Considering hiring an award-winning resume writer?
If so, you’ll find plenty of resume services online and via social media that tout award-winning expertise and credentials.
A quick search for “award winning resume writers” on Google produced more than 31 million resultsfrom nearly every country in the world. The same LinkedIn search yielded dozens of resume writers, all claiming awards on their Profiles.
You’d have reason to question these “awards.”
Of course, you’ll want to vet any resume writer thoroughly if you plan to hire them. Your resume (and LinkedIn Profile) are easily the most important career documents you’ll ever need – and if an award-winning resume service is truly important to you, being cautious will pay off!
In other words, you’ll benefit by looking for truth in advertising.
Follow these tips to ensure you’re working with an award-winning resume writer whose performance has been independently tested and verified: (more…)
You’re up against intensive competition from executives with a wealth of experience.
But will you NEED to find an executive resume writer to help you compete at this level? Does every executive outsource this part of the job search?
It depends. While it’s true that every impression counts in today’s job market – and that many executives turn to a professional resume writer, there are cases where you’ll be able to rely on a self-written document.
Weigh these 5 considerations when deciding to use the services of an executive resume writer or go it alone:
1 – Is resume writing your strong suit?
If you’re a naturally expressive writer, you might be able to compose the detailed, achievement-rich story of your background needed to capture interest at an executive level.
Rather than spending considerable time on your leadership resume, it can make more sense to concentrate on efforts that only you can undertake – such as strengthening your networking relationships, starting conversations with executive recruiters, and polishing your LinkedIn / social media presence.
2 – Do your competitors hire executive resume writers?
Look around at your executive competition to see if their LinkedIn Profiles appear polished and personally branded – AND if they’re successfully landing new jobs. You might see some trends.
Executives in sales and marketing roles, for example, regularly tap into resume writing services to help them edge out the competition. (Many resume writers will tell you their main business is centered on serving sales leaders).
In fields involving more jargon and technical skills, though, you may find executive resume writing services to be the exception.
As an example, some medical professionals are able to target a leadership role if their degrees, places of residency, or areas of practice speak for themselves. In the case of this Chief Executive Officer, an expertly crafted resume was instrumental in organizing large amounts of data.
Many CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, CTO, CNO, and CLO candidates hire executive resume writers because they’re accustomed to outsourcing tasks of high complexity.
At this level, your executive resume will be compared against well-crafted portfolios. Don’t come up short!
3 – Are your skills extremely rare – and in hot demand?
If your phone is already ringing off the hook with calls from executive recruiters, or you’re receiving at least several LinkedIn messages per week from employers eager to bring you in for an interview, you may not need to turn to an executive resume writer (as long as you’ve compiled your career history into a presentable document).
The same will be true if your field has few experts – and your resume or LinkedIn presence will therefore generate interest quickly.
On the other hand, if you find sending out your executive resume only results in the sounds of silence (even after tweaking it to fit job descriptions or add accomplishments), then it’s time to consider an executive resume writer as part of your strategy.
4 – Have you been able to write (not just talk) about yourself effectively?
Many people can tell a colorful story of their achievements and career high points – but only if asked probing questions, and only in talking through their stories. (This is why I interview executive clients and take copious notes.)
If you possess this type of “blind spot,” then struggling to write your own executive resume can be a daunting task. In this case, you’ll find collaborating with a top-notch resume expert to be invaluable, as they’ll spend the time to draw out both your career stories and the relevance of each one to your ultimate goal.
However, there are executives who’ve stayed in close touch with their inner marketer, continually documenting success stories that effectively describe their career paths. If this applies to you, then writing your own executive resume isn’t that much of a stretch.
5 – Are you up to speed on trends in executive resume writing?
Many people are surprised at the new look of leadership resumes, particularly when they reviewexecutive resume samples to get an idea of what others are using in job search.
If you’ve stayed relatively current on resume trends, or had a resume professionally written within the past 2-3 years, you may be able to put together a striking presentation that will capture attention.
Conversely, if you’re unaware that an executive resume can take up more than a page, you don’t know how to adjust a resume for Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) or mobile devices, or if you’ve never experimented with fonts beyond Arial or Times New Roman, then your job search can suffer significantly from a bland resume – and you’ll need expert help.
Transitioning into a COO role – or taking the next step from GM or VP of Operations?
To be competitive, your COO resume must deliver a quick, yet potent snapshot of strategic leadership and tactical qualifications.
In today’s job market, most COOs direct broad functions such as marketing, production, sales, and technology, while presenting strategic ideas to the Board and playing a large part in company growth.
Management and team direction, profit growth, process improvement, quality standards, cost savings, and promotional acumen can be equally paramount to a strategic vision that drives bottom-line results.
Therefore, your COO resume will need to demonstrate both detailed success stories and an overarching message of leadership.
If you’re struggling to combine these elements into your COO resume, use these tips and examples as guides to a strong picture of success at the executive level:
1 – Add Success Stories (in Context!).
Your career story is often more engaging when told from the standpoint of problems solved, challenges overcome, or roadblocks removed.
Therefore, you’ll want to include descriptions of the situations behind each result for greater impact. As an example, the second page of this COO sample resume contains details of Crisis & Change Leadership that show $1.2 million additional claims revenue produced when the COO stepped in to take over a management job. (more…)
On the receiving end of a recruiter’s call? Found a great job online, but it closes soon?
Your elation can quickly turn to panic, especially if you haven’t updated your resume in some time.
You’ll want to maximize every minute, of course, while creating a document that makes it look as if you’ve spent weeks crafting each word.
Here are 3 shortcuts to reviewing and refreshing your leadership resume – all in short order – to meet the demands of a choice job:
1 – Gather your thoughts.
Before your fingers hit the keyboard to start the resume writing process, take a step back.
Resumes are much more effective if they directly tie your experience to the job, so you’ll need to build your value proposition around this particular role. You can always create a newer version to fit a different job. (more…)
Finding it difficult to sum up your value proposition in a 2- or 3-page resume?
In addition to annoying employers, a too-long resume can quickly lose its potency and dilute your brand message—leaving decision-makers confused about why they should hire you for a leadership role.
Here are some tip-offs to a too-wordy resume that fails to distinguish your skills:
Your bullet-point sentences are longer than 2 or 3 lines, making them nearly impossible to scan quickly
You’ve started many phrases or sentences with the same word, which weakens your message
Your performance results are buried all the way at the end of each sentence, and are therefore hard to find, with minimal brand impact
You’ve added too many adjectives and adverbs, with every achievement noted as “outstanding,” “exceptional,” and worst of all, “successful.” (employers certainly hope this is the case!)
If any of these apply to your executive resume, it’s easy to trim excess words with these 3 techniques that drive your point home quickly:
Skip verbs for increased impact.
As a branded marketing document, a leadership resume can use innovative conventions, such as sentence fragments that remove the verbs. Consider this example of a sentence transformation:
Led large-scale operations restructuring and expansion of call centers and company facilities, resulting in a 63% profit increase in just three years and the region’s lowest personnel costs.
63% profit increase in 3 years plus lowest per-employee expenses with enterprise-level operations restructuring and expansion.
Here, the original sentence was condensed 37%–but it still conveys the same meaning. Now, imagine what cutting more than a third of the clutter could do for the clarity of YOUR executive resume!
To use this technique, make list of front-loaded results sentences like these, give this section a name (such as Selected Leadership Results), and then pop it on the front page for maximum exposure.
Take out that long, winding summary paragraph.
There’s no need to bore your reader with a lookalike resume summary or profile that states the obvious, such as:
“Dedicated team player with proven leadership, technology utilization, and financial expertise. Skilled in completing projects and communicating at all corporate levels, with excellent team-building and cross-functional collaboration skills.”
Don’t waste this key area of resume real estate with a description that fails to tell a story. Instead, cut down the volume of words while giving a snapshot of brand value that pulls in some achievement metrics.
Here’s an example culled from a leadership resume for a candidate moving up the ladder to a CTO role:
VP Technology attaining 99% over-goal performance by exceeding SLA requirements through strategic planning, cost containment, and contract negotiations.
Note the metrics and specific job title blended into the summary statement – with a message that promises value and performance.
Learn to write a branding headline.
A trade secret among professional and executive resume writers, the headline is actually a tagline that allows you condense more data into a tight space. The best part? Your resume can use more than one headline to convey your strongest points.
Here are some examples of headlines that encapsulate value and position job hunters for a specific role:
VP Sales driving global growth for new-media marketing company achieving worldwide recognition
Investment professional promoting financial health through investment & capital planning
A branding headline can quickly give employers the “big picture” of your achievements, without taking up precious space on your executive resume.
To create this statement, combine the position you seek with a major achievement from your career, showing the results of your work or the approach that you use. In fact, you can lift a success story directly from the body of your leadership resume and summarize it—allowing you to remove extraneous detail from elsewhere in your document.
As you continue to adjust your executive resume and tighten the language, be sure to show it to colleagues and others familiar with your work. You’ll probably find that, even with excess words removed, that it still conveys your brand message—and faster to boot.
“As In-House Counsel for a Fortune 1000 Company, I retained Laura to revamp my resume. As a result of her attention to detail, Laura was able to grasp complex topics quickly… and highlight my broad skill set, with a product worthy of my past accomplishments.
I highly recommend Laura to all others who want to get on the fast track to success!”
“Laura’s work is exceptional… providing a highly valuable service that gets results! She is a master at professionally capturing career experience with both speed and precision into a product that makes a difference. PLUS, she knows exactly the techniques to fully leverage LinkedIn and keyword SEO.
I highly recommend Laura’s professional services.”