How to Write a Summary Statement

On resumes, applicants typically include a summary statement under their contact information. The summary statement highlights an applicant's professional skills and experiences in a short paragraph. That way, the hiring manager develops a better idea of the applicant's experience, skills, and accomplishments before reviewing the rest of their resume.  

While resume summaries are optional, the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will create one for the applicant if it is missing. The best way to avoid that is by writing and including your summary statement. 


Experts recommend including a summary statement on your resume when applying for a highly desired position. The statement sets you apart from other candidates and allows you to summarize your experiences in your own words. You do not need to include a summary statement on every application. 

Now it's time for the real question: how do you write a summary statement? 

It is helpful to utilize your elevator pitch (i.e., your response to the inevitable Please tell me a bit about yourself question) or your pitch to an industry leader when writing your resume summary. Consider all of your experiences, accomplishments, strengths, and skills that make you stand out from other candidates.

You may also find it helpful to look at the job position that you want to apply for. Doing so can help you identify technical and essential skills that would help someone succeed in the position so you can include them on your resume. You can also consider how those experiences, strengths, and accomplishments would bring value to the company you're applying to. 

Once you've gathered information from the job post and your resume, start writing. Be sure to leave space so you can add relevant keywords. When your statement is ready, review it from the hiring manager's point of view by answering the following question: Why should we hire you? 

Example: 

There is an Accounting job available at ABC Company. The skills required for the job: 

  • Systems analysis
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving 
  • Written and oral communication 
  • Mathematical and deductive reasoning 
  • Critical thinking 

Your resume covers your time as an Accounting Assistant, volunteering for a nonprofit, your Mathematics major, and that you are a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). 

Your summary statement could read as: 

Certified and driven Accountant with 2 years of experience in Accounting, Mathematics, and Systems Analysis. Looking to continually build rapport and develop time management and written and oral communication skills within a productive and fast-moving company. 

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