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Create a Strong Statement of Qualifications for Your Resume

A statement of qualifications can be a key highlight of your resume. Here's how you can make sure you’re creating an effective statement.

Ho Lin Profile
By Ho Lin 5 minute read

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Tips for writing a statement of qualifications

According to Forbes, the average recruiter will spend 60 seconds or less looking at a resume before they decide whether to discard it. This means that communicating your suitability for a specific job quickly has never been more important. A great statement of qualifications can provide the concentrated burst of knowledge needed to make a strong first impression. 

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What is a statement of qualifications?

A statement of qualifications is an introductory paragraph that gives a hiring manager a brief outline of your most important qualifications. This is often provided in place of a short resume summary or resume objective statement. As one form of resume introduction, the purpose of this statement is to give recruiters a snapshot of your skills. This form of introduction is best for those who have a lot of work experience and many relevant qualifications to their name. You can use academic qualifications if you want. In the state of California, there is also a “narrative statement of qualifications”, but this is a separate document.

Statement of qualifications vs. resume objective vs. resume summary

The differences between a resume objective, summary, and statement of qualifications are simple. Here’s what you need to know:

Resume statement of qualifications

This form of introduction uses bullet points and focuses on hard skills and qualifications. Best for highly qualified candidates, it takes up more room than the other two statements. It ensures your most desirable qualifications and certifications are the focal points of your resume.

Resume objective statement

A resume objective statement can consist of bullet points or sentences. Best for recent graduates and career changers, this introduction focuses on career goals. This is a short introduction that can include soft skills.

Resume summary

A resume summary statement combines some elements of the other two introductions. Shorter than a statement of qualifications and more focused on experience than an objective statement, it is best for job seekers with some professional experience. This introduction provides a short sum-up of your best skills and most desirable qualifications.

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Top tips for writing your statement of qualifications

When you come to write your summary of qualifications (SOQ), you should consider the job posting itself. Reviewing the job description can, in fact, help you identify the most relevant job skills for the resume and organize them accordingly. If you have skills and work experience that match the job advert, then these should be given priority in your resume (and your cover letter). Once you know what the job description needs from you as a candidate, you can start writing. Follow these guide on making a resume writing tips to get the best results:

Pick four or five key qualifications

Though an SOQ is longer than an objective statement or summary, it should still be concise. Pick four or five key qualifications to include. If you limit the number, then you can give more detail about each one. This will give a better chance of impressing a recruiter.

Be as specific as possible

Give specific examples to back up these qualifications. For example, rather than saying “top salesman in department”, be specific: “Consistently exceeded sales targets by 15%.” When you give specific numbers, you are providing proof of your skills.

Choose qualifications that show desirable skills.

As you have limited space, each qualification should serve more than one purpose. Choose relevant qualifications that also showcase transferable skills. For example, give examples that also show:

Include examples that showcase any skills or relevant experience. This can increase the chance of a successful job search.

Use active language.

Action verbs can impact your job application positively. If you use passive language in your statement of qualifications, then a hiring manager may feel you are not passionate. Use phrases like “developed” and “implemented” rather than “duties included” or “was responsible for”

Consider resume examples.

Check out resume examples that are relevant to the job title you are applying for. Look at resumes that have statements of qualifications and examples you can use for inspiration. The more examples you read, the more you can improve your skill at writing these statements. Use our Resume Builder to create an editable resume that meets professional formatting guidelines. This is a tool that provides a range of free templates that can help your job application stand out on a hiring manager’s desk.

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FAQ: Statement of qualifications

Have questions? We’re here to help.

If you have a lot of achievements and qualifications that are relevant to the job description that you want to apply for, then a statement of qualifications can work for you. If you do not have a lot of professional experience, then a resume objective statement may be a better option.

When you apply for a job in California, the statement of qualifications is different. Rather than being a short summary of the most important hard skills and qualifications, it is typically a series of questions and answers. This is called a “narrative statement of qualifications”.

Yes, you can use a statement of qualifications at any time in your career; all you have to do is focus on the qualifications and hard skills that you have. If you are a recent graduate, then you could list your academic qualifications and achievements (for example, specific awards and honors, such as being valedictorian).

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Ho Lin Profile

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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