A Summary Statement is a short introduction of yourself to open your CV with that makes it easier for the hiring manager to quickly understand your experience and qualifications and cut through the noise.
It’s great for:
- Returners - A hiring manager can understand your personal story, your transferable skills, what you are looking for in your new role and how your experiences so far relate.
- Experienced Professionals with a weath of experience - Offering a common thread you can tie together your vast experience into something that is more coherent, and show off you most relevant skills and career accomplishments.
- Career Changers - You can highlight your transferable skills and the commonalities between the job roles you've previously performed, explain what you are looking for in the future and create a coherent story.
- Recent College/University Leavers - With a more general CV you can highlight the skills and experience most relevant for each position.
What do you need in your Summary Statement?
Your summary statement should consist of a title and 2-3 sentences in either a paragraph or bullet points. It should not be written with first-person pronouns. It will appear directly below your contact information at the top of your CV.
Some people use 'Summary' as their title, while you can also use one that communicates your professional identity.
To make sure that your summary statement is up to scratch and catches the hiring manager's eye from the get-go, start by thinking of a few things that define you as a professional. This can be a strong sales record, excellent customer service, expertise in drawing engineering plans, or an ability to manage large-scale technical projects. If you have just left education or are taking a vertical career step, you can think about some of the top transferable skills you've gained from your course, work experience and any other experience that you feel you excel in.
You can then align your summary statement with the company’s job requirements - there'll be skills that you need specifically for that job and you want to make sure that they are right at the top for the hiring manager to see.
1. Focus on you
Your summary statement is the time when you can show why you are the right person for the job, so make sure that you are telling a story based on your achievements, goals and skills.
2. Your professional life
If you are unsure about whether you need to add qualifications to your summary statement, consider where you are in your professional progression. If you are at the beginning of your working life, you may want to highlight your recent MBA, however further down the line your experience may speak for itself.
If you are going to add professional qualifications, make sure they are relevant or top notch ones, such as you Master's or Bachelor's. If you've any other relevant achievements, such as awards, languages or patents, you might also want to include these here.
3. No personal pronouns
CVs should not be written with personal pronouns, such as 'I' and 'we' as this places the focus on the you rather than the goal of a CV which is to sell to the employer what you can do for them.