Resume Writing 101: Title and Summary Section

Your elevator pitch, on paper

By Natalie Winzer, iHire | December 10, 2019

In this Resume Writing 101 lesson, we’ll cover the title and summary section of a resume. This section sits at the top of the resume, and it’s likely the first thing a hiring manager will read. Since most hiring managers and recruiters will only spend a matter of seconds looking at your resume, it’s important that you capture their attention in this first part.

Resume title and summary sections tend to do a much better job at marketing yourself as a qualified candidate than traditional objective statements. That’s because objective statements focus on the what, while summaries focus on the why. Employers already know what you want – a job – and are more interested in why they should consider you for their open position.

 

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What should go in the summary section of a resume?

Ever heard of an elevator pitch? Your summary section is just that – a brief, excitement-generating introductory paragraph that outlines who you are and what you have to offer.

In an objective statement, you might say, "I am looking for an administrative assistant position that will utilize my organizational skills." Instead, make your resume title “Administrative Assistant” and start making your case in the summary section. For example, "Highly knowledgeable administrative professional with 5+ years of experience and outstanding organizational skills."

For more examples of how to title a resume and what should go in the summary section of a resume, let's take a look at a few Objective Statement makeovers:

 

Example 1

 

Before: Objective Statement


Resume example

 

 

After: Effective Summary


resume example

 

 

Example 2

 

Before: Objective Statement


resume example

 

 

After: Effective Summary


resume example

 

 

Summary sections can be challenging to write, so take a step back and try to look at your career from the eyes of the employer. What are they looking for? What do you have to offer that other candidates don't have? Take a shot at drafting a resume title and 3- to 5-sentence paragraph, and copy/paste it over your objective statement. You'll instantly see the difference it makes in marketing you as a qualified professional. Once you’ve perfected your summary, check out our Resume Writing 101 article on how to craft an effective professional experience section.

 


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