A resume is the first thing any potential employer sees during the hiring process, and the professional summary is usually the first part of the resume they read. Since it’s your first on-paper impression, you may want to put a little extra time into making it perfect.

Ideally, your resume should stand out against the crowd while staying focused and honest. A great professional summary will set the tone for everything else on the page.

What Is a Professional Summary?

A professional summary, or objective statement, gives employers a brief look at who you are and where you’re looking to go in your career. Your summary should be between two and five sentences long, and it should summarize your achievements, work experience, and immediate career goals.

How to Write a Professional Summary

Writing a professional summary for your resume allows your potential employer to get a strong idea of who you are and what you’re able to do right off the bat. It is the first thing the reader will see after your name and contact information, so making sure it’s strong and concise is paramount.

By following these five simple steps, you can write a thoughtful professional summary that’s sure to stand out against the crowd:

  1. In simple language, describe the character traits that you’re most proud of and that are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
  2. Mention your current or last job title as well as any relevant professional experience.
  3. Explain how you believe you can help your potential employer meet their goals.
  4. Add additional information about your accomplishments to prove you can deliver when hired.
  5. Edit your summary to be under 5 sentences long and use hard data and numbers if possible.

Sample Professional Summary

Here are two sample resume summaries for a fictional warehouse worker and early-career software engineer:

Example 1:

Hardworking and dependable warehouse worker with 5+ years of experience at Amazon, during which I safely and skillfully transported, labeled, and stored merchandise with speed in the top 98%. Kept all records 99% error-free. 4-time employee of the month as a top picker at Target.

Example 2:

Software engineer with one year of experience in cybersecurity management at IBM hoping to join the team at Red Canary to further my career in software development. Decreased software testing time by 30% and guaranteed 99% on-time project completion. Seeking to utilize my broad education and technical, analytical, and programming abilities to succeed in a software developer role.

Both resume summary examples are clear and concise with achievements backed by real data in under 5 sentences. Remember, a potential employer will want to see numbers whenever possible to back your claims and experience.

Tips for Perfecting Your Professional Summary in 2021

The most important aspect of a successful professional summary is relevance. If possible, always create your resume with a specific job offer in mind, mentioning the employer and clearly stating how you would be an asset to their team.

Try using adjectives that not only describe you as a worker, but also relate to the job description. Avoid using buzzwords that may not fit your experience. Try to make the link between who you are and the kind of person you think the employer is looking to hire.

Take a careful look at the job offer or listing and use that as an outline for what to add to your resume. Almost all top companies and businesses use ATS software, which is a tool that screens candidates’ resumes to look for specific keywords related to the job requirements. You shouldn’t copy all the requirements in the job description word for word, but it is a good idea to look at the specific experiences or skills mentioned and list them on your resume if they apply to you.

Be as specific as possible. Employers want the hard facts and no fluff. Think about the aspects of your personality and career that you’re most proud of and put your best foot first.

Need help finding a job?

Using a successful recruiting or staffing agency can be a great way to find jobs you’re qualified for and expand your network. Many employers begin their candidate search with a staffing agency, so you may gain access to opportunities you would not be able to find elsewhere.

LG Resources is a staffing and recruiting firm that strives to connect great employers with qualified workers at all levels in a timely manner. Contact LG Resources today to find the perfect job for you!