The 3 Best Resume Formats to Use in 2023 (Examples)
How to pick the best resume format to make sure your application stands out? Learn from our handy guide on resume formatting. Read more!
Your resume is a biopic and you need to sell it with a great trailer: a professional resume summary statement. But what exactly is a resume summary?
As seen in:
A resume summary is a professional statement at the top of a resume. It describes the candidate's relevant experience, skills, and achievements. The purpose of this career summary is to explain your qualifications for the job in 3-5 sentences and convince the manager to read the whole resume document.
And you're about to learn how to nail it.
In this guide we'll show you:
Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.
Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume samples here.
Before we look at some more detailed resume tips, have a look at those universal resume summary statement samples.
Experienced PMP with a background in law and 7+ years experience growing revenue for a Massachusetts-based electronics firm. Seeking to leverage leadership expertise as project manager for Paylocity. Guest speaker at the Northeast Lean Conference in 2014.
Detail-oriented Civil Engineer and PE with 5 years of experience and a zest for solving complex problems. Seeking to use proven project management and design skills to improve quality, cost and time metrics for NEP Engineering.
Receptionist with over 5 years' experience working in both the public and private sectors. Diplomatic, personable, and adept at managing sensitive situations. Highly organized, self-motivated, and proficient with computers. Looking to boost students’ satisfactions scores for ABC University. Bachelor's degree in communications.
The two sections below will show you exactly what a resume summary is, who it is best for, and how to write yours step by step.
But if you’d rather skip these and get straight to the resume summary examples for 25+ professions, you can simply click on the industry in the table of contents below.
Office and Administrative Jobs
Let’s rehash the definition—What is a professional summary on a resume?
A career summary is a short introduction placed at the top of a resume. It highlights relevant experience, professional accomplishments, and skills. It’s your career condensed into a few paragraphs. The purpose of a career summary statement is to make the hiring manager read on.
Your entire resume needs to include relevant experience, accomplishments, and skills. And that suggests that the summary should also highlight qualities related to the duties and responsibilities listed in the job description.
So what about entry-level resumes or career-change resumes? Should the candidates writing them simply skip this profile section entirely?
If your experience is limited, you’d be better off writing a career objective as it highlights your skills, rather than experience.
Sounds like you? Learn about your alternative option for a resume intro here: Career Objective Samples for Your Resume
That being said—
We’re living in times when definitions are becoming fuzzy, clear-cut career paths are becoming a thing of the past, and employers expect fresh grads to already have some work experience.
This last point, in particular, has resulted in more and more students, entry-level candidates, as well as career changers to opt for a resume summary rather than objective anyway.
That’s why, apart from all the examples for experienced candidates, in the examples below you'll find an entry-level resume summary, a college student resume summary, and a resume summary for career changers, too. It's actually one of the most flexible resume sections.
Think an introductory paragraph isn’t ideal to top your resume with? There’s another option for your resume introduction, check it out here: Summary of Qualifications on a Resume
You can also add even more impact with a resume title.
We'll show you how to introduce yourself, but if you're pressed for time use our builder.
You'll get pre-written resume summary statements available at a single click. Pick and choose, customize, and be done in seconds.
But this won’t help you much if you approach writing a resume summary from the wrong side.
And every good resume summary has the same starting point—
The job offer.
In a moment you’ll see why. But first—
A sample job offer:
The example below shows how a resume summary for this particular job offer could look.
Self-motivated and cheerful customer service professional with 2+ years of experience helping customers navigate websites and resolving product and service issues. Eager to support BookMe in building an impeccable online reputation by providing top-class customer support. Received 98.9% positive ratings at GHI Inc. where customer retention for my regular call-ins was 25% above the company average.
What is it exactly that makes this example resume summary so effective?
In a word:
And, to be honest, if you were to memorize just one thing after reading this article, it should be this:
Always tailor your resume summary to a specific job offer.
When you put the sample resume summary above next to the job offer it’s been written for, you’ll quickly notice how aligned they are:
See how it works?
Here’s the secret:
Treat the job offer as the ultimate cheat sheet for your career summary (as well as the rest of your resume.) It’s not only where you can find all the skills and work experience the employer requires but also where you get ideas about the best keywords for your resume.
Let’s hold on to this last thought for a second.
Over 98% of Fortune 500 companies use ATS software to initially screen the candidates’ resumes.
How does the ATS work? Well, we have an entire article on how to make an ATS resume that explains the details, so here’s just the basic idea—
ATSs look for keywords in your resume and compare them to the original job posting.
If they can’t find the words they’re looking for, they’ll reject your resume. Even if you’re perfectly qualified.
This is why relevance is so important, and why you should start writing your resume from… reading the job offer.
Pro Tip: The only way for you to write a perfectly tailored resume summary is by applying for the jobs you’re qualified to do. If you’re picking random offers, several bad things may happen. First, your job hunt may last forever. Second, you may start lying on your resume. Third, you’ll never be able to tailor your entire resume to the job offer.
If you’re asking yourself:
Do I have to write the resume summary from scratch each time I reply to a different job offer?
The answer is yes, but—
It doesn’t have to be that hard if you know the secret formula.
Here it is:
[adjective(s)/strong character trait(s)][your job title][your experience]. Eager to support/help/assist/etc. [company name][what you want to help the employer achieve and how you want to do it]. [your key achievement(s)].
And this is how it works in practice:
You can copy-paste this formula for your personal statement into a new document and start filling in the blank spaces. And obviously, you can modify it any way you wish.
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building professional resume template here for free.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
Don’t put random things there.
The key to writing the best resume summary is being specific.
If you don’t give details, or just write the things you think make sense but you don’t really check them against the job offer, you’ll end up with a resume summary that will look OK.
But will have absolutely no impact.
Like this one:
|Qualified customer service representative with many years of experience. Would love to join your company to keep developing professionally and seek new challenges. Commended on numerous occasions by superiors and peers for dealing with difficult customers and resolving complex issues.|
In and of itself, the resume summary example above doesn’t look that bad, does it? It even kind of follows the formula laid out several paragraphs above.
So why is it a bad resume example?
First off, it’s highly unlikely it would go past the ATS screening stage as it lacks relevant keywords.
Second, if this was the only resume summary the recruiter would have to read, they could even invite you for an interview. But—
An average job offer attracts about 30 resumes according to Jobvite, so the only reaction this resume summary would get is a smirk.
It’s vague, generic, doesn’t offer any numbers that quantify the candidate’s achievements, and is all about what the candidate wants.
It’s one big, resounding no.
Pro Tip: When writing your resume summary for the US employers drop all personal pronouns. Don’t write sentences that read I am a qualified customer service rep… Instead, write Qualified customer service rep…This is the standard style for resume writing in the US. If you’re looking for a job in the UK, though, full-sentence structures, such as I am a qualified… are perfectly acceptable.
To sum up, when writing a resume summary statement:
And one more thing—
Write your resume summary at the very end, once your entire resume takes its final shape.
This way it will be much easier for you to cherry-pick all the most important details you need to include in a well-written resume summary statement.
Apart from a summary, there are quite a few more things to add to your resume to boost your chances of getting hired. Read our guide and make sure you don’t overlook anything: What to Put on a Resume (20+ Good Things You Should Include to Win)
Resume summary statements on first job resumes are no longer considered a mistake.
Well, more and more entry-level candidates already have work experience under the belt.
Here’s an example of what a resume summary example for entry-level positions can look like:
Passionate analyst with a strong background in management and communication. Seeking to improve the grasp of key business indicators for ABC Inc. As a business writer for DEF Inc., increased employees’ understanding of key metrics by 25%. My Google Slides presentation of DEF’s corporate values was transformed into a webinar that got 3,000+ views.
To make things super clear:
For entry-level candidates, the distinction between a summary and an objective may become somewhat blurry. Remember: a career summary focuses on your relevant professional experience whereas a career objective highlights your skills.
That being said, t doesn’t matter if you’re writing an entry-level resume summary or objective for your personal profile.
What matters is—
You must never come across as underqualified.
So, take a long hard look at yourself, and see which of your past gigs could be relevant in the context of the job you’re applying for. Consider things like:
The example above is based entirely on the candidate’s unpaid internship experience.
Would you have guessed?
If you have no previous experience, maybe it’s a good idea to start with an internship? Learn how to write an internship resume from our dedicated guide.
Or if you need more detailed advice on writing a resume for a junior position, head straight to our guide: Entry-Level Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Meticulous and motivated student working towards a BA in Marketing at UC Berkeley (GPA 3.8). Eager to join ABC Media as a Junior SEO Researcher to help produce data-driven outreach marketing campaigns that will boost the company’s online presence. Previous 3-month internship experience with data-driven outreach marketing. Analyzed 10,000+ URLs to identify the top 100 domains from which the company wanted to win backlinks.
As a student of fresh grad, you don’t have to be green behind the ears either.
If you’ve had some work experience, make sure your college student resume summary shows it. Just like you see in the example above.
Apart from your internship experience, the resume summary for students can mention such things as your:
If you need more detailed information, read our guide: College Student Resume: Sample & Full Writing Guide
Driven and well-organized e-commerce executive with 7+ years of experience. Passionate about developing new businesses and planning marketing strategies. Seeks to boost and redefine ABC Inc.’s KPIs. At DEF Inc. increased revenue by 30%, boosted ROI 40% YOY, slashed yearly costs by 25%. At GHI Inc. expanded business by 80%.
An excellent resume summary is part and parcel of any seasoned pro’s resume.
Remember this, though:
If your executive summary for a resume is irrelevant to the job offer—
It will have zero impact.
For more details on writing a business executive resume, go to Executive Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Determined software engineer, eager to use C# and Java skills to support ABC Inc. in delivering programming excellence and clean code. Developed a total of 15 mobile and web apps. Collaborated on 5+ projects on GitHub, tested, and debugged 15+ applications. Contributed to developing back-end code for over 30 e-commerce websites.
As a career changer, you want to show how your past experience relates to the new position you’re seeking.
The sample above comes from a part-time freelance software engineer who wants to start a full-time career as a programmer in a large organization.
If your experience isn’t as relevant to the job you’re applying for as your skills, a resume objective could be just the solution you need.
For more details on writing a job-winning career-change resume, go to Career Change Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
In this last section, you’ll find a collection of professional summary resume samples for all types of jobs.
Mind you, though.
You have to rewrite your professional summary on a resume every time you’re answering a different job offer.
Because if it’s not relevant to the position you’re pursuing, it will get you nowhere.
Still, it’s always so much easier to write when you have a reference point in the form of a good resume summary example for your profession.
For your convenience, we grouped all the examples into industries.
Each resume summary example comes with a link to an in-depth resume writing guide for this very job title.
Dedicated senior administrative assistant with over 7 years of professional experience. Organized travel plans and schedules of 5 senior executives whilst doing general office admin duties. Eager to help ABC Inc. with managing appointments and communications. Also, skilled in accounting and ready to assist in bookkeeping. Devised and implemented 3 office initiatives that helped the company save over USD 10,000 a year.
For more details, go to Administrative Assistant Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Agile and well-organized receptionist with 6+ years of professional experience in the private and public sectors. Skilled at dealing with sensitive situations and keen to support ABC Inc. with organizational, diplomacy, and communication skills. At DEF Inc., implemented a CRM system with reporting capabilities that contributed to cutting costs by up to 25%.
For more details, go to Receptionist Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Dependable and devoted executive assistant with over 7 years of professional experience. Keen to support ABC Inc. with excellent organizational and analytical skills. At DEF Inc. optimized travel costs and effectively slashed them by over 30%. Also, saved USD 500K a year by redesigning and implementing a modernized call system.
For more details, go to Executive Assistant Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Dynamic office manager with over 7 years of professional experience. Seeks to leverage top-notch managerial and organizational skills to boost efficiency at ABC Inc. Managed a team of 5 office assistants in a high-volume retail business. Grew the number of new contracts by 30% a year, and reduced lead times by 45%. Optimized office supplies spending and saved over $50,000 per year.
For more details, go to Office Manager Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Energetic and optimistic customer service representative with over 3 years of professional experience assisting customers in solving complex issues. Keen to support ABC Inc. in becoming a market leader through proven customer support skills. Awarded Consultant of the Month three times. Helped reduce First Response Time by 20% within the first quarter of employment.
For more details, go to Customer Service Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Determined retail clerk with over 4 years of professional experience. Eager to help ABC Inc. boost its KPIs through outstanding customer loyalty-building and sales skills. Constantly received upwards of 90% of positive customer reviews and achieved 30% above average repeat customer scores. Also, runs a popular unboxing channel on YouTube with over 3K of monthly views.
For more details, go to Retail Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Insightful sales associate with 5+ years of professional experience in online and print media. Eager to boost DEF Inc’s revenue by at least 40% over the next fiscal year. In previous positions, exceeded quarterly sales targets by 10% every quarter. Maintained a customer retention rate of 90% YOY thanks to which won Salesman of the Year Award in 2018.
For more details, go to Sales Associate Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Likable cashier with over 5 years of professional experience. Seeks to utilize top-class organizational and attention to detail skills to boost efficiency at ABC Inc. At DEF Inc., awarded Employee of the Month four times in a row for accuracy and efficiency. At GHI Inc., worked a streak of 450 days with no sick leave and a 30% higher accuracy score than peers.
For more details, go to Cashier Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 7 years of professional experience. Eager to help ABC Center’s clients through first-class treatment plan development and assessment skills. At DEF Center devised 35+ plans for treatment and cooperated with 40+ clients to achieve their goals with a 90% success rate in under nine months.
For more details, go to Social Worker Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Dedicated secondary education teacher with over 8 years of experience in devising individualized curricula within state standards. Eager to join ABC School to utilize expert knowledge of English as a Second Language (ESL) teaching methodology, including project- and content-based instruction. Prepared 300+ students for international language certifications with a 99% pass rate.
For more details, go to Teacher Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Bilingual Pediatric Registered Nurse with 10+ years of professional experience in the ICUs and PICUs of community hospitals. Keen to join the ABC Hospital staff to leverage top-class management experience and patient care skills as a Pediatric RN at DEF Hospital. Thanks to a deep knowledge of hospital procedures and high standards of service consistently scored over 90% in compliance rate assessments.
For more details, go to Nursing Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Certified Medical Assistant with over 5 years of professional experience. Eager to use impeccable patient care skills to support excellence at ABC Med. At DEF Med, received 99% positive reviews. Reduced the number of errors by 22% and saved USD 70,000 a year thanks to a good understanding of EHR.
For more details, go to Medical Assistant Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Dependable multilingual CNA (BLS and CPR certified) with over 10 years of experience in various healthcare settings. Seeks to utilize proven managerial and patient advocacy skills at ABC Medical Center. At DEF Care Home managed a team of 7+ CNAs. Also, developed and implemented a set of procedures that reduced medication administration errors down to 0.1%.
For more details, go to CNA Resume Sample and Complete Guide
Disciplined and persistent senior CPA with over 6 years of professional experience. Eager to employ proven account reconciliation and IT skills at ABC Inc. In previous roles, improved DEF Inc’s cloud-computing practices that led to saving as many as 800 hours yearly. Identified and eliminated an issue that saved almost $1 million per year.
For more details, go to Accountant Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Chartered Financial Analyst with over 7 years of professional experience. Seeks to leverage budgeting, cost, and revenue-maximizing expertise for ABC Inc. At DEF Inc. saved USD 3.5M through identifying low-margin transactions. Also, optimized pricing policy at GHI Inc. that boosted customer retention metrics by up to 40%.
For more details, go to Financial Analyst Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Charismatic bartender with over 6 years of professional experience working at high-end clubs in large metropolitan and seaside areas. Thanks to exceptional memory, rapport-building, and storytelling skills achieved a 20% boost in up-selling to all patrons. Holds a Bartending Certificate valid in the vast majority of states.
For more details, go to Bartender Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Dependable and friendly server with over 3 years of experience waiting on guests at ABC Restaurant. Eager to join DEF Restaurant to offer its guests exquisite dining experience. Served up to 80 guests nightly and made sure all the dishes were delivered in a timely manner.
For more details, go to Server Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Seasoned IT PMP with a degree in law and 8+ years of professional experience in growing revenue for a fin-tech company. Keen to leverage leadership and managerial expertise as a project manager for ABC Inc. Executed a lean training project that led to cutting costs by up to 40% in 6 months.
For more details, go to Project Manager Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Disciplined and insightful data analyst with 6+ years of experience analyzing business processes. Eager to leverage big data interpreting and visualizing skills at ABC Inc to drive growth and boost sales results. In current role, identified a major bottleneck, reduced operating costs by over 20%, and saved upwards of USD 500,000 a year.
For more details, go to Data Analyst Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Skilled business analyst with a Ph.D. in Computer Science and 6+ years of professional experience. Seeks to employ top-class managerial and analytical skills at ABC Inc. In previous roles, grew warehouse profitability by 30% for a Fortune 500 retail company. Also, conducted in-depth business process analyses that increased revenue by 23%.
For more details, go to Business Analyst Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Meticulous and efficient HR manager with 7+ years of experience. Eager to boost employee retention for ABC Inc. In previous positions, increased employee retention by 20% YOY. Cut recruitment lead time by 30%. Also, improved employee effectiveness by up to 20% and boosted participation in training by 15%.
For more details, go to Human Resource Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Dynamic and creative software developer with over 5 years of experience in producing robust code for high-volume companies. Eager to support the dev team at CDE Inc. with top-notch coding skills. In previous roles, doubled code-efficiency of ABC Inc., and increased customer retention by 30% among others.
For more details, go to Software Engineer Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Ingenious and determined mechanical engineer with over 10 years of experience. Seeks to use first-class production design and process skills to push forward manufacturing excellence at ABC Inc. Boosted production efficiency by 25% at DEF Inc. and consistently delivered to customer needs at over 20% under budget.
For more details, go to Engineering Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Likable and dedicated IT consultant with over 5 years of experience in a fast-paced fin-tech company. Eager to offer superb analytical and computer skills to help ABC Inc grow its client base. In previous roles recognized for top company-wide quality satisfaction rating (over 99%). Also, reduced client wait time by 20% and boosted client satisfaction ratings by more than 40% in a single quarter.
For more details, go to IT Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Qualified warehouse associate with over 7 years of experience. Eager to join ABC Inc. to deliver top KPIs and impeccable organizational skills. As a DEF Inc. warehouse associate achieved picking-packing speeds and efficiency in top 96%. Five-time winner of the DEF Inc. picker of the month.
For more details, go to Warehouse Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Well-organized housekeeping supervisor skilled in deep and daily cleaning. Eager to join the ABC Hotel to help maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and organization. In previous roles, managed six housekeeping staff members at the DEF Hotel and contributed to boosting positive customer reviews by over 45%. Identified and resolved a recurring issue with guest room air conditioning that saved USD 300K.
For more details, go to Housekeeping Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Your job title is not on this list? We’ve got you covered! Go to Free Resume Examples for 99+ Jobs and find a complete guide for your exact profession.
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
See more cover letter templates and start writing.
Here’s a short recap—
The most effective resume summary follows this pattern:
Do you have any questions? Would you like to share your advice on writing an effective resume summary? We’re always happy to hear from you. Give us a shout out in the comments below!
A summary of qualifications on a resume (also called a resume profile or resume introduction) is a short, introductory paragraph that sums up your best professional achievements and your motivation. Its purpose is to catch the reader’s attention and immediately show your value to recruiters, hopefully convincing them to read on. No matter which resume format you decide to use, your resume summary should always go near the top of the page, below the resume header. If your resume template features a sidebar rather than a header, put the summary statement at the top of the main column.
Here's how to write a professional summary for a resume:
Our resume builder can help you write a job-winning resume summary quickly and easily, with drag-and-drop, ready-made phrases and built-in expert resume tips to guide you every step of the way.
If you’re making a resume with no work experience, such as a recent grad resume, consider writing a resume objective instead of a summary. A resume objective is basically a beginner summary for a resume: it too aims to show your skills and catch the reader’s attention, but it does so using your academic achievements and transferable skills rather than work experience. Objectives also work well for career-change resumes.
Writing a resume summary can be tricky, so we recommend doing it last. Complete your other resume sections first, with particular focus on work experience. Then, read through your resume and highlight the most important facts that you can use to compose a summary. You can start your summary with an adjective that describes your approach, such as Creative, Driven, Data-oriented, etc. For more inspiration, see our list of words to describe yourself.
A good summary for a resume should be a short paragraph, around 2 to 4 sentences. This means you should include only key facts, providing more details in the body of your document. For more information, see our guide on what a resume should look like.
You can browse our directory of resume examples for free—there, you’ll find a resume example for 500+ specific jobs. Just pick your profession to see professional summary examples (and/or objectives) written by our career experts. Each sample comes with a writing guide, so you can learn exactly how to write a resume for your profession or experience level.
How to pick the best resume format to make sure your application stands out? Learn from our handy guide on resume formatting. Read more!
How to write a resume that will get you the job you're looking for? This step-by-step guide will show you the best resume examples, and you can write a resume in a few easy steps.
You feel your resume isn’t good enough to beat the competition. And you’re not alone. See these transformations of Zety readers’ resumes and learn how to fix yours.