How to Write a Career Summary

Hiring managers are busy people. A single job posting might attract thousands of resumes. To get noticed, create a career summary statement. The goal of this section is to develop a hard-hitting introductory declaration packed with your most sought-after skills, abilities, accomplishments and attributes.

Take these six steps to create a winning career summary:

1. Conduct Research on Your Ideal Job
The more closely you can target your profile to the employer's needs, the better your results will be. Start by searching jobs for your ideal position. Compare the ads and write a list of common job requirements and preferred qualifications.

2. Assess Your Credentials
Based on your research, how do you measure up? How would you help potential employers meet their goals? Besides the qualifications described, do you offer any added bonus? If you are lacking in one area, do you make up for it with other credentials?
If you are having a hard time assessing your skills, get help. Ask your colleagues, instructors and supervisors what they see as your key qualifications. Review your performance evaluations. What do others say about the quality of your work? Then write a list of your top 10 marketable credentials.


3. Relay the Value You Bring to the Table
The next step is to weave your top credentials into your summary. Keep in mind that the summary helps the hiring manager determine if you should be called for an interview. Include a synopsis of your career achievements to show that your dedication to results is transferable to your next employer. Explain how you would help solve their problems. Ask yourself, "How will the employer benefit from hiring me?"

4. Add a Headline
A headline on a resume hooks your readers and compels them to continue reading. A headline should include your job target as well as the main benefit of hiring you.

5. Focus on Your Goal
The most effective summaries are targeted on one career goal. If you have more than one possible objective, consider drafting different versions. Fill your summary with key words related to your career field. Your profile can also be supplemented with a bulleted "Key Skills" section, which provides an easy-to-read listing of your core capabilities.

6. Proofread, Refine and Perfect
First impressions are lasting impressions. Is your summary persuasive and free of errors? Is your tone appropriate for you career field? Avoid empty, generalized statements such as "excellent communication skills."

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