What is a CV summary? (& example to copy and paste)

A CV summary is a short 3–5 sentence profile of your work history. It can also be a 3–5-bullet list. Your CV summary will detail your most impressive accomplishments, key skills, and relevant academic and vocational qualifications.

Your summary sits at the top of your CV’s structure, where employers will see it first. The opening sentence of your CV summary needs to grab the reader’s attention, so it should contain your most sellable qualities.

Copy-and-paste example of a summary for a CV (UK job)


[Adjective 1], [adjective 2] [Your Job Title or ‘student’] with [number] [weeks/months/years] of experience in [your primary responsibility at work or task in university or school]. Possess [Name of Qualification] in [Subject Name]. Excited to apply my [skill 1] and [skill 2] skills to the [Job Title] role at [Company Name].

17+ CV summary examples

Here are 17 professional CV summary examples that you can use for inspiration as you write yours.

Sales associate CV summary

If you’re writing a sales associate CV, look at this CV personal summary example for ideas:

A CV summary for a sales associate without distinguishing features.

Related CV samples: Sales manager CV, sales CV, sales assistant CV, sales executive CV

Receptionist CV summary

Crafting a receptionist CV? Write something along these lines and your CV is sure to impress:

Summary of a CV for a receptionist with a green title.

Cleaner CV summary

As a cleaner, you’ll be tidying up in the workplace. Here’s a neatly organised cleaner CV summary example:

A cleaner CV summary with an orange title.

Related CV template: Hospitality CV

Waiting staff CV summary

Looking for waiting staff work? Highlight your skills, qualifications, and work experience in a professional summary on your waiter CV.

A CV summary for waiting staff with a bold grey title.

Related CV samples: Waiting staff CV, McDonalds CV, restaurant manager CV, barista CV

Supervisor CV summary

Check out this example supervisor CV summary to get some ideas for writing your own:

A CV summary for a supervisor with a purple title.

Related CV templates: Assistant manager CV, manager CV, team leader CV

Customer service representative CV summary

Here’s an effective customer service CV summary that uses hard numbers to showcase the candidate’s excellent customer service skills:

A CV summary for a customer service representative

Related CV examples: Customer service advisor CV, customer success manager CV

Administrator CV summary

If you’re applying for administrative roles, you’ll need to highlight your time management and organisational skills on your CV:

An administrative CV summary with a light green title.

Related CV templates: Administrative assistant CV, administrator CV, civil service CV, office manager CV

Teacher CV summary

Here’s an example personal summary for a CV written by a teacher for inspiration:

A CV summary for a teacher

When writing a teacher CV, always clarify which key stage you’re trained for, what kind of teaching qualification you have (e.g., PGCE), which subject(s) you teach, and what kind of school you’ve taught at (e.g., primary or secondary, comprehensive or grammar, and state, public, or private).

Related CV samples: Teaching assistant CV, tutor CV, librarian CV

School leaver CV summary

If you’re leaving school after your A-Levels or GCSEs, mention your academic and vocational qualifications first, and any formal, volunteer, or internship work experience too.

A school leaver CV summary with a powder blue title.

Volunteer work always boosts a school leaver CV so consider looking for volunteer opportunities near you.

Related CV templates: Teenager CV, volunteer CV, internship CV, one-page CV

Healthcare assistant CV summary

If you’re working for the NHS, you’ll need lots of hard skills related to your medical abilities, so emphasise them in your healthcare assistant CV summary.

A CV summary for a healthcare assistant with a midnight blue title.

Related CV samples: Health care assistant CV, support worker CV, nursing CV, care worker CV

Accountant CV summary

Writing an accountant CV? As you’re used to dealing with data, stick some hard numbers into your CV summary to provide context for your achievements:

A CV summary for an accountant with a royal blue title/

Related CV examples: Account executive CV, account manager CV, finance CV

Marketing CV summary

Underline your experience as a marketer by showing how you improved the sales of products you worked on.

A marketing CV summary with a yellow CV summary title.

Related CV templates: Marketing CV, PR CV, social media CV

Engineering CV summary

Individual and team successes should be highlighted in an engineering CV summary, as you can see in this CV summary template:

A CV summary for an engineer with a forest green title.

Related CV examples: Engineer CV, civil engineer CV, mechanic CV

Student CV summary

Writing your student CV? If you don’t have work experience yet, talk about union or society roles you’ve held, volunteering experience you’ve had, or the course or individual modules you’re studying.

A CV summary for a student with a yellow title.

Related CV templates: Law student CV, medical student CV, student ambassador CV, student nurse CV

Data analyst CV summary

Writing a data analyst CV? Add some data into your CV summary to show recruiting managers what you’re capable of achieving for them.

A CV summary for a data analyst with a light green title.

Related CV templates: Data scientist CV, ecommerce CV, business analyst CV


This professional summary from a graduate CV specifies how the applicant can use their skills to perform 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 — and you can always look at other graduate CV examples to get even more ideas for how to link your abilities to your target position.

Recent graduate's CV summary with a grey summary title.

Related CV examples: Academic CV


Interested in a career in retail? Put your best foot forward by writing a good retail CV summary.

A professional summary for retail with a red CV summary title.

Including hard numbers in your summary is a great tactic if you’re writing a retail CV. Here are some ideas for numbers:

  • How much you increased sales
  • How many customers you served daily/weekly
  • How many colleagues you worked with

Related CV templates: Retail assistant CV, shop assistant CV, Tesco CV

Need more ideas of how to write an effective job summary for your job application? Have a look at industry-relevant CV examples to see how another applicant in your field has done so.

How to write a summary for a CV

Still unsure how to put together an effective CV summary? Follow these three steps to put together a professional summary for your CV that perfectly profiles your career.

One key CV writing tip is to leave making your summary until last. First, learn how to write a good CV, write it (including sections like work history, education, skills, etc.), and then pick out the best achievements on your CV for your summary.

1. Start with your years of experience and main responsibilities

In the first sentence of your CV summary, provide your position or industry, years of experience, and key job responsibilities.

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.

Also worth mentioning is what you do every day at work. For example:

Ward Sister on the Paediatrics Ward at the King George Hospital, Kingston-upon-Thames with 7+ years of experience providing care to children.

This sample briefly sums up the job applicant’s current job title, years of experience, key responsibilities, and their daily duties.

2. Name your biggest achievement

Employers don’t just want to know what you do on the daily. Use your second sentence to describe a big achievement — one that’s relevant to the job you’re applying for.

‘Relevant to the job’ means that the accomplishment is something potential employers would like you to repeat for them. For example, if you increased iPhone sales at Vodafone, O2 would be interested in hearing about it.

Here’s a sample noteworthy accomplishment in a CV summary:

Spearheaded a new marketing strategy for the London Overground that led to an 11% increase in ticket sales during Q1 2023 despite many people still working from home.

See how this job hunter uses hard numbers to give employers some context about their accomplishments To include hard numbers in your CV, you could also use amounts in pounds (e.g., ‘Increased profits by £47,000).

Try to fit numbers into your CV summary no matter what job you’re applying for.

Here are some more examples of hard numbers highlighting achievements in CV summaries:

Served as Front Desk Agent at Newcastle’s New Croft House Clinic, processing an average of 147 patients per day.

Averaged £147 in commission per week from CeX for being No. 1 salesperson in its busy Marylebone branch.

Manned the front desk at a busy grammar school with 2,470+ pupils.

3. Mention other skills and achievements that make you the perfect fit

In the last sentence of your summary, mention any other skills, qualifications, or licences that make you the perfect fit for the job you’re going for.

For example, if you’re applying for a position that requires technical abilities, name-check some of the tools you know how to use. Take this plumber CV summary:

An example of a CV summary that highlights the candidate's expertise.

You can also add extra details about any work-related accomplishments, as in these chemist and lorry driver CV summaries:

Achieved a 100% error-free rate in dispensing prescriptions.

Clocked up 470,000+ miles while maintaining a <4.7% lateness rate.

If you’re a school leaver, graduate, or entry-level applicant and don’t have many achievements, abilities, or qualifications to add to your summary, use this last sentence to talk about your career goals:

Excited to use my interpersonal skills to provide visitors to St Ives with an informative and entertaining experience as Tour Guide.

If you’re struggling to finish your summary, try adding hobbies and interests to your CV summary if they’re relevant to the role:

An sample of a summary for a CV showing how the candidate worked skills from their hobbies and interests into their CV.

Frequently asked questions about CV summaries

Here are the answers to several frequently asked questions about CV summaries:

Should you put a summary on a CV?

Yes, you should put a summary on a CV. While technically you could write a CV without a summary, we recommend adding one so the recruiting manager can quickly see whether they should continue reading your CV.

So make things easier for the recruiting manager by adding a CV summary.

Not sure how to add a CV summary without minimising some other vital CV section? Good CV makers can add a CV summary in a way that keeps your CV sections well balanced.

What are 4 things to avoid in a CV summary?

Here are 4 things to avoid in a CV summary:

  • negative comments about your current and previous jobs or colleagues
  • talking about what you want from the job without considering what kind of person the company needs
  • adding qualifications you don’t have
  • making it obvious you don’t know anything about the company or the position

How can I make my CV summary attractive?

You can make your CV summary attractive by using a splash of colour, as we’ve done in the examples on this page. However, keep the rest of your font colours black.

Good CV makers use colour appropriately to make your best selling points stand out while avoiding unprofessional CV designs. What’s more, your CV will be ready in just a few minutes — saving you time to apply for even more jobs.
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Samuel Johns
Written by

Samuel Johns

Samuel Johns is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), recruiting manager, and lead career counsellor on the CV Genius team, with almost 5 years of experience in the career space. He has helped countless job hunters craft high-quality CVs and cover letters, exceed expectations at interviews, and obtain their dream jobs. Born and raised in County Durham in the beautiful North East of England, he graduated with a BA (Hons) in French Language and Literature from the University of Bristol in 2013 and has worked in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, London, Paris, and Taipei as a French–English translator. He’s determined to use his native English and fluent French skills to help UK and French candidates get the jobs they deserve. In addition to the British and French versions of CV Genius, Samuel’s job-hunt advice has been published on numerous websites, including Careers.org, the University of Warwick, the Enterprisers Project, and HR.com. If you’d like to collaborate, please reach out to Samuel through LinkedIn. Please note, we don’t accept guest posts and won’t reply to such requests.