Powerful Resume Summary

3 Secrets To A Powerful Resume Summary


Writing a powerful resume summary that stops employers cold and makes them realize you’re the right candidate is quite a challenge. After all, you’re good at what you do, but you’ll need to boil your ROI down to concise statements in this section in order to stand out.

Watch: Is A Summary Necessary On A Resume?

For most people, writing a summary of qualifications is a such a major task that they look around at other resume examples to get ideas!

Here are some insider tips to creating a summary that exemplifies your personal brand in just a few words – making employers take notice:

1. Lose The Boilerplate Language

Today, every professional is self-motivated and results-driven (and if they aren’t, they’ll be spending the majority of their time job hunting).

Copying generic summary phrases from other resumes is one of the worst sins you can commit, because it’s a sure way to tell employers that you’re identical to everyone else.

Shake things up instead by making a list of your top value-added skills employers need. Do you complete projects faster or more accurately than colleagues?

Have you been promoted more quickly, due to your business acumen or leadership skills? Are you able to spot new business opportunities and close deals that are lucrative for your employer?

This list will give you ideas to use in writing your summary—concepts and skills unique to YOU that most likely won’t show up in the resumes of your competition.

2. Pull In Quantifiable Facts

Employers aren’t hiring just to have a potential source of help – they need the ROI you can deliver. So show them your value in figures gleaned from throughout your experience.

This example of an Operational Safety Manager resume summary provides a quick snapshot of consistent value, backed up by metrics:

“Safety advocate and operational leader who influences profit (up to 20% single-year increase) by fostering productive, engaged employees. Hands-on manager with strong financial acumen, delivering regular cost, efficiency, and volume forecasting improvements throughout 80,000-square foot plants.”

As shown here, quantifiable achievements in your resume summary help to quickly distinguish you from other candidates – even in a crowded field with hundreds of applicants.

3. Drop Names

Marketing copywriters have known for years that name-dropping gets attention. Now, you can take a cue from these professionals to amp up the volume in your resume summary section.

If you’re in a sales leadership role, you can mention names of major clients or employers, as shown in this sample of an International VP Sales resume.

You can also use the names of high-profile clients (“Closed high-value deals with Apple, Cisco Systems, and Oracle”), or a descriptive phrase if client names are confidential (“Created millions in key partnerships with Fortune-ranked corporations in the technology industry”).

Not in sales? You can still reference the names of partner alliances, past employers, or vendors to show collaboration and leadership skills, as in this example:

“Senior Vice President commended for turning around performance through sourcing negotiations with Baptist Health System, Medical Center of Austin, and the Mayo Clinic.”

In conclusion, your resume summary isn’t the place to be modest and toned-down in describing your brand value. Instead, consider boosting its effectiveness with well-placed, strategic information on your specific value-add to employers.

This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

Is Your Resume Summary Boring Employers?
Top 100 Most Powerful Resume Words
How To Write A Resume – Basic Summary

Laura Smith-Proulx | Multiple Award-Winning Executive Resume Writer

About the author

Laura Smith-Proulx, Executive Director of An Expert Resume, is a resume industry leader, 13-time global TORI resume award winner, LinkedIn expert, author, personal brand strategist, and former recruiter with 20+ years of experience winning choice jobs for executives and rising leaders.


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Laura Smith-Proulx

Multi-credentialed executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume is the #1 U.S. TORI resume award record-holder and a published global expert on executive branding and LinkedIn strategies.


  1. I have a version of my resume that includes company logos for each past position I’ve held. I have worked with some big brands and the easiest way to showcase this, and to stand out, is with the full color logos (small, and inline with the title and dates).

    This works well in marketing, sales, or in the entertainment industry. Not sure if it would be appropriate in other industries.

  2. Great tips Laura! Too many resumes I see are so heavy with jargon and corporate double-speak that they are impenetratable. I give resumes the “20-second test”: if I can’t get a pretty good idea about what this candidate is all about (meaning what they can do for my company) in a 20-second scan, then they get screened out. The only exception is if the person has been personally referred to me by a trusted colleague or friend, then I will read it. I tell my job-hunting clients: the most important feature of your resume is the hand of the person giving it to the hiring manager (meaning a trusted referral).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *