What Is a Summary of Qualifications on a Resume?

What Is a Summary of Qualifications on a Resume?

A professional resume has different sections, which are very critical. Today, we shall focus on the summary of qualifications and why adding this section is very crucial.

So, what is a summary of qualifications on a resume?

Also known as a qualification profile or career summary, this is a section at the beginning of your resume that lists key experience, achievements, skills, and qualifications that are most relevant to the role you are applying for.

Now considering recruiters spend a few seconds on a resume before deciding whether to consider it further or not, including this section is a big plus.


The summary of qualifications helps grab the attention of hiring managers within those few seconds hence increasing your chances of landing an interview or securing the job. This, therefore, shows how crucial this section is and why you must always add it.

So, as much it is an optional section, always take your time to tailor it for every position you are applying for.

Why do you need this section?


As mentioned above, this section highlights your professional skills, achievements, experience, and education. In other words, this section gives recruiters a sneak peek into your expertise even before going through your entire resume.

Tailoring it well is thus one way of inviting hiring managers to go through your entire resume, and this increases your chances of landing an interview or getting hired. 

When to include this section?

Earlier, we mentioned that a summary of qualifications is optional. So, when is the best time to add it? Or who qualifies to add this section? It is ok to add a qualification of profile in your resume if you are a:

  • Jobseeker with experience: Do you have a significant amount of experience? If yes, then don’t skip this section. Make sure to use it well to showcase your expertise to potential employers.
  • Recent graduate: As a recent graduate, you may have no experience to list, but you can tailor a summary of qualifications to showcase your relevant skills, education, and achievements. Just remember to customize this section for every role you are applying for.
  • Career changer: Changing from one career to another? A summary of qualifications is one section you will find very helpful. Why? Because it allows you to list transferable skills that are relevant to the new role. Not to mention that a summary of qualifications also prevents you from listing unrelated experiences.

The best way to format a summary of qualifications

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The best or standard format for a summary of qualifications is a bullet point list. This format makes it easier for recruiters to scan your resume. 

It is recommendable to include three to six brief points that are easy to understand. So try your best to include short points employers can comprehend at first glance. See the examples below:

  • Exceeded sales targets by more than 20% last year
  • Seasoned sales professional
  • Initiated a 50% increase in SEO
  • Monitored, evaluated, and recorded conditions of 15-20 patients per day
  • Award-winning sports writer
  • MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business (2018)
  • Earned the 2013 “Outstanding Achievement Award” in a company of 200+ people

When not to write a summary of qualifications?

There are moments when it is perfectly Ok not to include a summary of qualifications on your resume. One such moment is when you have no experience or skills to showcase.

That is why students are always advised to skip this section because if they do, they will look naturally weak because they have nothing or little to add.

If you are also uneducated, it is also ok to skip this section.