5-Step Formula For

Executive Resume Trends for 2019…and Beyond!

In recent years we have seen a rise in the benefits of social networking and referrals within the job search process. These tactics are proving to have even greater ROI for executive-level candidates.

According to this Forbes post, a study on social networking found:

“the chances of a job being filled via our social networks rose by 2% for each dollar extra being paid to the successful candidate. In other words, someone being paid around $100,000 a year is 86% more likely to find that work via their social network than someone being paid $14,500 a year.”

To support this tactic, a modern executive resume is required. No more stuffy, standard, black-and-white-Times New Roman-font resume used exclusively for online applications. In 2019, astute business leaders need a customized and contemporary resume to better support the pursuit of referrals and direct distribution.

Here’s a 5-step formula for creating a resume that yields results for executive job seekers in 2019:



1. Know Your Brand and Differentiate Yourself

You can’t write an effective resume if you don’t know what you are selling. As a top executive, you are selling bottom-line impacts, blended business expertise, and unique corporate skill sets.

To start, unearth examples of accomplishments and zero in on contributions from throughout your career. These examples and career stories will formulate your brand and provide supporting evidence to how you make things happen.

Not sure how to get started? Ask and answer:

  • What distinguishes you from other applicants with the similar experience?
  • What is the biggest return on investment companies can acquire from you?
  • What have you consistently achieved during your career?
  • What initiatives have you developed and implemented that helped companies increase revenue, profitability, or sales?
  • Did you generate new business, bring in new clients, or forge profitable affiliations?
  • Did you save companies money or increase competitive edge?
  • Have you improved safety, performance levels, productivity, or satisfaction?


Translate answers into a hard-hitting value proposition and kick off your resume with a headline and short summary that is hard to overlook. Some examples:






2. Prove Your Claims

In order to captivate a reader, executive resumes require more than just strong, tailored content or a sharp opening headline. They need proof. Proof of the business leadership one claims to covet.

Saying you are good at something and providing clear evidence are two different things.

Hiring authorities don’t want to hear about daily tasks or general outcomes – they want proof. Supporting evidence lies within measurable impacts, specific quantities, and strong metrics generated during a career. If you increased sales and revenue, drove new initiatives, or escalated profits you must provide examples.

Quantity facts as often as possible in the resume by answering: how many, how much, and how often.

Instead of:

  • Responsible for leading a large team through the delivery of improved business operations and revenue growth.


  • Expanded business revenue 55% YOY, directing a global team of 65+ through the standardization of core business operations which also generated $1.5M in cost-savings.

Read “How to Add Achievements Into Your Resume” for additional examples. 



3. What Matters Most Must Appear First

Once you’ve identified critical content and rich results from throughout your career, lead with them. This means front-loading the resume file and all points with results to create immediate connection and greater impact. Spoon feed the reader what they want, first.

Answer questions before the can be asked and align proof points with position requirements.

Eliminate wordiness and excess details and deliver straight facts. Lofty claims and overextended superlatives don’t sell – metrics do. Front-load points in the resume to powerfully position strengths, generate a strong impression, eliminate guesswork, and build the reader’s interest and excitement.

Instead of:

  • Implemented sales playbook and pursued new referral and lead generation opportunities to jump-start growth and increase sales.


  • Increased sales 500% in 10 months, jump-starting growth in stagnant product line by implementing standardized sales playbook and pursuing new referral and lead generation opportunities.


4. Tailor Your Resume for the Hidden Job Market

Executive-level hires and c-suite roles are rarely found online –  so avoid job boards and generic resumes. Pursue higher ROI strategies.

Position yourself, and your resume, for ‘hidden’ jobs by creating a visually stimulating resume with tailored content for direct delivery to decision makers. To do this: know which companies you want to target, research company pain points, and build a distinct resume that demonstrates how you are you uniquely qualified for each role.

Write with the audience in mind, using their language to build rapport and interest.

Next, employ modern design tactics – unique formats, layouts, color, charts, graphs, fonts, or graphics to segregate key content and naturally guide a reader’s eye.The marriage of content and design makes key data and critical contributions hard to overlook.

By taking the time to write your resume uniquely, people will be more compelled to take the time to read it.



5. Finally, Avoid Resume Rules

For most, writing a resume is a stressful task. Navigating the copious amounts of resume advice online doesn’t make the task any easier. What tips work best? What should I avoid?  How do I write an executive resume that resonates?  How long should my resume be? 

It is commonly said that if you approach 10 people for resume advice, you are going to get 20 different opinions, so seek the support of qualified professionals and weigh information carefully. The very best resume advice is that there is no one-way to write a resume. Your resume must be unique to you, your career history, your value, and the needs of your target audience.

However, there are several best practices that can help guide you through an effective resume creation and ease anxiety. The tips in this post are a great start. Your solid content is next. The final and most important step is making the executive resume get to work for you.

In 2019, this means pursuing referrals and leveraging your network.


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 CareerImpressions.ca 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.


  1. VICTORIA DRIVER on December 5, 2018 at 7:25 am

    Examples very useful I have said before too many people do not understand difference between stating duties & providing evidence of excellence

  2. VICTORIA DRIVER on January 1, 2019 at 6:59 am

    Strategic advice and if not new certainly more important than ever to stand out Providing actual evidence that you are well qualified increases chances of an interview

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