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How to Write a Qualification Summary for Your Resume

Your "Qualification Summary" may be the only section of your resume that is fully read by the employer, so it should be very strong and convincing. This is the only section where you can include personal characteristics ( such as very energetic, quick learner, dedicated to patients, etc.) which may be very helpful in winning you an actual interview.

The qualification summary is more difficult to write and requires some thought and some "rewriting" until it is concise, targeted, and compelling.    Think of it as an "elevator statement."   What is that?   Well, if you were in an elevator with an employer, and you wanted him/her to hire you, what would you say in the brief time you are in the elevator to convince that person to hire you?

Where do you begin the process of "composing" this statement or summary?  Ask yourself  these questions: 

  • If one of your closest friends were to brag about you, what would they say?
  • If you felt totally comfortable bragging about yourself, what would you say?
  •  What would your professors say about you?
  •  What do your friends and family count on you for?
  •  What are your specific work skills?
  •  What accomplishments do you have?
  •  How many years of experience do you have, and in what areas?
  •  What do you value?

You will not answer all these questions in a qualification summary, but you will choose those that pertain to your particular situation.   If you are a student, you may not have a lot of experience, and you may need to stress your abilities or the skills you have learned in college.

Begin with a short phrase describing your profession or your degree.   Next describe your specific work-related skills.   Give a summary of your experience if you have any.  Finally, you will list some personal qualities that will make you look like an excellent candidate for the job.

Here are a few examples:

Qualification Summary:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Kent State University, May 2010.   Worked in customer service jobs while attending college.  Successfully completed nursing clinicals in local hospitals, and graduated with honors.  Proficient in all clinical nursing skills, with experience in emergency room care.  Punctual, responsible,patient, caring, and quick to learn new skills.  Dedicated to the nursing profession and quality of care.

Here's another way to write the summary  using "bullets"

Qualification Summary 

  • Recent graduate of the Applied Science in Physical Therapy Assisting Program at Kent State University
  • Current CPR certification
  • Experience in a variety of clinical settings
  • Punctual, fast learner, and work well with others
  • Computer literate, attentive to detail

Take the time to write your qualification summary well, so that employers will want to read the rest of the resume.   Have a good friend or one of your professors read the summary and make suggestions.  Rewrite the summary until you have it worded concisely.   Make every word count.