The Summary

Using terminology borrowed from Business Plan writing, the (Executive) Summary is intended to be a short paragraph that describes you to the reader, in clear and in decisive terms, emphasizing the benefits you bring to the job opportunity. It is also advised that the Summary should be changed subtly from one job application to another to more closely reflect the specific needs of the reader. Remember, the closer you are able to match the reader’s expectations, the more likely that you will be called for an interview.

In the Summary, you have the opportunity to create a “favorable impression” about yourself. Here you can illustrate aspects of your ability that the reader will be able to transfer to the job opportunity and, sell yourself, therefore, with conviction.


One of the ways in which you can focus on writing relevant copy in your Summary is to have a clear picture of the key issues important to the prospective employer. For example, if the employer is in the process of opening up a new location then it would catch his or her attention if you described yourself in terms of being proficient in new start-ups. Or, if the employer is known to have a labour problem, you might want to position yourself as someone having strong leadership skills and a mediation operating style.
In all scenarios, the Summary should be strong enough to stand-alone and be able to provide adequate information to help make the reader want to stamp your résumé as one which will be re-read!

Hints & Tips:

  • You can gain a lot of insight and background material for your résumé by checking out the prospect company’s web site. If they are multinational and don’t have a Canadian site, research the company in their home market (or alternatively, study their competitors to help you gather further industry knowledge).
  • As you write your summary, try and imagine the skills and experience the employer would be looking for if they could hire their ideal candidate. Write your content and style to satisfy this objective.
  • Don’t be afraid to be blatant. Promote yourself and impress the reader with your worth and ability.
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