Guide to Writing a Professional Summary with Tips and Example

One of the most difficult aspects of CV writing is generally the Professional Summary or Professional Statement. You need to concisely summarize your qualifications for the position in a key paragraph, which has an objective of attracting and retaining the attention of the HR or Recruiter. You want to keep them reading!

Before writing your Professional Summary, you want to know what you have to offer a future employer in terms of qualifications for the role. Look for inspiration from the Job Description: what are the required experiences and skills.

Think of the Professional Summary as a short sales pitch: an Elevator Speech where you are pitching yourself for the job. The Professional Summary is the opportunity to apply your own self-branding.

The following are some tips for writing the Summary:
  • Keep it to the point and short: about 4 to 6 lines
  • Use bullet points to ensure a structure that is clear to read
  • Don’t write your objectives in the professional summary
  • List your strongest skills. To back them up, you can highlight related accomplishments
  • If you use buzzwords, choose them carefully in line with your experience and the keywords in the Job Description.  Avoid buzzwords such as Passionate, Enthusiastic, Unique, Hardworking
  • There are no definite rules about writing in the 1st or 3rd person, however, if you write the Professional Summary in the 1st person then continue throughout in the CV. The same applies if you start in 3rd person. 

Example of a Professional Summary

International Marketing Director with 10 years’ experience in Fast Moving Consumer Goods market. Managing Marketing Budget of excess $XX Million and team of 50 persons in 10 worldwide locations.
  • New product launch: 30% sales from new product launch
  • Market Penetration: Developed successful multi-brand channel strategy
  • Digital Marketing: Shaped Digital Strategy for leading brands

To write a clear and attention retaining Personal Summary, the essential is to know yourself, your skills and accomplishments and what the future employer is looking for. 
A professional summary should contain essential information which can be read in a few seconds. It is your Elevator Speech.

If you are returning to work after a long career break, the Professional Summary is the opportunity to attract the attention of the reader to your skills and not to your career break. 

This can be particularly useful for Accompanying Partners who did not work during the Expat period. The Professional Summary is the place to highlight skills such as Adaptability, with the example of successfully handling change to integrate and to be part of a new environment. 

Adaptability is a highly sought of skill in today's workplace.

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