When putting together a resume as an executive, or aspiring executive, there are slight differences in best practices when it comes to the crafting the summary that leads in the executive resume.
What To Focus On?
After putting in 10-15 years of work, you will have developed expertise in numerous facets of the businesses you have been part of. As a result, it is imperative to leverage the executive summary to showcase a blend of your technical expertise and tactical operations abilities.
Where the body of the resume is the perfect place to expound upon your career accomplishments, utilizing as many quantitative metrics as possible to showcase the scope of your achievements, the summary provides a snapshot to hiring managers of you as an individual and a professional.
Your Professional Brand
What is your leadership philosophy? Do you have a track record of driving business units to profitability? Are you the kind of leader who develops and mentors up-and-coming talent?
These are all aspects of your professional brand to think about and carefully highlight in the executive summary section of your executive resume.
Parsing through thousands and thousands of executive resumes over the past two decades, one of the biggest flaws on executive resumes – as informed by our in-house research group and partner recruiters – is the inclusion of an objective statement.
Not only is including an objective statement out-of-date and out-of-fashion, as an executive looking to break into a role with increased responsibilities, the resume (in combination with your professional reputation) is the best way to showcase what you bring to the table.
Using the top of the resume to explain that you are “looking for a position with increased responsibility…” is redundant and unnecessary.
Use the first portion of the resume to tell you executive story and shine a light on your professional brand – one that you’ve honed and refined throughout your entire career.
Executive Resume Language and Tone
When it comes to the verbiage and language that is most appropriate for an executive summary, utilize higher-level key terms that speak to strategy, tactics, and execution. Instead of “designing a process” use words like “pioneer” or “champion” to evoke a feeling of leadership and management.
Think about your core skill set. Are you results-driven and analytical? Entrepreneurial and creative? Make sure you include these aspects of your professional brand in the executive summary where possible too.