The Most Important Thing on Your Resume: Why Your Resume Requires an Executive Summary

There is a way that you can sell yourself to a potential employer in the shortest way possible – an executive summary. So, what is an executive summary?

An executive summary is a short and direct statement that summarizes why you are the best candidate for the job. An executive summary is always short, precise, and direct. It is placed at the top of your resume and is the first thing your hiring manager sees.

A good executive summary should be about 3 to 5 sentences long. It should do the following things:

  • Emphasize your strengths
  • Round up your most relevant experiences
  • Make the best case as to why you are the best candidate

Whichever way you look at it, an executive summary is a very important part of a resume. Let us take a look at why you require an executive summary.

It is Your Elevator Pitch

Imagine you had a business proposal, and you had to present it to a potential investor for 30 seconds, what can you tell them to partner with you?

That is what makes you unique. An executive summary is your elevator pitch – in the job market. It will articulate your value and put you in the competition. In other words, it is your main selling point.

So if you were in the same position and your hiring manager gives you 30 seconds to say why you are the best for the job, what will you say? That is what sets you apart, and it is what you should have in your executive summary.

The thing about an executive summary is this. A hiring manager can read it and know if you are qualified for the job or not. You would make their work easy and boost your chances, too, especially if they had many candidates to look at.

Going for your profession, level of experience, skills, two or three vacancy related major accomplishments work every time.

Emphasizes Your Strengths and Highlights Transferable Skills

It is your elevator – it summarizes everything in a short sentence. It emphasizes your strengths and skills – it breaks down the specific reason why you are different.

Here is the thing. Unlike the first point, the second one shows a breakdown. It is typical of employers to look for different educational qualifications for a single vacancy, so long as there is a relationship with the job.

You may find that Diploma X, Y, and Z all qualify you for the job. However, by putting down your executive summary, you highlight your exact Diploma.

The same applies to the skills that you come with and the relevant courses, field tests, on-job training, and accomplishments that you have done.

This is one way that an executive summary saves time too. It prevents the recruiter from digging deep into your resume to find out if you have the required skills.

Most recruiters would be happy if you coined this executive summary as it saves them a lot. It differentiates your educational qualifications, skills, and accomplishments.

Also Read: How To Reply To A Recruiter – The Right Way

Targets the Specific Job

There are chances that you can have more than one educational qualification, which is listed in your resume. You may also have had so many different jobs.

However, you will realize that not every job that you apply for requires all these qualifications. So instead of having to let your recruiter go through your resume and pick the relevant ones, an executive summary will do that.

It will pick out only the relevant information to the job in question and present it at the top. It means that even if the recruiter finds other information, they already had what they wanted.

The rest will be a bonus that shows how skillful you are and what more you can bring in to the company.

NOTE: This is a way of crystalizing your experience. It puts them in a simple to understand bullet points and demonstrates your high communication skills.

Ties You to Employer Needs

There is always the qualification, objective, and aim of a job vacancy. By answering these questions, you will get specific points that are relevant to the job in question.

For instance, if an employer wants eight years of job experience in field X, then if you state in your executive summary that you have eight years of experience in field X, then it means you are matching up to employer needs.

How to Write the Best Executive Summary

Since an executive summary is the first thing that your recruiters will see, it is important that you understand how to put it down. Here are simple tips on how to coin a great one.

  • Understand the employer’s needs
  • Determine how your qualifications fulfill these needs
  • List the most vital information from the top – write them in bullet points
    • Bullet I: The Pitch (Summarize yourself on a single sentence: Professional Seafood Chef with 8 Years’ Experience)
    • Bullet II/III: The Skills (Emphasize on most relevant skills: Preparation of X cuisine with a specific twist)
    • Bullet IV/V: The Relevant (Show anything else that defines you: a Team player with the ability to make quick decisions)
  • Make sure the information demonstrates your unique qualification for the job
  • List educational qualification and level of experience
  • Point out relevant skills and accomplishments

NOTE: An executive summary is coined from facts. Do not bring in any irrelevant information. Look at it as a summary of the whole resume. So pick only the points that make the difference.


There are many things that this simple sentence will help you to round up. It will make the biggest difference and possibly bring you closer to the job. More importantly, it shows your ability to communicate and also to express the most important aspects of your work.

Remember, the executive summary should be in point form. It is also direct and on to the point. Do not be wordy about it and don’t include what is unnecessary to the job or needs of the employer.


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