Key Resume Sections: “Executive Summary” or “Summary”

Think of the “Executive Summary” or “Summary” section of a Professional resume as your sales pitch; after your name, it’s the first thing the hiring manager or recruiter will read, and that’s important. In about 75 words, you’ll tell the reader why you are the best candidate for the job. What sets you apart? What value will you add to the new organization? The “Executive Summary” section of a resume is meant to supplement the cover letter and help the reader pinpoint your unique value proposition. 

By and large, the “Executive Summary” section replaces the “Objective” section. Don’t write about what you want or what you’re looking for; say what can offer them. The employer wants to see words like “proven track record” and “measurable results”. These words say, in short, “I’ve done it before, and I can do it again.” By writing a powerful Executive Summary, you’re giving the hiring manager a reason to interview you, and a reason to hire you!

The 3 Dimensions of Effective Executive Summary in Resume Writing:

Content in the Summary

  • Write a 200-word paragraph about why your target organization should hire you
  • Now, identify the weakest parts and eliminate 50 words of the paragraph
  • Again, find the weakest parts and eliminate another 50 words ( 100 words remain)
  • Now, rewrite your 100-word paragraph using only 75 words
  • Your 75-word paragraph is now your “Executive Summary,” a powerful, content-rich sales pitch about why you’re the perfect candidate for the job

Sequence of the Summary

  • The “Executive Summary” section always goes at the top of a resume, right below the reader. It should be the first thing the reader sees after reading your name

Design of the Summary

  • In bold letters above your “Executive Summary” section, consider listing the top three words you want the reader to see
  • Consider using horizontal lines above and below your “Executive Summary” to frame it and set it apart from other resume sections


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