Resume Tips for Executives and Professionals

In case you haven’t heard, your resume is your personal brand marketing tool that is intended to get hiring managers excited to call you in for an interview.  A lot goes into a good resume, particularly an executive level resume.  But do you know what that good stuff is?  Here are some tips geared towards executives and professionals.


Defining Your Value

This area is often overlooked.  To give yourself an edge over your competitors you need to make very clear what your value is to the hiring organization.  What is the bottom line of what you will bring to the company.  Think about what your role is as an executive of an organization and think about what you do and why you do it.  Couple that with key skills that offer additional value to your statement.  For example: “I am an experienced billion-dollar business builder with the knowhow to roadmap strategic vision and turn ideas into actions, leading organizations to new heights through motivation and effective communication.”  Let it be known what you do well and what you bring to the table.  The last thing someone want to read is a list of responsibilities.


Backing it Up with the Facts

So, once you’ve made a claim about your value and what you can bring to the company you need to provide the proof.  Dig into your past and think about the big picture numbers and success stories that have helped your career.  Increases in numbers, KPI’s, percentages, dollar figures, revenue growth, acquisitions, etc. are all a few great examples we use regularly.  You can list these key points in a bullet format, in a sentence or paragraph that provides a bit more context, or you can use visual graphics or charts.


Formatting for Visual Appeal

Long gone are the days of a resume being boring black and white text.  In order to stand out among your competitors (many of whom are likely using professional resume writing services), you need to liven up your presentation.  Incorporating graphs, growth charts, and graphics, in combination with splashes of color, will help make your resume pop.  Some of the executives we write resumes for choose to have a graphic created with their initials that is integrated into the header.  Do something memorable with your resume.  Just keep in mind that you need to balance visual creativity with relevant content.  Your executive resume is still telling a personal story as to why you are the best fit for the job.


ATS Compatible

Applicant Tracking Systems (or software) is an important consideration.  Sometimes the use of tables or special characters can confuse the software which will limit your ability to get your resume through ATS and in the hands of a hiring manager.  If you are going to write your resume yourself be sure to spend time to understand what will help your resume pass.  Also, study the job postings and integrate some of the commonly used key words as these will likely be used in the ATS.  Another way to circumnavigate ATS is to network with key members of the organizations you are targeting, trying to get personal invitations to continue the vetting or interview process.


Keep it Short

Some people think they need to tell their life story in their resume.  This is far from the case.  Keep the content relevant and targeted.  Showcase your talents and be sure to provide a bottom line message about your value and what you can do for the organization.  Back it up with relevant facts and figures, as we discussed earlier.  Avoid a list of responsibilities and focus on results and how you can solve big picture problems, citing key experiences from your past.


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