Writing an Executive Summary

An employer’s attention span could be limited to 30 seconds at least that’s what recruiting experts tell us. Every executive resume should have a summary that introduces the applicant and provides a quick snapshot of a job candidate’s background.

A potential boss may have the perfect candidate in mind. Most likely the keywords for this special job have already been selected and a search has been performed using the latest scanning device. The applicant with the most of these impressive keywords in their Executive Summary will most likely have their resume read or will get a call about their background and possibly an interview.

So how do you get and keep a competitive edge in this process?

Let’s start by writing an executive summary— one of the most challenging parts of a resume that represents an overview of your current work and what you’ve done in the past. Key words are used to describe your experience also represent your career. They tell the reader in a few seconds, if you have the background an employer is searching for.

To write a summary yourself, requires self knowledge and acceptance plus the ability to create a positive description from your achievements at work. Too many times, we’ve grown sick of our past and have lost sight of our salesmanship and wordsmith ability. These are tools that can be used to create a glowing portrait of our background.

How come it is easy to assist a friend when it comes to highlighting successes in their resume and so difficult to mirror our own? While no one has a 100 percent positive view of the past, you must be able to put unfortunate, embarrassing, hurtful, and terrorizing episodes behind you and focus on the positive. If you are unable to do this yourself, then it is probably less stressful and saves time to hire a creative resume writer to craft your resume for you.

Begin your summary with a catchy phrase or description about your career. For example, you could start with:

“Results driven or accomplished executive with 20 years experience in sales and marketing” or “Seasoned professional with a background in financial services and operations.”

There are many phrases that could describe what you’ve done to show that you have business skills and the soft skills to manage others. To open up a world of ideas search on different careers which display job descriptions at or other search engines or go to your local library to read resume books on Executive Resumes that contain resumes that have been collected by expert resume writers. Then begin tailoring your resume to fit the job.

If you are applying for an executive position most employers will want to know about your managerial skills such as the number of people you supervised and how you helped them develop skills, take initiative and experience job growth.

Other possible questions are:

How do you inspire staff to meet the company’s mission? Or how do you distribute the work load, develop and implement strategies, procedures and follow-up and perform evaluations that ensure quality results?

Other answers to questions you may want to integrate into your summary or resume are:

Ø How do you build effective collaborate relationships for managing staff and stake holders?

Ø How do you demonstrate ethical vigilance and model behaviors that support the companies’ values of integrity, service, respect and excellence?

Ø How do you motivate and inspire others?

Ø How do you increase the bottom line or save the company money?

Ø In your summary briefly highlight your most important skills. For instance, you may have an operations and managerial background that could be summarized in a succinct statement.

Ø Don’t forget to integrate information about personal qualities into your summary.

But keep it short. Information in the summary should not be repeated in the body of the resume. If you want to get into more detail about one of your achievements describe it in the body of the resume, if you’ve got space.

If you’re writing about your current job, the writing should be in the present tense using the nominative case but leaving out the pronoun. For example, “As topnotch manager, spent 17 years acting as a risk consultant in the oil and gas industry.” In stead of writing, “As a topnotch manager, I spent 17 years as a risk manager in the oil and gas industry.”

When writing KSA’s for Federal positions, a job applicant always uses “I” to describe their background unlike the format that is traditionally used in a corporate or executive resume

For examples of Executive Resumes go to

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