A resume summary is like a punchline for your resume. Its major role is to show the key aspects about yourself that your potential will most likely be interested in. If the person reading your resume is not satisfied with your resume summary, there are high chances he may also not be impressed with the rest of the resume either

That is why it is important to take time while writing your resume summary and give it your best. In this article, I am going to briefly share with you everything you need to know about writing resume summaries and how to end a resume summary in a professional way.

First all why do you need a resume summary

  • A resume summary works as an introduction to your resume. Like any introduction to a writing, the resume summary captures the key aspects of your resume in a brief manner. A well written introduction to any document or a book is in most cases the reason readers go ahead to read the rest of the information in that particular piece of writing. Likewise, a resume summary is what will give reason to your potential employer to continue reading your resume
  • It gives you a chance to sell yourself in a few lines. If used well, a resume summary can be the reason you get your dream job. That is why it is important to capture all the key words that the employer will likely be interested in and have them included in the resume summary. For instance, if the employer needs people with 5 years of experience, make sure your experience is well captured in the resume summary in such a scenario

What should your resume summary contain?

  • Your work experience: This is very important for jobs that need work experience. It should be among the things you shouldn’t forget to add to your resume summary. If the job doesn’t require experience like graduate jobs, you may highlight your internship experience and how long you did it for. This will give you an advantage over those who don’t add such details.
  • Skills and expertise that are most relevant to the job: If there are particular set of skills that were mentioned in the description of the job advert as a requirement, a resume summary is an opportunity to highlight such skills. However, it is important you only add skills that are relevant to that particular job. Even if they weren’t mentioned in the advert description, you can still add them as long as you are sure they are needed in that particular job you are applying for.
  • Mention the relevant awards and prizes that you won if any. For instance, if you were a winner of a certain software development competition and you are applying for a software related job, you can mention such awards. This will present you as a hardworking and knowledgeable person in that particular field. If you have awards that are not relevant to this particular job, it is better you don’t mention them in the resume summary.
  • What makes you unique from other applicants: Employers are always interested in knowing what exactly makes you different from the rest of the people that have applied for the same job. It is in the resume summary that you will have an opportunity to express this to your potential employer in a brief way.

Tips to write a great resume summary

Tip #1: Have some numbers in the summary. It is always a good idea to add specific numbers whenever your describing things that are quantifiable. For example, if you helped your previous company cut maintenance costs in your department, it is better to describe this by the percentage these costs were reduced. This will show your potential employer a clear picture of how much you were able to do for you previous employer.

Tip #2: Don’t go beyond 5 sentences. You should find ways of putting all the information that needs to be in the resume summary without going beyond 5 lines. Anything beyond 5 lines is no longer a summary and may even be a turn off to the person reading your resume. Use at most 5 lines but make sure you don’t leave out any important information as well.

Tip #3: Don’t forget to mention your previous job title if it is relevant to the job you’re applying for. For instance, if you were a production manager at the previous company and in this new job, they are looking for an operations manager, you can mention that job title because both jobs have a lot in common. Adding your previous job title gives you a chance to show the employer that you have the capacity to manage the job on the table.

Tip #4: Avoid putting anything not related to the job you are applying for. You may be having multiple skills but the skills you add in your resume summary and resume in general should have some relationship with the job you are applying for.

Here is how best you can end your resume summary

It is a good idea to always end with the achievements at your previous jobs and the any other achievements related to the job you are applying for. You can start off with the experience, skills and expertise you have but always end with the achievements. Ending the resume summary with your achievements is like a punchline that will clearly present you as a capable person who was up to something at your previous jobs.

Final thoughts

Like we have seen above a resume summary is like an introduction and you should always give it your best since it’s the first thing your potential employer will be interested in looking at. The most important thing while writing the resume summary is having all the relevant information included in the resume summary.

It is also a good idea to write the resume summary after writing the resume. This is because, you will have a chance to look through the resume and put together everything that is really important and qualifies to be added to the resume summary.