Overanalyzing Your Executive Resume
If you are editing, rewriting, and obsessing over every detail in your executive resume, you may be overanalyzing resume content and the resume creation process.
Crafting a compelling executive resume that achieves modern standards and shares high-impact career details, is no easy feat. Looking inward to assess your strengths and weaknesses, choosing skillsets and accomplishments to highlight, and pouring your value and experience into a 2-page doc is challenging! Yet, you don’t want to become so paralyzed by the process that you are unable to create a file you feel confident about.
Areas You May Be Overthinking in the Resume Writing Process
No employer expects you to have every single qualification listed. There will always be a learning curve when starting a new position. Aim to be well-qualified for the role, not an exact word-for-word match.
At some point, you have to stop editing. If you continue to read and reread your resume, you will always find something to switch up. Employ a third-party proofreader, even a friend, or run the file through Grammarly. Then stop.
Skills and qualifications
Target your resume for each job. What are the essential skills for that specific role? Do you provide clear examples of success in core skill areas? These are important.
Did you take time off to care for children, travel, or test out a new business opportunity? Maybe you were laid off. Don’t stress about the gap. Instead, provide a short explanation so the reader doesn’t make assumptions and then shift your focus to developing your brand and delivering a clear value proposition.
Past job search problems
Maybe you botched an interview or made a glaring typo on a cover letter. Hyper-focusing on mistakes you’ve made in the past isn’t the way to push past them. Take the lesson, make improvements, and move forward.
Template and layout
There is no one right way to design a resume. Choose a clean look with an easy-to-read font and a decent amount of white space. Readability is key! Help essential sections pop of the page with shading or bolding. Check out these resume samples to see varying layouts.
Deadline to submit
Try not to rush. It’s better to take the time and tailor your resume to the job rather than rushing to be the first to submit it. A strong and targeted resume is best.
Should I even apply?
When in doubt, ask if you feel qualified to do the job and can back up claims with proof. As long as you met the core competencies and are confident you can do the job, why not throw your hat in the ring?
How to Stop Overanalyzing Resume Content
Step back and take a break
Sometimes you need a little space away from the file to clear your head. When resume writing starts to get overwhelming, step away. Return with a fresh mindset.
Reach out for feedback
Ask someone whose opinion you respect. When you’re so close to something, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. However, an outside perspective can pinpoint things you might be overlooking. Just ensure the feedback is from a trusted source.
Consider turning to a professional
Professional resume writers see and produce hundreds of resumes each year. They know what works and what doesn’t and can work with you to build a modern and effective file. Look for a writer with experience.
Get into the mindset of your audience
Thinking like a potential employer will help you better target your resume for each specific job. What problems do they have that you can help solve? What are the essential qualifications for this particular position? Aim to address their pain points.
Build your brand
What is the overarching message you want to portray? For example, are you an efficient leader who builds high-performance teams? Or are you a problem solver always looking to create efficiencies and innovate new procedures? Be prepared to share examples of success in these areas.
Pay attention to your mindset and self-talk
It can be tough to stay positive during a job search. Often, we overthink or let negative thoughts creep in. Challenge negative self-talk and consciously work to reframe thinking into a more positive focus. Yes, you deserve a meaningful job you enjoy! Yes, you can create a great resume.
Look at the big picture
A resume alone will not get you a job. There are many other aspects of a successful job search. Ensure you are allocating sufficient time for a variety of search activities. Diversify your actions and don’t let the resume become the center of your search.
Realize you can’t control everything
Overanalyzing is often rooted in perfectionism, which leads to perfection paralysis. There’s no such thing as perfect – put your best foot forward, and then step back and let things unfold. Focus on things you can control (actions, emotions) and not on things you can not control (employer’s choices and selections).
Overanalyzing your executive resume to some degree is expected and ok – it is of the most important documents you will craft for your career. However, if you find you are overthinking every detail, take a step back, ask for help, and have confidence that your leadership abilities and value will shine through.
If you are looking for a second opinion, please reach out. I’d love to hear more about the executive role you are seeking and how I can help!