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The NCRW Corner: The Nuts & Bolts of a Winning Summary Section

June 10, 2022 3:00 AM | Administrative Manager (Administrator)

By Nelly Grinfield, NCRW – NCRW Certification Commission Member

As you work on creating a strong summary section, remember that you should include the client’s most impressive and relevant experience here. Since recruiters and hiring managers spend very little time reviewing each resume, the summary section is a key component in capturing the reader’s attention. 

An objective statement used to be the norm on resumes—it told the reader what the job seeker wanted and their goals. Today, the objective has been replaced by a summary section. This is your first opportunity to sell the reader on why your client is the answer to the company’s needs. 

The summary section can consist of a headline, a skills line, and/or a branding statement that communicates the client’s unique value to the future employer. Follow this with a brief paragraph, no more than six lines or four bullet points, that provide details, facts, and metrics to summarize the client’s relevant expertise.

Don’t fill space with empty phrases such as “hardworking professional,” “responsible for,” or “proven—demonstrated—track record of success.” For example, a sentence such as “Team manager with excellent organizational skills, flexibility, and teamwork” provides no details and no value to the reader.

In addition, make sure that any claims you make in the summary section are supported elsewhere in the resume. If the summary mentions that the client is a “B2B sales leader who is an expert in team leadership, new market penetration, and consultative selling,” make sure details and examples of this are spelled out in the experience section. 

Remember that every word on the resume must have a solid reason for being there. Instead of filling the summary with overused phrases that could appear on anyone’s resume, convey the client’s unique qualifications and specific abilities to solve the employer’s problems. Here are some examples of this (first phrase is generic and meaningless, what follows is much more effective):

  • Top performer in division à #3 performance standing in division of 100 sales managers
  • Strong communicator à 100% “excellent” customer satisfaction rating based on 250 client surveys 
  • Problem solver à Prevented 12 facility shutdowns and saved $120K by leveraging resources

Remember that a resume’s purpose is to effectively market your client’s skills, abilities, and expertise to secure an interview. Starting off strong with an effective summary section will put your client on the track to success.


Nelly Grinfeld has volunteered for the NRWA since 2018 and serves as a grader on the NCRW Certification Committee. She really values her NRWA membership for all the fantastic learning and growth opportunities offered. She owns Top of the Stack Resume LLC in Cincinnati, OH. You can find her online at

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