Mastering the Executive Resume – 3 Strategies for Top Tier Professionals
If you are sending out your resume and not getting the desired responses, there is likely some work to be done in your executive resume.
Leading executives like yourself need a resume that illustrates immediate value – and presents you as being at the top of your game.
Apply these 3 strategies to get your executive resume opening doors to highly sought-after opportunities:
1. GET CURRENT
If you haven’t conducted a job search in some time you are likely behind in current job search trends. Today’s resumes involve strong strategies and polished presentations to stand out. Some significant tactics include:
>> Keep it short. A densely packed resume can do more harm than good, so if your resume exceeds 3 pages it needs an overhaul. Nobody wants to read a ‘career obituary’ (everything ever done and every role ever held). Think marketing tool and make every word count.
>>Keep it focused and relevant. Eliminate lengthy job descriptions and generalized overviews: these are a given. Pinpoint pertinent content from your career that demonstrates you understand unique role requirements.
>>Keep it loaded with results. Pack in power statements with exact metrics for massive impact. As an achiever in your field you need examples like:
- Captured 60% market share from competitors in 6 months.
- Slashed $13M in costs over 2 years with efficiency improvements.
- Helmed $13M acquisition negotiation that produced 8 times the return on investment within 3 years.
- Grew sales $218M in 4 years.
- Spearheaded development processes for 235 projects, from concept to close out, valued over $2.4B.
2. KNOW YOUR VALUE:
Top executives share many similar skills and values, but no two are exactly alike. Why should YOU be chosen to spearhead a department or helm an organization over someone else?
Spend time contemplating your ‘10% difference’. Drill down to identify what makes you an authority in your industry and flesh out examples of where you’ve risen to the challenge. You need to convince high-level recruiters, boards, committees, and executive management that you can make a big impact to business.
Provide specific revenue growth, cost-savings, or productivity gains to support your skills.
Develop a strong value proposition to summarize your high-level experiences, or a powerful headline – and work to support these claims throughout the document. Targeted headlines or value proposition statements include:
CEO: Drives Organizational Change, Success, and Rapid Growth Within Fortune 500 Companies
P&L to: $180M ~ Teams up to: 1000 ~ Revenue Generated: $120M in 3 Years
Vice President Development & Construction for Multi-Million Dollar Companies
Envisions Strategies and Creates Roadmaps that Streamline Delivery
Project Planning | Project Management | Construction Management
Chief Financial Officer | Controller | Assistant Controller
Streamlines Financial Processes and Implements Cost-Efficient Technologies, Saving over $3M in One Year.
Learn more about the importance of adding value to your resume in my Forbes.com post: “Executive Resume Requirement: Make Your Value Known”.
3. SHARPEN THE PRESENTATION:
>> Chart it. Visually represent your revenue increases, profit or productivity advances, or cost-savings. Graphs or charts often speak louder than than words:
>> Bullet it. Deliver ‘bite size’ and easily digestible points instead of heavy blocks of text. The difference can be dramatic. Here’s a comparison:
Developed a three year growth plan focused on expansion of branded points throughout the city to increase distribution by 50 locations, which created a 25% increase to store count and a successful population reach of 90%.
- Championed three year strategic growth plan to expand city points of distribution by 50 locations. Achieved 25% increase to store count with a population reach of 90%.
The bulleted content is sharper, key details jump out, and wordiness is drastically reduced.
> Color it. Subtle splashes of color can make key content pop and dramatically set your document apart in look from a pile of competitors. The chart above employs color to help it stand out.
Make it a goal to get your resume read by an actual person (see: Network Your Way to a New Job) and apply these formatting strategies to appeal to the human eye, but know when to modify formatting as needed for ATS applications.
As a top achiever you likely lack the time to tackle a proper resume renovation, so don’t risk being passed over for a position with high stakes: turn your project over to a trusted professional. A top executive like yourself understands the return on good investment and the cost of a bad one. Your career is too valuable to gamble with using a resume that may never work.