How to Write a Summary of Qualifications

writing a resume

A Summary of Qualifications, sometimes called a Qualifications Summary, is a more advanced open to your resume than a Career Objective.

Writing one takes a little more effort, but you can also get a lot more information in front of a human resources representative quickly.

Keep reading to see if this is the right opening for you, how to write one, and to see some examples.

Summary of Qualifications Tips and Strategies

What this writing guide will cover:

Who should use a Summary of Qualifications –

  • You have several years or more of job relevant experience
  • You are applying to a managerial level position or higher
  • You have several quantifiable milestones or position-related skills

Who should not use one –

  • You have very little work experience
  • You have some work experience, but it’s in a completely unrelated industry
  • You only have entry-level experience

If this type of introduction sounds like it’s just right for your resume, keep reading. If not, then here is some information on other resume openings that might be more your style.

What you should include

Before you get to work in writing your Qualifications Summary, you’ll need to do a little digging into your past. You will want to find some quantifiable ways to show the specific company you’re applying to that you’re the candidate they need to interview.

It’s extremely important to make edits on your resume for each employer you apply to. What might be a great statement to put in you intro for company A might not be nearly as relevant for company B.

Include any positive sales figures, like year-over-year growth, or milestones, like industry related and recognized awards. The goal here is to show actual results as proof of your ability.

What you should not include

surfing

Is surfing relevant to this accounting position?

This is a very professional opening, so you have to keep it professional. Do not get too experimental with the information you provide. Keep everything on topic, geared toward the position, and truthful.

Do not include grandiose claims or trendy slang. Some examples of that are:

  • The absolute best in the industry at converting leads into sales
  • Ruby on Rails and Python überstar

The first sentence would only fit one person in world, and the chances that it’s you are quite slim. Instead of saying you’re the best, use hard numbers showing how many leads you convert.

The second sentence starts off with listing programming languages instead of just the generic claim of being a skilled computer programmer. That’s great.

Then is takes a U-turn and uses a made up trendy word. It’s both unprofessional and it’s not quantifiable.

Summary of Qualifications Examples

Most Qualification Summaries are made up of four to five bullet points. To get an idea of what makes a good bullet point and what doesn’t, let’s take a look at a couple of examples.

Change this bullet point:

  • Managed a team of outside sales representatives across several states

To this:

  • Managed fifteen outside sales representatives in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama

Why?

The first bullet point doesn’t really give a hiring manager any tangible information. They will know you were a manager, but they won’t have any idea about the scope of your duties.

The corrected version says exactly how big your team is as well as how large the sales area is. It shows a lot more easily comprehensible information.

Let’s take a look at another example.

Change this bullet point:

  • Created and optimized digital paid advertising campaigns

To this:

  • Created and optimized digital paid advertising campaigns across multiple platforms including Google Adwords, Facebook, and Twitter with an annual ad spend of $500,000

Why?

It should be clear how much more detailed the second bullet point is. By naming the ad platform along with the annual ad spend, a human resources rep. should be able to get a very clear picture of your experience level.

Now let’s check out a compete example.

  • Nine years of experience as a product manager for small and medium-sized video production studios
  • Successfully work with clients both in person and remotely
  • Managed small teams of only a few people to teams as large as twenty
  • Extensive history of negotiating with subcontractors, saving current company in excess of $8,000 this fiscal year
  • Completed 94% of projects before the original deadline this year earning 53% repeat business

Can you spot all of the details?

In Summary

A Summary of Qualifications is an excellent opening for more experienced job candidates. It allows you to get plenty of quantifiable data in front of the eyes of the decision maker who will decide whether or not to call you in for an interview.

If you’re not sure whether or not it’s the best opening for your resume, you can always write one with this opening, and one with a Career Objective, and compare.

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