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Summary Statements on Resumes

Updated May 11, 2021 3 min

Summary statements can be challenging to write if you don't fully understand their purpose or don't have a clear formula for writing one. Luckily, you won't have either of those issues because we're going to ensure you know exactly what to do for this section of your resume!

Your resume summary is an incredible opportunity to catapult yourself in the reader's mind as the best candidate for the job. Use a 1-3 sentence statement that excites the reader and convinces them to read your resume.

The summary section is not a good place to talk about what you are looking for in a position or career. Instead, focus on showing the reader that you’re the right person for the job by focusing on the value you can add.

This is how to build a stellar summary that will get you interviews:

  1. Start with the professional title you’re aiming for

  2. Include your years of experience

  3. Add the meat of the summary, making it narrative-style or achievements-based

For a narrative-based summary, you’ll want to call out:

  • The aspects of your experience that most directly align with the job description (i.e., the industry, company type, or size of organization)

  • 3 areas of expertise that differentiate you from other applicants

  • Optionally, a key achievement you want to highlight

Like this:

Operations Manager with 5+ years of experience enabling revenue generation and driving growth at Fortune 500 companies. Developed and implemented processes and onboarding documentation to help scale an organization from 100 to 2,000 employees. Expertise in sales planning, project management, and cross-functional collaboration.

You can copy-paste this into your own resume and use it as a template:

{Job title} with {X} years of experience in {your role or department}. Strong background in {key differentiator} with a focus on {your unique value vs other applicants}. Expertise in {keyword1, keyword2, and keyword 3}.

For an achievements-based summary, you’ll focus on what you’ve actually done. This works well if you’re in a very performance-driven role, you’re quite junior, or your career isn’t as linear, and you want to focus your story on what you have achieved.

Here’s what that looks like:

Marketing Associate with a track record of major launches:

  • Designed and launched “Kandle Light,” Kandle.io’s first monthly newsletter; grew readership from 200 to 4,000 in two months

  • Increased organic Instagram following by 30% MoM by creating weekly content and using paid posts to increase page traffic

  • Improved Grow with Google's CTR by 50% in Q3 2017; worked with engineering to implement countdown timers as a call to action

And here’s a formula you can copy and paste:

{Job title} with {X} years of experience and a track record of {what you’ve accomplished}:

  • {Achievement 1}

  • {Achievement 2}

  • {Achievement 3}

Either way, these styles of summary make it easy in 5 seconds to understand who you are, why you’re applying and will convince people who get a copy of your resume to actually read it!

Resume Objective

A resume objective is helpful for people who don't have much work history. If you are a career changer or new grad targeting entry-level positions, you can include a resume objective.

Here are some example resume objectives:

Hard-working recent graduate with a B.S. in Physchology from the University of California, Berkeley. Passionate about applying lessons from cognitive science to build compelling product experiences. Seeing a role as an Associate Product Manager where I can learn while producing significant results for the business.

As a reminder, this is what you have so far for your header:

Now it's time to write your summary statement!