No matter how you job hunt in 2018, you’ll STILL be asked for an executive resume – and the competition will be fierce.
Even if you use social media to convey work history or tap into great opportunities in your network, your resume remains the cornerstone of a well-planned job search.
By incorporating these key elements into a fresh, competitively designed executive resume, you’ll stand out among other leaders in 2018:
2018 Resume Trend: A Clear Focus on Your Passion.
What drives you? What type of work or challenges make you excited to come into the office? How do you inspire passion in your teams or customers? This is the kind of information employers seek about you – and it should land on the front page of your executive resume.
It’s no longer enough to state that you’ve directed teams of a particular size or managed millions in budget. Recruiters are looking for your ability to motivate teams, influence Boards, and shape customer reactions.
If you’re unsure how to convey this information, use these questions to kickstart the process:
- What distinguishes you from the person who preceded you at your company?
- How did you get started in this line of work?
- What should employers know about you almost immediately?
- How do you select and motivate the right kind of talent?
- What legacy do you want to leave at the end of your career?
Next, take your findings and write a brief statement that sums up your answer, as shown in these examples for a Chief Technology Officer or consumer products industry Board member:
Lifelong technology evangelist and innovator commercializing profitable, disruptive products
Board member with strategic outlook on fast-paced CPG sectors
2018 Resume Trend: A Quick-Read Synopsis of Your Career Wins.
Like this TORI award-winning resume for a Chief Revenue Officer, you can incorporate a short listing of achievements that demonstrate career highs. Here, a selection of quantifiable accomplishments are listed under the heading: Generated #1 Revenue & Customer Churn Metrics for 16 Straight Quarters.
You can easily build your own list of notable success stories by condensing significant achievements down into areas of strength, such as Sales Growth or Employee Retention.
Next, add metrics that demonstrate your expertise (45% Year-Over-Year Gains or 98% Team Engagement Scores). By providing quantifiable figures, you’ll show leadership-worthy detail that backs up your value proposition to employers.
2018 Resume Trend: Use of Symbols & Headlines.
There’s more than one way to demonstrate your fitness for a specific industry or career level, as shown in this example of a CEO and CEO resume in the healthcare field (see the full CEO-COO resume here). To describe his area of focus, a simple symbol and headline noting his specialties were incorporated at the top of the document:
Resume headlines are one of the best ways to convey salient points of your background, while preserving space for other relevant details.
To create headlines for your executive resume, jot down short sentences or phrases that encapsulate what you do best, such as Driving Growth in Americas Region. You can also describe yourself in third-person, as shown in the example above (Highly Engaged Leader With Passion for Business Vision).
Don’t resort to boring section titles! Instead, insert headlines like Examples of Technology Leadership to introduce your achievements.
2018 Resume Trend: A Concise Summary of Your Brand.
Like any marketing tool, your executive resume must drive home your point – fast. If you’re still using a long and winding Summary of Qualifications, start over and jot down just a few of your core strengths and achievements.
Use this data to rework the top part of your resume into a brief (and power-packed) set of brand statements. Now, you’ll be able to provide employers a quick glimpse into your executive value, saving time and compelling them to read further.
Not convinced? See how quickly you can digest the following executive resume summaries:
Accomplished technology executive with extensive experience in designing, development, and implementation of high-performance technology solutions. Proven ability to bring the benefits of IT to solve business issues while delivering application and infrastructure performance. Experienced in cross-functional team management, problem-solving, contract negotiations, and crisis management. Well-rounded infrastructure, software and data management, application development, IT financial reporting, security, and project management skills.
Vs. this shorter, tighter version:
Strategic, resourceful IT leader behind cost-controlled business improvements – upgrading infrastructure, ensuring right-fit applications, optimizing network operations, eliciting top vendor performance, and building lean, skilled teams. Strong financial and budget expertise; builds viable justification for IT investments.
As you can see, your executive resume summary must be a quick read, supplying just enough data to avoid losing the reader.
2018 Resume Trend: A Short, Powerful Story of Your Achievements.
Face it, no one has the time or interest to read a 7-page novel of your accomplishments. By culling success stories to hard-hitting statements, you’ll show employers the ability to focus on relevant points.
Most executive resumes can fit squarely into 2 or perhaps 3 pages. If you decide to offer additional detail, make sure your document is easy to navigate. As an example, this CEO resume uses a first-page summary-only strategy to introduce the candidate, with subsequent pages providing additional details.
If you struggle to condense your story into a tightly written executive resume, try reworking parts of your history into “sound bites” that capture the actions you took and the end results, using these examples for inspiration:
Delivered 42% year-over-year profit by focusing manufacturing teams on top 8 product lines and rationalizing underperforming products.
Exceeded profit records up to 34% and reached peak satisfaction scores from new relationship building efforts among Fortune 500 customers.
2018 Resume Trend: Using Color to Set Off Important Data.
I’ve said this many times, but it bears repeating: black-and-white documents heavy with detail are easier to skim if you’ve added a bit of color.
Your executive resume needn’t employ flashing lights and neon green, however, in order to make your point. Step into the use of color by altering your resume headlines with a subtle blue or shading a few areas for emphasis, as shown in this example of a Finance leadership resume:
By easing the navigation required to digest the most notable parts of your work history and success stories, you can quickly set off important points, allowing recruiters to see snapshots of value that illustrate your readiness for a new position.
In summary, there’s numerous ways to restructure your executive resume for a clear, attention-getting message.
Make 2018 a banner year by capturing your personal brand in an innovative, content-rich executive resume.
Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.
My clients win interviews and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, enjoying the competitive advantage of powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.
Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.
– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC