How to Write a 2023 Resume Summary: 27 Examples and Complete Guide
A well-written resume summary can quickly persuade a hiring manager to spend more than six seconds on your resume. Learn how to write a great summary statement with this free writing guide, examples and templates.
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According to a hiring poll, most recruiters scan a resume in under six seconds. If you can’t demonstrate highly impressive skills or accomplishments within those six seconds, they might discard your resume before a hiring manager can even consider you. The most effective way to impress a recruiter and appeal to a hiring manager is to write an effective introduction at the very top of your resume.
An effective resume summary introduces that valuable information at the start of your page, increasing your likelihood of getting an interview. We’ll explain how to write a meaningful and persuasive opening, and back our advice with resume summary examples and templates to help you pass that six-second skim.
What is a Resume Summary?
A resume summary, also known as a resume profile or summary statement, is a brief introduction that sits under your contact information. This opening summary statement acts like an informal marketing pitch — you advertise one or two skills, back them up with proof of your accomplishments, and explain how you can recreate these achievements for the betterment of the hiring company.
Let’s dissect this example to learn some of the techniques you can use to write your professional resume summary.
Profile Summary Example for a Sales Associate:
“Charismatic retail sales associate with over four years of experience. Customer service and greeting techniques helped minimize theft and increase daily sales by 12%. My flexible availability helps store managers create well-staffed schedules.”
Use job-related skills to help impress hiring managers. This job seeker pitches their customer service and theft prevention skills to appeal to store managers.
Use quantifiable metrics like data, percentages and notable changes to help the hiring manager understand your cost-effective skills. This job seeker pointed out how their customer service skills left a positive impact on daily sales.
Explain how your skills and contributions can positively improve the hiring manager’s daily duties. This job seeker points out how their flexibility makes it easier for the store manager to plan and assign shifts.
Before we dive into the details of how to write a professional summary, let’s talk about the two approaches you can take to pitch yourself as the best candidate for the job. Resume headlines can pitch your qualifications in one of two ways: the career objective and the summary statement.
The resume objective is the original introduction — this brief statement outlines which skills and experience you hope to get out of your employment. However, we don’t recommend this approach unless you're new to the workforce or rejoining it after an extended absence, changing careers or relocating. You can learn more about effective resume objective writing strategies here.
Most managers are interested in which skills you can bring to help streamline a workplace, so you should consider writing a resume summary, which is also known as a resume profile or summary statement. This introduction identifies one or two employment pain points under the job description and demonstrates how you successfully deployed those skills at previous jobs and how you aim to repeat these professional accomplishments at a new job opening.
When Should I Use a Resume Summary?
We recommend writing a summary statement for most job applications. However, we’ll break down some of the common reasons to apply for a new job and show you strategic resume summary examples so you can confidently write your own. Common reasons to write a new, tailored resume include:
- Internship to full time
- Recent graduates
- Apprenticeship to full time
- High school graduate
- Changing companies
There are a few times when we suggest writing a resume objective instead:
- Entry-level employees
- Career changers
- Reentering the workforce
- High school graduate without work experience
- College graduates
- Frequent work gaps
- Freelancers and job-hoppers
- Short-term contractors
If you fall under these categories, please hop over to our objective statement writing guide instead. This page will offer free examples, templates and tools to help you impress a hiring manager.
You can streamline this process and write your entire resume with our template-rich Resume Builder. Now let's look at these potential job opportunities and help you write a powerful summary statement that influences hiring managers to keep reading your resume.
A well-written resume summary focuses on your accomplishments and how you can replicate them at a new job or workplace. What better way to apply for a promotion or senior position than to showcase evidence of your skills at the very start of your resume headline? You can tailor your opening statement to focus on a clearly requested item. Use the examples alongside our resume writing guide to get your application started.
Junior to associate engineer
Junior graphic designer to graphic design
Sales associate to team lead
Internship to full time
An internship is a valuable opportunity to learn and develop real-world skills and knowledge related to your education. A well-written resume summary will focus less on the limited internship length and more on the transferable skills and career-related accomplishments you fulfilled in your internships. You can find free downloadable intern resume templates here, and use these resume summary examples to see how focusing on career-specific knowledge helps boost your application.
Accounting intern to bookkeeper
Research intern to cell therapy research associate
Marketing intern to social media strategist
“Six-month marketing intern interested in applying to the newly created social media strategist position. Oversaw the creation and daily publication schedule of new brand social media channels, in addition to previous responsibilities related to planning and executing email campaigns. Researched hashtags and viral content to craft a channel that reaches, attracts and engages our target audience. This led to organically growing channels to 25,000 followers within three months and increasing site traffic by 17%.
If you’re still struggling with how to introduce your internship training and accomplishments, our Resume Builder can suggest professionally written text templates based on your limited years of experience and career goals.
A recent college or trade school graduate dedicates years to developing specific skills and knowledge. A well-written summary statement highlights those skills and references real-world applications relevant to your education and the open job opportunity. These text examples show how you can downplay your relative lack of professional experience in favor of your academic accomplishments. Use these resume summary examples and a free resume template for entry-level roles to write your resume in no time.
Bachelor’s in Business Management
Master’s in Literature
Master’s in Education
Apprenticeship to full time
An apprenticeship is similar to an internship: you’re learning employable skills in a hands-on environment and developing safe muscle memory. These resume summary examples can help you learn how to focus on the employable knowledge you developed when you’re ready to apply to full-time positions after the end of your apprenticeship.
Plumbing and AC repair apprenticeship
High school graduate
As a high school graduate, you’re not likely to have a lot of formal working experience that you can highlight in your resume summary. We strongly recommend that you use an objective statement to highlight your transferable skills and desire to accomplish more in your first job. However, if you held an after-school job, you can reference these transferable skills to find your first part- or full-time job outside of school hours.
Streamline Your Resume Summary With a Clever Builder
Limiting your core accomplishments to three sentences with the sole aim of impressing hiring managers enough to seriously consider your entire resume is daunting. That’s why we developed a streamlined tool to help you get started. Our Resume Builder scans online job postings and fellow job seekers’ content to suggest templates and prewritten introductions based on your previous experience. You can tailor these suggestions to each job opening to help you pass the six-second recruiter scan we previously mentioned.
How to Write a Resume Summary
The best way to write a resume summary is to:
- Focus on a few skills.
- Back those skills up with evidence.
- Mirror the requirements of the job posting.
- Directly tie your skills to the needs of the job.
To demonstrate these best writing practices, we’ll show you an example of a poor introduction and explain how it failed to capture a hiring manager’s attention. We’ll follow this up with an example of a good resume summary statement filled with persuasive information. To do this, we’ll create a sample job seeker looking for a full-time sales associate position.
Poor summary statement example:
Although this job seeker points out three skills that are crucial to a floor sales associate, we can’t really see how effective they are at their job. They say they have customer service and sales skills, but they don’t offer us any information related to their claims. A hiring manager can’t gauge how well they might work in the store without calling them in, and isn’t likely to spare that time if they see stronger applicants.
Good resume summary example:
This job seeker shares the same amount of experience and skills on their resume summary, but they add information related to their accomplishments. We know that they offer positive customer service because they were awarded with unsolicited compliments on a review site and store-specific awards related to their skill. They were also able to calculate how much a store earned thanks to their strong upselling skills. This awareness of their accomplishments means they are able to describe what profits they can bring to a new employer, making them a more desirable employee.
Now that we talked about the best writing practices for writing your resume introduction, let’s give you one more poor and strong resume summary example to see if you can spot the difference in professional details.
Poor resume summary example:
Good resume summary example:
Browse Job-specific Resume Summary Examples
We covered special career promotions and circumstances before, but let’s look at job-specific examples for the most common and competitive job openings on the market.
Summary statement for students
Manager resume summary
Team member professional summary
Resume summary for an executive
Project manager summary statement
Cashier professional summary example
Summary statement example for a general manager
Receptionist resume summary
Supervisor professional summary example
Resume Summary FAQ
How do you start a summary statement?
Start your summary statement with:
- Your current or former job title
- Your years of experienceYour years of experience
- One relevant skill or accomplishment related to an open job advertisement
What is a good summary statement for a resume?
A good resume summary is two or three short sentences that quickly explains your experience, skills and accomplishments. An effective summary statement persuades hiring managers to carefully analyze your resume for additional qualifications and achievements.
How do I write my summary?
Use this simple text template to help you write a good summary statement for a resume:
“[Adjective] [Job Title] with [Years of Experience] in [Advertised skill]. Effective use of [Skill] and [Skill] led to [Career Accomplishment.]”
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