Yet if you are sending out your resume and not getting the desired responses, there is likely some work to be done.
Leading executives like you need a resume that illustrates immediate value – and presents you as being at the top of your game.
Apply these 3 strategies to get your resume opening doors to highly sought-after opportunities:
1. GET CURRENT: If you haven’t conducted a job search in some time you are likely behind in current job search trends. Today’s resumes involve strong strategies and polished presentations to stand out. Some significant tactics include:
>>Keep it short. A densely packed resume will do more harm than good; if your resume exceeds 3 pages it needs an overhaul. Nobody wants to read your ‘career obituary’ (everything you’ve ever done and every role you’ve ever held). Think marketing tool and make every word count.
>> Keep it focused and relevant. Eliminate lengthy job descriptions and generalized overviews; these are a given. Pinpoint pertinent content from your career that demonstrates you understand the unique role requirements.
>>Keep it loaded with results. Pack in power statements with exact metrics for massive impact. As an achiever in your field you need examples like:
- Captured 60% market share from competitors in 6 months.
- Slashed $13M in costs over 2 years with efficiency improvements.
- Spearheaded development processes for 235 projects, from concept to close out, valued over $2.4B.
- Helmed $13M acquisition negotiation that produced 8 times the return on investment within 3 years.
- Grew sales by $218M in 4 years.
2. KNOW YOUR VALUE: Top executives share many similar skills and values, but no two are exactly alike. Why should YOU be chosen to spearhead a department or helm an organization over someone else?
Spend time contemplating your ‘10% difference’. Drill down to identify what makes you an authority in your industry and flesh out examples of where you’ve risen to the challenge. You need to convince high-level recruiters, boards, committees, and executive management that you can make a big impact to business.
Provide specific revenue growth, cost-savings, or productivity gains to support your skills.
Develop a strong value proposition to summarize your high-level experiences and work to support this statement throughout the document. Targeted branding or value proposition statements include:
CEO Driving Organizational Change, Success, and Rapid Growth
Value Creator ~ Business Enabler
Vice President Development & Construction
Envisions Strategies and Creates Road Maps that Streamline Delivery
Project Planning | Project Management |Construction Management
Chief Financial Officer | Controller | Assistant Controller
Streamlines Financial Processes and Implements Cost-Efficient Technologies
Cultivates a Culture of Sales Performance and Accountability
through Innovation and Execution Excellence
Learn more about the importance of adding value to your resume in my Forbes.com post: “Executive Resume Requirement: Make Your Value Known”.
3. SHARPEN THE PRESENTATION: Top executives need distinct resumes that scream polished professional. Employ savvy layouts and design components (charts, graphs, or color) to ensure your resume impresses at first glance.
>> Chart it. Visually represent your revenue increases, profit or productivity advances, or cost-savings. Graphs or charts can speak louder than than words:
>> Bullet it. Deliver ‘bite size’ and easily digestible points instead of heavy blocks of text. The difference can be dramatic. Here’s a comparison:
Developed a three year growth plan focused on expansion of branded points throughout Alberta to increase distribution by 50 locations in the province, which created a 25% increase to store count and a successful population reach of 90%.
- Championed three year strategic growth plan to expand Alberta branded points of distribution by 50 locations; achieved 25% increase to store count with a population reach of 90%.
The bulleted content is sharper, key details jump out, and wordiness is drastically reduced.
>> Color it. Subtle splashes of color can make key content pop and dramatically set your document apart in look from a pile of competitors. The chart above employs color to help it stand out.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Make it a goal to get your resume read by an actual person (see: Network Your Way to a New Job) and apply these formatting strategies to appeal to the human eye, but know when to modify formatting as needed for ATS applications.
As a top achiever you likely lack the time to tackle a proper resume renovation, so don’t risk being passed over for a position with high stakes: turn your project over to a trusted professional. A top executive like yourself understands the return on good investment and the cost of a bad one. Your career is too valuable to gamble with using a resume that may never work. Visit CareerImpressions.ca to learn more.
Adrienne Tom is a multi-certified, award-winning Master Resume Strategist, Employment Strategist, and Interview Coach at Career Impressions, who partners with astute business leaders to help them secure high-level employment and career success.