Writing a Resume Summary Statement

What is a summary statement?

A well-written summary acts as a strong opening statement that calls out a few top skills and accomplishments, and can clue the reader into core strengths that they will likely see repeated throughout a resume. A summary statement can be 2-3 sentences, focuses on top skills, and is tailored to the roles you are seeking.


top portion of a resume with summary statement highlighted

Summary statement reads: Trend savvy Information Science major with 2 years’ experience in retail and consistent record of advancement to leadership positions. Passionate about creating compelling social media content that increases customer engagement and drives website traffic and sales. Data-driven with experience adapting to virtual business needs.

Brainstorming Your Summary Statement

3 question marks with text ASK YOURSELF underneath

  • What are three to four things you want to communicate that might make a difference for you as a candidate?
  • How can you show a connection between what you’ve done in the past and what you can offer in the future if hired?
  • What transferrable skills can you demonstrate that tie together experiences that don’t seem related?
  • Are there keywords or skills that you see repeated in job descriptions that you can incorporate?

Summary Statement Do’s & Don’ts

Do… Don’t…
  • Keep it to 2-3 lines on the page
  • Synthesize your most relevant qualifications into a clear summary that ties your experiences together to show how you’re a good fit
  • Incorporate words and phrases from the job description or the industry you’re applying to
  • Make if more than 3 lines; any longer than that and you might consider a “Summary of Qualifications” or “Professional Highlights” section that is written in bullet points
  • Repeat basic information that can easily be found in sections just below your statement
  • Write using 1st person voice: “I”/”me”/”my”
    • Ex: Instead of “I am a creative Mechanical Engineering major…”, just start with “Creative Mechanical Engineering major…”

More Summary Statement Examples

  • Moctar wants to highlight his campus engagement experience to apply to positions in marketing.

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  • Jeremy’s summary statement communicates his technical skills and customer service experience to be a standout for IT positions.

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  • Hannah’s summary shows off how her communication skills and education will be a great match for working with children in healthcare settings.

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