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What is a Statement of Qualifications (SOQ)?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 16, 2024
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The statement of qualifications and the summary of qualifications (both called SOQ) are two often-confused terms. In general, a company writes a rather lengthy statement of qualifications that might make them the best company for providing services or materials, or to attract investors. Nonprofit corporations may write one in order to show their charitable abilities, business plan and mission statement.

Additionally, such a statement may include things like company history. The SOQ might list the company's tax identification number for handy reference and contact information. It may also summarize the organization’s different departments or number of employees.

The statement may be provided on a website. In fact, one can view numerous SOQs from both profit and nonprofit corporations online. It is also usually available in print form for prospective investors, purchasers, or those who wish to donate money.

On the other hand, a summary of qualifications is written by a resume writer, and usually consists of two to three sentences that are meant to emphasize the job seeker's best skills for the job to which he or she is applying. In a sense, both types of SOQ serve a similar purpose: they are meant to impress their readers into hiring them for the job or otherwise responding positively.

Another possible definition for SOQ is the lengthy statement that might be required by someone bidding on a job, like a contractor. Generally this statement is much longer than what is found on a resume, although the goal of “getting the job” remains the same. An SOQ from a contractor might include references to past projects, as well as listing the contractor’s experience. It may be required in addition to a resume for the contractor.

Adding a summary of qualifications on a resume for a simple job is optional, but it can be an excellent way of calling attention to one’s superlative qualities. A well-composed SOQ can elicit good feelings from a potential employer. Whereas most of the resume is a list of skills and education, a sentence or two summarizes the list and is a handy reference tool.

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Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a SmartCapitalMind contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By Penzance356 — On May 02, 2011

If you ever wondered why someone got hired by your company based largely on their qualifications, well here's a possible answer. It can look good for a business to have people with certificates to show off in their SOQ! Never mind if they can actually do anything useful!

By angelBraids — On Apr 30, 2011

@Acracadabra - I think it depends on how the rest of your resume looks. If you are including more details of each job or qualification later then bullet points would be better.

I used to work in recruiting and this type of application does stand out. Some people write the entire thing in this form.

Do think about the language you use, and be consistent. I think it's better to talk about yourself directly, for example: 'I have been responsible for ...', rather than 'Ms/Mr. X has been ...'.

By Acracadabra — On Apr 28, 2011

@peasy - I am in the same boat as you, with a rather old fashioned resume style stuck in my mind. I would like to try this SOQ approach but I'm not sure how to present that information.

Does it have to be written in a paragraph, at the start of the resume, or would it be okay listed in bullet point form?

By peasy — On Mar 14, 2011

This is good information. I am helping my son with his first resume. When I wrote mine years ago, the beginning was a goal listing of what you wanted and how that could benefit the employer. I like this better.

It gives you a way of showing off your abilities in an almost "30 second elevator pitch" type of fashion.

It might be hard at first, but it could be a good tool to make you think about how you want to come across to a potential employer and what makes you stand out.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a SmartCapitalMind contributor, Tricia...
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