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Résumé Writing: How to Write a Summary of Qualifications

Updated on July 12, 2013


Your résumé is a snapshot of your professional experience, education and skills. But, even within this one-page document, you need yet another, more concise snapshot of your qualifications. This is known as a “Summary of Qualifications,” and it could be crucial to your job-search success.

This hub will be solely dedicated to helping you write a strong summary of qualifications section for your résumé. If you’d like more general résumé writing advice, check out my other hub titled “Practical Résumé Writing Tips.”

Make their job easy…

A hiring manager is often a lot like someone surfing the Internet: he or she browses through a large amount of data (résumés) in search of something useful (a potential candidate). If you use Google to find information, then you do the same thing. You look for specific keywords or phrases that are relevant to the information you are in search of. In other words, you don’t want to read the entire website to understand what it’s all about.

Now, relate this same concept to your personal résumé and, voila, you understand the importance of a summary of qualifications. By immediately stating why you are qualified for the position you are applying for, the hiring manager may not even have to look over the rest of your résumé to schedule you for an interview.

Simplicity is beautiful

As a professional résumé writer with Hired Résumé Service, I understand how to write a powerful summary of qualifications section, even when the client doesn’t have much experience in the field that they are applying for. Consider the example below:

Had this client opted to forgo the summary of qualifications section, their résumé would not only have been a bit empty, but it also wouldn’t have been able to highlight their other crucial characteristics, such as their passion for animals, desire to acquire new traits, organizational skills, etc. All the hiring manager has to do is glance over the summary of qualifications in order to make their decision. The rest of the résumé supplies the details.

Writing an effective summary

In order to write the most effective summary of qualifications, you have to write the bullet points in order of importance. First, begin with any education or training you’ve had in the industry. Second, mention how much experience you’ve had in the field, if any. Third, discuss specific skills that you have acquired through your education or past experiences, or any other skills that set you apart from the competition. Lastly, include any additional characteristics about yourself that you feel are important for the hiring manager to know.

Look at the example below:

This summary of education, experience, skills and characteristics will make the decision to schedule you for an interview easy. Furthermore, it will give you more specifics to discuss during the interview, as they will likely reference the résumé. For additional interviewing tips, visit “8 Crucial Interviewing Tips.”

The awkward wording

After having obtained a year’s worth of experience as the news editor of my college newspaper, writing awkward fragment sentences for the summary of qualifications felt a bit hypocritical. However, I quickly learned that writing résumés is completely different than following AP style.

It is okay to have fragment sentences in your summary of qualifications because you want to be concise and allow the information to do the talking. Also, it’s your résumé, so including the words “I” or “my” is rather redundant.


Some résumés may simply not have enough room on one page for a summary of qualifications. In that case, it is often okay to do without the summary as long as your work experience and education are extremely relevant to the position you are applying for. If they aren’t, then I would suggest including a summary of qualifications.

The best presentations begin with a summary. It’s the same way with your résumé. After all, your résumé is a presentation, so you should include a concise introduction of yourself. Hiring managers appreciate the easy-to-digest information.

Remember to be careful: writing a poor summary of qualifications can have a negative effect. If you aren’t sure about your summary, it may be best to seek professional help. Fortunately, my mother and I are professional résumé writers and would love to help you out. Our services are personal and very reasonably priced when you consider how important a well-written résumé really is to your future financial success. If you’d like us to help you out, make sure to visit our website: Hired Résumé Service.

Thank you for reading! If you need anything, please leave a comment and I will get back to you!


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      5 years ago

      Very efficiently written information. It will be priceless to anybody who uses it, together with myself. Sustain the good work – for positive i will try extra posts.


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