Of all of the elements of a successful CV, the executive summary is by far one of the most important sections. Recruiters and hiring managers don’t normally have time to read through an entire CV, and all of the work experience descriptions, word for word. They frequently read through a large number of CVs and thus must quickly skim through each one. This makes it more likely for them to miss information. However, by starting with a professional synopsis or overview that briefly describes why you are qualified for the job position at hand, your CV is more likely to get a second look.
Yet, simply including a summary of your professional profile does not guarantee that employers will be interested in you or your professional profile. In order to convince them that your CV is worth a closer look, you must insure that your executive summary concisely demonstrates why you are an ideal candidate for the specific job role and company to which you are applying.
Below is a comprehensive report all about the executive summary section of a CV: what it is, benefits of using one, how to create an effective summary, example CV summary statements, and additional tips.
What is an executive summary?
An executive summary is a compact introductory statement of the most important details of your career and work history. Otherwise known as a summary of qualifications or CV profile, an executive summary is a brief statement, generally a short paragraph, at the top of your CV that emphasizes your professional qualifications. It should give the recruiter or hiring manager a summary of your most relevant skills, strengths, and experiences which demonstrate that you are a perfect fit for the job position at hand.
Advantages of using a professional summary
The advantages of using a professional summary are numerous. First of all, it is an effective way to concisely express your unique value to a company or employer. Think about your executive summary as if you were pitching yourself. Consider how you can sell yourself in the most concise, yet complete way possible. Your potential future employer is looking for someone with just the right qualifications and skills. By using the summary of qualifications as a tool by which to persuade the employer that you are the ideal candidate with all the necessary capabilities to fulfill the job role, you will set yourself apart from the other applicants.
During the application review process, recruiters and hiring managers must sort through piles of CVs. It is vital that your CV stand out from the mass. Recruiters are searching for specific qualifications (typically detailed in the job posting) needed to implement the job that you are applying to. When you utilize the first space on your CV to clearly display these required skills, you make their job easier. By utilizing an executive summary to highlight your job specific strengths and transferable skills, directly related to the job position at hand, hiring managers won’t be able to skip over your application. No more blending into the crowd for you and your CV!
Historically, CV objective statements were used in order to demonstrate what the candidate was looking to achieve throughout their career and how this goal aligned with the job role, as well as the company’s needs. Nowadays, it is broadly accepted among HR professionals and recruitment experts that utilizing a separate section just for your career objective is no longer necessary. Instead, it is recommended to incorporate your professional goals within the executive summary section. It is essential that you tailor the summary section to the specific job that you are applying to as well as align your professional goals with the job role and the employer’s objectives. Instead of writing in a way that only considers your professional objectives, try to write it from the perspective of the employer. Express what you as a candidate uniquely bring to the job. Show the employer that you are the perfect candidate to fulfill the needs of the company. Ultimately, employers will get more out of your executive summary if you use it to demonstrate what they would gain by hiring you.
How long should an executive summary be on a CV
One paragraph is the ideal lenght for a CV executive summary. You can make it two short paragraphs if you want. Keep it short, on your pdf don't go way longer that 100 words, even if you separate it in two paragraphs.
How to write a winning executive summary
The first thing hiring managers see on a CV is what is front and center. So if you want them to focus on the executive summary, the best option is to place it at the top of your CV. This is the section recruiters will most likely spend the majority of time on. That’s why it is vital that you put your most important career information up-front in your professional synopsis.
From the start, you should include the most meaningful aspects of your candidacy which emphasize what makes you specially qualified for the job role. This is what will engage recruiters as well as convince them to continue reading. The best way to accomplish this is to first read the job listing in detail. Consider, which of the essential capabilities and requirements needed for the job you posses. Then, incorporate all of these applicable skills and qualifications mentioned in the post. Emphasize the keywords from the job posting by putting them in bold. Another great way to enhance the executive summary statement is by incorporating your noteworthy accomplishments (also related to the job role) by articulating them using job specific action words.
We suggest writing three to six compelling sentences that highlight your relevant skills and work history which directly relate to the job position at hand. These first few sentences should make the best case as to why you are an ideal candidate who is uniquely suitable to fulfill the job vacancy. Remember that this is the information that should persuade the hiring manager that you are worth interviewing.
Make sure to include the following information in your executive summary:
- Strengths, skills, and qualifications that are most relevant to the job
- Relevant previous experience with essential operations
- Distinguished achievements that you aim to reproduce in your new job role
- Understanding of company needs and how you will meet them
Example CV summary statements
Below are some examples of job listing descriptions along with a tailored executive summary for each.
Job Position: Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist
Job Listing Description:
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Specialist plays a significant role in supporting the company’s charitable donations programs, as well as corporate sustainability reporting. This individual manages day-to-day operations of our corporate contributions including grant program workflow and budgetary and regulatory reporting.
Required Education: Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent combination of education and experience Business, Finance, Marketing or Communications or related field
Required Experience: 2-4 years Business, Finance, Marketing or Communications or related field
Preferred Experience: 4-7 years Business, Finance, Marketing or Communications or related field
Special Skill Requirements:
- Microsoft Office
- Operate Office Equipment
- Verbal Communication
- Written Communication
- Other: Detail Oriented
- Other: Resilient
- Other: Global Mindset
CSR Specialist Executive Summary Example:
For 7 years I have been influencing European Union (EU) policy on food, agriculture and trade from Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam, giving me a thorough understanding of EU functions and allowing me to master techniques to shape society’s evolution. My greatest assets are my abilities to think strategically, show leadership, manage complex action plans and communicate effectively to a variety of stakeholders.
I have dedicated the past year to furthering my education, building a new professional network in Berlin and raising my two children. My next goal is to continue having a positive impact on society and the use of our finite resources, while joining the private sector to evolve in a challenging and fast-paced environment.
Job Position: E-Commerce Project Manager
Job Listing Description:
As part of the US team, reporting to the US President and to the Global Ecommerce Manager, this position will assist in launching the US e-commerce platform and support e-commerce activities, providing the best shopping experience to users and maximizing the business and profits of this new channel.
Education & Experience:
- 3+ years' experience in ecommerce project management and e-merchandising for a luxury or FMCG brand
- Bachelor's Degree or higher required
- Must be incredibly detail-oriented
- Demonstrated ability to bring structure to ambiguous environments and to work well with people at all levels of the organization
- Ability to work with multiple cross-functional groups, including business and technical teams
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Understanding of project management, as well as web and mobile technologies
- echnical knowledge of various systems
- Experience in Demandware platform preferred but not required
E-Commerce Project Manager Executive Summary Example:
I am a versatile and driven FMCG professional with 5 years of experience in ecommerce project management, communication and marketing acquired in startups and SMEs from the FinTech and Food and Beverage industries. I have developed a truly international and cross-functional perspective while working on both business and technical teams, utilizing a Demandware platform, in Germany, Chile, and the U.S.
I am an avid learner with a passion for innovation and technology. My attention to detail, organizational skills, team spirit and ability to lead multiple projects in parallel allow me to thrive in complex, dynamic work environments. I am prepared to utilize my e-merchandising knowledge base in order to provide the best user experience for shoppers, while simultaneously maximizing commercial activity.
Job Position: Sales and Marketing Manager
Job Listing Description:
Sales and Marketing Manager is responsible for directing Rock Cafe sales and marketing efforts that align with the overall operating strategy. This individual will also support the Senior Leadership Team in upholding all brand standards, core values, while meeting or exceeding business objectives.
Experience, Education, And Certifications:
- + years in a sales and marketing role preferably in a hospitality setting.
- Experience with CRM platforms.
- Expertise in social media platforms.
- Background in music industry a plus.
- Ability to learn and bring "out of the box" ideas to their team.
- Genuine enthusiasm and aptitude for sales.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
- High level of business acumen and common sense.
- Demonstrates strong problem solving skills through ability to diagnose and implement solutions.
- Must possess strong communication and listening skills, excellent speaking, reading and writing.
- Comprehend and use technical or professional language, either written or spoken, to communicate complex ideas.
- Ability to effectively pitch and present information in one-on-one and group situations to media, customers, clients, partners and other employees of the organization.
- Multiple language abilities a plus, fluency in English required.
Sales and Marketing Manager Executive Summary Example:
I am a bilingual Sales Manager with 6 years of experience using CRM platforms in music and entertainment industries to accomplish business objectives. As a people person, I thoroughly understand client and coworker needs, which enables me to build a strong, lasting relationship with them in addition to securing ongoing sales. During my studies, I developed extensive digital marketing and technological skills that I leverage to create strong personal and company brand images via social media platforms, as well as effectively communicate with my clients and team members.
My extensive industry knowledge and strong public speaking skills allow me to effectively present projects and marketing solutions to customers, partners, and fellow employees. My ability to remain positive and calm allows me to overcome new and challenging situations individually and as part of a team by utilizing effective problem-solving strategies to find success. By applying my past work experience, I am prepared to enthusiastically and responsibly direct sales and marketing efforts, as well as upholding Rock Cafe’s core principles.
Job Position: PHP Team Lead (Developer)
Job Listing Description:
Do you like challenges as well as working in international environments? We are looking for a PHP Team Lead with the following characteristics:
- PHP 5.6
- Teamcity (Java-based build management and continuous integration server)
- Github (version management)
- Entorno Linux
- Angular 1
Required Skills & Knowledge:
- dvanced level of English (Native or Bilingual)
- Agile methodologies
PHP Team Lead (Developer) Executive Summary Example:
Throughout my 9 years of experience as a Developer, I have lead software development projects with AGILE/SCRUM methodologies in Spain, Mexico, and the United States. For the last 3 years, I have been working in Austin, Texas’ renowned technology hub while serving as CTO and co-founder of my own company, Develop Inc.
After a total of 5 years building Develop Inc., as well as leading a team of 6 software engineers, I have successfully sold the company. Now, I am looking for new challenges in technological consulting, where I can put my experience leading software development and information network projects to good use.
For more executive summary examples, checkout our CV Samples where you can search for job-specific CV section examples.
Additional executive summary advice
Another piece of advice to keep in mind when crafting your executive summary is the fact that your synopsis should only speak to your professional background. It is not necessary to add remarks about any conspicuous matters such as gaps in your employment record, changes in your career field, individual experiences outside of the workforce, etc. Instead, we suggest using a cover letter to address this kind of information, as it serves as an extended interpretation of your summary statement and is generally utilized to make any necessary clarifications about a candidate’s career trajectory.
Ultimately, by employing an exceptional executive summary, front and center on your CV, you will enhance your first attempt to catch the eye of potential employers.
This first glimpse into your professional profile should briefly convey as much information as possible regarding your suitability and aptitude as a candidate for the job role you are applying to. It is an essential tool for convincing recruiters that your CV is worth further analysis.
Cvonline.me helps a diverse range of jobseekers create outstanding executive summaries by offering expert CV writing advice, professional CV examples, and a 360° online and PDF cv-building platform.