DIY Exec Resume2

3 Steps to Resume Success: DIY Resume Writing Tips

Over the years, I have partnered with some truly amazing professionals, including highly accomplished executives who have led billion-dollar organizations, overseen thousands of staff, and propelled impressive revenue/business growth.

When many of these astute leaders were pressed to share the specifics of their career with me, to build their career tools, they felt challenged. Sometimes they were humble and did not want to brag…other times they were wildly off track.

During a career transition or job change, you can not be quiet or humble; you need to be confident in abilities and know personal value. Also, you need to keep conversations and content focused on employer requirements, demonstrating a clear understanding of needs.

Success at outshining job competitors boils down to 3 things: know yourself, know the audience, and know what matters most. These same 3 things are required to build an effective resume.

Know yourself. 

Take time to dig deep and unearth a personal value proposition. Work to support your claims with quantifiable and measurable achievements from your career. You can not claim to be good at something but not provide the proof. If you aren’t sure what sets you apart, work with a career professional to help with the process.

Build confidence by understanding what makes you tick, what you’ve excelled at consistently throughout your career, and how these offerings can be of benefit to prospective employers.

Know what matters.

To qualify yourself for opportunities, and to showcase your value, cut out anything unrelated.

Let’s say you have a lengthy career in project management leadership, but you are applying now for an operational role at the executive level. You don’t need to sell all of your PM skills; instead, you want to focus and emphasize on what matters most to the target job: operational oversight, business analysis, financial management, and team leadership may be top examples.

Recognizing what skill sets matter most to the employer can focus career tools and refine messaging. Customize your resume for every job application. Cut out anything unrelated.

Know your audience.

Understand the language your target audience speaks and the requirements they seek. People gravitate more towards people they like and know. Speaking the same language gets you on common ground, and people become more attuned to what you are saying and what you are ‘selling’.

I often remind clients that the people who secure job offers aren’t always the most qualified for the job; they are typically the better communicators and salespeople. They know themselves and how their abilities and achievements align with targeted role requirements.

To help, identify keywords or key phrases from each targeted job posting to integrate within your career tools and conversations. Accomplished job seekers apply this selling strategy throughout all aspects of the job search (not just in the resume or on their LinkedIn profile; not just in the interview). They consistently align personal value with employer needs.


Feeling unsure how to tackle some or all of the steps in the above process? 

My new DIY Resume Writing workbook series can help!

I offer customized DIY Resume Workbooks for both executives and professionals (non-management).


These comprehensive workbooks are designed to walk you through every step of the resume writing process: know yourself, know what matters, and know your audience.

  • Start with identifying who you are, what you are good at, and how to unearth career achievements.
  • Next, focus your messaging and hone in on your target. Build a resume, using actual samples, section by section.
  • Finally, understand your audience, tailor content accordingly, and learn ways you can effectively leverage your newly created resume as you move forward in the job search process.

Purchase your DIY workbooks series on the website and get started with developing your own interview-winning resume today!


Adrienne Tom

Looking to take your executive resume or job search to the next level to land your next job faster and increase your earning power? I can help! Visit me online at to learn more about my award-winning resume writing, LinkedIn writing, and job search strategies for top professionals and executives located across Canada and the USA.

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