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QUESTION: Is it true I probably don’t need a Summary section? Is it duplicating my achievements from the Experience and thus wasting space?

Cathy Lanzalaco, Inspire Careers

Not true! A personally branded Summary section will make a strong first impression on a recruiter or hiring manager reading your resume and convey the unique value that you offer. It also is a great place to address how your skills and experience align with the job posting for ATS (keyword search) purposes. Use the Experience section to detail your specific achievements as they relate to each job.   

Robert Rosales, EZ Resume Services

An effective summary is essential to capture the reader’s attention by clearly identifying your job target and providing an overview of what you have to offer relevant to the position. Include years of experience, areas of expertise, and distinguishing traits that contain keywords aligned with the job. It must generate interest in you. Add supporting details in the experience section.   

Amber Barney

Summary sections can be effective when utilized properly. Use the Summary section to highlight areas where you add value to your industry (e.g., marketing or costs savings), a notable achievement or two, “soft skills” like leadership and creativity, and/or your intentions for a career transition. Much like with a book, the Summary should pique the reader’s interest and drive them to keep reading.          

Edward Lawrence, Getstarted LLC

“The Summary section is your first chance on the résumé to differentiate yourself from the competition.

What do you want an employer to know about you? What’s your superpower? What’s your career theme?

State them here. Don’t waste space by duplicating information found in the Experience section. Instead, consider the Summary section to be advertising copy, presenting yourself concisely.”       

Denise Bitler, Resume-Interview Success, LLC

Be strategic. Replace “Summary Section” with your value proposition statement, “STRATEGIC AND ACCOMPLISHED BI-LINGUAL OPERATIONS LEADER”. You can then follow that with two or three bullets that support or add to that statement. “Transformational leader who consistently delivers significant impact on growth and bottom-line results-reduced operations time 30% and operation cost 40%.”            

Laura Smith-Proulx, An Expert Resume

You can either eliminate the resume Summary with several short taglines that describe your goals and career high points or write a short and potent Summary to direct employers to your career level, where you note achievements at a high level. No matter what, be sure to reference your soft skills by describing how you influence change, spearhead growth, and develop the next generation of talent.       

Lisa Rangel, Chameleon Resumes

Identify your target before you include a resume summary or not. Sending it directly to executive search/3rd party recruiter? They will remove a summary before sending to their client. So for this scenario, don’t include one. But if you’re networking or marketing yourself to a hiring manager, a summary will give the reader cherry-picked wins relevant to the job you want as a strong 1st impression.          

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