Beginner’s Guide to Writing a Resume Summary (With Examples)

Finished with your resume? Congratulations! But if your resume doesn't have a summary at the top, you might not actually be done.

A resume summary is an essential aspect of your resume (especially if you’re entry level, or making a career change). It's easy to overlook, but extremely important to hiring managers—this section serves as a concise, easy-to-read summary of the rest of the information in the document. By adding a summary, you'll set yourself apart from other entry level job seekers, making it easier for potential employers to understand who you are and what you have to offer.

In this blog post, you'll learn how to cap off a great entry level document with a beginner summary for resume that makes it even better. Read on to learn what to include; how to format this section; and to see several summary examples for students, entry level positions, and early career candidates.

3 Key Takeaways:

  • A resume summary provides a snapshot of your professional experience and skills.
  • Your 1-4 sentence summary can briefly outline your education, skills, and any prior experience.
  • Consider formatting your summary with bullet points, or bolding important details.

What is a resume summary?

A resume summary, not to be confused with a resume objective, is a brief section of a resume—typically located at the top—that provides a snapshot of your professional experience and skills.

The purpose of a resume summary, or a professional bio, is to quickly communicate to the hiring manager why you're a strong candidate for the job, mentioning your most relevant qualifications, accomplishments, and experience. Think of this section as the highlights, quickly hitting the top points that are explained more in depth later in your resume.

In a summary for a resume, you should include a few sentences that explain your professional background. Showcase your most important skills, accomplishments, and experiences that align with the job you're applying for. You should also emphasize any relevant certifications or awards you've received.

And remember to always tailor your resume summary to the specific job you're applying for, highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant to the position. We'll share more tips for writing an entry level resume summary later in this article.

Why is a resume summary important?

A resume summary is important because it provides a quick overview of your qualifications and experience to the hiring manager or recruiter who is reviewing your application. Statistics show that hiring managers look at each resume they receive for only 6-7 seconds. Your goal is to grab their attention before they move on. And an expertly crafted resume summary section is a great way to do that.

Ideally, your summary will make your resume stand out and draw the reader in, making them want to learn more about you. Since the summary focuses on your most relevant experience and skills, it also helps the reader understand at a glance why you're a good fit for the job.

Other benefits of your resume summary: A targeted resume summary that aligns with the job description demonstrates that you've taken the time to understand the requirements of the position—and that you have the skills and experience that are necessary to succeed in the role. Finally, a strong resume summary also sets the tone for the rest of your resume, creating a cohesive and compelling narrative that tells the story of your career. What's not to love?

How to write a resume summary

If you're just starting out as an entry level candidate—maybe you're looking for your first job, or you've just graduated college—writing a resume summary shouldn't be too hard. You don't have a lot of experience to pare down—so, you can simply include whatever you do have (the education you've completed, the soft skills you've acquired, and any job experience you may have).

Your resume summary length for entry level resumes can be anywhere between one and four sentences. If you don't have much experience and you're looking for entry level jobs, it's okay for your summary to be shorter.

Here are a few things to consider including in your summary:

Remember, you won't go into detail on these items right now. That comes later in your resume. Just briefly mention each one before moving on.

When it comes to including your skills, we especially recommend adding transferable skills. These are skills that can be used across the workforce, essentially transferring from job to job.

Have you learned how to use Excel? This could come in handy in a variety of workplace settings. Or maybe you're great at working on a team. Similarly, this skill is important for virtually every job. Touch on a few of your strongest skills in your resume summary.

Make sure to carefully read the job description of the position that you're applying for. The most effective resume summary will align with the job description, using key skills and other phrases that are mentioned to catch the hiring manager's attention. Pull out any skills or qualifications you can, matching up these relevant skills with your own skills as you craft a summary that fits the bill.

Using Teal’s Resume Builder, you can quickly compare the skills and keywords in the job posting to those in your resume. Make sure to add any relevant experience to your customized resume and to your professional summary.

Teal’s Resume Builder compares the skills in a job description to the skills in your resume to give you a match score.
Teal’s Resume Builder compares the skills in a job description to the skills in your resume to give you a match score.

You can also research the overall company to get a feel for their culture and core values. Then add in whatever hard and soft skills overlap with yours.

Finally, for a beginner or entry level resume, the summary is the place to let your passion shine. You may not have a lot of prior experience, so instead of talking about what you haven't done, focus on what you're excited to do.

Keep things professional, but let your enthusiasm shine through—stating where you hope your career will go, or what kind of opportunity you're ready to dig your teeth into.

How to format a resume summary

There are multiple resume formats you can use. Regardless of which one you pick, your resume summary will be the first section, located at the very top just under your name and contact information.

If desired, you can type out your summary in sentences. If you go this route, it can be helpful to pull out your most impressive achievement by making the text bold. This ensures that your most important information grabs the eye. For instance:

"Licensed dental hygienist with a strong passion for providing excellent patient care. Completed an accredited dental hygiene program and passed state licensure exams. Demonstrated proficiency in performing dental prophylaxis, oral health assessments, radiographs, and oral cancer screenings..."

Another option is to use bullet points. Bullets organize your information more effectively, helping hold the hiring manager's attention so they'll read the whole thing. This could look like:

  • High school junior seeking a role at a daycare
  • Experience working as a babysitter for multiple families
  • Skilled in creating engaging activities to support children's growth and development
  • Certified in CPR and First Aid.

These are two good examples of resume summary formatting.

Examples of effective summaries

To get a feel for what a good resume summary sounds like in practice, read through these resume summary examples before you write your own.

Resume summary for high school student, babysitter

"Dependable and enthusiastic high school junior with a passion for childcare seeking a role at a daycare. Proven track record of providing safe, nurturing care to children of all ages, with experience working as a babysitter for multiple families. Skilled in creating engaging activities and promoting positive social interactions to support children's growth and development. Certified in CPR and First Aid."

Resume summary for high school student, food service worker

"Hardworking and reliable high school sophomore with a passion for food service seeking a role in a restaurant or cafeteria setting. Strong communication skills, with the ability to engage effectively with customers and colleagues. Looking for an opportunity to develop skills and grow in the food service industry."

Resume summary for college student, Associate of Arts

"Motivated and detail-oriented college student currently pursuing an Associate of Arts degree. Possess strong analytical and critical thinking skills, with the ability to effectively communicate ideas and solve problems. Experienced in working with diverse populations, including volunteering with community-based organizations."

Resume summary for recent college graduate, associate's degree in education

"Highly organized and dedicated paraprofessional with an associate's degree in education and a paraprofessional license seeking a role in a school setting. Skilled in providing academic and behavioral support to students with diverse needs, including those with disabilities and special needs. Experienced in implementing individualized education plans (IEPs) and behavioral plans to support student success. Able to work effectively with teachers, administrators, and parents to support student progress and growth."

Resume summary for college student, bachelor's in biology

"Motivated biology student (expected graduation 2024) with a passion for science education seeking an opportunity to contribute to educational initiatives. Skilled in developing and implementing engaging science curriculum for diverse student populations, with experience in informal and formal learning environments. Excellent communicator, able to translate complex scientific concepts into accessible language for learners of all ages."

Resume summary for recent college graduate, psychology major

"Recent psychology graduate with a strong passion for community-based mental health seeking to leverage academic training and volunteer experience in a challenging and fulfilling role. Skilled in crisis intervention, counseling, and group facilitation, with a proven track record of building rapport and fostering trust with clients. A compassionate and empathetic team player committed to making a positive impact in the lives of those struggling with mental health issues."

Resume summary for master's program application

"Motivated and detail-oriented Bachelor's degree holder in Psychology seeking admission to a Master's program in Psychology. Strong academic background in psychology, with a solid understanding of theories, concepts, and research methods. Demonstrated ability to apply psychological principles in real-world settings through internships and research projects. Passionate about advancing my knowledge and skills in the field of psychology and dedicated to pursuing a career in research or clinical psychology."

Resume summary for recent master's graduate, Master of Science in Finance

"Highly motivated finance professional with a master's degree in finance and a strong background in financial analysis, forecasting, and modeling. Skilled in using quantitative methods and financial software to analyze data and make strategic recommendations. Proficient in financial reporting and compliance, with a deep understanding of regulatory frameworks and standards."

Resume summary for office clerk

"Highly organized and detail-oriented individual with a proven track record of providing administrative support in a fast-paced environment. Proficient in utilizing various office software, including MS Office and Google Suite, to manage calendars, schedule appointments, and organize documents. Skilled in handling a wide range of tasks, including data entry, file maintenance, and correspondence. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to work effectively with colleagues and clients."

Resume summary for HVAC apprenticeship

"Motivated and dedicated individual seeking an HVAC apprenticeship position to develop skills and gain experience in the field. Strong mechanical aptitude and problem-solving skills, with experience in electrical wiring and troubleshooting. Familiar with HVAC systems, including installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment. Experienced in reading and interpreting technical manuals and blueprints. Skilled in utilizing various hand and power tools to complete projects. Proficient in maintaining a safe work environment and adhering to safety protocols."

Resume summary for virtual assistant

"Highly organized and efficient virtual assistant with a passion for delivering exceptional support to busy professionals and entrepreneurs. Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, G Suite, Dropbox, Trello, Asana, and Slack. Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a keen eye for detail. Ability to manage multiple priorities, meet deadlines, and work independently. Looking for an opportunity to leverage my expertise and help businesses achieve their goals by providing top-notch virtual assistance."

Resume summary for dental hygienist

"Licensed dental hygienist with a strong passion for providing excellent patient care. Completed an accredited dental hygiene program and passed state licensure exams. Demonstrated proficiency in performing dental prophylaxis, oral health assessments, radiographs, and oral cancer screenings. Skilled in educating patients on proper oral hygiene techniques, disease prevention, and treatment options. Seeking a challenging role in a dental practice where I can utilize my skills and experience to provide excellent dental care to patients."

Resume summary for bank teller

"Motivated and customer-focused individual seeking an entry-level bank teller position. Excellent math skills with the ability to accurately count and manage large amounts of money. Skilled in providing exceptional customer service and resolving customer complaints in a timely and professional manner. Proven ability to work well under pressure and meet deadlines. Eager to learn and grow in a fast-paced banking environment."

Resume summary for electrician

"Highly motivated and detail-oriented electrician with extensive training and hands-on experience in electrical systems installation, repair, and maintenance. Completed comprehensive electrical training program with a strong understanding of electrical codes, safety procedures, and best practices. Skilled in installing and maintaining electrical equipment and systems, including lighting, outlets, and circuit breakers. Seeking an opportunity to leverage my skills and experience to deliver exceptional electrical services."

Resume summary for mid-career employee

"Experienced marketing professional with five years of hands-on experience as a Marketing Assistant. Strong track record of creating and executing successful marketing campaigns, generating leads, and increasing brand awareness. Seeking a leadership role in the digital marketing industry where I can utilize my expertise to drive business growth and lead a team of marketers."

Create a professional resume summary with Teal

When you're ready to create your entry level resume summary, you don't have to go it alone. Use the AI technology integrated within Teal's Resume Builder to generate professional summaries directly within the Teal platform. This tool makes it easy to come up with multiple versions of your professional summary, tailoring each one for the job you're applying to.

Create multiple versions of your professional summary using Teal’s AI integration feature.
Create multiple versions of your professional summary using Teal’s AI integration feature.

Best of luck in your job search!

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Hailey Hudson

Hailey Hudson

Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance writer and content marketer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. She writes in the healthcare, digital marketing, education, and pet industries.

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