Is your resume being suffocated2

Executives – How to Avoid “Resume Suffocation”

HelpIt happens rather frequently – a request from an executive to look over their resume and offer some quick input and insights. Often these same executives share that they are flummoxed because their resume isn’t generating results:

all I hear is crickets”.

Hm. One quick glance at the resume usually explains it. These executives are suffering from resume suffocation.

Suffocated resumes include copious amounts of content with detailed work histories from the past 20 to 30 years in excruciatingly dry and dull verbiage. Tiny font. Dense paragraphs. Bland text….line after line.

These old-fashioned executive resumes are packed with dusty content – to the point that suffocation occurs and opportunities are snuffed out. Recruiters take one look at some of these 11-page resumes (cough, cough, yes, you read that right!) and think ‘forget it: if you can’t summarize your value I’m moving on’.

Hence the reason these applications are being met with dead air.

Executives, you may have a lengthy career to tackle in your resume (and that isn’t easy), but not every detail needs to be included and not every role should make the cut. To avoid smothering your audience with unrelated text and burying your greatest achievements  – employ these simple, modern resume approaches:

1. Be succinct. Keep the length in check: 2 to 3 pages is a perfectly acceptable average.

2. Whittle down career history to the last 10-15 years. Top roles only. Entry-level positions are a thing of your past.

3. Include white space. Yes, spread things out. And no cheating with font that is hard to read or wide margins.

4. Focus on results. Strip away the expected and mundane. Use space wisely to sell what sets you apart.  Demonstrate that you have the skills needed.

5. Drill down to the details and demonstrate why you are the one the employer needs. Quantify your impacts.

6. Employ design components to draw attention to top achievements.

7. Finally, use savvy job search strategies to get your resume directly into the hands of decision-makers. Focusing on the simple steps above will breathe new life into your resume.  It’s time to stop suffocating your career history and extinguishing your chance to advance.

Need more execute resume tips and modern trends to help support your search? Try these:

Impressive Resumes Lead With Results

Executive Resumes:  Longer Isn’t Better

Brand Yourself to Stand Out


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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