Summary – what it is and why to add it to the resume?

Few job seekers add a section such as summary to their resume. But this is a great feature to once again attract the attention of the recruiter. Let’s figure out how to write it correctly and why it is needed at all.

Summary is a brief and catchy introductory part to the resume about what you can do. In other words, key information. It’s like an annotation to a book. The task of the annotation is to sell the book to the reader, the task of summary is to “sell” the candidate to the employer.

Summary is your advantage

In fact, this is not an obligatory section in the resume. Many candidates do without it. And they make a mistake. After all, the ability to highlight the main thing is very much appreciated by recruiters. If you decide to add summary, the employer, even with a cursory acquaintance, will have time to see and evaluate your abilities. And then he will decide whether to continue reading the resume or send it to the trash. The purpose of the summary in 3 points:

  1. Quick introduction. Who you are, what you do, your advantages. We show key information without going into detail.
  2. Highlight the main thing. We emphasize professional achievements, skills and competencies.
  3. Attract attention. We demonstrate a non-standard approach to writing a resume and show why we are suitable for this position.

First of all, the summary should be convincing and attractive. Show how you can be useful to the employer and why you need to be invited for an interview. You have about 5 seconds. Here’s what a recruiter wants to see when they open a resume, and here’s what they need to show in summary:

  • Necessary experience.
  • Relevant skills.
  • Key career successes.
  • Expertise.
  • Creativity.
  • Efficiency.
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You can add skills and achievements in any order. A small clarification: it is worth starting with the most suitable for a particular position. So the chances of attracting the attention of the recruiter will increase significantly. Focus on your strengths, and the employer will read more detailed information already in the resume.

How to Write an Impressive Summary

If you decide to add summary to your resume, this is already a big plus. The next step is to understand exactly how to write this section so that the recruiter immediately pays attention to your candidacy. The basic rule is to add only those moments that can really impress. Let’s tell you step by step how to do it:

  1. Vacancy analysis. First of all, read the announcement carefully. Determine what kind of specialist the employer is looking for, what is important for him, what requirements he has for the applicant. This will help you understand what to focus on in the summary in order to become the best candidate for the position.
  2. Brevity and structure. The recruiter scans the text and immediately highlights the most important thing in it. Try to make sure that this main thing is immediately in plain sight. No extra words, general phrases, vague definitions. Everything is clear and to the point. Your task is to hook from the first words. To make the text easier to read, use bulleted lists.
  3. Relevance. Adapt the summary to a specific position. Analyze exactly what skills need to be emphasized in order to be noticed, and choose among your achievements the 3 most outstanding. It is not necessary to use information only from the last place of work, the main thing is to show your growth and success in professional activities in general.
  4. Concreteness. Only facts, figures, percentages, specific examples. Do not use phrases that do not carry any semantic load. What can I mention? About experience, qualifications, education (if experience is not enough), significant achievements, key skills, important personal characteristics that will help in solving professional problems.
  5. Soft skills. Often they are as important as professional skills. In addition, it helps to rebuild from competitors who do not have the necessary set of soft skills. Determine which ones are suitable for this vacancy and specify them in the summary. For example, in any position, the ability to solve problems, organization, adaptability, leadership qualities, sociability will be useful.
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Security questions to help you make a summary:

  • You only have 20 seconds to talk about yourself. What 3 key skills and accomplishments would you mention first?
  • What exactly makes you a suitable candidate for this position?
  • Do you have any unique skills, abilities, experience, knowledge that distinguish you from other applicants?
  • In one sentence, tell us about the coolest project or achievement that you are especially proud of.

An example of how to do it:

  • Regional Development Director with 15 years of experience.
  • Expansion of the distribution network from 3 to 10 stores in 2 years, the total number of employees – up to 300 people.
  • Increase in sales volume in the main segment of goods by 48% in 1.5 years of operation.
  • Cost optimization by 25%.
  • Successful experience in implementing a staff motivation system.
  • Fluency in English and German, crisis management skills, experience in setting and solving tactical and strategic tasks.
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An example of how not to:

An experienced manager who is committed to development and growth. Experience in sales. Specialized education, sociability, result-oriented. I want to develop in your company.

Features of compiling summary

Of course, for candidates with and without experience, the summary section will be different. The most important thing is to show information that will be interesting and useful to the employer. Let’s see what key theses to use for different cases:

Specify your specialty, the presence of a red diploma, postgraduate studies. Additional courses and professional trainings will be an advantageThere is no need to write about education. Focus on the skills that the employer wants to see for this position. Show how your strengths have come in handy professionallyDescribe how your skills correlate with your future position and how you will use them
Tell us about participation in conferences, student events, the availability of scientific research, publications in publications. Here you can also mention internships, freelance and volunteer activities, organization of events, hobbies and knowledge of foreign languagesUse clear, measurable career achievements. Key facts and figures from the summary. Only the most significantIf you radically change the field of activity and there are no suitable skills, tell us about the reason for such changes and how you can be useful to the company.

Make your resume memorable

If you want your resume to be more focused on a specific position and quickly achieve the goal, do not be lazy to make a summary. Show only the best achievements that you are truly proud of. Make sure that you meet the requirements for this position and you have something to show the employer.

Rules that will help you write an excellent summary:

  • Focus on the experience.
  • Write concisely and accurately.
  • Do not exaggerate (the information should coincide with the resume).
  • Don’t use generic phrases.
  • Structure information, check for errors.

A little trick: if some sentence from your summary can be copied for any other resume, feel free to delete it.

We hope that our recommendations will help you to make a spectacular summary and get the job that you have long dreamed of.


Written by Shubham

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