What is an Executive Summary? Should I put my Career Objective in my resume?

January 8, 2018 | Resume Tips

We get a lot of questions about the “Career Objective” section of a resume. Does a little summarizing blurb at the top of your resume really accomplish anything? The hiring manager already knows you’re looking to obtain this type of position—that’s why you’re applying.  It would seem that by adding a career objective, you’re just telling the person reading your resume what they already know (and therefore wasting their time) and you’re focusing on what you want out of the job, whereas the purpose of a resume is to highlight YOU and YOUR skills and experience.

Introducing the Executive Summary

With all of this in mind, we encourage candidates to opt for an “Executive Summary” instead of a “Career Objective” section on their resumes. An Executive Summary is similar to a Career Objective in placement and format. It’s a short (3-5 sentences) paragraph at the top of your resume (right beneath your contact information). Unlike a Career Objective, it accomplishes something! It summarizes your skills, experience, who you are professionally, and what you do best.

Why Do You Need an Executive Summary?

Like a Career Objective, the Executive Summary should typically be updated for each new job posting. First you’ll need to identify the company’s needs and make it clear how you will fulfill them. Look for key words from the job posting and be sure to include them. This shows that you read the job posting, and it’s also vitally important because modern hiring managers will often use those same keywords to search through resumes when looking for candidates who would be a good fit.

On a similar note, while you probably many noteworthy talents, only the most relevant to the job posting should be mentioned here. You want to grab the reader’s attention—and give them a reason to keep reading.

A well-written executive summary will emphasize your best skills, including transferable skills and those that the rest of your resume won’t highlight. While your education or experience might not be exactly what they’re looking for, transferable skills might make up for that. Are you a computer whiz with a non-tech background? A data specialist who has a way with words? Make it apparent.

How to Write It:

Your Executive Summary can be broken down into three parts:

  • Elevator Pitch:

You’ve heard of the “Elevator Pitch,” right? If you were in an elevator with someone for 30 seconds and you had to sell yourself, what would you say? You’d need to get your point across, and fast. Here, you’ll summarize yourself in just one sentence. For example, “Creative Marketing professional with five years of experience in the Entertainment industry.”

  • Your Skills:

Next, you present your skills. As mentioned above, you want to include only those that are most relevant to the position, and pile in relevant keywords from the job posting.

  • Tie it All Together:

Here, highlight your soft skills, transferable skills and anything else that makes you the right candidate.

Stop using the Career Objective

The Career Objective is not only outdated; it’s detrimental to your chances of being hired. If you haven’t already, give your resume an update and replace the Career Objective with an Executive Summary. Hiring Managers will appreciate it—you’ll save them time, get your point across quickly and have a better chance of being called in for an interview!

Ready to take the next step in advancing your career? Contact TalentBridge today and meet a top Charlotte-area recruiter!