No matter how you conduct your job search, you’ll STILL be asked for an executive resume – and the competition will be fierce.
Even if you are an avid LinkedIn user or networker, your executive resume must incorporate cutting-edge trends to convey a powerful message to employers.
Consider these trends to sharpen your competitive edge among other leaders:
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 want to see 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 taken from both CTO and CPG Board member resumes:
Lifelong technology evangelist and innovator commercializing profitable, disruptive products
Board member with strategic outlook on fast-paced CPG sectors
Resume Trend: A Quick-Read Synopsis of Your Career Wins.
Like this Award-winning resume for a CEO and Board Advisor, you can incorporate a short listing of achievements that demonstrate career highs. Here, a selection of quantifiable accomplishments are listed under the heading: Career Highs: Results Surpassing Market Expectations.
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 to employers.
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. To describe his area of focus, a simple symbol and headline noting his specialties were used 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.
Don’t use boring section titles! Instead, insert headlines like Strong, Consistent Profits & Market Transformation to introduce your achievements.
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.
Unconvinced? 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, M&A integration, and crisis management. Well-rounded infrastructure, software and data management, application development, IT financial reporting, security, and project management skills.
It’s painful to read all of this, right? Look at this shorter, tighter version:
Resourceful IT leader behind cost-controlled business improvements – upgrading infrastructure, heading M&A integrations, ensuring right-fit applications, optimizing network operations, eliciting top vendor performance, and building lean, skilled teams. Fiscal control of budgets up to $240M; 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.
Resume Trend: A Short, Yet Powerful Story of Your Achievements.
Face it, no one has the time 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 3 pages, with Board resumes such as this CEO resume taking only a single page. This strategy quickly introduces the candidate and provides easy navigation.
If you struggle to condense your resume, try reworking your history into “sound bites” that capture the actions you took and the end results, using these examples for inspiration:
Delivered 42% annual profits by focusing manufacturing teams on top 8 product lines and rationalizing underperforming products.
Exceeded profit records 34% and reached #1 satisfaction scores from new relationships built with Fortune 500 customers.
Resume Trend: Using Color to Set Off Important Data.
Yes, you CAN use color. 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 an IT executive resume (produced for CIO.com’s IT Resume Makeover series).
By easing the navigation required to digest your success stories, you can quickly set off important points, allowing recruiters to see snapshots of value that illustrate your value proposition.