CV summary examples (And 5 steps for how to write one)
Updated 1 August 2023
A CV summary is an abstract of a candidate's professional background at the top of their CV. Employers typically read these summaries before reviewing the rest of an application package. If you're seeking a job, writing a CV summary with the right content and structure can help you capture the attention of potential employers and become more competitive for a position. In this article, we discuss the definition and importance of CV summaries, steps for how to write one and examples and tips to aid you in writing your own.
What are CV summary examples?
CV summary examples are models of proper CV summaries. A CV summary is a statement at the top of a CV that outlines a job candidate's professional experience, skills and background. It's typically a short and concise paragraph, around four to five sentences long, and it contains a candidate's most impressive, relevant qualifications. You can use a CV summary to introduce yourself to potential employers effectively.
Why is a CV summary important?
Employers may receive hundreds of applications for a single position, which can make it time-consuming to find the best candidates. To save time, employers often scan CVs briefly to get a quick idea of the candidate's fitness for the role. CV summaries are important because they can help you get the notice of potential employers and stand out among other candidates. If your summary offers a condensed view of your professional strengths, employers are more likely to read the rest of your CV and keep you in the candidate pool, even if they're short on time.
How to write a CV summary
With the proper planning and effort, you can write a CV summary that shows your value as a job candidate. Follow these steps to do so:
1. Study the job description
It's important to tailor your CV details to each role for which you apply. Consult the job posting carefully and write your CV summary based on the essential skills and experience the job description highlights. Use your summary to show concisely that you meet all the job's criteria and are an excellent match for the role.
2. Highlight your current occupation
Even if you're looking for a career change, it's important to mention your current job and responsibilities. This can show your strong work ethic, even if you're working in an unrelated field. If you're a full-time student, mention your field of study and concentration. If you're currently unemployed for a different reason, you could consider highlighting any volunteer work or other activities in which you take part. You can also focus attention on your skills and other qualifications.
3. Reference your past work and academic experiences
Your CV already covers your previous educational and work experiences. However, if any of them are extremely relevant to the role, you might include them in your summary. If you lack extensive work experience, highlight impressive extra-curricular activities, skills and career objectives.
4. Emphasise your technical skills
Your CV summary is a great place to mention your top technical skills, especially if you're applying to a technical position, like one in information technology, engineering or a related scientific field. Be sure to mention if you're proficient in any special, relevant software applications. You can also mention soft skills or personality traits if they're relevant.
5. Mention a key professional achievement
Think about your most extraordinary professional achievements and consider mentioning them in your CV summary. Make sure they are official and measurable so you can prove actual results to the potential employer. If you've won any relevant awards, you might want to reference those too, as they can be great evidence of your expertise.
CV summary examples
Reviewing CV summary examples can help you get a better understanding of this CV component. Here are some examples by industry:
A meticulous and hardworking project manager with 15 years of experience working in construction and civil works. Led the construction of the award-winning New Tower in 2018 and recently completed a pipeline project requiring the management of over 50 contractors. Keen to develop experience working on large-scale projects with tight schedules and budgets.
An English Literature graduate with a passion for quality film and TV. President of the university FilmSoc and completed an internship at the BBC in 2020, gaining hands-on experience in TV production and post-production, including research and editing. Now keen to begin a career in media utilising my skills in storytelling, communication and leadership to tell stories that matter.
Flexible and proactive receptionist with five years' experience in administrative roles. Skilled in providing friendly, informative customer interactions and administration duties, including handling sensitive paperwork and preparing meeting rooms. I'm keen to put my skills in organisation and diplomacy to work in a more senior administrative role.
Friendly, motivated retail assistant with two years of professional experience. I won a coveted employee bonus for exceptional work four times over the past six months and am now keen to utilise my skills in communication, organisation and leadership to transition to a supervisory role within the same industry.
A caring and dedicated teacher with six years of experience teaching primary school children of all ages and devising scaffolded lesson plans working within the national curriculum, including KS1 and KS2. Holder of an SEN Level 7 Advanced Diploma and passionate about making learning accessible to all students, I'm keen to transition to a specialist role working with SEN children.
Qualified and empathetic nurse with 10 years of experience and five years' specialist experience in ICUs. Promoted to Senior Nurse this year, I put patient care and comfort at the centre of my work and am keen to utilise my skills in top-level management and staffing to improve patient experiences and outcomes within your department.
Motivated and conscientious ACCA-qualified senior accountant with five years' experience in audit and compliance. Previously responsible for auditing multi-million-pound companies and implementing an automated payroll system that saved my team hours of work every day. I'm looking to utilise my skills in IT and finance to seek bigger challenges at your company.
IT & programming
Dedicated and friendly programmer with a background in IT. Currently, in a customer-facing role providing IT repairs and solutions, I won Employee of the Month three months running and have been taking an Open University course in software development studying C++, Java and Python and averaging a 2.i. Keen to utilise my skills in coding to create practical software with a heavy emphasis on great user experience.
Creative and attentive chartered civil engineer with twelve years of experience working primarily with pipelines and hydraulics. Won an ICE award for my work on the London pipeline in 2017 and now seeking to use my skills in leadership and design to move into a more managerial role within the same sector.
Tips for writing a CV summary
Here are some tips on how to craft an ideal professional summary, no matter what your previous experience is:
Turn every fact into an opportunity to demonstrate skills
While it's important to focus on facts about your professional background, it's also a good idea to show how you've used your skills and qualities to accomplish actual results. For example, instead of writing, 'I studied philosophy at university before landing my first role in marketing.', try writing, 'I developed my skills in analysis, time-management and communication while studying philosophy at university. Then, I achieved a role in marketing where my responsibilities included compiling reports and presenting to potential clients.'
Related: 10 Best Skills To Include on a CV
It's important to be specific in your CV and ensure you base your claims on evidence. Enforce what you say with measurable facts and numbers wherever possible. Instead of writing, 'I excelled in my role as Director of Finance', try writing, 'As Director of Finance, I met company profit targets five years in a row.'
Make sure your CV summary is positive and optimistic in its tone. Emphasise that you're a great match for the position, and transform any gaps in experience into an opportunity to market your skills. For example, instead of writing, 'While I don't have any formal experience in data science in a professional setting...', try 'I studied data science and statistics modules while at university and applied my data science and IT skills during a work placement at...'
Keep your CV summary short and concise so employers can get the most important information quickly. Instead of, 'I studied history at the University of Hull. During my time at university, I took modules in contemporary history and politics, and I applied the skills I learned in these modules during my internship with the BBC...', try 'History graduate specialising in contemporary history and politics. Completed a BBC internship carrying out historical research for a documentary series...'
Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.
Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
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