engaging copies for different industries with great results."

For instance, your summary statement could go like this.

"A curious and varied copywriter with seven years of experience, passionate about exploring and writing for a range of industries."

Try to include soft skills in your introduction and avoid copying a job ad. Give your summary a personal touch while adding the keywords.

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The difference betwen a resume summary statement and resume objective

A summary statement represents a short description of qualifications, skills, and achievements. A resume objective, on the other side, stands for the goals of a job seeker. It has the same length, but the latter focuses on what you, as a candidate, expect from a company or job position.

A resume objective is an outdated section, and it doesn’t add any particular value to a resume. It puts a candidate in a focal point, neglecting the needs of the employer. The goals and aspirations of a job-seeker are significant for a company in the long run. However, recruiters prefer to see what a person can do instead of what their objectives are.

It is recommendable not to use this section and center that space around what makes you the best match for a particular job role. However, if you are a recent graduate or a job-seeker without enough experience to include in a summary statement, you can consider adding a resume objective.

If you’re starting your profession or making a career change, it is a section that you can use to express your motivation, objectives, and dedication to building expertise. For instance, future lawyers can write about what made them pursue that industry and how they aim to enhance particular laws or regulations.

A resume objective is also useful for students and young people applying for university programs, training, internships, and volunteering. These are the occasions when the other side will have a greater appreciation of the applicant’s ambitions and goals. You can still highlight achievements and use them as support for your plans.

What should you include in a summary statement, and how to make it stand out?

Avoid wasting your and recruiters’ time on tiptoeing and writing unnecessary words. Get to the point and subtly answer the question that really matters: what makes you the right person for your desired job position?

Try not to be wordy. Write up to five short sentences. Bring your strengths, relevant skills, and experience to the forefront. Let employers know what makes you unique and why you’re the best match for their company.

Be specific and add examples that give credibility to your statement. Did you increase social media shares and engagement for a company’s online channels? Or, perhaps, you implemented a highly successful project in your previous workplace? A summary statement section is not a place to be shy. Speak about your accomplishments and show a recruiter what you bring to the table.

Include whatever you believe is relevant and will impress the employer. Those numbers, percentages, and increased revenues serve as a measure of your success. But avoid common words and achievements as you could risk sounding insincere.

The principal goal is to align everything you write in a summary statement with a particular job role. Flaunt your core skills and strengths. Mention your previous functions and professional experience. Leave an impression that you can do the same and better for your next employer.

A resume summary statement examples

If you need the inspiration to write your personal statement or about me section, here are a few examples of structuring a career summary.

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