HOW TO WRITE AN OUTSTANDING RESUME SUMMARY (+ PROVEN EXAMPLES)

In a competitive job market, a well-written resume summary is vital to standing out and grabbing the attention of recruiters. This is especially true for managers and executives. Today, I’ll share with you a few resume summary examples that will help you compete in a saturated job market.

At its essence, a resume summary is a sales pitch that demonstrates what you can do for an employer. The best resume summaries demonstrate that your skills and experience can solve a key business problem.

Mid-career professionals should keep the resume summary to a few sentences. Executives, who can expect to compete against a more demanding role criteria – and do so in a smaller pool of candidates, should extend their resume summary to 3-4 succinct paragraphs, or around 200 words.

A strong resume summary reduces the complexity that comes with years of experience down to the most relevant, important points. It compels recruiters to look beyond the summary to read the rest of your resume – and ensures that you make it to the next stage of the recruitment process.

If you want a top-notch resume without any headaches, our professional resume writers can whip one up for you in no time; contact us to learn more. If you’d like to write your own resume, start by following our tips below.

 

1. Understand The Employer’s Pain Point.

A resume summary’s main purpose is to succinctly demonstrate what you can do for the employer.

Every role aims to solve some business or commercial problem, so a good resume summary demonstrates how you have the skills, experience and drive to achieve that.

 

2. Be Specific.

Ensure your resume summary stands out by being specific about details.

Instead of writing ‘I bring extensive experience’, write ‘I bring 20 years’ experience’. Most importantly, address the pre-requisites listed in the job description, particularly relating to the requirementseducation and experience sections.

 

3. Connect Your Value To The Needs Of The Business.

Ensure you stand out from your peers in a crowded job market by clearly articulating your point of difference and how this contributes to solving the employer’s problem.

This could be a particular qualification, a background in another profession or attitudes to leadership. Try to avoid generic phrasing and personalise the summary to reflect key insights specific to you.

 

4. Be Concise.

Remember, you don’t have a lot of time to get the recruiter’s attention. It an environment where recruiters spend about six seconds reviewing a resume, you need to maximise the impact of your summary statement. Keep each sentence within two lines with no more than two clauses.

 

5. Study Resume Summary Examples Below.

To give you a clearer picture of how this all comes together to create a resume summary, please find some examples below.

I’ve included some key requirements from the job advertisement to demonstrate how to keep the summary aligned with business needs, whilst incorporating your core competencies, strengths and point of difference.

 

Example 1: General Manager.

Key requirements from the job description:

  • 10+ years’ experience in a leadership role
  • Excels at strategy and delivery
  • Experience across strategy, marketing, sales, budgeting
  • Cross-functional leadership experience
  • P&L Management
  • Experience in manufacturing, supply chain or distribution
  • Tertiary qualification in business administration

 

Resume Summary:

With 20+ years’ experience leading profitability turnarounds through strategic delivery and operational excellence, I  ensure manufacturing organisations are well-positioned for sustainable growth in the face of high labour costs and shifting market conditions.

Leveraging experience across the value chain, including sales, marketing, budgeting, HR, supply chain and operations, I bring a deep understanding of the productivity levers that influence business performance. Enhanced by a passion for data, I harness the power of business insights to inform strategic decision-making and analyse productivity and performance.

MBA-qualified with a background as an engineer, I bridge corporate and technical agendas to drive product development and ensure deadlines are met in time-critical environments. Combining a high EQ with strong communication skills, I build and lead high-performing multi-disciplinary teams, engaging across business units and diverse stakeholder groups to maximise collaboration and business performance.

Key achievements include transforming XYZ from a loss-making business into a profitable organisation through strict cost control and an uplift in sales performance. At ABC Manufacturing, I increased operational efficiency by 42% through an equipment upgrade and a staff restructure. As GM of XYZ Ltd, I strengthened executive decision-making by deploying a BI system to provide real-time business insights through data visualisation.”

 

Why This Resume Summary Works:

The first paragraph is eye-catching because it establishes credibility ‘20+ years’ experience leading profitability turnarounds’, meets a key job requirement ‘strategic delivery’ and understands what the employer is trying to achieve ‘sustainable growth’. The paragraph is further strengthened by demonstrating an understanding of industry challenges, referring to ‘high labour costs and shifting market conditions.’

The second paragraph illustrates the breadth of the applicant’s experience, ‘ across the value chain’, and how this experience helps meet job objectives ‘understanding of the productivity levers that influence business performance’. Critically, the paragraph illustrates how the applicant’s unique attribute, ‘a passion for data’, gives them the edge in achieving business objectives ‘harness the power of business insights to inform strategic decision-making and analyse productivity and performance’.

The third paragraph continues on this thread, highlighting how the candidate’s engineering background helps strengthen delivery outcomes ‘drive product development and ensure deadlines are met’. It then rounds out the candidate’s skill set by highlighting softer skills ‘high EQ and strong communication skills’ and leadership capability.

The fourth paragraph is comprised of three key achievements, carefully selected to support the claims listed in the resume summary. Note that they are both concise and specific, containing quantifiable data where possible.

 

Example 2: Sales Director.

Key requirements from the job description:

  • 10+ years’ experience in sales and management
  • Builds and maintains good customer relationships
  • Proven success exceeding targets and goals
  • Strong leadership, managerial and organisational skills
  • Robust negotiation and influencing skills

 

Resume Summary:

Combining diverse sector experience and 15+ years in sales leadership roles, I bring a track record transforming underperforming sales teams to deliver significant upturns in revenue, enabling businesses to meet growth objectives.

Benefitting from legal training, I bring a logical, persuasive negotiating style to engage prospects and deliver high sales conversion rates. Structured and detail-oriented, I build sales management processes, procedures and systems from the ground up, empowering sales teams the right tools to optimise performance. Focused on building capability in teams, I create accountable but supportive cultures, driven to meet and exceed targets.

Highly adaptable, I bring a breadth of experience from start-up to large corporate environments. Able to get to the crux a product or service’s core value within the broader context of market dynamics, I develop solution-focused sales strategies that directly address customer pain points and create compelling propositions.

Career highlights include increasing revenue performance by 85% at AB Inc. by winning the largest sales deal in the company’s history with its largest customer. At EFG Ltd, I led a turnaround of legacy underperformance by professionalising the sales team, and negotiated a multi-year, multimillion-dollar commercial agreement with an enterprise client at CDE.”

 

Why This Resume Summary Works:

Again, the first paragraph establishes the applicant’s credentials, ‘diverse sector experience and 15+ years in sales leadership roles.’ It also moves straight to illustrating the applicant’s ability to meeting a commercial need, ‘deliver significant upturns in revenue, enabling businesses to meet growth objectives.’

The second paragraph starts with the applicant’s legal training, a unique skill as a sales leader, which has influenced a ‘logical, persuasive negotiating style’ and a ‘structured, detail-oriented’ management approach. This demonstrates the candidate’s ability to ‘exceed targets and goals’ and provide ‘strong leadership, managerial and organisational skills’ – all key criteria listed in the job ad.

The third paragraph highlights the applicant’s agility from a breadth of experience ‘from start-up to large corporate environments.’ It then moves on to how this experience that strengthens analytical and strategic capability, developing ‘solution-focused sales strategies that directly address customer pain points and create compelling propositions.’

 

Example 3: HR Director.

Key requirements from the job description:

  • 5+ years’ experience in HR leadership roles
  • AHRI or equivalent certified
  • Ability to architect strategy around people and culture
  • Customer-focused
  • Experience in L&D, talent management and succession planning

 

Resume Summary:

With 10 years’ experience delivering HR strategies that create customer-focused cultures in large, complex businesses, I enable organisations to pivot in line with rapidly shifting customer requirements, contributing to long-term, sustainable success.

An AHRI member with strong vertical experience in HR and a background in the retail and hospitality sectors, I work to instil a customer-first mindset at all levels of an organisation. Highly strategic with a commercial outlook from an early career in marketing, I look beyond my direct realm of influence to define and implement strategies that not only optimise employee and customer experience but contribute to improved commercial outcomes.

A qualified psychologist, I utilise a deep understanding of human behaviour to inform strategic HR development, identify talent and obtain buy-in for change initiatives. Driven to make a positive impact on people’s lives, I find deep, personal satisfaction in helping co-workers achieve their career goals by creating and delivering learning and development initiatives, developing talent pipelines and succession plans and championing talent.

Career highlights include defining and delivering a workforce strategy at NOP Ltd to align the customer team with a new group strategy. At BCD, I built a talent pipeline and training program to enable an aggressive retail expansion across the eastern seaboard and led the deployment of an HRIS system to automate various HR processes, reducing the time taken to produce reports by three days.”

 

Why This Resume Summary Works:

The first two paragraphs establish leadership and industry credibility by highlighting the applicant’s ’10 years’ experience delivering HR strategies’ and AHRI membership. More importantly, they link HR outcomes to business success, connecting ‘employee and customer experience’ to ‘improved commercial outcomes’.

The third paragraph positions the applicant’s psychology qualifications as a unique advantage in developing HR strategies and driving change. In line with the job ad, It then fleshes out the applicant’s skill set around L&D whilst elevating the summary with a sense of personal conviction ‘I find deep, personal satisfaction in helping co-workers achieve their career goals’.

 

In Conclusion.

Writing a good resume summary is definitely not easy (trust me, we should know). I hope these resume summary examples can help you write a summary that best reflects your unique value and personal brand.

As a reminder, if you are still daunted by the prospect of writing your own resume summary, but want to put your best foot forward, consider using our resume writing service. We’ll help you navigate a competitive job landscape to reach the next stage of your career.

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