3 Ways to Clean Up Your Executive Resume
Resumes have changed significantly over the years. Yet, the number of executive resumes that cross my desk that are outdated, old-fashioned, and – quite honestly – an understated overview of leadership value, is astounding.
The top three mistakes I see on executive resumes are easy fixes. It’s the perfect time of year to spring clean your executive resume to bring it up to a modern standard.
Focus on Results
Employers want to understand HOW and WHY you can do something.
Telling them that you performed a task doesn’t allow them to know whether you are good at it. Instead, use results-focused statements that give details to prove your skill.
Task-oriented: Responsible for territory growth over western North America
Results-focused: Grew western territory 25% over 3 years by introducing new sales technique
Write Light – Not Heavy
Resumes should contain plenty of white space with limited clutter.
Text-heavy resumes can be hard to read and overwhelming for hiring managers who have stacks of resumes to review. Tiny font, lengthy paragraphs, dense and dull copy – they all need to go. Turn lengthy bullet points into concise and focused statements.
Heavy: Identified critical expansion opportunity in Canadian market to develop a junior women’s elite tournament in response to a burgeoning market interest which resulted in gaining triple margin profits by adjusting existing business model .
Light: Identified critical expansion opportunity in response to burgeoning women’s market interest, gaining 3x margin profits by adjusting existing business model.
Remember that your resume is designed to capture interest and provide a relevant snapshot, not overview everything in detail. You’ll have that opportunity in your interview.
Remove Outdated and Irrelevant Information
Most executives have an extensive and impressive career behind them. Recording this entire work history on the resume is not necessary.
Whittle down your career history to the last 10-15 years with a heavier emphasis on most related work roles and results. Entry-level positions are a thing of the past.
Reduce irrelevant information by focusing on accomplishments and achievements that connect to the needs of the job target. This means that you shouldn’t record everything you’ve done in your past 10-15 years on your resume; instead, focus on the points that best highlight your strengths and abilities in relation to the position you are going after.
Customizing your resume for each application will generate better results.
Your executive resume is a marketing document. It needs to sell your value quickly and be aesthetically pleasing. Regularly updating your resume and cleaning it up with these 3 fixes will help you quickly apply for leadership opportunities when they pop up.
If you are struggling to clean up your executive resume on your own – reach out to discuss. I can help.