A summary summary is a concise summary of who you are and the value you can bring to an organization. Today (2018), all solid resumes are expected to have resume summaries instead of the old-fashioned “Objective.” The summary is essentially your elevator pitch, which is a very short “commercial” of who you are and how you can benefit an organization.
What to include
First, be sure to include a resume summary right after your contact information. Leaving out a summary or simply listing a few bullet points about your qualifications (or worse yet, listing an objective) will almost guarantee your resume will be approved unless you personally know the hiring manager. The summary summary is essentially a condensed version of the “Tell me about yourself question.” When writing a summary, you want to make sure you include relevant and specific information that shows who you are without being too generic. A great summary will include who you are, what you’ve done, what value you bring, and what your strengths are. Also, you should always include your resume title above the resume summary to make it clear who you are (i.e. sales professional, IT executive, project manager, etc.)
keep it short
You may have been in an industry for 20+ years and done enough to fill 100+ pages of text; however, his summary should be no more than five or six sentences. TheLadders (2017) conducted a study and showed that the average recruiter spends 6 seconds reviewing a resume, so your resume summary needs to be concise and compelling. You need to quickly capture the attention of hiring managers and highlight your biggest selling points or unique value proposition. Avoid being redundant and include too many generic sentences that can apply to anyone.
Three great resume summary examples:
Example #1 – Global Vice President
Results-driven global executive with a proven track record of building and leading successful communications businesses in North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin America. Experience in corporate trust and reputation, operational leadership, business development, strategic planning and operations optimization to significantly increase revenue and profitability. Highly regarded commentator on corporate trust, crisis and corporate reputation issues for CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC, the BBC and Channel News Asia, as well as providing information for print, commercial and other broadcast media on five continents. Presenter at the UN Global Compact Leaders Conference, Clinton Global Initiative, World Economic Forum Anti-Corruption Conference, FSG Shared Value Conference, and countless industry and client events.
Example #2 – Senior Sales Executive
Award-winning sales executive with extensive experience in global sales/marketing and financial management. Experience in obtaining and retaining new business as a deal leader and providing the framework to complete KYC due diligence for specialist clients. Proven track record of generating over $100+ million in earnings and bookings. Successful client relationship manager who understands client needs, manages expectations, builds lasting relationships, instills trust, and ensures delivery of integrated solutions. Highly skilled working in the FinTech industry.
Example #3 – Technical Director
Highly talented IT executive with a proven track record of designing, building, and deploying multi-million dollar strategic, tactical, and operational IT solutions that significantly contribute to organizational performance. Oversaw the construction of over 450 retail stores from a technology perspective including hardware, software, LAN/WAN, and telephony along with managing the life cycles of over 350 projects from inception to launch. Experience in leading teams effectively, instilling passion and developing people to achieve excellence. Great ability to communicate with technical and non-technical audiences.
These three examples clearly exemplify who the candidate is, what the candidate has done, what value the candidate brings, and what the candidates’ strengths are in a concise and compelling way without unnecessary fluff. Fluff is a resume summary that is full of generic sentences like the example below:
Example #4 – Fluff Generic Summary
Energetic and creative professional with cross-functional experience in operations. History of working well with all levels of leadership and developing effective relationships. Strong ability to make immediate and valuable contributions to an organization. Flexible and open-minded with an outstanding ability to adapt to any situation. Excellent research, strategic thinking, communication and presentation skills.
Think of your resume summary as the only thing a hiring manager will read, because in many cases it can be. Your summary is your pitch, and it should include who you are, what you’ve done, what value you bring, and what your strengths are in a concise and compelling way. Remember to include your title above your abstract to immediately identify who you are. You can use a generic “Career Summary” or “Qualifications” if you have a very diverse background and it’s difficult to define who you are in a single title. Always remember to include a resume summary as candidates without one will surely be approved.