How To Write a Qualifications Summary in a CV (With Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 30 June 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 concise, well-written qualifications summary at the top of your CV can help grab the hiring manager's attention to your CV. Though this section is optional, it can be highly beneficial for an experienced job seeker when used appropriately in the correct format. This section highlights your most notable achievements, skills and work experiences. In this article, we discuss the importance of a qualifications summary and how to write one along with some examples for your guidance.

What is a qualifications summary?

A summary of qualifications is the first section in a CV that shows your most important skills, qualifications, experiences and work achievements. You can structure the qualifications summary just below your name and contact details. This summary section acts as an introduction to your CV. It instantly focuses attention on your top qualifications that are suitable for the job.

Even though this is an optional section, adding a qualifications summary is an excellent way to emphasise certain important details for a hiring manager. You often write a summary of qualifications in four to six bullet points highlighting your most impressive skills and accomplishments.

Why should you add a summary of qualification?

As a qualified professional, when you include a qualifications summary in your CV, it makes it easier for the hiring manager to determine your suitability for a position. It places your most notable and relevant achievements and experiences at the top of the CV to capture the hiring manager's attention quickly. It serves to reinforce skills or achievements that you've substantiated in your CV.

How to write a qualifications summary

It's a common practice to structure your qualifications summary section in bullet points. Include four to six bullet points, each limited to two lines. Here are some points to keep in mind when drafting your own qualifications summary in your CV:

1. Brainstorm and list relevant experiences and achievements

Start by brainstorming and identifying your skills. Write as many points as you can and then narrow down the list later. You can also brainstorm with a mentor or a colleague to identify traits that you may have overlooked.

Once you've identified your key skills and achievements, pick four to six items that you can paraphrase and shorten into a single line. Use quantifiable data to measure your achievements, experiences and impact at your previous jobs. Using specific data to show your influence in a position can help communicate your value to your potential employer.

Read more: 10 Best Skills to Include on a CV

2. Add points that are relevant to the job you're applying

Tailor the introduction in your CV so that it applies to each job you're applying for. The more relevant you appear, the more recruiters consider you to be a good fit for the demands of the role. Ensure to read through the job description carefully and custom fit your points to match the job description. Here's a list of ideas that you can include in your qualifications summary section to stand out from other job candidates:

  • Prestigious awards or recognitions earned

  • Any leadership positions held

  • Key soft and hard skills

  • Years of experience

  • Number of people you supervised or managed

  • Media mentions

  • Notable publications or research works

  • Certifications or licenses

  • Key achievements including the amount of revenue you earned or saved, metrics you've improved and the size of the budget you worked with

3. List them in the correct format

In your qualifications summary, avoid using first-person pronouns, such as I and my. Instead, concentrate on explaining your most important work qualifications clearly and without the use of pronouns. Starting each bullet point with an action verb is one method to achieve this objective. This also can help your personal characteristics sound more impactful, and therefore, more employable. Here's an example of a qualifications summary for a social media manager that you can use as a reference:

  • Ran a social media campaign for a local elderly home that resulted in 8,000 shares and a 3% conversion rate to donations

  • Exceeded website traffic by over 50% last year

4. Ensure to include keywords

Companies often use automated software to scan through numerous applications to identify qualified candidates with the most relevant skills and experiences. This means there's a high chance that even your resume could pass through such an automated system in the initial stage. In the case of many job candidates, hiring managers only review the CVs that pass through this system.

When you include appropriate keywords in your qualifications summary, it increases your CV's chances of passing through these initial checks. So it's essential to tailor your resume to match the job description by including important keywords. Here are some resources to identify suitable keywords:

  • Job description. Look through the job description to identify words that are unique to the position you're applying for. This can be any skills, education or work experience requirements.

  • Employment website. You can also use a keyword search tool on the employment page of some company websites to identify specific keywords.

  • Standard industry terms. Use important keywords that apply to your industry or role.

5. Personalisation

Your summary of qualifications should address your specific accomplishments and skills that are unique to your career experiences. It should reinforce the skills and achievements mentioned within the resume body and increase its value and credibility.

Finally, remember to proofread and refine the contents of your summary to avoid any formatting and typographical errors. After all, you want to create a lasting impression in the minds of the hiring manager.

Read more: How to Write Work Experience on a CV (With Examples)

Qualifications summary examples

Here are some examples of a qualifications summary section for professionals in different jobs and industries:

Retail store manager

Here's an example of a qualifications summary for a retail store manager:

  • Seven years of retail sales experience working in a high-traffic department store

  • Reduced staff turnover by 10% within six months

  • Recruited, hired and trained 35 new employees into competent and productive team members

  • Exceeded sales forecast by an average of HK$50K over two years

  • Awarded 'Best Store Manager' for two years consecutively

Customer service representative

Here's an example of a qualifications summary for a customer service representative:

  • Friendly customer service representative with 5+ years of work experience and skilled in setting KPIs and telesales

  • Maintained 97% positive customer ratings at the previous job

  • Consistently exceeded quotas by 20% every quarter

  • Resolved tickets 20% faster than the team average

  • Received multiple awards from the headquarters

Read more: 12 Customer Service Skills: Definitions and Examples

Project manager

Here's an example of a qualifications summary for a project manager:

  • Certified PMP (Project Management Professional), CPM (Certified Project Manager) and CSM (Certified Scrum Master) professional

  • Executed the implementation of a $600,000 e-commerce site, achieving key milestones within budget and on time, resulting in a 15% increase in annual revenue

  • Trained 35 employees in Agile practices at the previous job

  • Implemented a department-wide Kanban system that saved $150,000 annually

  • Article on digital transformation published in the Harvard Business Review

Read more: 15 Project Management Skills Every Manager Should Have

Social media manager

Here's an example of a qualifications summary for a social media manager:

  • Created robust social media presence to support marketing and sales teams

  • Doubled website traffic from 30,000 average visitors to 60,000 in less than one year

  • Nearly tripled social referrals from 300 average monthly referrals to 1000

  • Established local search profiles that ranked SERPs and accomplished client requirements

Human resource manager

Here's an example of a qualifications summary for a human resource manager:

  • A professional, people-first HR manager with 7+ years of experience

  • Named the HR Executive of the year in 2019

  • SHRM-SCP and HRIS certified professional

  • Managed all HR-related processes for 100+ employees at my previous job

For students and entry-level professionals

As a student or entry-level professional, you may not have sufficient professional experience to include in your qualifications summary section. In such situations, you can include details about your volunteer accomplishments, relevant coursework and extracurricular activities. Here's an example of a qualifications summary for a student:

  • Hard-working computer science specialist from HKM University

  • Recipient of Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme (HKSES) award

  • Maintained a 4.2 GPA

  • Took second place in the 2018 Hack Asia competition

  • Involved in multiple coding projects since high school and have contributed to 9 GitHub projects

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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