A professional summary gives the hiring manager a quick overview of your skills and achievements without them having to dive into the rest of your resume.
It sits at the top of your resume, beneath your name and contact information. You can think of it as a teaser for the rest of your resume.
It’s usually 3-5 sentences or bullet points long and should sum up your top skills, experiences, and achievements as they pertain to the job description.
Why is experience summary important?
Employers and recruiters may receive hundreds of applications for a single position, which can make it time-consuming to find the best candidates. To save time, employers often scan CVs briefly to get a quick idea of the candidate’s fitness for the role.
CV summaries are important because they can help you get the notice of potential employers and stand out among other candidates. If your summary offers a condensed view of your professional strengths, employers are more likely to read the rest of your CV and keep you in the candidate pool, even if they’re short on time.
How to write a professional experience summary?
Every summary is different as you want to show why your set of skills makes you suitable for the position you’re applying for at that moment, so you want to make sure you get it right. With the proper planning and effort, you can write an experience summary that shows your value as a candidate.
1. Tailor it to a specific job opening.
Star with the job listing that made you apply for the job. Carefully reread it and find the most important keywords. These are the nouns or phrases that best describe the job position, related skills, as well as the ideal candidate. Before you begin to write, think about how they intersect with your own skills and experiences.
2. Reference your past work and academic experiences.
Your CV already covers your previous educational and work experiences. However, if any of them are extremely relevant to the role, you might include them in your summary. If you lack extensive work experience, highlight impressive extra-curricular activities, skills and career objectives.
3. Emphasise your technical skills.
Your experience summary is a great place to mention your top technical skills, especially if you’re applying to a technical position, like one in information technology, engineering or a related scientific field. Be sure to mention if you’re proficient in any special, relevant software applications. You can also mention soft skills or personality traits if they’re relevant.
4. Mention a key professional achievement/s.
Think about your most extraordinary professional achievements and consider mentioning them in your CV summary. Make sure they are official and measurable so you can prove actual results to the potential employer. If you’ve won any relevant awards, you might want to reference those too, as they can be great evidence of your expertise.
5. Sum up what you have to offer.
Instead of saying what you want, keep in mind what they want. Make clear what values you can bring to the company. Look for common threads in your work history and for skills that apply most to the job.