Find out when and how to use resume objectives. How are they different from summaries? +20 actionable examples.
A resume summary statement (or a career summary) is a heading section of your resume that highlights your skills, years of work experience, best achievements, and certifications. It summarizes your expertise described in the resume. A professional summary is usually 2–3 sentences long and should be tailored to the position on offer.
Nobody will read your resume.
You’ll send a million copies and they’ll vanish like Keyser Söze.
The average job gets 250 resumes. Hiring managers skim them. A glance here, a glance there, and in the trash you go.
A resume summary statement will change that.
By showing the few things that make you sparkle like Diana Prince in business-casual.
The good news? Most won’t do it, which makes it easy to stand out.
That puts you 249 steps ahead.
This guide will show you:
- How to write a resume summary that unleashes a barrage of interviews.
- 25 resume summary examples you can use to simplify your job search.
- What to put in a summary statement for resumes to make the manager stop skimming.
- Which skills and achievements to put in a professional summary—and what to leave out.
Here’s a sample resume with a summary statement made using our resume builder.
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 tips and right vs. wrong examples while writing your resume. See +20 resume templates and create your resume here.
A sample resume template with a summary—See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.
What is a Resume Summary?
In a nutshell:
A resume summary is a short, snappy introduction paragraph that provides an overview of your best work.
It works like a resume about me section that’s a few sentences longer than a resume headline.
This opening statement gives bleary-eyed managers a jolt of adrenaline.
- Match the employer’s needs
- List achievements and skills
- Include measurable achievements
It works as a resume profile and answers the classic interview question: Tell me about yourself.
Here are two resume summary examples. Both target a job that wants cost-cutting, Lean, and Kanban skills. One soars. The other flops.
|Passionate Project Manager PMP with 10+ years of experience, seeking to increase profitability for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. At Seton Hospital, slashed costs by 32% in 6 months by implementing Lean training across all departments. Cut stockroom waste by 65% with a new Kanban system. Skilled in Continuous Improvement, Agile, and Business Process Improvement.|
(See the full project manager resume)
Boom. That’s how to introduce yourself on a resume. The hiring manager just spilled her coffee looking for your contact info.
What’s so great about it?
It fits the job ad and has numbers that quantify the accomplishments.
The next of our resume summary examples lacks vital details:
|Passionate, highly-skilled, experienced healthcare Project Management Professional with over 10 years experience managing multiple projects simultaneously in a high-volume hospital. Responsible for all PMP duties and skilled in Vendor Management.|
Ouch. That could be anyone, including Steve Urkel. The last of those resume summary samples doesn’t match the job, show achievements, or use metrics.
Ready to learn how to write a summary yourself? Jump to section 3—How to Write a Resume Summary in 5 Easy Steps.
Want more career summary examples? Skip to section 4—20+ Great Resume Summary Examples.
Pro Tip: Want to use bullet points in your professional summary statement? That’s called a Qualifications Summary or Summary of Qualifications. Some experts swear by them.
Get our free ebook and see samples of job-winning resume summaries. They match real job posts: Resume Summary Examples for Every Profession.
Resume Summary vs. Objective—What’s the Difference?
Here’s the difference between a resume summary and a resume objective:
A resume objective proves you want the job.
It shows passion.
A resume summary proves you’re qualified.
It shows passion + experience.
The old advice was, if you can’t write a summary, write an objective.
That is––if you’ve got nothing but pep, show it!
Here’s the mind-blower:
(Thank me with Swiss bank accounts when you’re rich.)
Even with no experience, you should still show experience.
Let’s back up a step.
The next of our resume summary examples stacks the deck in your favor:
|Licensed RN with two years clinical experience seeking to strengthen patient care at Newark Central Hospital through proven skills in triage, daily care, and problem solving. Achieved 25% increase in patient satisfaction at Clifton Urgent Care, and 95% positive preceptor evaluations.|
(See the full nursing student resume)
Zap. That’s no chest-pounding, self-inflated applicant. This powerhouse can do the job in her sleep.
She’s got plenty of experience. She shows it with skills, achievements, and numbers in her professional summary.
Now here’s an old-school resume objective:
|Nursing school graduate looking for a job at a major hospital. Compassionate and skilled in patient care. I'm good with people and have problem solving skills.|
You’ve got gumption! Spirit! Real grit and gusto!
But you lack achievements. The hiring manager has no idea what you’re capable of (or incapable of).
Now ask yourself—
Which of the two brief resume summary examples above will get the job?
It’s pretty easy to tell the difference.
But how can you write a summary with no experience? Stuff it with your best transferable achievements. I’ll show how in a minute.
How long should a resume summary statement be? About 50 words or 3 sentences. Short & sweet to pierce the hiring manager’s thick hide.
In the end, any resume heading statement (no matter what you call it!) simply has to follow this advice.
Pro Tip: Did you score a big achievement for a task you hate? Don’t list it in your resume summary. You’ll just end up stuck with that responsibility again, and it won’t make you happy.
Do you think you might be better off writing a resume objective (aka resume statement of purpose)? Write a good one with our guide: +20 Resume Objective Examples - Use Them On Your Resume
How to Write a Resume Summary in 5 Easy Steps
The hiring manager’s attention is almost bulletproof.
Getting her to read your entire resume is almost impossible.
So follow the five steps below. They’ll make the summary on your resume stand out like a 50-carat diamond in a parking lot of pebbles.
Feel the pressure?
Our resume builder (you can create your resume here) will give you tips and examples on how to write your resume summary or any other section. You can easily copy them straight into your resume - it will save you a ton of time.
Inside Zety's resume builder you will find tips and examples for your resume.
Now, here’s how to write that professional resume summary:
Write Your Resume Professional Summary Last
It’s so hard to write a resume summary statement.
But only because you don’t have the ingredients.
So—write the rest of your resume first.
Then grab the best bits for a professional summary that cures the hiring manager’s computer slouch.
I’ll show how next.
Start a Summary With Your Title
Begin your resume summary with:
- A single descriptive adjective (optional)
- Professional title
- Key certification (if you have one)
- Years of experience
Like the next of our resume summary statement examples:
Passionate, licensed teacher with 5+ years of experience...
(See the full teacher resume)
That professional summary example gives the hiring manager a wealth of info about you in one second.
Pack Your Resume Summary With Achievements and Skills
When you write a resume, it’s best to take a little time to think back over your career.
- What are my brightest moments?
- What am I proud of achieving?
- What do I love most about what I do?
- What do I do best?
Put the answers in your resume bullet points.
Make your resume professional summary from the best few bits.
Here’s the template for an intro paragraph like that:
- 2–3 achievements
- 2–3 skills
- The name of your target company
- What you hope to do for your new employer
Check out the next of our resume summary examples:
Vigorous housekeeping supervisor with 5+ years of experience and proven skills in daily and deep cleaning. Seeking job with Hyatt Hotels. Directed six housekeeping staff at Marriott Courtyard and increased positive customer comments by 38%. Saved $200,000 for management by noticing recurring problem with guest room toilet valves.
(See the full housekeeping resume)
That last professional summary on a resume for housekeepers has it all.
The skills and achievements tell your new employer you can do the job. The company name says you’re not just tossing resumes in the wind.
Don’t Make it Generic
How do you boil down your entire career to just 2–3 skills and achievements?
Don’t choose them at random.
Pick the ones that make the hiring manager’s pulse speed up.
Scan the job description. Highlight the skills and achievements you see.
Pick the best parts of your resume that match.
Let’s say the job ad calls for (1) fast typing, (2) accuracy, and (3) efficiency.
The resume summary examples below show right from wrong.
|Highly accurate data entry clerk with 5 years of experience, seeking position with Media Level Marketing. (1) 10-Key Typing Speed of 15,000 KPH with zero errors. (2) Maintained 99% accuracy in two fast-paced data entry positions, entering 750-1000 records per day. (3) Increased efficiency for Franklin Lighting 33% by automating tasks with MS Excel Macros.|
(See the full data entry resume)
You fit that job like a plug in a socket. How can they not hire you?
Those are the exact skills the job requires. Your achievements prove your superpowers.
But don’t do it like the next of our resume summary samples:
|Data entry clerk with 5 years experience in insurance data services. Very fast typist. Skilled in MS Office, including MS Excel and MS Access. Have worked at two different data entry clerk jobs.|
Those are great skills and achievements, but they don’t fit the job!
After a professional summary like that, the hiring manager will barely read your resume.
Add Measurements to Your Achievements to Make Them Real
Telling someone you managed a big project is great.
Adding that it had a budget of $1.2 million is job-getting.
Saying you trained employees is nice.
Revealing that it was 10 employees makes the phone ring.
Always quantify achievements.
These two resume summary examples show the difference:
|Compassionate caregiver and CNA with 6+ years experience providing in-home patient care. Have consistently maintained client reviews in excess of 94% positive. Driving record - 100% clean. Tallied 25+ commendations for efficiency and cooking delicious, nutritious meals.|
(See the full caregiver resume)
Your measurable achievements make it real. Avoid resume summary statement examples like this:
|Experienced caregiver, working since 2010, both in nursing homes and for private clients. My patients love me. I'm very compassionate and a good cook.|
That’s not bad, but it won’t shake the hiring manager from her daze.
Adding measurements will:
- Draw the eye and give the manager a sense of what you’ve done.
- Give proof your claims are more than just hot air.
- Set you above other candidates who didn’t elaborate on accomplishments.
- Help the hiring manager imagine you achieving the same results for him/her.
Pro Tip: Microsoft Word is not an achievement. Your five-year-old brother, grandma, and dog can all use MS Word, so keep it out of your professional summary section.
Put some resume keywords in your resume introductory statement. Those are the most important words shown in the job ad. Want help finding them? See our guide: Resume Keywords To Use: Step-by-Step Guide
20+ Great Resume Summary Examples
Here are 20 professional resume summary examples, crammed with enticing achievements.
There’s one for all the most-searched careers, including:
- Project Manager
- Customer Service
- Computer Science
- Graphic Designer
- And 15 More
Don’t see your profession? We’ve got you covered, with dozens of full resume examples for every career. Each contains dedicated resume summary statement examples.
Professional Summary Examples
Customer Service resume summary example:
Cheerful Customer Service Representative with 8+ years experience, looking to elevate the customer experience at Vibco. Received 99% positive ratings at On Point Electronics. Customer retention for my regular call-ins was 38% above company average. Seeking to use proven customer service and telesales skills to grow customer loyalty for AT&T.
(See the full customer service resume)
Summary for resume of computer science pro:
Engaged computer science professional with CompTIA A+ cert and 15+ years of experience. Seeking to leverage exemplary leadership skills as a project manager for Cisco Systems. Slashed costs 25% at Innotrode and worked on a team that raised customer loyalty 20%.
(See the full computer science resume)
Graphic Designer resume professional summary example:
Senior graphic designer responsible for daily content design for medium-sized firm. Worked regularly on graphic, layout, and production materials. Recipient of the 2016 BigCommerce Design award. Developed 200+ graphic design projects (logos, brochures, advertisements, infographics) that increased client transactions by 25%.
(See the full graphic designer resume)
Summary for resume of receptionist:
Receptionist with over 5 years' experience working in both the public and private sectors. Diplomatic, personable, and adept at managing sensitive situations. Highly organized and proficient with computers. Commended 5x by management and clients for cheerful attitude and willingness to help. Spotted a clerical error in our billing system that saved the company $10,000/year.
(See the full receptionist resume)
Software Engineer resume professional summary example:
Energetic software engineer with 7+ years experience developing robust code for high-volume businesses. Increased code-efficiency of XYZ Corp customer portal by 55%. Boosted customer retention by 25%. Spearheaded a team that won the 2016 BOSSIE Award for cloud computing. An enthusiastic team player and deep creative thinker.
(See the full software engineer resume)
Summary for resume of marketing professional:
Experienced growth marketer with a background in sales and 5+ years experience growing conversion rates for a San Francisco mobile carrier. Seeking to leverage leadership excellence to raise KPIs for Symantec. At Innotech, raised CTR by 30% and slashed production costs 15% by strategic supplier sourcing.
(See the full marketing resume)
Pro Tip: How do you write a summary? Scroll past these examples for a full guide on how to write a summary for a resume.
Pharmacy Technician resume summary example:
Energetic senior certified pharmacy tech. Receive consistent commendations for enthusiasm, attention to customer needs, and attention to detail. Increased staff retention at Rite Aid Jersey City by 25%. Decreased waste by 22%, increased customer satisfaction by 35%. Received 90% positive customer feedback at CVS Jersey City. Active member, National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA). Excelled at Penn Foster Career School's certified pharmacy tech training.
(See the full pharmacy technician resume)
Summary for resume of dental assistant:
Compassionate dental assistant with 4+ years’ experience helping dentists prep, perform, and document procedures. Consistently received customer satisfaction scores in excess of 95% positive. Proven track record for decreasing setup times for procedures. Highly skilled in digital X-Rays, 4-handed dentistry, and billing.
(See the full dental assistant resume)
Web Developer resume professional summary example:
Prolific, full stack web developer with a passion for metrics and beating former "best-yets." Prototyped 25 new product features per year for Flexor, Inc. Decreased rework by 22% and costs by 15%. Consistently receive high user experience scores for all web development projects, including a 55% increase for Flexor, Inc. Passionate about building world class web applications. One of my sites received a 2015 Webby for Best Navigation and Structure.
(See the full web developer resume)
Financial Analyst resume summary example:
Chartered Financial Analyst with 5+ years’ experience, seeking to leverage proven cost, revenue, and budget maximization skills for Capital One. Saved HUDA Inc. $2.7 million by identifying low-margin projects. Improved pricing scheme at MRI International. Grew customer retention 32%.
(See the full financial analyst resume)
Summary for resume of artist:
Passionate artist seeking residency at Asheville Museum of Art. As resident artist in Fayetteville, WV, produced collection of art depicting the 2016 floods, and an award-winning sculpture for the local visitors bureau. Participant in three exhibitions and have held two long-term artist jobs.
(See the full artist resume)
Engineering resume professional summary example:
Energetic mechanical engineer with 9+ years experience. Seeking to use proven process and production design skills to advance manufacturing excellence at Boeing. Increased production efficiency by 35% at Raytheon IADC. Decreased costs 28% and cut lead times by 22%. Lowered defects 32% department-wide. Spearheaded the team that received the Shingo Prize in 2017.
(See the full engineering resume)
Medical Assistant resume summary example:
Certified Medical Assistant with 5+ years experience. Seeking to use proven patient care skills to support excellence at Swift Med. Received 95% positive patient reviews at MedFast. Strong grasp of EHR created 22% less errors and saved $50,000 a year through correction of improper use.
(See the full medical assistant resume)
Summary for resume of retail worker:
Enthusiastic retail clerk with 3+ years experience. Seeking to boost REI KPIs through proven skills in sales and customer loyalty. Maintained 93% positive customer reviews and 21% above average repeat customer scores. Run own YouTube product knowledge channel with 1,500 views a month.
(See the full retail resume)
Pro Tip: You may have 10 great skills to put on a resume—that’s great! But only add a couple to your resume personal statement. Just the 2–3 that fit the job ad best.
Executive Assistant resume professional summary example:
Energetic executive assistant with 5+ years experience, seeking position with Bekaras Industries. Saved Kallas, Inc. an average 15 hours per week for four executives. Reduced travel cost waste by 28%. Saved $2 million/yr by eliminating customer misunderstandings by creating a new call system.
(See the full executive assistant resume)
Office Assistant resume summary example:
Engaged office assistant with 6+ years experience, seeking to facilitate office excellence at Caliphon Inc. Have fulfilled shipping, CRM data entry, and other office assistant duties at various firms. Improved customer complaint resolution by 53% and decreased scheduling mistakes by 32% at Castle Rock Mineral.
(See the full office assistant resume guide)
Summary for resume of office manager:
Energetic office manager with 5+ years experience, seeking to leverage proven management and training skills to grow efficiency at Prescott Global. Oversaw eight office assistants in a high-volume tech business. Grew new contracts by 22% per year. Cut lead times 53%. Cut costs 22%.
(See the full office manager resume)
Nanny resume professional summary example:
Compassionate nonsmoker nanny with 3+ years experience. Seeking to enhance daily care for Jimenez family. Served as live-in nanny for over two years. Ensured physical activity 355 days/yr. Enhanced math scores by 35% through tutoring. Transported children daily with 100% clean driving record. Certified Child Development Associate (CDA).
(See the full Nanny resume)
Warehouse resume summary example:
Warehouse associate with 6+ years experience seeking to deliver top KPIs for Target. As an Amazon warehouse associate, maintained picking/packing speeds in top 95%. Performed to 100% of packing specs. Kept records 99% error free. 5-time Walmart picker of the month.
(See the full warehouse resume)
Summary for resume of security guard:
Registered, armed security guard with Guard Card. Seeking to use high-level patrolling and conflict-resolution skills to help Toll Brothers achieve loss prevention mastery. In previous jobs, reduced breaches by 71%, cut safety incidents by 55%, and decreased vandalism by 45%.
(See the full security guard resume)
Pro Tip: Drop I, me, and my from your professional summary to focus on the employer. That’ll let her picture you achieving great things for her.
Don’t let your resume professional summary read like shampoo instructions. Power it up with great resume action words. Turn managed into orchestrated, communicated into persuaded, and responsible for into elevated. See our guide: 240 Resume Action Words & Power Words to Make Your Resume Shine
How to Write a Resume Summary With No Experience
What if you don’t have experience for a great resume summary?
Cold sweat time.
Feels like the brief description of your professional background will indeed be brief, huh?
You don’t need experience to have achievements.
Relevant accomplishments can come from:
- Unrelated jobs
- Volunteer work
- Commendations from superiors
- Freelance work
- Hobby projects
Let’s say you’re applying for a construction job with no experience.
But you’ve done construction tasks in janitorial and grounds jobs. You’ve also done a few days of temp work.
So, do like the first of these resume summary examples for entry-level jobs:
|Hard-working construction worker, seeking to deliver fast, high quality work for Jandreau Construction. Have worked as Skid Steer operator, parking lot construction laborer, and temp construction helper for various construction firms. Commended five times by management for strong work ethic.|
(See the full construction resume)
Look at that!
No experience, but you’re qualified.
The transferable achievements sell it.
But don’t do like the next of our resume summary samples:
|Physically fit laborer seeking construction job. No direct construction job experience yet but I'm hoping to train on the job.|
Yeesh. Who wants to hire Jar Jar Binks?
That job candidate isn’t within 100 miles of qualified.
Pro Tip: Can’t think of good enough achievements for your summary for resumes? Don’t lie. You will get caught during the interview.
Writing your first resume with no work experience? Need resume summary examples for students? See our guides:
- First Resume with No Work Experience Samples
- High School and College Student Resume Samples & Writing Guide
- Career Change Resume: Sample and Complete Guide
Here’s a recap of how to write a great resume summary:
- Use the 25+ resume summary examples above to craft your own job-winning version.
- Put your best achievements in your professional summary. Use 2–3 accomplishments plus the same number of skills.
- Add your name, title, any certification, and years of experience to a summary for a resume.
- Weld your summary for resumes to the job by adding measurable achievements that match the job ad.
Do you have questions on how to write a resume summary statement? Not sure how to describe your skills or achievements in your brief description of professional background? Give us a shout in the comments! Let's land that dream job!