How to create a summary section for a CV

Do you include a summary section in your CV? In this exclusive careers article from Go Zambia Jobs we explain what the summary section of a CV is and why it is important. We also outline the key components of a summary section and provide an example.

1. What is the summary section of a CV?

The summary section of your CV provides an opportunity for you to briefly outline what makes you a suitable fit for the position. It should be compelling and concise whilst providing the employer with key information.

The summary section of a CV forms part of the structure of a CV. The type of CV structure you should use depends on many factors, including your level of experience and the type of job. For example, the structure of your CV may be as follows:

  • Name and contact details
  • Summary section
  • Relevant work experience
  • Education and qualifications
  • References

You can view some examples of different CV structures in our article: CV Basics

Why is the summary section of a CV important?

Employers have limited time to review CVs often spending just a few seconds reading each one. A good summary section gives the employer the information they need in those few seconds. The summary section of a CV is generally the first thing an employer reads and is the first opportunity for you to outline your suitability for the role. Your summary section demonstrates that you have read the job description and understand the requirements of the role. Basically, you are confirming that you know the key requirements of the role this is how you meet those requirements.

What are the key elements of the summary section?

The key is to writing a good summary section is to identify the most important qualifications, skills and experience the employer requires and to reflect those in your summary. The acronym CEASE can be applied to help you remember what to include:

C haracteristics: 2-3 personal or professional traits that make you a good fit for the position

E xperience: The number of years of relevant experience

A chievements: 2-3 key achievements relevant to the position

S kills: 2-3 skills relevant to the position in question

E xpertise: Relevant qualification or special expertise relevant to the position

The order in which you list these factors can vary depending on the job description and your own skills and achievements etc. An example, summary section could be something such as:

“A fully-qualified accountant with 3 years management accountancy experience and membership of both the ACCA and ZICA. Dedicated and hard-working, I am able to perform all aspects of the accounting function. I have extensive experience of managing accounting staff and have used my skills and experience to successfully…”


The summary section of your CV is vital when applying for jobs. It is generally the first thing an employer will notice on your CV and provides a chance for you to make a positive first impression. To create a good summary section you need to read the job description, pick out the key requirements for the role and reflect this back to the employer.

Further Information

To find more careers articles visit: Careers Advice

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