Resumes & Cover Letters

Should You Include Quotes on Your Resume? (And How to Do It)

April 9, 2021

In today's competitive job market, it's more than likely that all job candidates have included their education, qualifications and professional experience on their resume. However, if you want your resume to stand out from the competition, you can include additional information that reinforces or supports your qualifications. One piece of information that you can add to your resume to enhance your qualifications is a quote. In this article, we discuss what a resume quote is and how to include one or more in your resume.

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Should you include resume quotes?

A quote, also known as a "recommendation," is a snippet from a positive testimonial sent from a satisfied customer or manager, a letter of recommendation or an endorsement from professional networking sites. It's not a common practice to include a quote in your resume, but if you're particularly proud of the praise or recommendation that you have received or if you think it will boost your credibility, you may include it.

Carefully consider whether or not including quotes will strengthen your resume for the job you're pursuing. If the quote you are using doesn't support the position you're applying for, remove it. Also, if your resume is already two or more pages, refrain from extending it even more just to include quotes.

What are the benefits of adding resume quotes?

Quotes from credible sources can help validate your skills and support the accomplishments that you have mentioned in your resume. If you include positive quotes about your work, you show employers that someone else thinks highly of you. Quotes can also convey your work ethic and personality in a convincing and compelling way.

If you include this quote from your previous employer: "Jaime is always on time. And what she doesn't know about SEO isn't worth knowing. I have no idea how she keeps herself updated on so many new trends—I'm just glad that she does," your knowledge and work ethic are validated.

Related: How to Write a Summary of Qualifications

How to include resume quotes

Here are a few tips to help you effectively incorporate quotes in your resume:

  1. Combine quotes with your work experience.
  2. List two or more quotes in a separate section.
  3. Include quotes in another section or as a filler.
  4. Be selective.
  5. Use a quote relevant to the position.
  6. Always ask for permission.
  7. Follow proper formatting.

1. Combine quotes with your work experience

One effective way to add quotes to your resume is by combining them with your relevant work experiences. For instance, if you want to mention in your resume that you were the top salesperson in your previous company with sales staff of 200 people, you could add a quote from your manager saying, "Renee is the best salesperson I have worked with in the last five years," to make sure that your resume stands out.

Related: Listing Professional Experience on Your Resume

2. List two or more quotes in a separate section

If you have more than two quotes that you would like to include in your resume, you can make a separate section for them. Place this section in your resume just like you would a work history or education section. Make sure that each quote you include comes from credible individuals who can verify your skills or abilities, and attribute them.

Related: Here's Everything You Should Include on a Resume

3. Include quotes in another section or as a filler

Another great way to add a quote to your resume is through inclusion in other sections or as a filler. For instance, if you are an in-demand customer service representative, you could include a quote as a filler under your "Skills" section. If you did a great job as a branch manager, then ask for a written testimonial from the CEO and add that statement under the "Achievements" section.

Also, if you have a two-page resume, but the second page has a large gap or white space at the bottom, add one or two quotes to this section, rather than leaving it blank. Not only does this show positive reviews of your work, but it also allows the employer to end with positive thoughts about your candidacy for the position.

4. Be selective

Instead of soliciting a lot of quotes, focus on who they are coming from. For instance, if a hiring manager reviews your resume and sees that your accountant endorsed your interior design skills, they may wonder how genuine the quote is. However, if the same quote comes from the CEO of the company you've worked for or from one of your interior design clients, it will sound authentic.

To find quality quotes, ask at least five people to endorse you. Make sure that these people worked with you closely in the past—your former and current manager, clients and coworkers. If you see that you have a quote of low value, remove it.

Choose a quote that has a personality or tells a story. Make sure that it sounds like it was written by a real person. Also, instead of including a quote that says, “Great job!,” use something specific, like "John led 20 managers throughout a new program implementation, growing sales by 40% during his term. We would certainly welcome him back in any leadership role."

Related: 27 Proofreading Tips That Will Improve Your Resume

5. Use a quote relevant to the position

It's also important to choose a quote relevant to the position you're applying for. If you have recently changed careers, use a quote that portrays the skills or abilities that are essential for success on the job. For example, if you're transitioning from sales representative to a teaching position, find a quote that shows leadership and instructional skills.

Also, if more than one person has given you material you can reference, choose a person who has a higher position within the company or who was your direct supervisor. For instance, it's more fitting that you use a quote from a manager or school principal directly above you instead of a coworker who had similar duties.

Related: Guide to Updating Your Resume

6. Always ask for permission

Quotes are freely given, but they have to be considered private communications unless otherwise specified. Ask permission before you quote someone's words in your resume. While customer feedback and peer endorsements usually pose no ethical issues, internal documents such as performance reviews or emails may be considered proprietary information—and therefore, confidential. It's best to ask permission beforehand to prevent any complications.

7. Follow proper formatting

Keep your resume quotes brief. Use one or two quotes, each no more than a couple of lines. Make sure that each quote goes on a separate line, is enclosed in quotation marks, italicized and aligned left. On the line below each quote, indicate the name and title of the source or speaker, using some visual cue (e.g., italics, em-dash or indention) to set this information apart from the body of the text. Here's an example:

"John is an excellent SEO copywriter. His articles have helped increase traffic to our websites."
—Katrina Bilat, Founder & CEO, MBI Solutions, LLC

If you have a strong quote, but find it to be too long to use in full, you can edit it for length. However, be sure to indicate that you have done so. You can use an ellipsis (three periods) to indicate that you have skipped some words, or brackets to indicate that you have paraphrased or changed a letter's case. For example:

"John is a dedicated employee...[and] an excellent copywriter."

However, while it's acceptable to edit a quote for length, make sure your modified version doesn't change the meaning or idea of the statement. When you quote other people's words, take good care of them. Trim for space if you need to, but be fair to your reader.

Related: Resume Format Guide (With Tips and Examples)

Examples of resume quotes

Here are a few examples of resume quotes:

Example 1

Sarah Doss
Administrative Support Specialist

"After only three weeks, Sarah had our front office operating more efficiently than it ever had before. She was able to come up with ways to improve our processes, reduce our costs and eliminate unnecessary tasks."
—John McCarthy, Office Manager, Marco Polo Hotels

" An exceptional ability to manage multiple, complex tasks...A lifesaver when it comes to managing the busy schedule of a busy executive."
—Eric Doe, President, ABC Solutions LLC

Example 2

Edward Clinton
Photographer

"Edward's photographs of our wedding were breathtaking. He captured even the smallest details so that we won't forget a minute of our special day."
—Marcus E.

"When our outdoor meeting was rained out, Edward came up with excellent alternatives. We couldn't be happier!"
—The Sawyers

Resume template with quotes section

Here's a chronological resume template that includes a section for quotes:

Contact Information

[First Name Last Name]
[Job title]
[Address]
[Contact number]
[Email address]
[Website, online portfolio or professional profile]

[Resume Objective or Summary]

Professional Experience

[Dates]
[Job title]
[Company Name], [Location]

  • [Job responsibility]
  • [Job responsibly]
  • [Job responsibility]

Education

[School name and address]
[Degree and graduation date]

Certifications

  • [Certification]
  • [Certification]
  • [Certification]

    Key Skills

  • [Skill]

  • [Skill]
  • [Skill]

Languages (include proficiency level)

  • [Language]
  • [Language]

Testimonials

[Place your quote here]

[Write the name and title of the speaker here]

[Place your quote here]

[Write the name and title of the speaker here]

Example of a resume with quotes

Consider this sample resume that includes quotes:

Lydia Miller
Administrative Support Specialist
875 Congers
New York, New York 64597
555-123-1234
lydiamiller@email.com

Well-organized administrative professional with a variety of versatile skills that can be applied to any office setting. Advanced understanding of customer requirements with diligent assessment resulting in quality customer service and high levels of client satisfaction.

Professional Experience

January 2011-Present
Assistant to the President
Cisco Technologies, Inc., New York

  • Supported the President in all aspects, including scheduling and logistics for speaking engagements and large-scale meetings
  • Worked in partnership with the President and the entire executive team, gaining a reputation as a reliable collaborator and resource

Education

New York University, New York
Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management, 2010

Certifications

  • Certified Administrative Professional (CAP)
  • Organizational Management (OM) specialty designation

Key Skills

  • Technical writing
  • Office operations
  • Project management
  • Corporate communication
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Communication

Languages

  • Spanish (Proficient)
  • English (Fluent)

Testimonials

"An exceptional ability to manage multiple, complex tasks...A lifesaver when it comes to managing the busy schedule of a busy executive."

—Erica Garner, President, ABC Solutions LLC

"After only three weeks, Sarah had our front office operating more efficiently than it ever had before. She was able to come up with ways to improve our process, reduce our costs and eliminate unnecessary tasks."

—John McCarthy, Office Manager, Marco Polo Hotels

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