How To Write a Summary of Qualifications (With Examples)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 29 December 2022
Published 14 July 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
A summary of qualifications is an important detail to include in your resume that provides an employer with information emphasising why you are the right applicant for the position. Knowing how to write a proper summary of qualifications can help you improve your chances of getting an interview or a job offer. In this article, we discuss what a summary of qualifications is, explain when to use it, review how to write this resume section and provide summary of qualifications examples.
What is a summary of qualifications?
A summary of qualifications is a brief bulleted list that explains why you are the ideal candidate for a job or position on your resume. You can use the summary of qualifications to describe relevant qualities like your capabilities, skills and professional work history. A summary of qualifications is more effective when you personalise it for a specific job role.
The best place for a summary of qualifications is at the top of your resume because it helps the recruiter quickly assess your talents. It is sometimes referred to by different names, such as statement of qualifications, qualifications statement, qualifications summary, resume qualifications and qualifications profile.
Summary of qualifications examples
The following qualification summary examples can help you write your resume:
Here's an example of a summary of qualifications for a chef:
Hired, trained, and oversaw 12 kitchen staff members in the preparation and service of high-quality food
Instructed staff on how to maintain a safe work environment by strictly following sanitary procedures in the restaurant
Boosted traffic to the restaurant by 20% by designing and completely re-branding the menu
Ensured food was always safe for consumption by adhering to food guidelines and regulations
Collaborated with the local community to host social events
Below is a summary of qualifications for an electrician resume:
12 years experience working as a commercial and residential electrician
Exceeded daily quotas by attending to twice as many customers each workday
Achieved employee of the month three months while on the job
Certified electrician by the Australian Electricity Association
Served as a mentor to electrician apprentices for eight years
Here's a summary of qualifications that a financial consultant can list on their resume:
7 years experience working as a financial consultant for a top financial consulting firm in Australia
Economics licence active since 2015
Master's degree in finance from the University of Abex in 2012
Financial portfolio with upward gains of over 500,000 dollars in profits
Supported and managed the financial accounts of politicians and prominent government figures
Below is a summary of qualifications for a teacher resume:
20 years experience working as a secondary level school teacher
Designed a curriculum that provided students with extensive knowledge and practical application skills
Achieved teacher of the year for three years in a row
Contributed to the high rate of secondary school students going on to graduate from university
Extensive experience teaching after-school programs and extracurricular activities
When to use a summary of qualifications
Sometimes you can use a summary of qualifications instead of a career objective. For example, if you have limited work experience or are fairly new to a career field, including a career objective might be more effective on your resume while you gain more practical experience. However, if a summary of qualifications works better for you, looking through your resume thoroughly to assess if you have five to 10 qualifications you can emphasise - including some supporting details like facts and statistics - is a great place to start.
Here's three conditions that employers find attractive in a summary of qualifications:
1. Employees with a considerable job history
Candidates with extensive work experience can usually benefit from a summary of qualifications because it allows the recruiter to quickly assess your qualifications and determine if they want to read further into the resume. If you have a long career history, you can identify and showcase the most useful and relevant experience that applies to the specific job by consulting the job description.
2. Recent college graduates
If you're coming directly from academia, a summary of qualifications can be effective as academic achievements can indicate your work ethic and ability to learn diligently - as long as the qualifications are relevant to the position you're applying for. It is also beneficial to add any training or educational knowledge you learned from relevant internships or apprenticeships, as these experiences can sometimes be a good substitute for limited professional experience. Including details about your academic activities and involvement, like school programs and extracurriculars, can sometimes be helpful to include as well if they apply to the job posting.
3. Change of career
When presented with a new career opportunity, you likely have transferrable skills that you can transfer to the new job role - some skills are universal and can apply to any career. Skills like problem-solving, communication and time management are usually relevant to most jobs and work well when included in the summary of qualifications. If you have experience working as a team member or resolving conflicts, those are valuable skills to add to your summary of qualifications.
How to write a summary of qualifications in 4 steps
To write a summary of qualifications, it's important to diversify the topics and qualifications. Try to include a wide variety of examples that illustrate the breadth of your capabilities and the context of how you used them, making sure to include keywords that you find in the job description. As you collate the qualifications to include in your summary, make sure to provide recruiters with references to at least five or six of your last work experiences which will provide them with a healthy sample of what your capabilities are. Here are four steps to help you write a summary of qualifications on a resume:
1. Define your expertise
When it comes to describing why you're an expert, it is your work experience that often helps put your talents into context. Experience tells the recruiter about what job field or industry you are most familiar with and the amount of time you were working in that specific field. The more time you spent in an industry, the more it shows the employer that you had ample time to gain extensive knowledge and expertise about that position or role. A summary of your expertise can demonstrate to the employer how your knowledge can benefit them.
2. Use numbers to quantify your productivity
Numbers help an employer better assess how your work ethic and efforts helped you produce tangible and measurable results, which in turn, shows how productive you are. Productivity involves your accomplishments and your time management capabilities. It is important that you include qualifications that outline how you are productive and how you made an impactful contribution to your previous employer. Use numbers to explain details like how much time you might have saved or how much money you helped your company earn.
3. Describe your most relevant capabilities and skills
It is essential that you provide employers and recruiters with ample examples of your skills, talents, qualities and capabilities. Include your most relevant skills and refer to their job description to help you align them. If there are qualities or skills they are looking for and you possess, try to highlight them as your most prominent capabilities so recruiters have a better understanding of your qualifications for the role. You don't have to include all of them, but try to at least focus on at least one that is most relevant to the role.
4. Include achievements, accomplishments and awards
Awards, achievements and accomplishments are beneficial to list in your summary of qualifications because they demonstrate to an employer how your efforts and talents produced recognisably positive outcomes for your team and the company you worked for. Whether they are work or academic-based achievements, try to include at least one if you can. Education, certifications, diplomas and licenses belong to this category as well. Including these details also shows to the recruiter that you are an individual who is dedicated to their duties.
Related: What Makes a Good Resume?
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