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About Your Summary of Qualifications

How to Write a Career Summary or
Career Profile on a Resume

A summary of qualifications is more effective than a resume objective. On this page, you can get tips on how to write a career summary or career profile that works to get you the interview.

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A career summary is a better choice than a resume objective

The resume objective is tried and true, right? Or, is it really just old and tired?

If you decide to abandon the traditional job objective for something a bit more effective, then think POWER. I'm talking about something known as a power statement, career summary, career profile, etc. The bottom line is that this is idea is to put a powerful summary of your qualifications front and center at the top of your resume.

The goal is to convince the employer of your potential value to the company in a way much more effective (and powerful!) than the lowly resume objective.

A well-written summary of qualifications tends to be much more employer-focused and results-oriented, so hiring managers love to see it.

How to Write a Career Summary

Write a kick-a** summary of qualifications to get the job

So you're wondering how to construct one of these summaries of qualifications? Fair enough...

A career summary of qualifications goes at the top of your resume, under your name and address. It should summarize your skills, strengths and unique achievements in 3 to 5 sentences or bullet points.

Here are some specific ways in which you can approach creating the career profile:

  • Brainstorm a list of your skills, past achievements, unique experience, etc. Think about your years of experience, things you've excelled at or in, awards you've won, and so on. If you're struggling with this, ask for suggestions from friends, family and work colleagues. Think about your personality, as well as your personal passions and philosophies.

  • Review & refine the list. Go over the list, to make sure you haven't missed anything or listed something twice. Then, see if you could combine some of the more similar items into a single statement.

  • Compare your list to your experience & also to the requirements of the job you're applying for. Before you finalize the list, make sure you've made it relevant to the jobs you're seeking, so that the hiring manager will understand your value to the company. And also, make sure your past work history will support your summary statements.

  • Narrow your list to 3 to 5 strongest bullet points. Once you have a complete list, pare and refine it down to your 3 to 5 best points. It's tempting to include everything, but if you write a book, no one will read it anyway.

Basically, a summary of qualifications is like a snapshot of who you are, as an employee. Make it a great snapshot! Smile

Some Career Summary Examples

Most of us learn best by modeling after examples. Looking at some of our examples may get you past your initial writer's block too...

Here are some summary of qualifications I've written for myself and people I've helped with resumes:

Experienced & certified pastry chef and cake decorator who thrives on challenge, fast paced environments and teamwork.
  • Especially fast learner & flexible, independent worker
  • Exceptional creativity and conceptual abilities
  • Proven ability to maintain production schedules while ensuring superior quality of end products
A highly responsible and self-starting, prolific, and efficient writer and editor, whose accomplishments reflect strong motivation, exceptional writing ad editing ability, and outstanding creative talent.
  • 26-year track record as a healthcare professional
  • Tenacious and flexible in high-pressure situations
  • Tactful team player with excellent peope skills
  • Highly adept at managing multiple priorities
Results-oriented, self-directed, and enthusiastic teaching professional with a passion for helping students achieve their full potential. Background includes 5 years of teaching math and 25 years as a system engineer utilizing real-world math applications, on-the-job training of peers, and project management. Strengths include a flair for innovative process improvement, team leadership and a high caliber work ethic.

I highly recommend this resource for building powerful resumes!

And here are some more great summary of qualifications examples from the Same Day Resume book:

"Over 11 years of hands-on management experience based on foundation of Bachelor’s degree in Business. Committed to the highest level of excellence through achievement. A respected manager who leads by example. Excellent decision-making and problem-solving skills developed while meeting the challenge of constantly fluctuating agricultural business environment."
"Hard working, self-motivated, high achieving sales professional with eight years experience in the telecommunications industry, including work with key/hybrid systems and high end PBX systems. Recognized for excellent ability to build and maintain relationships through long and short sales cycles. Quick learner, with outstanding presentation skills. Strong commitment to customer service."

Or this one, from

"Results-oriented, detailed professional with comprehensive accounting experience. Background includes consistent promotions to positions of increased responsibility. Skilled in P&L, audits, taxation, internal controls, and streamlining procedures, effecting a monthly savings of $2500 at XYZ Company. Recently passed the CPA exam; currently seeking a Controller position."

And how about this one from the Web:

Over 20 years of experience in all phases of employee benefits including designing and implementing new benefits programs, accounting expertise in analyzing data, and progressive management experience including supervision of 8 professionals.
Use the career profile approach and you will win every time

You can find more great examples in the various sample resumes you'll find on this site. Read the pros and cons of using a resume objective, then you be the judge. But many people have found that using a summary of qualifications is a great way to put together a resume that will make you stand out and get you that interview invite.

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