First impressions are important, especially on your resume. That’s why we have put together three remarkable resume summary examples to help you create an immediate, strong connection with each hiring manager or recruiter you contact.
You have only one chance to make a first impression! And when it comes to resumes, your summary is that opportunity.
In this article, we’ll share three resume summary examples that set the tone, outline top qualifications, and grab the attention of a hiring manager.
Not sure you need to update your resume? Submit it for a free resume critique from a Let’s Eat, Grandma senior writer!
What is a resume summary, and why is it so important?
Your resume summary is your first chance to thrill the recruiter The resume summary section is at the very top of the document – right after your contact info and headline. Because of this prime location, you can be sure anyone reading your resume will read it – or at least scan it for relevant information. So it’s worth your time to make sure it will catch their attention.
Resume summaries are usually short at 75 to 100 words, and they should align with the job description for ATS and job screening purposes. (More on that later!)
It’s actually quite a juggling act, but luckily, any veteran resume writer will tell you that effective resume summary examples include many of the same elements – like level of experience, positive character traits, and key accomplishments.
You’ll also want to keep in mind that your resume summary can be in the form of a short paragraph, a few bullet points, or a hybrid of the two:
- Short paragraph format works well for candidates who need to pack a punch, highlight transferable skills, and communicate their work ethic.
- Bullet point format is best for job seekers who need to show a wealth of industry experience and leadership qualities in the most succinct way.
- Hybrid format is a great option for high-level organizational leaders who have a career’s worth of professional accomplishments to condense into a small space.
You’ll see that these formats work best for certain kinds of candidates, so this guide is divided into three parts: new graduate, mid-level professional, and senior-level professional. Within these sections, we’ll also highlight job-winning resume summary examples that you can use to help create your own unique resume summary.
Read on to find out which of our resume summary examples best fits your personality and job prospects!
Resume summary example for a new graduate
Entry-level candidates and recent grads are often tempted to skip the resume summary altogether. Without much of a career history, there isn’t much to summarize! And while we understand your hesitation, Let’s Eat, Grandma fully supports and believes in the power of a resume summary, especially for new graduates.
It’s your chance to stand out from the other 50+ potential candidates who have roughly the same amount of work history and educational accolades as you. You’ll also want to show the hiring manager that you can connect the dots from your impressive extracurricular leadership experience to their specific job posting.
So, here’s a basic outline of what to include in your resume summary
- Industry Background
- Transferable Skills
- Work Ethic Traits
You’ll also need to explain your background in a way that aligns with the job description. In other words, it is helpful to pick out keywords and integrate them throughout your entire resume. This helps you meet the ATS requirements and shows the hiring manager that you are ready to hit the ground running.
Let’s see how the following scene plays out. This scenario assumes you are a new grad who wants to secure a position in the sales sector. Most sales positions will mention that you need to be able to build relationships with clients and work within the proven method of the sales funnel. How can you communicate all of this important information while keeping it short and sweet? See the resume summary example below:
Entry-level resume summary example: Sales Representative
That’s right. In three sentences, you used several keywords from the job description to explain your own unique experience. This will entice a hiring manager to continue reading for the details of your academic history, work experience, and any other relevant information–getting you one step closer to landing the interview.
Resume summary example for a mid-level professional
Different resume summary formats work best for different kinds of candidates, depending on the circumstances. Photo by Surface on Unsplash
Professionals with more than two years of work experience usually fall into this category. You are likely looking to take the next step or change organizations, so it’s important to highlight your history as well as your career ambitions.
You will include some of the same elements as a new graduate in your resume summary, but hiring managers expect it to be even more specific. Metrics can be helpful at this stage–as long as they prove you are the best candidate for the job without cluttering the limited space afforded to a resume summary.
Here’s a general idea of what to include in your resume summary:
- Industry Experience
- Key Credentials
- Leadership Qualities
You’ll also need to tailor your resume for each job posting by blending language directly from the job description with your qualifications. You may have heard of “keyword stuffing,” which is not at all what we are recommending. Instead, you will want to choose key phrases from the job description to integrate throughout your whole resume. This helps you pass the ATS and makes it easy for the hiring manager to see your value-add.
So, let’s say you are ready to advance your career from the associate level to the manager level. It’s crucial to explain your core expertise, leadership style, and professional goals in a clear and compelling way. You have the choice between two formatting options: paragraph form or bulleted list. Because we showed you the short paragraph form in the new graduate example, we will show you the bullet point format here:
Mid-level resume summary example: Accounting and Finance Manager
We like this format for mid-level professionals, especially, because it grabs the attention of your reader and emphasizes your most relevant experience. In three, quick bullet points, it touches on career timeline, key industry skills, and plans for the future. Best of all, it’s easily skimmable for busy hiring managers.
Resume summary example for a senior-level professional
A senior-level professional will want to demonstrate their leadership and strategic thinking in their resume summary. Photo by Daria Pimkina on Unsplash
If you are looking to join the ranks of director or executive leadership , then you are firmly within senior-level territory. Your resume summary needs to capture your professional experience while distinguishing your application from the top-tier crowd.
The resume summary section for a senior-level professional is key to getting a call back from a potential employer. They want to see that you have the background to lead, grow, and engage their organization. You will likely have influence over both profit and culture, and you don’t want to seem like a gamble. It’s time to put your cards on the table, and a resume summary is a great place to start.
What to include:
- Industry Expertise
- Key Accomplishments
- Leadership Capabilities
It’s important to thoroughly read the job description and select a few keywords to weave throughout your resume. Your resume summary is a great place to strategically place a few of those keywords; however, it’s much more likely that a high-level resume will go straight to human eyes for a quick overview–rather than through the ATS.
So, how can you make your senior-level resume summary stand out for a human audience?
Senior-level professionals can choose either a short paragraph or bullet point format–or you can go with a hybrid format that combines the options. Here’s an example of the hybrid format:
Senior-level resume summary example: IT Director
This layout is both eye-catching and easy to scan. It includes a broad overview of accomplishments with applicable metrics. You can drill down into specific projects and leadership examples in the professional experience section. Meanwhile, this resume summary example meets its mandate by generating interest around past achievements and painting a clear picture of future career goals.
Like a sales pitch or elevator speech, your resume summary gives a first glimpse of the value you bring to a role, and it leaves a lasting impression on hiring managers and recruiters. You can choose any format that fits your personal style–as long as you keep it short and focus on relevant information, you are in the clear and ready to land that interview.
For more help, check out our resume writing packages and executive concierge service.