How to Write a Summary Statement

Putting together a resume is about more than listing education, skills, and jobs. You need to focus on capturing a hiring manager’s attention and providing them with a clear sense of what kind of value you could bring to the company. There’s no better place to kick off this process than the summary statement, which has replaced the resume objective as the top-most section on the resume.

Tell Me About Yourself

If you want to know how to write a summary statement, think “Tell me about yourself.” If you had a minute to impress someone with credentials that would be important to them, what information would you convey? The summary statement should be written this way. It has to catch attention right off the bat. It has to highlight your top selling points in an environment where dozens of summary statements will be skimmed on a regular basis. An effective summary statement emphasizes key strengths and what you have to offer a hiring manager.

Elements of the Summary Statement

Make sure to state the title of the position with a qualifier. This solidifies your professional identity and helps hiring managers see where you fit in their plans.

Examples: Experienced Bookkeeper; Organized and conscientious Civil Engineer

The summary statement should be no more than three or four lines of text. One of the biggest mistakes many untrained candidates make is writing with first person pronouns. This is not how to write a summary statement. Sadly, we have seen this in resumes from candidates with decades of work experience. For the record, you never use “I” or any direct reference to yourself in a resume.

Samples of Summary Statements

The best way to learn how to write a summary statement is through example. Here are a few.

Experienced Creative Director with diverse background in multicultural product campaigns, promotion of team cohesiveness, and leadership who effectively coordinates tasks to successfully complete projects.

Dedicated Team Member with strong background in food industry able to motivate coworkers to excel through leadership and example.

Detail-oriented and motivated Accountant prioritizes tasks to manage financial data for mid-sized companies.

Flexible and licensed CDL able to adapt to changing priorities and schedules to ensure deliveries are always made on time.

If you want to know more about how to write a strong summary statement, check out LiveCareer’s library of samples or take a look at Resume Builder, an easy to use resource for creating resumes.

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