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5 tips to write a professional summary on a resume

A resume summary is a brief personal description at the top of it in which you will explain who you are, what you’ve done so far and what your next career plans are. It should engage readers, prompting them to continue reading the rest of your resume. If you want to know how to write a resume summary, read these tips made by reputation management experts

1. Follow the basic format of a professional summary

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The resume summary is a brief paragraph that is usually included just below your personal data at the top of the resume. Safely summarize your experience, goals and skills. Think of your resume summary as an extended “slogan” about your career. A resume summary must include:

  • Between 50 and 200 words in three or four sentences.
  • Your professional title or function, for example “junior developer” or “hospitality manager”.
  • A hook.
  • “Hard” and “soft” skills.
  • High-impact facts and statistics.
  • Your short and/or long-term goals.
  • Job-specific guidance for the position you are applying for.

This may seem like a lot to sum it up in 200 words, but an enhanced “elevator pitch” shows that you have the firm conviction that your experience, objectives and competencies make you the perfect candidate for that job. 

2. Align your resume summary with the job description

The recruiter has carefully chosen every word of the job advertisement. Look for clues in the tone used, competencies the ad highlights and any other ideas that indicate their ideal employee profile. One of the main tips of human resources directors is to include relevant and position-specific keywords, as well as words used in the title.

What would the job description look like in 3 or 4 phrases? What keywords, skills and tone would a job description summary have? Keeping the real facts about who you are and what your experience is, your resume summary should highlight all possible matches to the job description. 

When recruiters read the first sentences of your resume, they will have the feeling that you are exactly the person they were thinking of. 

3. Write your resume summary at the end

Instead of getting stuck in the first word trying to write the perfect summary, skip this section and write the work experience first. Once you’ve added your relevant work experience, look at the keywords, phrases and competencies of your previous jobs.

Your entire work experience and the description of the job you are looking for are the foundation of your resume. You’ll find it easier to start your resume now that you have the right inspiration.

4. Write your resume summary

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Always write the first draft of your resume without correcting it. Don’t worry about the extension or choice of words in this first attempt. Boast of yourself, be proud of your achievements and add the facts that make the most impression.

Sometimes the best writings come out without making too many corrections, so don’t worry about sounding overblown or self-centered: that’s what the correction phase is for. If your goal is to get 3 or 4 perfect phrases, in your first draft you will probably get between 6 and 8 or maybe even more.

You can also read: Learn how to make your online resume stand out

5. Refine the summary and experiment

Once you’ve narrowed your focus, use the following questions to help you review your work and correct your professional profile:

  • Is my first sentence clear and concise? The opening phrase should indicate your current position and use powerful and enthusiastic language to hook the reader. Years of experience are sometimes included as well.
  • Does it include objective information? To answer this question, try to get into the mind of the hiring manager. If it were you who played this role, what boxes would you need to tick? The second and third sentences usually include specific competences, facts or figures that support this need.
  • Does it sound natural? Even with all these details, the summary should be easy to understand and have a natural rhythm when reading it aloud. Avoid any specific jargon that acts as a filler or changes your tone. The level of formality may vary from one company to another, but summaries should always reflect the type of employee or person you are.

Think of your resume summary as if it was the first 2 minutes of a job interview, either by phone or in person. The head of Human Resources asks you to tell him “a little about yourself” and you have just one minute to set the tone for the rest of the conversation. We hope these tips for writing a professional resume summary have been useful to you!

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GoFamed is an online reputation management tool that allows anyone to easily control Google search results for a particular name and last name.
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