A hiring manager will sometimes receive hundreds of resumes for one job posting. Your resume might very well be missed just because of the sheer volume of information a hiring manager has to go through in order to identify candidates. How do you stand out from the crowd? One great option is to include an impactful executive summary on your resume.
An executive summary gives you the chance to describe yourself, your skills and experience, and what you can bring to that specific opportunity – right on the top of the page. While the hiring manager will have to scroll through whole resumes just to find out where people have worked and what they can offer, an executive summary allows you to grab their attention right away.
Of course, since this will be a first impression, it is important to grab their attention in the right way. Essentially, an executive summary is almost like a “written elevator speech.” It might not seem like a sales pitch, but you actually are selling yourself to the company. Here are some Treehouse Tips for the best way to approach your executive summary.
– A typical question in an interview is “Tell me about yourself.” This paragraph gives you a chance to answer that question from the very beginning. Put information into your summary that you would say in an interview in response to that question.
– Do not write more than 3-4 lines of text! You might want to include everything but only put in what is necessary. If it is longer than that a hiring manager won’t take the time to read everything and might miss the most important parts.
– Grab their attention! Make sure your first statement is a clear and concise overall statement on where you are in your career. Also, make sure it pertains to the job you are applying for. For example, if the job requires an MBA make sure to state that you have an MBA in the first sentence. Example: “Senior Business Manager with an MBA, offering…”
– Avoid referring to yourself in the third person or using “I” – Instead, structure your summary with an implied subject. Example: “Account Executive with a strong track record of performance…” instead of “I am an Account Executive with a strong track record of performance…”
– Think of 3-4 things that have defined your professional career and then think of what you truly enjoy in your career. Combine this information in your summary. If you are great at something, but don’t enjoy it, then don’t put it in there. You are giving the hiring manager an idea of what you want to do every day and what you are capable of doing. Lastly, make sure to align your summary with the job requirements. Include a sentence on how your skills transfer to this specific job and change this sentence for each job you are applying for.
– Be as specific and measurable as possible in your achievements. If you increased sales, then list by what percentage you did so. This shows that you actually did what you are saying and can prove it with numbers.
Remember, this should be easy! You are just being honest about where you are in your career and what you would like to offer and do in your next role. The hard part is summarizing it into just a few sentences and making sure your message comes across. Here at Treehouse Partners, we love when candidates have a great executive summary because it allows us to instantly know who the candidate is. Plus, it gives us a simple way to present them to our clients.
Do you use an executive summary now? If so, has it helped you in job searches? Be sure to check out the links below for some great examples of executive summaries. This should help get you started!