5 Mistakes To Avoid In Your Resume Professional Summary

The professional summary which must mark the beginning of a resume is very important to the success of your resume. Writing a professional summary for resume requires some level of language expertise. However avoiding the common mistakes can serve the purpose well.

Is it not difficult to express 10-20 years of career in a couple of lines and make impact?

This question is what comes to mind of most candidates when they start writing their resume professional summary which is also called an executive summary. A resume summary is not about writing a short essay incorporating too much information! It is not meant to be too brief to comprehend either.

Common Mistakes In Writing A Resume Professional Summary

Knowing the pitfalls before you start writing your resume summary is essential to your resume’s success! Here we mention some of the common mistakes that should be avoided.

1. Over Usage of Common Character Adjectives

average resume professional summary

Common character adjectives make your resume professional summary too average!

It is easy to fall into the trap of using common character adjectives (like self-motivated, result-oriented, growth-driven etc.) in your professional summary.  These cliché words lead to an  average resume with nothing to make you stand of the crowd.

Work towards making a resume that differentiates you from the rest!

These words may be common in the various job descriptions but most resume tracking systems do not even have them as keywords. Focus on writing a simple yet effective description that shows how you are special.

2. Confusing the Summary With Your Objective

Career objective vs Professional summary

Objective VS Summary

A resume professional summary is not about what you expect from the job. It is rather about what you can deliver in the job. Objective was an expected part of a resume in the past wherein a candidate stated his expectations from the job.

You should not use your resume summary to serve this purpose as this would appear to be self serving. Your professional summary should focus on how your experience and skills can be of benefit to the employer. This is what the recruiter will be more willing to read!

3. Mentioning Irrelevant Experience and Skills

relevant skills matter in a professional summary

Relevant skills matter

Your resume summary should focus on those skills/experiences which are relevant to the job position. You must not confuse the reader by mentioning industry experiences and achievements that does not fit in with the kind of role on offer.

Short-list your relevant skill set and align them with the industry in which you wish to apply. Giving too much information in the professional summary does not always serve the purpose.   

4. Preferring Bullet Points Over a Short Paragraph

Avoid bullet points

Avoid bullet points

Bullet points may be easy to read, but the summary must present itself as a crisp story highlighting your background, showing your suitability for the job. It is too much to ask the reader to create the story from your bullet points.

Drive home the advantage by writing a persuasive resume summary that emphasises the key deliverables that you bring in to the position.

5. Not Giving Enough Evidence to Validate Your Claims

validate your claims in your professional summary

Validate your claims


“Exceed employer expectations,” “superior leadership qualities,” “proven growth driver” etc. You may include these in your resume professional summary and also have truth behind them.

But without the relevant evidence they are just some common superlatives written by anyone and everyone. It is a must to link your claims with results that are direct and easy to comprehend.  


You must not waste the 3-4 lines of your resume professional summary sounding ordinary. Rather use it as a pitch showing how your candidacy for the position truly matters! Show how you can help the employer achieve their business goals with your relevant experience and skills.

Create your desired impression on the employer right at the start rather than waiting for him/her to read till the last!

Do let us know in comments the other mistakes that you think can matter while writing your resume summary. If you liked this article do consider sharing this article with your friends and peers!

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