How To Write The Perfect Summary For A Resume

published on 23 December 2022

Writing a good summary is more than just slapping together some words, it is an integral part of your resume that helps recruiters determine if you are a fit or not for their company.

When recruiters look at your summary, they want to know what you will add to the team as a person and whether you can help with the mission of the organization. They also want to make sure that you did not misrepresent yourself by leaving out important parts of your career.

Be concise


It’s easy to put together a short, catchy summary that sounds great, but then you pack in so many florid adjectives and phrases that it no longer means anything.

Your potential employer, the hiring manager, will likely read this brief synopsis twice at most. The rest of the time, they’ll simply discard your summary as not important enough.

They’ll move onto the next resume, leaving you with nothing! If you're too wordy, you'll be left wanting.

It's your first chance to make an impression since employers can only see the first few lines of each job application. Make yours stand out. Embrace brevity and clarity.

Avoid long, rambling sentences unless they are broken up by bullets or other supporting material. Use instead shorter, more direct ones that emphasize the key points of your career and personal story.

Make it action-oriented


Your summary should be a short, quick mention of what you did and why it was important. But most people use the wrong length and content of their summaries, which is not helpful.

Your summary shouldn’t try to be much longer than the rest of the section, nor should it be shorter than one or two bullets. We recommend having around three sentences, making a total length of about four paragraphs.

The reason we suggest this length is because employers will likely read your resume quickly, so they won’t have time to really evaluate it if it’s too long.

Use engaging language


When writing your resume summary, use a tone that is engaging and lures readers in to want to read more. Your job search will go much better if you are able to connect with a potential employer through your written communication skills!

Your summary should be one or two sentences depending on how short or long your career profile is. Make sure to include some key points of the position being recruited for as well as highlighting any skill sets that make you stand out from the crowd.

Your personal narrative can also be used to emphasize strengths and describe experiences, achievements, and milestones. Add motivation and goals to inspire others and show leadership qualities that fit the role.

Keep it focused


When writing your summary, stay within the given confines of the job posting. Make sure your summary is related to the position and contains either an indication you have performed these tasks or proof that you have done them.

Your summary should be one seamless flow of information which highlights your strengths as a person and a professional. It should be a concise, unambiguous statement about you and what you can offer an employer.

It is very important that employers are able to compare your resume with others easily and clearly. If they cannot, due to poor formatting or lack of bullet points, then there may be questions over whether you are truly qualified for the position.

Make sure your summary does not contain any errors such as spelling mistakes or long irrelevant sentences.

Know which part to update


Even though you may have updated your resume several times, that is not a good thing! If you are looking for employment, chances are employers will compare your current resume with older versions.

They may ask to review old resumes or even give you a chance to make changes to yours. As such, be sure to update your resume as needed, but don’t do it too often unless necessary.

Don't worry about being totally perfect because there are many ways to improve your summary. Re-writing and editing your summary can fix most problems.

Start off by taking a look at your current summary and see where you can cut down or add onto what you've got already.

Personalize it


In creating your summary, you want to make sure that you personalize it. Make it relate to who you are as a person and what you like doing.

This will help potential employers connect with you and may even grab their attention enough to read more of your resume!

Your job title is included in the first line of the summary so do not leave it out or use a general term such as professional services sales associate.

Instead, describe yourself and what position you held at the company. For example, I’m an account manager with ABC Company.

Mix it up


As mentioned before, most people get very focused in their writing and try to use only their own experiences or stories as examples. This is totally fine! But if you want to stand out, you have to mix it up.

Use anecdotes from different sources and fields to show how you’ve mastered your field. Or how you overcame past setbacks. Use concepts that are outside of your normal context, like comparing sitting down after eating food with actioning going after what you want.

Your personal summary should be a concise, sharp description of yourself — who you are and what you've done. Make sure it's clear and interesting.

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