Qualifications Summary: 5+ Examples, Definition & How to Write [Guide]

What if you could compress your experience and skills into a single punchy resume section that would knock the recruiter off their feet? The qualifications summary is the answer.

Qualifications Summary: 5+ Examples, Definition & How to Write [Guide]

The summary of qualifications resume section, also known as a skills summary, is an optional section you can put at the top of your resume. It consists of a list of your qualifications, skills, key achievements, awards, or other experience relevant to the position you’re seeking with the company.

 

A well-written qualifications summary will make the recruiter want to read your entire resume.

 

And seriously boosts your chances of getting that interview invite.

 

In this article you’ll learn:

  • When you should include a summary of qualifications on a resume.
  • A formula for how to write a job-winning qualifications summary in three easy steps.
  • Examples of good and bad resume qualification summaries for over 5 professions. 

 

1. Summary of Qualifications—Examples and Why You Should Use It

 

Let’s jump right in—

 

Here’s a good example of a summary of qualifications for a resume:

 

Example of Summary of Qualifications—Customer Service 

 

Friendly customer service representative with 4+ years of experience and skills in telesales and leadership. Seeking to boost upsell rate at Purple Dolphin Components.

 

  • Maintained 99% favorable customer ratings at Keen Squirrel Inc.
  • Scored an upsell rate of 30% above the department average.
  • At SwiftBeetle Distributors, received Standout Representative Award 3x.

 

As you can see in the example above, the summary of qualifications for a resume allows you to highlight your skills and experience.

 

And this is a win-win situation. Why?

 

Traditionally, resumes start with a section called the resume profile which can take the form of a professional objective or career summary.

 

Either of the above is a short paragraph of text. The key difference is that the former highlights your skills and the latter your professional experience.

 

Here’s the trick:

 

If you go for a resume qualifications summary instead, you won’t have to make an either-or decision. You’ll put your best foot forward straight away with a catchy experience and skills summary.

 

Now—

 

This has serious benefits.

 

Studies show that recruiters spend about 7 seconds scanning a resume from top to bottom.

 

A qualifications summary at the top of your document can catch their eye for longer and give them what they’re looking for—on a silver platter.

 

And what is it exactly that recruiters want to find on a resume?

 

Studies say that up to 92% of them consider your experience the most important factor when making a hiring decision. 

 

Well, isn’t this exactly what your summary of qualifications highlights? Along with your top skills and achievements?

 

Plus—

 

A qualifications summary gives you a great opportunity to spice your resume up with strong resume keywords.

 

And one more thing:

 

Who is a summary of qualifications suitable for?

 

As you might have already guessed, the resume qualifications summary is suitable for candidates who have some experience, skills, and achievements to show off. In other words, it would look great on a manager resume or an executive resume. 

 

Some experts say a summary of qualifications may not be suitable for students or other entry-level candidates because they may not have enough professional skills to show on their resumes.

 

And with all due respect, we disagree.

 

A well-written qualifications summary can give you quite an edge over the other applicants even on an entry-level resume.

 

Mind you, though, a well-written one.

Expert Hint: Don’t make one of the most typical mistakes job seekers make on their resumes, i.e. putting everything they’ve ever done. Be selective and tailor your resume to the job offer.

You’ll see examples of job-winning summaries of qualifications in the next section.

 

2. How to Write a Job-Winning Summary of Qualifications for a Resume

 

Listen—

 

If you mess up your summary of qualifications, you’re not going to get even 2 seconds of the recruiter’s attention. 

 

They won’t care. They’ll have at least a dozen other resumes to choose from.

 

So how to get it right? 

 

First look at a quick comparison of a good vs. bad qualifications summary for resume:

 

Summary of Qualifications for Entry-Level Job Seekers

Good Example

Energetic entry-level programmer with skills in Python and Java coding. Seeking to provide programming excellence at Derneby Software Inc.

 

  • Developed 2 eCommerce sites with 100% client satisfaction.
  • Created a mobile app chess game that got 450 downloads.
  • Wrote a working to-do list app written up in Billy’s Tech World.
  • Took 3rd place, Project Euler competition, February 2019.
  • Active member, ACM.
Bad Example
  • Programmer looking for opportunities.
  • Skilled in Python and Java.
  • Knowledge of eCommerce.
  • Member of professional organizations.

Now—

 

Here’s what you can see in the good example:

  • Short introduction with your strong traits, key skills, and a value proposition for the company.
  • A list of your key accomplishments supported by numbers.
  • Detailed information.

 

The bad example?

 

It has none of the above.

 

Let’s put it this way:

 

How many people out there are skilled in programming languages, have knowledge of eCommerce, and belong to professional organizations?

 

Gazillion.

 

And how many people out there have created 2 eCommerce sites with 100% client satisfaction and developed a mobile chess game that got 450 downloads among others?

 

Most likely just one.

 

See the point?

 

The more specific you are about what you can do, the more exceptional you become in the recruiter’s eyes.

 

And you want to be the exceptional candidate, don’t you?

 

So—

 

Here’s how to make an exceptional qualifications summary in three simple steps:

 

1. Write the qualifications summary once your entire resume is ready.

 

This way it will be much easier for you to skim the cream. 

 

You can’t decide what you want to highlight if you don’t see the bigger picture first.

 

So—

 

Take it easy.

 

Write all the other resume sections first, and then…

 

2. Use this formula to write the short intro.

 

[Adjective/strong character trait] [your job title] experienced in [your key skill(s)]. Eager to [action verb][employer’s name] [value proposition].

 

Here’s what it could look like in practice:

 

Creative and well-organized graphic designer experienced in UI and UX. Eager to provide ABC Inc. with fresh website ideas, killer layout redesigns, and image production skills.

Expert Hint: Make sure you’re addressing the employer’s exact needs. Refer to the job offer to see what skills and experience they’re in search of. Put them right here in your resume qualifications summary.

3. Pick up to five key achievements from your resume.

 

Remember: it’s crucial for your resume to be tailored to the job offer. If it’s not, you’re risking sending a generic-looking document that the recruiter will have no interest in reading.

 

Once you’ve selected the key achievements you want to highlight in the qualifications summary, shorten them to a single line, and paraphrase them.

 

Why?

  • First off, your intro must be short and snappy.
  • Second, you don’t want your resume to look repetitive.
  • Third, it’s another chance for you to beef up your chances of getting through the ATS scan.

Expert Hint: Use the resume keywords you can find in the job ad at least once on your resume. If you’re looking for ideas on synonyms, here’s a list of 250+ resume words.

If you need more inspiration, take a look at the examples below:

 

Project Manager—Qualifications Summary

Good Example

Certified IT Project Management Professional with 7+ years of experience. Looking to use proven strategic business process improvement skills to improve KPIs for quality, cost, and time at Daviau Components Worldwide.

 

  • Trained 55 employees in Lean practices at LZXC
  • Slashed costs 28% through total employee engagement in continuous improvement program.
  • Implemented a facility-wide kanban system that saved $150,000 annually.
Bad Example
  • Experienced PM looking for new opportunities.
  • Organized and conducted training sessions for employees.
  • Great analytical and organizational skills.

Expert Hint: The skills you put in your resume qualifications summary need to be tailored to the position. Learn what skills to put on a resume in 2019.

Summary of Qualifications—Sales Example

Good Example

High-selling sales representative with 8+ years of experience and strong closing skills. Looking to improve sales KPIs at Abbot.

 

  • At Bayer, created new sales relationships with 130 doctors.
  • Closed sales 15% faster than company average.
  • Consistently exceeded quotas by 25% each quarter.
Bad Example
  • Experienced sales rep hungry for new challenges.
  • Skilled in long-term relationship building.
  • Effectively closed sales and exceeded KPIs.

Expert Hint: If you’re looking for specific advice on how to write a resume, head straight to our library of resume examples for 50+ professions.

Summary of Qualifications—IT Manager Example

Good Example

Enterprising IT manager with 6+ years of experience and proven collaboration skills. Seeking to raise productivity at Harrison-Wight Medical.

 

  • At Medi-Wain Ltd, led a team of 7 IT professionals and engineers.
  • Migrated 175+ employees to a virtual server environment with zero downtime.
  • Saved $63,000 a year through increased use of automation, forecasting, and cloud modernization.
Bad Example
  • Experienced IT manager wishing to join your organization.
  • Great team-leading and organizational skills.
  • Streamlined and automated company processes.

Expert Hint: Want to give more attention to the skills that really count for IT pros? Head straight to our guide on computer skills and learn how to make the most of them on your resume. 

Summary of Qualifications—Marketing

Good Example

Goal-oriented growth marketing manager with 6 years of experience and proven sales funnel management skills. Seeking to improve marketing KPIs at AOT M&S.

 

  • At Matronics Digital, raised marketing ROI 24% through targeting conversions, bounces, and unique visitor rates.
  • Developed a marketing channel ROI tracking system that saved $50,000 a year on low-return projects.
  • Automated routine tasks to save 120+ employee hours per year.
Bad Example
  • Experienced marketing manager who wants to keep learning.
  • Significantly improved the company ROI.
  • Devised and implemented cost-saving measures.
  • Streamlined and automated day-to-day tasks.

Expert Hint: It’s crucial for a great marketer to be able to market themselves effectively. Learn how you can do it by writing the best marketing resume out there.

Key Points

 

Here’s what you need to remember about the qualifications and skills summary on a resume:

  • The summary of qualifications is an optional section of a resume.
  • It’s recommended for candidates wishing to highlight their exceptional skills and key professional wins.
  • The qualifications summary is an alternative to a more traditional resume summary or objective.
  • Even though some recommend it for experienced candidates, a well-written qualifications summary can also work for entry-level candidates.

 

Do you have any other questions about writing a qualifications summary? Would you like to share your opinion? We’re always happy to hear from you. Give us a shout out in the comments below!

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Maciej Duszyński
Resume Expert at ResumeLab
Maciej Duszynski is a career advice writer and a resume expert at ResumeLab. With over 8 years of experience in recruitment, hiring, and training, Maciej shares insider HR knowledge to equip every job seeker with professional advice to nail the job hunt. His insights have been featured by Toggl and Sparkpeople, among others. Maciej has helped job candidates at all stages of their career paths, from interns to directors to C-suite members, to thrive in their job. His mission is to help you find the right opportunity and create a job application that gets you the career you deserve. Maciej holds a Master’s degree in English with a specialization in communication and education management.

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