How to Write a Standout Personal Summary for Your Resume (With Examples)

What Is a Personal Summary?

A personal summary is a brief statement, usually at the beginning of your resume, that tells the reader who you are, what you do, what your career goals are as well as your intention for applying to a certain position. Ideally, your personal summary should be written in 50 to 200 words and in 3 to 4 sentences. 

Related: The Best Way to Introduce Yourself: Crafting Your Elevator Pitch

Why Your Resume Needs a Personal Summary

  1. Make it pass the first resume screening. An effective personal summary should immediately inform the hiring manager that you are a relevant candidate.
  2. Hook recruiters from the start. Use your personal summary to entice hiring managers into reading the rest of your resume. You can do this by putting your value as a candidate center stage!
  3. Set yourself apart from the competition. Get creative and use this space to not only show off your strengths but also inject your personality. The aim is to be memorable and unique!

How to Write a Personal Summary

A personal summary should include:

  • Your current job title or function
  • Your skills, strengths or niche
  • Your short and/or long-term goals
  • The position you’re applying for

Writing your personal summary

You can start writing your personal summary by first answering the following questions:

  • What is your current role? 
  • How many years of work experience do you have?
  • What is your current/previous job scope? List the 2 to 3 you are confident in!
  • What role are you seeking?
  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals? (Tip: Relate these goals to the role or type of company you are applying for)
  • What strength can you bring to the company?

Personal Summary Examples

Your answers to the above questions can be used in a personal summary as such:

[Your current role] with [X years of experience] in [2 to 3 examples of your job scope or niche]. [Insert notable skill or achievement]. Seeking a [job position you are applying for] to [your short-term or long-term career goal].”

An example of the personal summary should look something like this:

A detail-oriented copywriter with four years of experience in writing SEO-compliant web content and marketing emails. Improved conversion rates of landing pages by 45% for ABC Company. Seeking a Senior Copywriter position to expand copywriting and content strategy skills.

Writing a Personal Summary When You Have No Work Experience

Just because you don’t have work experience doesn’t mean you have no experience at all.

If you are a fresh graduate eyeing an internship position, look back at any experiences and transferable skills you can draw from your time as a student or other involvement. 

Ask yourself the following questions to start crafting your personal summary:

  • What did you study? 
  • Where did you graduate from?
  • What was the scope of your study?
  • What were your involvements while studying (if any)?
  • What did you work on during the aforementioned involvements?
  • What role are you seeking?
  • What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
  • What strength can you bring to the company?

Answering the above questions will help you outline your personal summary.

Personal summary example:

“An outgoing architecture graduate from University of Malaya. Led community engagement projects to promote public awareness of inclusive universal design. Seeking a UI/UX Design Internship to learn industry standards for UI/UX design and play a role in building accessible mobile applications.”

Although the above personal summary examples are a good starting point for many, we encourage you to customise and make it unique to your strengths and personality.

Feel free to include other information you think will give you an edge and opt out of any information you find irrelevant to your application!

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