A functional CV: a blessing and a curse. A skills-based CV, as it’s often referred to, can do more damage than good unless you know exactly when to use it, and what for.
You need a summary for your CV.
Because most hiring managers skim CVs in 6 seconds.
Your CV must hook them, reel them in, and make them want to read the rest.
A good CV professional summary does that.
There’s a proven plan to follow.
This guide will show you:
- How to write a summary on a CV.
- 22 CV summary examples (plus links to more for every profession).
- What to put in a summary for a CV to get more interviews.
- When to write a summary of qualifications instead.
What does a perfect CV summary look like? See below—
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What is a professional CV summary?
The professional summary for a CV is a brief statement highlighting your work experience, achievements and skills. It should be placed in the top section of your CV. The purpose of a professional CV summary is to entice the hiring manager to read the rest of the CV.
How to write a professional summary for a CV
- Pick one adjective (enthusiastic, dependable, hard-working).
- Choose a key certification or licence or if you’ve got one (PMP, CPA).
- Include your job title (sales manager, accountant).
- Add years of experience (4+, 5+).
- Highlight a goal specific for that position (deliver graphic design excellence at Google).
- Mention one or two skills (budgeting, collaboration, outstanding computer skills).
- Show off 2–3 best achievements (slashed rework 30%).
Use those ingredients, and your professional summary for CVs will shine.
These executive summary CV examples show how:
CV Summary Example
What if You Have to Write a Summary of Qualifications Instead
What’s the difference between a CV summary and a qualifications summary?
A summary for a CV and a statement of qualifications are almost identical. But—
The statement of qualifications puts 3–5 accomplishments in bullet points.
See this example:
Expert Hint: Your CV summary achievements should fit the job. Study up on the job requirements, then think: When did you ace those things?
2. What to Put in a CV Summary
You’ve seen some great CV summary examples.
Examples don’t show how.
So, how do you write a summary for a CV?
1. Create the bulk of your CV first.
2. Pick the best 2–3 achievements for your CV summary statement.
3. Use them to write a summary on a CV that fits the job.
Look at the CV below.
We took the achievements in red and used them to create a summary on a CV. See it circled in green?
See how that works?
Even better if the most important job requirements are Java programming and debugging.
Expert Hint: Write your CV summary last. Go through your CV and cherry-pick the best achievements you’d really like to underline.
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3. How to Pick Achievement to Put in a CV Summary
What should you put in a CV summary statement?
You need achievements but—
Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes.
Which of your accomplishments will most impress her?
Here are 22 examples of achievements to put in your summary.
CV Summary Examples of Achievements
- Problems you’ve solved
- Metrics you’ve improved
- Money you saved the company
- Hours/days/weeks saved
- Targets reached
- Media mentions
- Numbers of people managed
- Numbers of people trained
- Brightest moments
- Things you’re proud of
CV Summary Examples Entry- Level Achievements
- Volunteer work
- Unrelated jobs
- Freelance work
- Hobbies and interests
- Personal projects
- Awards and honours
Got lots of achievements for a great summary on a CV? Stick to your most impressive 3–5 that fit the job. Any more is clutter.
Expert Hint: Still stuck for achievements to put in your summary? Maybe you don’t know enough about the hiring manager. Research the company and its goals to learn more.
CV Summary Examples
Here are 18 solid CV summary examples and summary of qualifications examples.
You’ve seen how to write a CV summary.
How do you write a summary for CVs for your career?
See summary examples for 10 top professions below.
CV Summary Example for an Entry-Level positions
Efficient entry-level programmer with proven skills in Java and Python coding. Seeking to deliver programming excellence at High Hat Solutions Inc. Developed 7 freelance projects, including 2 eCommerce sites and a mobile app. One of my web apps was cited in the Coding Alpha blog. Took 2nd place in the LeetCode competition, January 2019. Member, ACM.
CV Summary Example for Executives
Driven sales executive with 7+ years of experience and proven skills in communication and new business development. Seeking to dramatically increase Progressive’s KPIs. Raised revenue 24% at Interweave LD. Boosted ROI 20%. Slashed costs 25%. Grew business 40% at Summilco RG Inc.
CV Summary Example for Customer Service Reps
Results-based customer service rep with 6+ years of experience, skilled in telesales. Looking to raise customer retention at Orange Monkey Worldwide. Received 99% positive customer ratings at Whitmore-Watanabe Electronics with customer retention for repeat clients 25% above company average. At Glowflower Communications, received Associate of the Month award 5x.
Expert Hint: You need numbers in a great CV summary. Why? Percents, dollars, hours, and numbers of employees make your summary larger than life.
CV Summary Example for Project Managers
Resourceful IT Project Management Professional PMP with 4+ years of experience. Seeking to use strong strategic planning skills to raise metrics for quality, cost, and time at Ashland-Lefebvre Inc. Trained 55 employees in Lean practises at LZXC and cut costs 28%.
CV Summary Example for Sales Representatives
Tireless sales representative with 7+ years of experience. Seeking to improve sales metrics at AstraZeneca with powerful relationship-building skills. At Amgen, built strong relationships with 150 new customers. Maintained 18% more in-person meets than the company average. Routinely exceeded sales goals by 20%+.
CV Summary Example for IT Managers
Committed IT manager with 8+ years of experience. Seeking to use intensive leadership skills to improve efficiency at Jennings-Groves Medical. At Atalah-KQC Global, led team that developed a corporate auditing system that saved £110,000 annually. Designed an employee intranet for information sharing that saved 140 labour hours per year.
CV Summary Example for Marketing Managers
Productive marketing manager with deep sales background. Looking to leverage 9 years of marketing experience to raise ROI for Kensington APT Global. At Hasida-Taylor, increased marketing ROI 28% through implementing a robust data collection and analytics program and a lean analytics cycle. Cut costs 22% through improved vendor management.
CV Summary Example for Software Engineers
Team-oriented software engineer with 5+ years of experience. Seeking to use proven development skills to provide optimal code solutions for Uber. At Glimmersoft Inc., led a team that received a DeveloperWeek award for IoT Development. Slashed costs 28% with better adherence to Agile best practises. Implemented automated testing program that saved £75,000 per year.
CV Summary Example for Graphic Designers
Creative graphic designer with 3+ years of experience and proven Photoshop skills. Looking to provide excellence in design for Kubico Designs. Created and produced 280+ graphic design projects at AFBK Marketing with 99.9% client satisfaction. Cut production costs 22% in 19 months through implementing a new Lean supplier program.
CV Summary Example for Administrative Assistants
Organised administrative assistant with 3+ years of experience. Looking to use substantial logistics skills to save time and energy at Isbister-Greene. At TD&P Trucking, saved 150 employee hours per year by setting up an email triage system. Cut complaint resolution time by 35% and saved £35,000 a year with faster accounts collection.
CV Summary Example for Nurses
Licenced RN with 5+ years of experience and proven patient care skills. Seeking to deliver robust care at Children’s Hospital of Omaha. Helped raise HCAHPS review grades 25% at CHI Health Lakeside by leading the charge to improve nurse-patient communication. Consistently scored 20%+ above ward average for patient education. Received CHIHL Compliance Award for adhering at all times to FDA, OSHA, and HIPAA regulations.
CV Summary Example for Teens
Fast-learning waiter with proven customer service skills. Looking to provide excellence in service at Mardibini’s on the Sea. At The Lobster Pound, received 5 management commendations for providing high-level service. Maintained 95% positive customer comment review scores.
Expert Hint: “How important are cover letters?” They’re quite important. We conducted a study which revealed that 83% of recruiters take cover letter into consideration when deciding who to hire.
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Here’s a recap of how to write a CV summary:
- Write the rest of your CV first, then pick the best bits and compile them into a summary.
- Include your job title, years of experience, and how you’ll help the company.
- List one or two skills that fit the job offer in your summary for CVs.
- Add a few job-matching achievements.
- Use the CV summary for every career in this article to get started.
Got a question about how to format a CV summary? Wondering how to pick achievements for your summary statement? Leave a comment. We are happy to reply.