How To Write A Resume Summary For A Career Change

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

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.

A resume summary is a brief introduction about you that is crucial while changing your career path. It helps recruiters gauge your capabilities and suitability for the role. Learning how to write a resume summary may help you understand and cater to the industry requirements. In this article, we discuss the definition of a resume summary, steps to write a resume summary for a career change along with tips and examples for your reference.

What is a resume summary?

A resume summary is a short paragraph that serves as an introduction to your resume. It is around two to three lines and appears just below your name and contact details. The resume summary previews your qualifications, experience and career expectations. It aims to demonstrate your unique values to the recruiter and pursue them to read your resume further. It is essential to highlight qualifications that may attract the recruiter.

How to write a resume summary for a career change?

Writing a resume summary for a career change may seem daunting because you need to convince the hiring manager of your credibility to adapt to a new role. Here are a few steps you may follow:

1. Understand the job description

Before you apply for a new job role, it is essential to understand the requirements from the perspective of the employers. Learn the skills required in an ideal candidate and match them to what you may have to offer. It is crucial to communicate your compatibility with the desired position and the company.

For example, if the organisation seeks a candidate who adheres to deadlines and can work independently, you may mention discipline, organisation and reliability in the resume summary.

2. List your career goals

Create a draft with a list of your career goals and aspirations. Correlate the job description with your career goals and how you wish to achieve them. Discuss your career goals and exhibit your enthusiasm for the position. Your eagerness and transferrable skills may help compensate for the limited experience in the new role. Highlight the goals that are most relevant to the new job role.

For example, if you are applying for a management role, you may want to share the desire to lead teams and new ventures.

3. Highlight relevant skills

Discuss the skills acquired through your career that may still be relevant to the new job. Highlight your experience and education that may benefit the role. It is essential to showcase your potential to excel in the new role even with minimal experience in the field. Ensure you choose skills relevant to the job role, even if they do not match the skills listed in the job description. Some skills that may transfer to any job role include organisational skills, communication, analytical skills, decision making, collaboration and problem-solving.

4. Specify how you may add value

Mention how your existing skills add value to the organisation. It is crucial as it convinces the recruiter how you may benefit the organisation despite your professional background. For example, if you are starting a career in manufacturing with an earlier experience in IT, then your ability to code may help the organisation streamline the manufacturing process. It may also benefit them to troubleshoot processes whenever necessary.

5. Mention the job role and employer

It is crucial to mention the name of the organisation and the job role you are applying for in that company. It shows your interest in the role as the resume gets customised for the specific employer. It encourages them to read further and find relevant attributes that may suit the job role. You may also specify the rank of the job role in your resume summary. Ensure you change the necessary details when applying for different job roles.

6. Rectify errors

After writing your resume summary, proofread it to rectify any errors. Your resume synopsis reflects your ability to pay attention to detail, your writing skills and how well you may articulate your ideas. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. Ensure you spell the name of the company and the job role correctly. Read the resume summary aloud to assess the flow of sentences and tone.

Tips to remember while writing a resume summary for a career change

Here are some tips to remember while you write the resume summary for a career change:

Use strategic keywords

Recruiters skim through several resumes and look for industry-specific keywords while shortlisting candidates. It is essential to correlate the job description with your resume summary. You may pick industry keywords from the job description and incorporate them into your resume summary.

Keep it brief

A resume summary is about two to three sentences. Prioritise the most relevant details to the job role and include those in your resume overview. It is common to restrict your resume to a page, making it crucial to keep the resume summary concise to incorporate other details in your resume.

Consider the resume format

You may consider a functional resume format when you are changing careers. It divides your work history based on skills and is not in reverse chronological order. Such a format helps recruiters easily filter the details irrelevant to the job role and focus on skills that may add value to the organisation.

Related: Best Font For Resume: How To Choose Type And Size

Showcase your achievements

Include your professional achievements to substantiate your credibility as a candidate. It helps you differentiate from other candidates and focuses on your capabilities to succeed in the chosen path. Ensure the achievements you highlight are relevant to the industry or skill that may benefit the organisation. You may also want to include a link to the certificate or license, especially while sharing your resume in a digital format with the recruiter.

Get a third-person perspective

Seek a friend, trusted colleague, family member or know someone in your desired industry to help you review the resume objective. Gain a new perspective on your resume objective to ensure your ideas get communicated clearly. Ask them to assess your resume summary to understand if your skills align with the job description. They may advise you with changes that may enhance your resume objective.

Related: How To Review A Resume (With Helpful Tips And Benefits)

Use action verbs

Use action verbs to describe your past experiences and future goals. It makes the resume summary seem powerful and to the point. Write it in first-person without using direct pronouns such as "I". For example, you may say, "Experienced professional with a background in sales and marketing." instead of, "I am an experienced professional in sales and marketing."

Related: 10 Resume Writing Tips To Help You Land A Job

Examples of resume summaries for a career change

Here are some examples for various industries that you may refer to while writing a resume objective for yourself:

Example 1: Human resources

"Administrative experience in managing small and mid-size companies, seeking an opportunity in the human resources department at Global Corporation. Adaptable, emotionally intelligent and knowledgeable in using software to manage payrolls, conduct recruitment activities and maintain employee relations. Looking to use my strong interpersonal skills to help companies reduce employee turnover rates."

Example 2: Education

"A dedicated professional with 20-years of experience in marketing, looking for an opportunity to work as a Marketing Communications Professor at Silver Lining School. Aiming to use firsthand industry experience to shape the next generation of marketers. Knowledgeable of the latest industry developments and previous experience in training industry professionals."

Example 3: Advertising

"A skilled salesperson with five years in retail, guiding customers' purchase decisions. Hands-on knowledge of understanding customer personas and customer journeys. Looking to fulfil the role of a Market Research Associate at Red Advertising."

Related: Top 20 Marketing Skills To Include On Your Resume

Example 4: Real-estate

"Enthusiastic individual with 12-years of experience in retail sales and a keen interest in real estate. Looking to fulfil the position of a real estate agent at Lion Homes and Offices. Seeking to leverage my interpersonal and sales skills to understand client requirements and help them find the best property to suit their needs."

Example 5: Construction

"Dependable professional with excellent organisational and communication skills, seeking an opportunity as a Project Manager at Big Construction Company. Experience in safety procedures and troubleshooting heavy machinery. Looking to work in the construction industry to improve safety measures for workers and contribute to large-scale projects."

Example 6: Sales

"Experienced and ambitious professional with 15-years of experience in healthcare, seeking an opportunity in retail sales. Demonstrated exceptional interpersonal skills, customer service and organisational skills. Seeking the position of a sales representative at Delavour Equipments to use patient knowledge and increase healthcare equipment sales."

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