Step-by-step: How to write an E.S. * * * BASIC ADVICE * * *

7th July 2013 at 01:00

How to write an executive summary


On the JobSeekers’ Forum, I’ve seen people saying how useful an executive summary is when you apply for a job.  So what is it, and how do you do one?




An executive summary is an at-a-glance way of showing a school that you match their person specification, and that therefore you are a hot potential for shortlisting.


It is a two-column table. In the left-hand column are their criteria for appointment, and in the right-hand one, your evidence in brief that you meet their requirements.


Identify their criteria


You start by looking at their person specification, noting which ones are essentials and which ones only desirables; unless you have something outstanding under the desirable heading, you can usually omit them. You will also omit a criterion for which you have no evidence; if it asks for “At least three years’ experience leading a phase team” and you have only two, don’t include that in the summary where it will attract their attention.


Of course, if you have several points where you fail to meet their essential requirements, then you should consider seriously whether you should be applying for this post.


Gather your evidence 


If you are lucky, after weeding out a few, that leaves you with a dozen points to find evidence for. If you are not so lucky, you look at their criteria and decide which ones you could combine to make one point. “Have self-assurance as a speaker in different situations” and “Be able to communicate confidently on paper or email with all members of the school community” could easily go together. Combine and condense them to make “Assured speaker and confident communicator (orally and in writing)”


The final stage is finding examples of what you have done, as your evidence. This can take quite a long time to do for the first-ever summary, but it gets easier with time.  A first-time-ever E.S. could easily take two or three hours to do.  Don't give up - it's all worth it!  And a lot of the evidence you have gathered for that E.S. will be used in subsequent E.S., so the effort is not wasted.


Now write “Your requirements” as a header on the left, and “My skills and experience” on the right, and enclose the summary with your beautifully crafted letter of application.


Below is a partial example of an E.S.  WARNING: do NOT copy anything that is on there; hundreds or even thousands of other job seekers will read this, and you don’t want to have parts of your summary looking just like theirs!


 N.B. this table is not very neat because of the problems of formatting on the website.  Yours, however, should be perfect.




Theodora Griff: Post of Class Teacher, KS1


Your requirements

      My skills and experience

  • Accredited Teacher Training


  •  QTS and PGCE Primary  (with Merit)  July 2009
  •  Experience in teaching KS 1


  •  Have taught Year 2 at Long Road Primary for 3 years


  • Evidence of relevant CPD
  •  Attend Child Protection and Safeguarding training every September.  Other topics include AfL, Raising achievement in Maths, Phonetics, APP, Beginners’ Science
  • Competence in teaching in KS2
  •  Successfully completed NQT induction year in KS2


  •  Familiarity with  working with EAL children


  •  Worked alongside a specialist EAL teacher at Long Road Primary  where over 90% of my class spoke EAL
  • Currently developing support materials for a Syrian refugee pupil
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  •  Work as a team with TA, CT, volunteer TA, parallel class
  • Ability to use ICT and IWBs
  •  Integrate ICT in to most lessons as appropriate, including pupils’ use of IWB
  • Communicate effectively to a range of audiences
  • Led Inset on AfL for 18 colleagues
  • Communicate well with parents and carers on a formal and informal basis
  • Trustworthy with a commitment to respecting confidentiality
  • Maintain confidentiality when working in conjunction with Police and Social Services
  •  Aware of safeguarding and school policies in the event of disclosure being made


Now let me just repeat the WARNING: do NOT copy anything that is on this example; hundreds or even thousands of other job seekers will read this, and you don’t want to have parts of your summary looking just like theirs!


Blank E.S. Pro-forma for job applications


Best wishes