I've worked with resumes for over 2 years and I'm now much more aware of what problems people face when creating one.
Time and time again, I've found that people struggle with the summary section. So after yet another friend asked me for help with this particular section, I decided to put the best ones I’ve seen into a single post. They’re taken from the resumes examples of some of our customers at Enhancv, who got hired at great companies such as Tesla, Spotify, or Google.
Is a summary section even necessary?
As with most things on a resume, the answer to this question is: it depends.
The industry you’re applying for and your amount of experience are both factors to take into consideration when deciding whether you need a summary section or not. That said, most recruiters I’ve spoken to actually prefer to see a summary section on a resume, as that’s where their eyes land first. They’re usually looking for keywords, candidates’ objective, and even passions.
A well-written summary can’t harm your credibility, but a badly written one can.
Here are the 6 best examples and explanations why each of them works.:
1. An e-commerce position summary example
I’m a goal-oriented, determined and ambitious person with a passion for e-commerce. Music is my other passion. I’ve worked in the music industry as an artist, writer, and label owner for over 15 years.
I graduated as an E-Commerce Manager from IHM Business School in June 2018 and am happy to be a part of this exciting industry - growing and learning along the way.
This summary works for a couple of reasons. First, it’s short and concise. As recruiters only spend around 6 seconds reading a resume, a succinct summary is best.
Secondly, there’s a great blend of skills, passion, and the person’s actual goal. Highlighting the fact that they graduated from a specific school in the industry they want to join really helps. Keep in mind that if your education isn’t directly related to or beneficial for the position you’re applying for, you can leave it out.
2. A software engineering position summary example
Delivering exemplary software is my passion, but I go beyond meeting the client's requirements — along with my vast knowledge of programming languages like C++, Python and Java, I bring problem-solving skills, collaborative energy and enthusiasm for the product and the relationship to a team.
Software engineers are highly sought-after, but while many have excellent technical skills and credentials, soft skills are harder to come by. This summary demonstrates that the applicant has both: the crucial technical skills along with soft skills that are essential for working in a team and with clients.
3. A no-experience job seeker summary example
As a senior-year college student majoring in English, I have gained critical thinking, close reading and written communication skills to any environment. My work as editor of my college's literary magazine has helped me gain diligence, strong attention to detail and problem-solving skills, which will serve me well in an editorial assistant position.
Just because you don't have concrete job experience doesn't mean you have nothing to show for yourself. This summary does a good job of highlighting the assets the candidate does bring to the job, including the skills they've gained and experience they do have in an unpaid, but still noteworthy, position.
4. An internship summary example
5. A graphic design position summary example
Equipped with extensive experience using tools like Photoshop, Procreate and many other technologies, I employ a creative and artistic mindset to design everything from websites to advertisements.
The job of a graphic designer requires both technical skills and creativity for success. This resume summary concisely present these critical competencies, as well as makes it clear that the candidate has experience working with a broad range of materials.
6. A sales position summary example
My background is extensive, unique and global. I excel at helping others - children, adults, and organizations - succeed through training, relationship building and program coordination.
This is another great example of a very straight to the point summary section. Within two sentences, you can understand the skills and experience this job seeker can bring to the table. Also, it’s good they don’t just describe what they’re good at, they also point out how they do it.
7. A remote position summary example
Having been involved in remote work my entire career has taught me to value two key traits: honesty and dependability. I’ve chosen to live my life by those traits whether I’m in the office, in a meeting with my teammates, or on the other side of the world.
This candidate was applying for a remote position. They tell you right from the start that they have experience with remote work and even point out the skills important for this type of work. This way, they make the employer see that they’d be a perfect culture fit to their company, especially because honesty and dependability are highly valued in remote companies.
8. An audit analyst summary example
Audit professional with a degree in Business Administration who has received top internal performance appraisals for three years at [company name], successfully implemented written manuals to decrease onboarding time, and a solid track record of meeting deadlines, for multiple commitments. I have a strong customer focus and interpersonal communication skills due to contact with customers and audit terms, as well as training of new hires.
This candidate uses specifics in almost every word. That’s a great way to describe your professional career because it helps the potential employer to see all the main points right at the start. Seeing the amount of keywords (e.g.. 3 years of experience, meeting deadlines, customer focus, etc.) I suspect they did the first step when writing a resume pretty well. They carefully read the job description, wrote down the keywords, and implemented them into their resume.
9. A childcare position summary example
As an enthusiastic childcare professional with first aid and CPR certifications and a decade of experience working as a nanny and in daycares, I am passionate about working with children of all ages and experienced in creating a safe space developing creative, educational and nurturing activities.
This example emphasizes the provider's passion for her working (childcare) and qualifications, including certifications and experience, which are crucial for this role and the exact things the hiring manager will want to see.
10. A marketing summary example
When you think of challenges, you don’t separate big ideas from strategic implementation. That’s why I bring the power of surprise with quantitative research to provide exciting and engaging solutions. I work hard to deliver innovative thinking followed by vigorous execution. When it comes to answering the brief, nothing is unthinkable.
But don’t just take my word for it, I’ve worked with dozen brands from all over the globe. I love sharing my experiences, just ask!
This example almost has it all. The candidate explains their competency in such a compelling way. You can read ambition, challenge, and innovation between the lines. This type of wording makes you want to read the whole resume. It includes a very actionable language (“I bring power of surprise”), and it also includes a call to action at the end.
If you’re applying for a job that’s more creative, this type of summary will be perfect for you.
11. An executive role summary example
A tireless, dedicated and inspirational business leader with experience in senior roles across a broad range of technical industries, from startups to large corporations. Combines passion, rigor, and innovative thinking with a strong personal commitment and a deep respect for people to build powerful teams that deliver outstanding customer value and transformational results.
This summary shows the diverse experience an executive candidate should have. It also shows confidence and diversity. I really like how they mention different industries they worked in. This shows me as an employer they’re quite flexible and curious — two qualities almost every employer’s looking for.
A good summary section should work like a teaser
That means something that’s really catchy and makes you want to see more and read the whole resume is what you should go for when it comes to your summary. I believe every one of the examples I shared are an embodiment of this.
Tatiana Rehmova works as Media Relations and Content at Enhancv
She is a glass half-full kind of a girl and a believer that everything happens for a reason. Loves: writing, spotting inspiring stories, and building meaningful relationships.