How To Spice Up Your Resume Summary

Writing an Executive Resume Summary

As the old adage goes, “The first impression is the last impression.” This is definitely true for your resume. With less than 6 seconds being spent scanning a resume before a hiring manager makes a decision, your first impression will either land you in the Yes pile or the No pile.

This is why the summary on your resume needs to be hard-hitting to drive your brand—and what you offer the team—home.

When approached accurately, your resume summary will “wow” hiring managers and ensure that your first on their ‘To Call’ list.

Since you have just a couple of seconds to grab the recruiter’s attention, here are 4 things you can do to spice up your resume summary:

1. Incorporate results in the summary

As an executive, you’ve attained your position because you know how to get results — work that into your summary! An impressive opening, preferably in bullet points or a graphic, displaying your 2-3 strongest achievements and ideally including numbers or metrics are a perfect way to encourage the recruiter to read on.

Here are three examples on how to include numbers into your summary statements:

Think Money: Realized 20% cost savings by researching and recommending new internet service provider. or

Think Time: Reduced manufacturing time 33% to 60 days through machinery layout changes that significantly increased efficiencies. 

Think Amounts: Created 3 training programs for 1,400+ employees to ensure company-wide understanding of sexual harassment, anti-bribery protocols, and occupational safety procedures.

2. Use quotes

Quotes are a great way to show potential employers the respect and status you hold in the industry. These could be from emails, letters, performance reviews, LinkedIn or any other source. The objective is to select quotes that highlight the key qualities needed for the desired role.

If you’re applying for an executive or C-suite position, try to use a quote from the CEO, Board Chairman, or another respected leader in your industry.

3. Drop some names and tout yourself

If you have worked with well-known brands or respected companies make sure to highlight them in the summary.  You can say, ‘As VP of Strategy at Amazon, I helped the company XYZ’ or ‘During my time at Apple, I designed the training for XYZ.’  

Awards, nominations, and board leadership roles are also can be showcased in the summary section. Remember, your career documents are meant to brag about your accomplishments! This is your time to shine! If you’re uncomfortable doing that, working with a professional resume writer will help you feel confident you’re doing just the right amount of bragging.

4. Use relevant keywords

Keywords are vital for two reasons. First, they can help show you’re a good fit for the position a hiring manager is looking to fill. Second, if you’re applying to jobs online, they will help you get past applicant tracking systems (ATS), algorithm-based software used to sift and shortlist resumes even before a human eye sees them. 

Using relevant keywords from the job description will also keep your resume targeted on exactly the job you’re seeking. Use bullet points to break down a paragraph into your individual key selling point. Addressing the company's key concern, pain points, and the problem they are looking to solve will help show you’re the one for the job. 

A good resume summary will help you put your best foot forward!

Not all of the above strategies will be applicable or appropriate for you resume but writing a summary with the right components will enhance your chances for getting your resume noticed by the right people.

If you’re wondering what your resume summary should look like, it may be time to hire a professional resume writer! Book a free 30-minute call at to see how RVP Career Services can help you.