What is a summary on a resume?
A resume summary is a 1-5 sentence introduction at the top of your resume that highlights your most relevant career experience, skills, and achievements. If you have many career highlights, the professional summary for your resume will be longer.
The first sentence of a resume summary should always include your biggest professional selling points. And for most employers, those selling points are your:
- highest job title or degree
- years of relevant experience
- main responsibilities or achievements during those years
Each sentence of your professional summary must clearly highlight good examples of why you’re the best fit for the role.
Good resume summary example
Senior Customer Service Representative with 7+ years of experience working on and leading a call-center team. Personally handled 90+ sales, tech support, and customer care calls daily, accumulating a 95% customer satisfaction rating to date. 100 WPM typist with a Salesforce CRM certification.
This 3-sentence professional summary for a customer service resume hits upon the candidate’s work history (7+ years), the type of work they did (handled 90+ calls daily), an achievement (95% satisfaction rating), a skill (100 WPM), and even a relevant certification (Salesforce CRM).
If you’re able to summarize your key selling points in your professional summary this effectively, you won’t be looking for work long (because you’ll get a job offer first).
Does a resume need a summary?
No, you don’t need a summary on your resume. But if you have a range of accomplishments relevant to the job you want, whether they’re related to work, school, or volunteering, you can write a good resume summary statement that encourages hiring managers to continue reading.
Resume summary vs resume objective
The main difference between these two resume introductions is that a resume objective focuses on your motivation and the company’s goals, whereas a resume summary statement targets your career highlights (experience, skills, accomplishments, and other qualifications).
Additionally, a resume summary can be used for any job applications within your field, industry, or occupation. On the other hand, a resume objective must be edited and potentially rewritten every time you send out your resume so that it addresses the specific company.
- Inexperienced job seekers
- Recent graduates
- Applicants interested in a particular job opening
- Experienced job seekers
- Skilled individuals with several career or academic highlights
- People applying for multiple job openings in their field
How to write a resume summary
To write a good resume summary statement, first think about your greatest professional, academic, and personal achievements.
Are any of those achievements related to the type of job you want? On their own, do they prove you’re qualified to handle such work?
Whether you’re an experienced manager, a mid-to-senior level job seeker, or even have no work experience, we’ll show you exactly how to write a professional resume summary that showcases your ability to succeed in your field.
If you’re a manager
Writing a professional resume summary for a management position only takes three sentences (but you can add more if you have other related details to highlight):
- First sentence: # years of relevant management experience, plus your biggest responsibilities as a manager
- Second sentence: An example of your greatest managerial accomplishment
- Third sentence: Additional achievements, certifications, or skills that highlight your management ability
Resume summary example (management)
Sales manager with 8+ years of experience planning, directing, and implementing sales strategies across the Pacific Northwest. In 2021, successfully led a 15-person team during our Spring regional sales campaign and exceeded the business’s projected profitability by 35% via the implementation of creative sales strategies and new sales software. CPSP certified, strong written and verbal communication skills, and passionate about team building in the workplace.
This manager resume summary example effectively summarizes the candidate’s most important experience from the very first sentence. Without relevant experience, it’s nearly impossible to land work as a manager, but this opening line quickly establishes the candidate as both experienced and qualified.
Then after describing a major career highlight that proves they can make a valuable impact in a managerial role, this veteran manager includes a relevant certification and touches upon their major management skills. In three quick sentences, the employer knows that this candidate is:
- Experienced and qualified
- Proven to be effective
- Adept at managerial work
- Interested in growing and building a team
If you’re mid-to-senior level
If you have at least 1-2 years of professional work experience in your field, you can write a compelling summary for your resume in three easy sentences.
- First sentence: # years of relevant professional experience, plus your most notable duties in that profession
- Second sentence: Your top on-the-job skills, and how they helped you accomplish your greatest professional achievement
- Third sentence: Other related skills, certifications, and accomplishments that make you a worthy candidate
Resume summary example (mid-level)
Executive assistant with 4+ years of experience providing daily executive-level support. High standards for organization led me to introduce inventory supply software (Zoho Inventory) to management in 2018, saving us 5% in operational costs every year. 115 WPM typist, highly proficient with QuickBooks, Zoom, and Google Workspace.
After starting with their experience and primary job responsibility, this candidate provides a good example of how a soft skill (in this case, organization) helped them make a quantifiable, positive impact on their company. Saying you have a skill on your resume is simply less effective than if you provide an example of that skill in action.
The candidate wraps up their professional summary with a few strong, related hard skills that they can immediately apply to their work if hired. Combined with their experience and quantified achievement outlined in the first two sentences, they’ve set the rest of their resume up for success by effectively summarizing the value they can provide an employer at the top of their resume.
If you have no experience
No experience in your field or industry? You can still write a good summary for a resume by using the following 2-3 sentence structure:
- First sentence: Descriptive adjective + your current standing (student or jobseeker is fine), GPA (if 3.5+), and any relevant experience from in or outside of the classroom
- Second sentence: Your top relevant skills, and how those skills helped you achieve success (like on a term project, or receiving an academic award)
- Third sentence (optional): Additional skills, achievements, or experiences outside the classroom that make you a better candidate for jobs in your field
Summary for resume example (no experience)
Highly motivated 4th-year journalism student with 4 semesters of experience working as Head Editor of my university’s newspaper. My passion for editing and copywriting earned me the Jim D. Goodfellow Award for journalistic excellence in the Journalism Department (2020 academic year). Skilled with all Google Workspace products, Office 365, Evernote, and can type 95 words per minute.
After reading this resume summary, it’s clear that even with no professional experience, this candidate is qualified to work in any entry-level job that requires writing skills and a strong work ethic.
And if this applicant’s degree isn’t relevant to the job they’re applying for, writing is still a transferable skill that applies to other fields (like marketing, for instance). Any company looking for an inexperienced but hardworking and capable writer would be drawn to this candidate because of their professional summary.
Need help getting ideas for your no-experience resume summary? Check out these resources and mix them into your own writing:
- Extracurricular activities / interests on a resume
- GPA / dean’s list / Cum laude on resume
- Volunteer work on a resume
- How to include relevant coursework in your resume
- How to list sorority and fraternity experience on a resume
40+ professional resume summary examples
To help you write your own professional resume summary, let’s look at some resume summary examples from various industries and experience levels.
Whether you have no work experience or are applying for an executive role, we have resume summary examples that can help you as you write your perfect resume.
10 good resume summary examples (entry-level)
It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a resume summary with no experience. If you have accomplishments related to the position you’re applying for, then writing a resume summary statement can help you land work.
Here are 10 summary for resume examples written by candidates with no relevant work experience to give you some ideas:
Passionate childcare professional with over a year of babysitting experience. Skilled at creating engaging, educational activities for children and fostering a safe, caring environment. Employed unique tutoring methods to help the child I was babysitting improve her speech impediment. CPR certified and an experienced vegetarian home cook.
Committed English major with exceptional research and writing abilities. Awarded multiple honors based on merits and expected to graduate from UCLA in June of 2019. Tutored freshmen and improved writing scores by 40%.
Recent Marketing graduate with 5 months of internship experience in digital marketing and branding in the fashion industry. Helped launch a branded account on Tik Tok for Michelle Textiles, gaining over 8,000 followers in 4 months. Skilled in growing engagement and staying on top of the latest trends to improve brand growth.
Enthusiastic high school student with strong interpersonal skills and perfect attendance record. Was a top performer in my school’s fundraiser last year, selling $450 worth of chocolate. Have CPR certification and am well-versed in food safety techniques from helping in my grandparents’ restaurant.
Diligent high school graduate with a 3.9/4.0 GPA and 100% attendance record. Served a term as student council president with 70% support from council members and organized a charity drive for homeless veterans, raising $4,700.
Energetic marketing student with knowledge of advertising, PR, product development, and consumer research strategies. Received 3rd place out of 30 teams in UGA’s business plan competition. Member of the American Marketing Association.
Upcoming nursing graduate with excellent educational credentials and hands-on patient care experience. Possess strong foundational knowledge of medical terminology, healthcare policies, and patient care.
Recent Political Science graduate (3.7 GPA) with 5 months experience conducting research through my school’s statewide polling program. Excellent understanding of standard survey methods and quantitative analysis. Achieved recognition for completing an average of 40 successful phone interviews per day, the highest volume of anyone in the program.
Dedicated aspiring warehouse worker with 1 year of experience working for a moving company. Fluent in English and Malay, and able to repeatedly lift packages of over 100 pounds. Won an award at my previous job for shaving an average of 10 minutes off every moving job.
Related resume samples:
20 resume summary statement examples (mid-level)
Many people who land on our website have at least 2+ years of relevant work experience. To best accommodate this audience, we’ve provided 20 resume summary examples for jobseekers in a wide range of industries:
Certified public accountant with 5+ years of experience handling ledger processes and account reconciliations, as well as streamlining accounts. Supervised a $4.7 million budget and reduced costs by 17% over 3 years. Possess an MBA with a focus in accounting.
Lead bartender with 3+ years of experience in cocktail preparation and creation. Deep knowledge of local craft beers, wine, spirits, and cocktails, as well as their optimal food pairings. Bartending license certified by the District of Columbia.
Methodical business analyst with 5+ years of experience supporting business solution software and analyzing operations. Evaluated risks related to requirements implementation, testing processes, project communications, and training which saved the company $5,000+ annually.
Camp Counselor with 4+ years experience directing lively, interactive, and educational summer camps for youths from 5 to 15 years old. Energetic leadership style, extensive experience running summer camps. First Aid, CPR, and Lifeguarding certifications, plus Wilderness First Responder Training.
Head cashier with 7+ years of experience providing excellent customer service, handling daily accounts, and maintaining inventory. Handled 92+ transactions daily and increased customer satisfaction by 9% in 6 months.
Reliable and caring certified nursing assistant with 6+ years of experience caring for elderly adults. Assisted 15 residents during each shift with everything from the basic activities of daily life to providing social and emotional support.
Customer service representative with 5+ years of experience in a call center setting, including sales, tech support, and customer care. Received an average 85% customer satisfaction rating to date, while handling 90+ calls daily. 70 WPM typist.
Dental assistant with 4+ years of experience providing efficient and competent service in busy dental clinics. Prepared 15 patients daily to undergo dental procedures, and recorded treatment information in patient records with 100% accuracy. Possess Dental Assistant Associate Degree.
Detail-oriented financial analyst with 6+ years of experience developing and presenting informed analysis to guide executive-level decisions. Increased revenue by an average of 7% annually through an optimized investment strategy. Possess M.S. in Accounting and CFA certification.
Diligent hotel housekeeper with 6+ years of experience managing and training new employees. Deep familiarity with all cleaning material and tools, as well as OSHA safety guidelines. Fluent English and business-level Spanish.
IT specialist with 7+ years of professional experience in information security and digital forensics. Expert with a wide variety of security, engineering, networking, and operating system software. Possesses an Associate Degree in Information Security and Digital Forensics.
Creative marketing professional with 6+ years of experience working for a diverse group of organizations and clients. Increased monthly sales from $8,000 to $25,000 in 10 months, and increased followers on social media by 150% over the same timespan.
Attentive and detail-oriented medical assistant with 5+ years of experience. Assisted family doctor to administer exams of more than 2,000 patients from over 600 families. AAMA Certified Medical Assistant and Phlebotomy Technician since 2011.
Receptionist with 9+ years of experience managing administrative functions for office personnel. Strong ability in analyzing information and providing solutions to problems. Saved the company $10K in undue payments from inaccurate billings.
Retail sales associate with 5+ years of experience communicating with and retaining clients. Achieved an average of 140% of sales goals for 3 consecutive months and provided recommendations that generated $8K in additional revenue. Bilingual in English and Spanish.
Courteous server with 7+ years of experience of food preparation and service in 150+ seat restaurants. Generated additional daily wine sales of $150. Certificate in Food Handling and Safety.
Committed social worker with 5+ years of experience serving the community, resolving conflicts, and providing guidance for those in need. Served in 3 to 5 weekly therapy groups. Facilitated crisis intervention services and psychosocial assessments to address needs of young adolescents, who ranged from 10 to 18 years old.
Driven software engineer with 6+ years of experience executing cutting-edge engineering solutions with a wide range of e-commerce application and technology skills. Able to leverage full-stack expertise to build interactive and user-centered website designs to scale.
Accomplished teacher with 10 years of experience instructing classes of different sizes and ability levels. Received 90%+ satisfaction rating from parents and students each of those years. Improved math and literacy grades by 17% and 24%, respectively.
Web developer with 8+ years of experience in designing and developing user interfaces, testing, debugging, and training staff in ecommerce technologies. Optimized check-out page that increased user clicks, and subsequently customer purchases by 20%.
Related resume samples:
10 professional summary examples (management)
Your manager resume summary needs to quickly demonstrate your relevant experience and knack for management, otherwise it may leave the hiring manager thinking you’re unqualified for the job.
Here are 10 manager resume summary samples to help you perfect writing your own manager resume:
Account manager with 7+ years of experience monitoring client accounts, analyzing incomings and outgoings, and performing forecasts. Managed accounts worth $4.7 million in annual sales. Increased business volume by 150% by implementing new customer service initiatives.
HR manager with 6+ years of experience implementing effective HR policies and leading a 4-person human resources team. Increased employee retention above 90% and reduced recruitment costs by 10%. SHRM certified, Google Workspace fluent, 90 WPM.
Innovative marketing manager with 6+ years of experience in home appliances and cosmetics environments. Recruited, hired, and trained 30+ marketing and sales specialists, improving overall sales targets by 24%. Directed launch of 12 new product lines, with total annual revenue of $1.3 billion.
Financially savvy, customer experience-oriented Operations Manager with a passion for solar energy. Over 7 years of experience in the renewable energy sector, with an expert understanding of compliance regarding state and federal laws. Reduced operating budget waste at my current company by 3% for the past two fiscal years. Committed to promoting high safety standards and ethical company values.
Product manager with 8+ years of experience developing brand strategy, evaluating financial performance, and marketing. Managed an annual budget of $4.7 million and exceeded sales quota by 74%.
Project manager with 8+ years of experience managing multi-million dollar construction projects, coordinating a team of 90+ subcontractors, and performing budget allocation and analysis. Managed a project budget of $325M+ while reducing costs by 15% annually.
California-licensed property manager with 15+ years of experience closing contracts with landlords and clients, selecting professional and cost-efficient contractors, and filing accurate taxes. Hold a certification from the National Association of Residential Property Managers and a California Real Estate Salesperson License.
Enterprising restaurant manager with 6+ years of experience managing a high-quality and fast-paced five-star restaurant. Coached 50+ staff members and maintained an employee retention rate 25% higher than industry standard by implementing training programs.
Fiercely competitive sales manager with 7+ years of experience driving profitability through strategic growth, leading teams, and quality control. Achieved $13,000,000 in sales monthly within the district while increasing customer satisfaction by 5% each year.
Results-driven Warehouse Manager with 11+ years of experience driving process efficiency and operational excellence. Proven success in reducing costs, improving inventory turns, and enhancing performance through system enhancements. Adept at implementing and managing inventory audits/cycle counts, multinational logistics, and supply chain strategies.
Related resume samples:
Skills summary (2 examples)
Last but not least is the skills summary.
If you have extra space on your resume and want to make your introduction stand out even more, you can try writing a skills-focused summary for your resume
Using bullet points and bolded skills, this type of professional summary achieves the same effect as a good 3-sentence resume summary but adds a nice visual element with the bolding.
Caregiving: Provide quality health care in a 20-patient ward, including daily monitoring, recording, and evaluation
Communication skills: Interface daily with 7 team members concerning patients’ treatments
Empathetic: Commended 3 times for ability to deliver bad news to patients and their family members
Knowledgeable: Graduated Sacramento State Nursing program with 3.9 GPA
- Product Recommendation: Exceeded monthly sales quota by an average of 47% each month
- Customer Service: Highest customer retention and rebooking rate (over 80% of clients)
- Adaptability: Perform 7+ hair services, including coloring, cutting, and straightening
- Product Knowledge: Expert in 17 product lines, including Obagi, Clinique, and Dermalogica