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Your resume needs a summary of qualifications if you want the fastest way to get more interviews without a ton of work.
Picture a hiring manager. Her name's Kelly.
She's got 300+ resumes to read. That's about the size of a Stephen King book, right? But a lot more boring.
Some don't even make it past her Applicant Tracking Software. Others ramble, so she skims a couple bullet points and moves on.
But not your resume. It uses a summary of qualifications statement to hook her right away.
This guide will show you:
- How to write a summary of qualifications that gets more interviews.
- What to put in your resume's qualifications summary statement to make it a bestseller.
- Why (and how) you must quantify a summary of qualifications.
- How to make a resume qualifications statement drastically more effective.
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Here's an example summary of qualifications on a resume made with our fast online resume tool. See more templates and create your resume here.
That qualifications summary template above shortcuts your best accomplishments to Kelly's brain.
Now let me show you why it works, and how to do it perfectly.
What Is a Summary of Qualifications on a Resume?
A Summary of Qualifications is an introductory resume section. It’s a brief highlight of relevant experience, accomplishments, and skills. Its purpose is to show qualifications related to the job opening for which you are applying. It usually presents pertinent qualifications in bullet points.
What Is a Statement of Qualifications?
A statement of qualifications is the same as a summary of qualifications. It's the first section of your resume and it uses bullet points to show relevant experience and qualifications tailored to the requirements of the job you're applying for.
Why use it?
Most resumes get the six second skim treatment and are never heard from again. That's actually good news. If you write yours differently, you can be the lone Marvel hero in a pile of couch potatoes.
You can instantly see why a resume with a summary of qualifications works so well.
Look at the qualifications summary example below:
Summary of Qualifications Example
- Customer Service Representative with 8+ years experience in high-volume call centers.
- Maintained 99% positive customer survey rank at On Point Electronics.
- Scored 38% higher-than-average customer retention for all call-ins.
- Chosen as a target example for other reps during trainings.
- Scored a 98% in the SalesForce Certified Professional training program.
That's impossible to skim. On the contrary, it'll make the manager slow down and read the rest of your resume with care.
It's powerful. It slips past Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) like a career ninja. Why?
Because it puts so many relevant resume keywords right up top.
It's a little longer than a typical resume objective. Yet it actually saves time by giving the manager exactly what she needs, and fast.
Resume Summary vs Qualifications Summary vs Resume Objective
Compare that summary of qualifications example to the traditional resume objective.
Customer Service Representative with 8 years' experience. Extremely strong leadership skills. Excellent interpersonal skills. Have worked in two high-volume call centers. Trained in SalesForce.
By comparison, that just falls flat. Kind of like saying, "I can run really fast" vs, "I ran in the 2016 Olympics."
Now you know what a statement of qualifications looks like. Next let me show you how to make the perfect one and get more interviews.
Want to make sure your summary of qualifications will hook every recruiter and get you that interview?
Pro Tip: Don't think you've got enough material to write a good qualifications statement? Give yourself more credit. See the next section for a helping hand.
Not sure a resume qualifications statement is the best choice? Want to know how to write a summary for a resume the old way? See our guides: Best Resume Summary Examples You Will See and 30+ Professional Resume Objective Examples That Work.
How to Make a Summary of Qualifications
Think of a statement of qualifications like a fireworks finale.
It's got all your best shots in one place to guarantee a lot of oohs and ahhs.
Here's how to write the best qualifications summary:
- First, pick the strongest 4 parts from your resume and reword them.
- Make them as short and snappy as possible.
- Add a top bullet point that best describes your professional title.
- Include your number of years of relevant experience.
- Tie each bullet point directly to what the job offer wants most.
- Make sure each achievement is measurable.
This great resume summary of qualifications example lights the way:
Sample Project Manager Summary of Qualifications
- Health Care PMP, RN with 10+ years' experience managing multiple projects simultaneously in high-volume hospitals.
- Slashed costs 32% in 6 months through a hospital-wide Lean initiative.
- Cut stockroom waste 65% with a "Just in Time" restock project.
- Recipient of PMI 2015 Eric Jennett Award for Project Management Excellence.
- Guest speaker, 2014 Northeast Shingo Lean Conference.
Wow, right? The hiring manager is like a kid on the 4th of July.
That's especially true if the job offer seeks someone who can cut costs, and who knows a lot about Lean Health Care.
So how is that a fireworks finale? Take a look below at the resume example it came from. The key bullet points are outlined in yellow.
Pretty simple, right? Just take the highlights from your resume and recast them into a statement of qualifications torpedo.
Not sure what to put in a professional resume qualifications summary? I'll give you some great examples in the next section.
Pro Tip: A qualifications summary works great with all resume formats.
Having trouble knowing what to put in a good summary of qualifications? That comes down to why you'd be a great employee. See this guide: "Why Should We Hire You?" Best Answers (6 Proven Examples)
What Should I Write in the Summary of My Resume?
What goes into a great summary of qualifications?
Basically, anything guaranteed to electrify the hiring manager.
That's any achievement, win, or kudo that tops all your others by a mile. The list includes:
- Metrics You've Improved
- Problems Solved
- Money Saved
- Efficiencies Created
- High Key Performance Indicators
- Media Mentions, Publications
- Numbers of People Trained or Managed
- Certifications, Licenses, Degrees
In short, anything you've done that makes the hiring manager's eyes pop out. Anything that makes her say, "Wow! If he can do XYZ, he can definitely help us here!"
Need examples of how to write a good resume statement of qualifications? Below are 22, from all different jobs.
Qualifications Summary Examples
These examples come from account qualifications summaries, cashier qualifications statements, office manager resumes, and more.
Let them inspire you to sell your own achievements to your next employer.
Examples of Qualifications Summary for Customer Service
- Received 94% positive customer rating for conveying product features and benefits.
- Resolved tickets 25% faster than company average.
- Named employee of the month 3 times.
Examples of Qualifications Summary for Executive Assistants
- Tasked with saving time for top-level executives. Saved each an average of 12 hours per week, which translates to $25,000 a week at current salaries.
- Assisted with ad-hoc projects. Created PowerPoint presentations. One presentation was shown to 600+ employees as a policy deployment tool.
- Scored a 96% on Isograd MS Excel Test
Examples of Qualifications Summary for Financial Analysts
- Responsible for all financial analysis for a large manufacturing firm. Increased analysis efficiency for all departments by 40%. Decreased errors 22%.
- Maintained standard costs within 1% deviation year over year. This saved the jobs of four employees who had been marked for downsizing.
- Saved the company $1.2 million by identifying 20 low-margin projects.
- Article "An Erosion in Earnings: The New Finance" published in Harvard Business Review.
Examples of Qualifications Summary for Marketing
- Developed 200+ graphic design projects (brochures, catalogs, presentations).
- Ran a social media ad campaign for the local pet shelter that got 9,000 shares, with a 2% conversion rate to donations.
- Trained 14 Brand Ambassadors to promote events on campus grounds.
Example of Qualifications Summary for Receptionists
- Implemented a new CRM with reporting capabilities. Cut costs 18%.
- Typing Speed: 90 WPM.
Examples of Qualifications Summary for Graphic Designers
- Winner: D&AD New Blood Award 2014
- Led a team of three designers to develop graphic and production materials.
- MBA, University of Pennsylvania, Graphic Design
Examples of Qualifications Summary for Software Engineers
- Headed team that received 2015 BOSSIE award for cloud computing.
- Set up an online fundraiser for a local animal shelter that saved the lives of 15 dogs and cats.
- Member, IAENG Society of Software Engineers since 2014.
Any of those examples look great in a resume summary of qualifications.
Pro Tip: Build a master list of all your best achievements in a spreadsheet. Then, cherry-pick the most fitting for each qualifications summary you write.
Need more suggestions for what to put in a great qualifications statement? See this guide: Accomplishments and Awards to Put on Resume (30+ Examples)
Why and How to Custom-Fit a Qualifications Summary
So, a good summary of qualifications is really a summary of accomplishments.How to knock the hiring manager's socks off?
That comes down to custom fit.
You can't write your best qualifications statement in a vacuum.
You must fit it to the job offer.
The sample job description and accountant statement of qualifications below shows how.
Qualifications Summary Example [With Job Description]
Looking for a licensed CPA.
- Must have 5+ years of experience working in films with revenue of over $3 million per year.
- Very detail-oriented person.
- Tech/IT skills required.
- Deep knowledge of A/R systems a must.
With the above information in hand, you pick the achievements that fit best.
Examples of Qualifications Summary for CPA
- Detail-oriented CPA with 7+ years of experience in firms earning over $4 million a year in revenue.
- Spotted a recurring error in legacy tax filing procedures. Saved $25,000/year forever.
- Installed and calibrated payroll automation software that slashed errors 15%.
- Installed a new A/R system that cut Average Days Delinquent by 18%.
- Recipient, AICPA Elijah Wall Sells Award for extremely high score (97%) on all four sections of the CPA Exam.
Can you see why that summary of qualifications would spin the hiring manager's head around?
The first time you do this, it'll take a lot of time. After a couple job applications, you'll be custom-fitting qualifications summaries in a few minutes.
Pro Tip: Don't write a qualifications summary. Write one for each job. Sound like a lot of work? Save each one as a summary of qualifications template to reuse later.
Before you tailor your qualifications statement, tailor your resume. See our guide for pointers: 6 Proven Tips on How to Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description
You Must Quantify Achievements on a Qualifications Summary
Here's the final tidbit that'll put your summary of qualifications over the top.
You've got to quantify each point as much as possible.
Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes again.
It's one thing to tell her you can hit a target.
But can you hit it from 100 feet away, or half a mile? And can you do it in the rain, or in the dark? The details matter.
Example Qualifications Summary [Well Quantified]
Those bullet points are measured. They'll get a lot more interviews.
Compare them to this sample qualifications statement below.
It's still not bad, but that statement of qualifications will get a lot less interviews.
Pro Tip: Having trouble quantifying your achievements? Google search your career name + "KPIs." You'll find lists of Key Performance Indicators for your career.
Don't just quantify your qualifications summary. Use action words to engage the hiring manager's attention. See our guide: 240 Resume Words to Fix Your Resume
Summary of Qualifications For Entry Level Candidates
Can an entry-level candidate even write a qualification summary?
After all, the idea is to cram it with impressive achievements.
If you've got no experience, what can you put in your qualifications statement?
If you're angling for an internship, or an entry-level job right out of school, pick your best academic achievements.
Sample Summary of Qualifications for Entry Level and Students
- Hard-working computer science specialist, Tufts University Certified.
- B.S. in Computer Science from Penn State. Received Schreyer Scholarship to study eCommerce. Maintained 3.9 GPA.
- Took 2nd place in the 2016 SpOJ.com Code War.
- Prolific coder, heavily involved in challenging coding projects since high school. Have created 5 working eCommerce sites. Contributed to 7 GitHub projects.
- Spoke on a panel about collaborative coding at the Code For Princeton Hackathon in 2016.
That's guaranteed to make the hiring manager start looking for your contact info.
Stuff a student entry-level qualifications summary with:
- Coursework relevant to the job
- Student groups
- Volunteer accomplishments
- Extracurricular activities
No experience? Targeting an entry-level position? Need a little more help with writing a student resume? We’ll show you how to nail them:
- First Resume with No Work Experience
- Entry-Level Resume: Sample and Complete Guide [+20 Examples]
- Complete Guide to Writing a Student Resume [13 Tips, Examples]
Qualifications Summary for Career Changers
Not a student? Writing a junior summary of qualifications for career changers?
If you're seeking a new niche, you won't have achievements in that field. So, pick transferable achievements.
That means anything that proves you can handle the duties listed in the job description.
This guide shows how to write a summary of qualifications that gets a ton more interviews. Remember these key points:
- A resume with a great qualifications summary works because it gets your best achievements to the manager as fast as possible.
- Pick the best 4 achievements from your resume and reword them into four short bullet points. Add a bullet point that shows your title and how long you've done the job.
- Custom fit your bullet points to the job offer by first reading the offer carefully. You can't build a winning statement of qualifications in a vacuum.
Need more info about how to build a great qualifications summary? Got a great tip you want to share? Give us a shout in the comments! We'll reply fast!