A CV summary is a brief 4–5 sentence profile of your professional work history that details your career’s most impressive accomplishments, key skills, and relevant licences and certifications.
Your summary sits at the top in your CV layout, where employers are most likely to see it. Because the first sentence of your CV summary needs to grab the reader’s attention, it should contain your most sellable qualities.
A CV summary differs from a CV personal statement because a summary focuses more on your achievements, whereas a personal statement emphasises your career goals. Thus, use a summary if you already have work experience (or equivalent experience, such as in a uni society).
11+ professional CV summary examples
Here are 11 CV summary examples that you can use for inspiration, or even copy and paste and tinker with, if they’re close to describing your own professional background.
Friendly, reliable Sales Associate with 2 years’ experience selling mobile phones and contracts for EE and O2. Increased monthly contract uptake at EE by 12% over my initial 6-month period. Recognised by EE’s Regional Manager for Wales for my ability to persuade customers to switch from prepaid plans to long-term contracts.
Approachable, dedicated Receptionist at County Hall, Hertfordshire. Welcome an average of 74 visitors a day, directing them to the departments they’re seeking and pushing up Hertfordshire’s visitor satisfaction rate to 85% from 74% 2 years ago. Trained 3 new receptionists during my 5-year tenure at County Hall.
Waitress or waiter (waiting staff)
Waiter with 3+ years of experience serving customers. Currently employed part-time at Jesmond Dene House serving afternoon tea to an average of 47 parties per week, with a 95%+ customer satisfaction rate. Working towards a BA in International Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Northumbria.
Customer service representative
Here’s an effective customer service CV summary that uses hard numbers to showcase the candidate’s successes:
Reliable, cheerful Customer Service Representative with 4 years of experience at Royal Bank of Scotland. Provide prompt and courteous service to over 60+ personal banking customers per shift, helping them open and manage current accounts, set up and administer Direct Debits and standing orders, and apply for credit cards and personal loans. Maintain a 0% complaints rate (in terms of customers requesting to speak to my supervisor).
Creative, inspirational Art Teacher with 7 years of experience at a busy inner-city Bristol comprehensive school. Increased the number of KS3 students deciding to take an Arts GCSE by 17% over the last 3 academic years. Have the highest rate of students (90%) attaining Grades A*–C in Arts A-Level among colleagues in the Art Department.
Hard worker and fast learner with 11 GCSEs and an NVQ Level 2 in Public Service applying for the Police Front Counter Staff role at Durham Constabulary. Possess customer service experience as call centre staff for Virgin Trains. Volunteered for local Neighbourhood Watch since 2018, working with local constabulary and residents to tackle minor issues in the community.
Skilled, practical Chartered Certified Accountant with 7 years’ experience. Audit company accounts for 47 companies of different structures, including LLPs, PLCs, and CICs. Currently maintain a 99.9% accuracy rate, and a 100% client satisfaction rate for financial advising services.
Digital content marketer with 4+ years of experience and a BA (Hons) Marketing (Dunelm). Currently work for Tyne & Wear Marketing Agency, where I’ve increased CTR rates for all of our clients by an average of 17% over the last 6 months. Experienced in SEO tools, including Google Analytics & Search Console, Ahrefs, and Moz Pro.
Problem-solving civil engineer with 10+ years of experience implementing public infrastructure programmes. Experience leading a team of 15+ to bring projects to fruition ahead of schedule and, on average, 5% under budget. Most recently collaborated on Crossrail (TfL Elizabeth Line) project to bring a new Underground Line with 41 stations to serve 9+ million Londoners and global tourists.
This professional summary for a graduate CV includes specific details of the role outlined in the job description. If you have little to no experience, you may not have accomplishments, so it’s fine to connect the skills you do have with the job you’re seeking.
Recent graduate with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in French and Politics (Bris). Chaired University of Bristol Labour Party Society, organising 20+ meetings and activities, leading the society committee, and organising student-activists for canvassing events. Seeking role as Junior Personal Assistant to the Mayor of Bristol with the goal of applying my organisational, leadership, and communication skills for the good of Bristolians.
Experienced Store Manager with 7+ years of managerial experience at Darlington’s branch of Boots. Managed team of 47 full- and part-time employees to increase customer footfall by 17% during my tenure. Desire to produce similar or better results at Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Eldon Square branch.
How to write a good summary for a CV
Still unsure how to put together an effective CV summary? Here are the three steps you need to take to put together a professional summary for your CV that perfectly profiles your career.
1. Start with your years of experience, and main responsibilities
The first sentence of your CV summary provides your role or field, years of experience, and main duties in your role. For example, if you’re writing a nursing CV, mention your speciality (e.g., paediatrics, gynaecology, mental health, orthopaedics, etc.), level (e.g., RN, matron, nurse practitioner, ward sister, etc.) and years of experience.
You can also quickly mention what you do on a daily basis. For example:
Ward Sister on the Paediatrics Ward at the King George Hospital, Redbridge with 7+ years of experience providing care to children.
This example briefly summarises the applicant’s role, level of experience and responsibility, as well as their daily work.
2. Name your biggest achievement
Employers don’t just want to know about your daily work. Use your second sentence to highlight the biggest achievement relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Here’s an example of an applicant’s most noteworthy accomplishment on their CV summary:
Spearheaded new marketing strategy for the London Overground that led to a 7% increase in ticket sales during Q1 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note how this applicant uses hard numbers to provide context about the achievements and skills in their CV and summarises them for employers. They could alternatively have used an amount in pounds (e.g., a £50,000 increase).
Try to fit numbers into your CV summary no matter what job you’re applying for.
Here are some more examples:
Served as Receptionist at a busy NHS A&E department that welcomed an average of 74 patients per shift.
Earned an average of £1,074 in commission per month from Virgin Mobile for being No. 1 salesperson on the team in its busy Piccadilly Circus branch.
Staffed the reception at a bustling secondary school with over 1,470 pupils.
3. Mention other skills and achievements that make you the perfect fit
Use the final sentence of your CV summary to mention any other skills, certifications, or licences that makes you ideal for the role.
For example, if you’re applying to a technical role, mention some of the tools you know about. Take this plumber CV summary as an example:
You can also volunteer extra details about your achievements, as in these chemist and lorry driver CVs:
Maintained a 100% error-free rate in prescription dispensing.
Possess a category C driving licence, and have clocked up 500,000+ miles while maintaining a <5% lateness rate.
If you’re a school leaver, graduate, or entry-level applicant, and don’t have many accomplishments, skills, or licences to mention, use your third sentence to talk about your aspirations:
Hope to apply my interpersonal skills to provide visitors to Penzance with an excellent and informative experience as Town Tour Guide.
You can also work your hobbies and interests into your CV summary’s last sentence if they’re relevant to the role.