Improving a Resume Summary Section

The resume I read this morning started with an executive summary providing an overview of the job seeker.  The summary focused on generalizations while the resume contained a number of specific accomplishments and experiences.  The result was a summary that did little to help the overall impression.

Below are the first few lines of the executive summary:

Veteran Military Officer with extensive aerospace industry experience. Dynamic Industry Leader. Technically astute. Customer focused. Results oriented. Employs decisive, analytical approach to problem solving.

This summary lists some great attributes, but the buzzwords are so overused they make no impression.  Everyone says the same thing.  A much better approach is to provide a few attributes and back them up with specific accomplishments.

This individual managed a number of multi-million dollar projects producing significant enhancements to the military capability of various aircraft weapons systems and cost reductions to the military.  These accomplishments are buried within the text of the resume.  A hiring manager scanning the resume quickly is likely to read only a small portion of the text and may miss some or all of the accomplishments.  For this reason, the accomplishments making the best impression should be listed at the top of the resume.

I would rewrite the summary section in this form:

Veteran Military Officer with extensive aerospace industry experience.

  • Technically astute – <insert the description of a successful technically challenging project>
  • Customer focused – <insert the description of a project requiring a high level of customer service>
  • Results oriented – <insert a successful project with significant cost savings>
  • Employs decisive, analytical approach to problem solving – <insert a project requiring complex problem solving skills>

The job seeker has examples in his resume for each of these bullets.  All he needs to do is copy and paste them at the top.  This will make a much stronger impression and ensure a hiring manager will see his strongest accomplishments first.