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What is a Summary of Qualifications?

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Writing a summary of qualifications can assist with bringing direction and focus to the information in the sections that follow. With the assistance of this learning module, you’ll receive tips and advice for creating an impactful summary of qualifications.

What is a Summary of Qualifications?

  • A summary of qualifications in an optional, series of bullet points that summarizes your education, experience and/or skills relative to the position to which you are applying.
  • The summary is positioned near the top of your resume, bringing focus and direction to your document
  • You may title this section in several ways including: Summary of Qualifications, Qualifications Summary, Professional Highlights, or Professional Qualifications.

The summary of qualifications is an optional section to include near the top of your resume. Typically, the summary is written in four or fewer sentences or bullet points, summarizing your education, experience, and skills relative to the position you’re applying for.

If you decide this is a section that you would like to include on your customized resume, it will give the employer an at-a-glance view of who you are as a professional.

Additional titles may be used for this section, such as Professional Highlights or Professional Qualifications.

Tips for Creating an Impact

  • Employers typically scan for minimum qualifications, including education and current/previous work experiences
  • Focus on highlighting the skills and qualifications you have that will entice the employer
  • Avoid using personal pronouns when writing your summary

Typically, employers view resumes by scanning for minimum qualifications such as education attainment and work experiences. Highlighting the skills and qualifications you have in an easy-to-read summary can set the tone for the information that is included in the section below.

The resume is not a place to use personal pronouns such as I, me, my, or we. Let’s look at an example of a summary to give you an idea of how the summary can be written.

Meet Justin Taylor

Summary of Qualifications

  • Strong background in counseling; expertise in issues related to substance abuse and mental illness
  • Demonstrated leadership skills; proven strengths in managing, supervising and motivating staff
  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills; experience working with community leaders
  • Outstanding organization and prioritization abilities; consistently required to handle multiple tasks at one time

Justin has several years of professional experience as a counselor where he’s developed strengths in management, supervising, and motivating staff.

Justin is a people person and relates well to everyone, including community leaders.

Justin recognizes how important it is to highlight his organization skills and the ability to manage multiple tasks at one time. Summarizing the important information that Justin will elaborate further on in his application materials, the Qualifications Summary could look like this: “Strong background in counseling; expertise in issues related to substance abuse and mental illness.

Demonstrated leadership skills; proven strengths in managing, supervising and motivating staff. Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills; experience working with community leaders.

Outstanding organization and prioritization abilities; consistently required to handle multiple tasks at one time.”

The information Justin included in the summary of qualifications provides the reviewer of the resume an idea of his professional identity.

Final Tips and Advice

  • Decide if a summary of qualifications is something you would like to include on your resume
  • In an easy-to-read paragraph or bulleted list, highlight your relevant experiences, skills, and qualifications that the employer will find attractive
  • Customize with a specific job category in mind
  • Avoid using personal pronouns

Remember, a summary of qualifications is an optional section to include on your resume.

Highlighting your skills, qualifications, and experiences in a customized manner will provide focus and direction for the sections that follow.

Customize, using key words and phrases from the job description, and avoid using personal pronouns.

Through the Writing a Summary of Qualifications Module

  • You reviewed tips and advice for targeting a type of position you are seeking and the kills you have to offer.

Next Steps

  • Utilize the practice materials to assist with developing a customized summary of qualifications for the type of position you are seeking.
  • Visit the Career Planning & Development Center’s website to access additional resources for resume writing

The information in this learning module was created to assist with developing an impactful summary of qualifications.

You reviewed valuable tips and advice to assist with creating your own summary.

Utilize the practice activity to assist in framing your own customized summary, along with accessing additional resume writing resources located on the Career Planning & Development Center’s website.

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