A closing qualifications summary is a resume tool that highlights the skills of the job applicant in a brief paragraph, summarizing them for the individual reading the resume. Using this tool can make a resume much more effective, as it will grab the reader and instantly make the candidate's suitability for the position clear. Writing a good summary takes time and thought, as the applicant should avoid the look of redundancy. Most typically, a summary of qualifications is located on the upper portion of the resume, usually directly below the header. It can also be found at the bottom, as a brief closing statement, or it can be used in a cover letter.
In a resume that just includes job experience and special qualifications, it can be difficult for a human resources reviewer to see the experience and skills of the applicant. In most cases, human resources staff only quickly glance at the first page of a resume to determine whether or not the applicant is suitable. Since the reviewer has limited time to look at the document, a summary of qualifications can allow the candidate to put his or her best foot forward by summing up the pertinent information in the resume.
Typically, a closing qualifications summary should include years of relevant experience in the field, notable accomplishments at previous workplaces, and career goals of the applicant. It does not have to be incredibly detailed, since the resume recruiter can turn to the details of individual positions for a more complete overview. The purpose is to quickly grab the attention of the reviewer, generating enough interest in the job candidate to encourage him or her to read on.
In some cases, the closing qualifications summary takes the form of a bulleted list of skills and experience, or a combination of such a bullet list and a brief paragraph. The information is concise, and the summary does not take up very much space on the page. Each sentence should be crafted for maximum impact on the reader, since the resume reviewer may take only 10 to 15 seconds to look at each resume received.
A cover letter can also be a suitable place for such a summary. A cover letter should always be customized to the company the job applicant is seeking a position with. A list of qualifications at the end of the cover letter can be used as a draw, encouraging the recruiter to look at the resume attached to the cover letter to learn more about the details of the candidate's work experience.