How to Add Specifics & Achievements to Your Executive Resume
If I had a dollar for every job seeker who has told me, “I don’t have anything special to add to my resume. I don’t have any results to share.” – well, I can’t even imagine because every single one of these individuals was wrong.
Everyone has plenty to share – it’s just a matter of identifying the right content.
A modern resume must be loaded with value, answering every employer’s primary question of “Why should I hire you over someone else?”. This means resume content must be focused on specifics and results, not basic job duties.
Regardless of role, industry, or career length, you have value and excel at something. So how do you unearth strong content for your resume?
To start, one must know thyself.
This may sound implied, but it often isn’t. Many of my clients know their work and their jobs well, but they lack awareness of personal skill sets and unique strengths. Deep analysis and careful pondering are required to identify what sets one apart.
Questions I often use to prompt my clients on personal strengths include:
- What distinguishes you from another applicant with the same experience?
- Can you list five characteristics that best describe you when you are at work?
- What is the biggest return on investment that an employer will get from you?
- What have you consistently achieved during your career? What are you best known for?
These questions can help you identify the message you want to get across in your resume. A value proposition (who you are and what you are excellent at) should be formed and then supported throughout the file.
Next, conduct a deep dive into past positions to identify examples that support your value.
Carefully consider career exploration questions like the following:
- What initiatives have you developed and implemented that helped your company increase revenue, profitability, or return on investment?
- Did you generate new business, bring in new clients, or forge profitable affiliations?
- Did you save your company money or increase your company’s competitive edge?
- Have you increased safety, performance levels, productivity, or customer satisfaction?
- What was the largest team, budget, or project value you managed?
From these questions, essentials form, and strong statements take shape. To pump up the value even more, I urge including supportive metrics. Can you address “how many, how much, how often”?
I understand that not all results are numbers-based. Some job seekers feel frustrated because they can’t measure results with hard figures, percentages, or dollar amounts. This is ok.
Consider ways your work was valuable and share results in a generalized way. Perhaps outcomes were ‘improvements’, ‘increases’, ‘best’, ‘time-savings’, or ‘top’.
For less number-focused results, consider these additional exploration questions:
- How do you coach, motivate and develop a winning team and develop loyalty in your staff? Have people you mentored gone on to do well?
- How would you describe your leadership style? What was the greatest achievement of a team that you directed?
- Have you won awards or received special recognition from superiors, peers, or customers?
- Did you get promoted in record time?
- Have you assumed additional responsibilities or willingly assumed tasks outside your job description?
- Have you worked internationally, across multiple industries, or within highly recognizable organizations (Fortune 500)?
- Did you complete specialized training or education?
- Did you complete projects on time and within budget? How consistently?
Now, form value-enhanced statements from your answers.
Make sure each statement in your resume demonstrates specifics, even if no numbers or hard results are attached. You might be surprised that you can measure results more than initially thought, and if you can’t – make a note to start capturing these quantitative details on a more regular basis for future resume development.
To demonstrate the difference between basic statements and value-enhanced statements (often with quantifiable details), compare the following:
The valued-enhanced statements above leave fewer questions unanswered and provide greater impact. These same statements can be further enhanced by adding a bit of unique context (the how and why). Just aim to keep resume statements as succinct as possible.
Lastly, ensure resume content (and results) focus exclusively on details and skills related to the targeted job posting. For example, if you are targeting a sales job but have loads of experience and achievements as a mechanic, don’t fill the resume with trade-specific content.
Be strategic with what you include in your resume. Share only your best and most related examples for each application.
Looking for help writing high-impact resume statements? I can help. Reach out, and let’s discuss.