Resumes & Cover Letters

How To Write a Summary of Qualifications for Your Resume (With Examples)

March 1, 2021

Providing a summary of job qualifications in your resume highlighting the reasons an employer should hire you makes you a more competitive candidate. In this article, we show you how to highlight your background in a carefully crafted resume summary of qualifications along with a specific example to show how it is implemented.

What is a resume summary of qualifications?

A resume summary of qualifications is a bulleted list that highlights why you are right for the job. Your summary is an opportunity to explain how your skills, abilities and professional experience apply to the job role. Unlike work experience, there is no set order in listing a summary of qualifications but is instead custom-fitted to the job role.

Typically, you’ll add a summary of qualifications at the top of your resume, right below your name and contact details. Positioning it at the top of the resume ensures it’s one of the first things a recruiter reads, making it more likely that they’ll review the rest of your application materials.

A summary of qualifications could also be called:

  • Qualifications profile
  • Qualifications summary
  • Resume qualifications
  • Statement of qualifications
  • Skills summary

Related: How To Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

When to use a summary of qualifications

Since your summary of qualifications is at the top of your resume, it’s important to know if you should use it in place of a career objectives statement. If you are new to the workforce, it may be best to accumulate some time and experience before you include a summary of qualifications. Consult your current resume to determine if you have five to six qualifications that merit highlighting and can be accompanied by supporting statistics or facts.

The following job candidates may benefit from a summary of qualifications:

Employees with extensive job experience

If you have extensive related experience, it might be beneficial to summarize your qualifications so they aren’t lost in the body of your resume. Determine the job qualifications most relevant to your desired position by scanning the job description. Review the qualifications and requirements in the posting, then tailor your statement to them.

Recent graduates

If you have academic achievements related to the position, include them in your summary. Consider adding education or training gained in an internship or other industry-related experience. If you were active in school departments or programs, be sure to include these in your summary of qualifications if they meet job requirements.

Career change

When applying to an entirely different industry, you may possess transferable skills that apply in nearly every job situation. These skills might be related to communication and delegation or teamwork and problem-solving. Highlight areas when you collaborated with a team or contributed to conflict resolution.

Related: 7 Powerful Ways To Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)

Resume Format
Image description

Resume Format
1. Name and contact information
2. Summary or objective
3. Professional history
a. Company name
b. Dates of tenure
c. Description of role and achievement
4. Education
5. Skills
6. Optional (Awards & Achievements, Hobbies & Interests)

How to summarize qualifications on a resume

An ideal qualification summary includes a diverse range of examples that demonstrate your abilities in key areas. Study the job description to understand what qualifications the employer is seeking and identify keywords that define the job. To be thorough in your summary, consult your current resume to identify qualifications that match job expectations. When compiling your qualifications, try to include five to six summaries with supporting numbers in the areas outlined below. Here are the steps for creating a summary of qualifications, including examples for each:

1. Describe your expertise.

Experience relates to how well you know your field or industry and how much time you have spent learning your role. A summary of this qualification demonstrates how your knowledge will benefit the employer. Here’s an example:

  • Worked with hundreds of clients to develop fitness routines and optimize health.

2. Mention your productivity in numbers.

Productivity relates not only to how much you accomplish but also to how you manage time and delegate tasks. Add a statement that demonstrates your productivity and how you contributed to your job. Highlight times when you saved the company time or money, or when you met or exceeded expectations. Include numbers wherever you can to quantify your experience. Here’s an example:

  • Increased productivity by 6% and reduced turnover by 25% by implementing effective scheduling.

3. Explain your relevant skills and abilities.

When reviewing the job description, look for specific skills or qualities. Try to incorporate at least one into your summary to relate more to the position. The following example is for leadership skills:

  • Trained coworkers to reach NASM certification to expand career goals and opportunities.

4. Include awards and achievements.

Both academic and on-the-job awards and achievements may be worth listing. Include relative education, licenses or certifications. These qualities demonstrate your ability to handle increased job responsibilities as well as your dedication to the industry. Here’s an example:

  • Voted Trainer of the Month, received accolades for program development and earned two additional certifications.

Summary of qualifications examples

Here are a few different summaries of qualifications examples that you can follow when you create your own:

Front desk manager

  • Oversaw group of 19 front desk associates, supervisors and bell people to ensure excellent customer service
  • Worked with sales team to produce marketing campaign, resulting in 11% increase in traffic during slow season
  • Designed “Front-of-House Associate of the Month” award, increasing productivity and motivation
  • Personally handled escalated guest issues, decreasing negative public reviews by 8%
  • Closely worked with food and beverage, housekeeping and executive staff for enhanced customer experience

Construction worker

  • More than 10 years in plumbing, carpentry and framing
  • Completed 11 projects at least one week before deadline in 2018
  • Led more than 30 different teams for residential and commercial building projects
  • Certified Construction Manager from Construction Management Association of America
  • Proficiency with pneumatic hammers, miter saws, plumb bobs, concrete mixers and more

Civil engineer

  • Master’s degree in civil engineering, 2018
  • Active EIT license
  • Assisted with design of major public bridge during internship with Golladay, Shuster and Tate
  • Graduated with magna cum laude honors
  • Experience working with fellow engineers, construction workers and manufacturers

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