How To Write A Summary Of Qualifications (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Beginning your resume with a concise summary of qualifications tailored to the job requirements can catch the attention of recruiters and improve your chances of getting an interview call. When they can see your work experiences, achievements and skills at a glance, they can quickly ascertain your suitability for the position. By understanding the summary writing process, you may persuade recruiters to read your resume. In this article, we discuss how to write a summary of qualifications, learn about formatting it and the reason for adding it to the resume and review some summary examples.

How to write a summary of qualifications

The following steps can help you learn how to write a summary of qualifications:

1. Provide measurable information

Providing specific and measurable information about the positive impact you made at your previous jobs can impress recruiters and increase your chances of getting an interview call. You can include the following numerical data:

  • the number of years you worked in a specific role

  • the number of people you supervised

  • the budget amount you worked with

  • the revenue amount you earned

2. Use the active voice

Using the active voice can make it easier for the recruiter to understand your work experience and achievements. By making direct statements, you express what you want to say clearly. It can also eliminate ambiguity or misunderstanding. Here is an example:

  • Passive voice: "A 25% increase in customer sign-ups was achieved in six months."

  • Active voice: "Increased customer sign-ups by 25% in six months."

3. Begin with action verbs

Using strong action verbs and eliminating first person or third person pronouns can present your qualifications and achievement succinctly and clearly. Recruiters are busy people, and they are likely to appreciate getting the essential information without unnecessary words. Instead of writing "I achieved 50% sales in the first year," you can write "Achieved 50% sales in the first year." Here are some examples of action verbs that you can use in your summary of qualifications:

  • For achievements: accomplished, completed, exceeded, excelled, improved, succeeded and transformed

  • For communication skills: articulated, authored, composed, drafted, discussed, persuaded and negotiated

  • For creative skills: created, customised, drew, designed, fashioned, made and illustrated

  • For data and financial skills: allocated, analysed, appraised, balanced, forecasted, managed and reconciled

  • For management skills: administered, coordinated, delegated, executed, implemented, supervised and planned

  • For organisational skills: arranged, categorised, filed, maintained, prepared, scheduled and updated

  • For research skills: analysed, conducted, examined, identified, investigated, measured and surveyed

  • For technical skills: assembled, calculated, designed, engineered, installed, maintained and programmed

Related: Management Skills: Definition And Examples

4. Include keywords

Many organisations use computer systems to process and review the hundreds or thousands of job applications they receive. To make it easier to shortlist qualified candidates, the recruiters use keyword searches or applicant tracking software. Including relevant keywords in your qualifications summary can increase the keyword concentration in your resume and ensure its selection in the first rounds. You can find the right keywords by reviewing words related to experience, education and skills in the job description. You can also research industry-specific terms and the descriptive words the company has used in its website content.

While including keywords in your summary is important, it is advisable not to overuse them. Otherwise, your resume might get flagged by the applicant tracking software. Use keywords in moderation and make sure they are relevant and suitable for your professional experience.

Related: What Is An Applicant Tracking System? Definition And Tips

5. Highlight your unique abilities

Tailor the summary statements to include unique career experiences. Such personalisation can increase your credibility and make a better impression on the recruiters. It may help to check that you are not repetitive in providing qualifications examples and focus your bullet points on different career parts.

Related: How To Write A Resume Summary (With 30 Examples)

Summary of qualifications format

For facilitating a quick scan-through by the recruiter, it is customary to present the summary of qualifications in bullet points. Limit the bullet points to up to three to six with one or two-line descriptions for each. Assign a role to each bullet point and provide essential information that highlights its relevance. You might format the summary in the following way:

  • Work experience: the number of years in a specific role or field

  • Highest qualification: when received, which institution and what programme

  • Skills: special training and expertise areas

  • Management experience: if any, how long and the number of employees supervised

  • Responsibilities: essential everyday work

  • Key achievements: professional recognition, awards or continuing education certifications

Related: Resume Format Guide (With Examples)

Summary of qualifications examples

Before writing a summary of qualifications, it might help to look at examples from different industries. The following qualifications summary examples may inspire you in your writing:

Marketing executive

  • Five years of digital marketing experience

  • Earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Delhi Business University(2015)

  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and organisational skills

  • Used word processing, spreadsheets, business management and social media applications efficiently

  • Led teams in successful social media campaigns to promote client brands

  • Collaborated with social media influencers and celebrities to set up promotional events

Graphic designer

  • Six years of brand graphic design experience

  • Bachelor's degree in graphic design from Delhi Institute of Design(2013)

  • Adept at creating brand logos, advertisements and other production materials

  • Proficient in various open source and closed source design software

  • Developed brochures, catalogues and presentations for clients

  • Led a graphic design team to develop medical production materials

Account manager

  • Three years of experience in sales and marketing

  • Bachelor's degree in commerce from Delhi Business University(2015)

  • Outstanding research, organisational and management skills

  • Proven ability to manage multiple client accounts

  • Exceeded sales targets by 30% in the previous position

  • Awarded top salesperson award last year

Customer service manager

  • Ten years of hotel customer service experience

  • Master of business administration from Pune Management College(2010)

  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and conflict resolution skills

  • Proficient in word processing, spreadsheets and business management software

  • Supervised 25 customer service representatives

  • Conducted training sessions in customer relations that led to a 30% increase in customer satisfaction

Supply chain manager

  • 12 years of experience in supply chain management

  • Master of business administration from Mumbai Management Institute(1999)

  • Exceptional communication skills, organisational skills and management skills of information and people

  • Proficient in supply chain management software

  • Proven ability to plan, implement and supervise logistical operations

  • Supervised warehouse and materials management departments

Registered nurse

  • 11 years of experience as a registered nurse working with cancer patients

  • Master's degree in nursing from Christian Medical University, Vellore(1997)

  • Dedicated, compassionate and highly adept at caring for patients

  • Trained and supervised a team of 15 nurses and improved efficiency in the ward by 25%

  • Monitored, evaluated and recorded the progress of ward patients daily

  • Assisted doctors in trying out new medical techniques to speed up patient recovery

Retail executive

  • Four years of experience in department store retail sales

  • Bachelor's degree in commerce from Mumbai Management Institute(2014)

  • Exceptional communication, interpersonal, organisation and customer service skills

  • Proficient in customer management and billing software

  • Detail-oriented, willing to work in shifts and proven ability to work with minimal supervision

  • Highly adept at assisting customers and proven ability to work and collaborate with diverse personalities

Executive assistant

  • Eight years of experience as an executive administrative assistant

  • Bachelor's degree in commerce from Pune Management College(2013)

  • Meticulous, organised, detail-oriented and task-driven

  • Proficient in word processing, spreadsheets, business management, scheduling and social media applications

  • Proven experience in collaborating with C-level executives and managing client-centric office operations

Reasons for adding a summary of qualifications

Recruiters often receive a lot of job applications. Given the limits on their time, most recruiters generally scan through the resumes rapidly, make quick decisions and shortlist the ones that seem promising at a glance for further review later. It is necessary that you structure your resume in a way that the recruiters notice it immediately. Summarising your qualifications for a resume can be one way of doing that.

By providing concise examples of qualifications in a prominent position at the top of the resume, you can make it easier for the recruiters to determine if your experience and abilities meet the job requirements. They can make a quick decision about moving you forward in the hiring process based on your work experience, educational qualifications, specific skills and achievements. If your summary of qualifications meets their selection criteria, you can get through the first round selection and may receive a call to attend a job interview.

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