How to write a Summary of Qualifications for your Resume

A summary of qualifications needs to establish a strong focus and bring interest.  It should not be wordy or have an overly descriptive passage.  On the other hand, a summary should not be full of soft skills.  What the summary should give is the main points of information pertained to the candidate.  These main points are ~ job title, experience, industry and expertise.  The summary of qualifications section of the resume is the most important part, because it gets read the most and sets the tone for the rest of the document. 

The summary may be the only piece of your resume that is fully read by the hiring manager.  This is why it’s very important to be convincing and strong. This section of the resume is where you may include characteristics which will be helpful in winning you an actual interview.

The summary is the most difficult to write and one needs to ensure its targeted and compelling to the reader.  You could think of it as an “elevator pitch”.  What is that?  If you were in an elevator with a potential employer, and you want them to hire you, you would quickly deliver your elevator pitch to convince them to hire you.

When you start the process of writing your summary, ask yourself some of these questions.  How many years of career experience do you have and in what field?  What specific work shills do you have? Ensure you pick and choose what pertains to your particular situation.  If you are a recent college grad, you may not have a lot of career experience.  If this is the case, emphasize your skills and abilities you learned while in college.


Start your summary with a short phrase to describe your profession and your work related skills. Give a synopsis of your career experience and some personal qualities that will ensure you’re an outstanding candidate for the position. When you take your time to create and write your summary well, hiring managers will want to read the rest of your career document.  Have a buddy read over your summary and make suggestions.

The purpose of the Summary of Qualifications is so that it spotlights your most career highlights and relevant skills and experience. The key thing is for your summary to give a quick overview of the value you will bring to a potential employer.

You may ask yourself, why you need a summary.  Since employers receive hundreds of resumes for each job opening, they tend to look at resumes for no more than 10 seconds.  If you take the time to write a compelling summary of qualifications, your resume will have a better chance of landing in the Yes pile.

Just keep in mind the summary of qualifications portion of your resume contains brief statements to describe why you’re the best candidate for the position.  Don’t forget to showcase and tell why you stand out from the others!









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