What is an executive summary statement and why should you include it in your resume?
Best described as an elevator pitch for your resume, an executive summary highlights your core skills and accomplishments for a job. Sometimes referred to as a professional summary, it should project a holistic view of your qualifications and experience that makes you best suited for the job. It should demonstrate your experience clearly to grab the attention of the hiring manager.
Why include an executive summary?
Resumes that are simple, focused and relevant are much more successful in getting you interview invitations. The executive summary is a punchy and concise section — approximately four to five sentences long — that tells the hiring manager who you are professionally and how you can contribute to the organisation.
- It presents a curated list of accomplishments and skills that fit the job description.
- It shows exactly how you can benefit the company’s mission and vision through the role.
- It helps hiring managers to make a quick but justified assessment of your qualifications immediately.
How do you write a concise yet compelling summary?
1. Personalise it to the job application
Your executive summary should be adjusted to fit the job you are applying for. By studying the job description, you can sieve out which requirements are most important. Depending on the function and industry, there are relevant keywords you could also weave into your summary statement.
Take control by offering hiring managers your unique proposition and qualifications for the role, instead of having them rely on their interpretations of your job experience.
2. Exemplify reasons why you will be a good fit
Your executive summary can help narrow down your experiences to the most relevant and necessary ones for the role. Once you have identified the key requirements, you need to furnish your executive summary with reasons to explain why you are the most qualified candidate. A convincing elevator pitch can interest the hiring manager in paying more attention to the rest of your resume.
3. Cover essential skills & accomplishments
Understandably, you want to highlight your most impressive achievements and skills. To boost the impact of your resume, spend a bit more time selecting the notable accomplishments. Ideally, you get to consider those that put you in a good light and also satisfy the most important requirements of the job.
Quantify the selected achievements with tangible metrics such as figures or percentages. These enhance the credibility of your accomplishments and contextualise your previous experiences.
Tips for writing resume executive summaries
Already have your resume prepared with an executive summary? Fine-tune it with these quick tips.
- Move your credentials to the top of your resume
- Use industry-relevant keywords and include a link to your LinkedIn profile
- Tailor your master executive summary to the various jobs you apply to
Asking yourself these questions can also help with writing a succinct summary.
- What is the one thing the hiring manager should know about you?
- What makes you uniquely qualified?
- What accomplishments are you most proud of?
Executive Summary Resume Sample
Since executive summaries vary according to the job and industry you apply to, you can follow the general template below to help you get started.
[Your key strength and job title] with [quantify your years of experience] in the [industry]. Core competencies include [3-5 areas of expertise and experience]. A [insert key strength and noun to describe yourself professionally] with [insert key accomplishments], recognised for [insert key trait] to [insert outcome].
Sample for a Marketing Manager:
Strategic Marketing Manager with over 10 years of experience in advertising. Core competencies include running email marketing campaigns and implementing pay-per-click advertisements, proven to pull in a 30% increase in leads. A proven leader with executive experience, capable of merging big-picture perspectives with measured considerations to achieve growth.
Sample for a Human Resources Manager:
Demonstrated decade of progressive experience in managing employee hiring and onboarding. Experience includes relationship management with various departments and streamlining performance management processes. A dedicated professional with executive experience in directing, overseeing, and executing HR processes, including benefit programmes.
Sample for a Project Manager:
Dedicated professional with over 15 years of experience in strategising and delivering project management strategies in various industries. Experience includes the use of project management software and managing cross-functional teams. Once you’ve crafted your executive summary, give it a good read to check for grammar and spelling mistakes. Have someone look at it too for feedback!