If your executive resume isn’t producing results, it might contain irrelevant details crammed into a too-tight space.

Therefore, you could be starving employers of the data needed to make a hiring decision.

If you haven’t heard, the executive resume has evolved into a career marketing tool for your personal brand and value proposition, complete with splashes of color and persuasive, quantifiable content.

Flowery phrases and summaries copied from resume to resume will do little to portray you as the memorable and desirable candidate who deserves serious consideration.

Are you committing these resume space-wasting sins?



Minimal details that distinguish your career.

The top third of your executive resume must immediately capture attention – but does yours start out like this?

“Accomplished and results-driven executive with a distinguished 20-year career in …

executive resume fluffThis type of “fluff” forfeits valuable space that could be used for specifics on your leadership achievements, educational credentials, and stature.

Instead, write a qualifications summary DIRECTLY related to your brand value, using keywords and metrics that support your goal:

“Senior corporate strategist and President sought to head divisions of multinational companies, attaining 23%-45% CAGR in positions requiring sales, IT, supply chain, and operations acumen. Consecutive 6-year Infinity Award winner for excellence in business planning. Columbia MBA.”



Text-heavy paragraphs stuffed into a single page.

Of course, you WANT to put a clearly written, readable document in front of employers, but there’s no reason to sacrifice pertinent details because you’re trying to meet an (often arbitrary) page limit.

Chief Nursing Officer Resume Sample Award Nominated Laura Smith-ProulxYour resume should be just as long as needed to convey performance and presence/

Use borders, shading, color, or graphics to help condense data. The idea, as shown by this TORI award-nominated Chief Nursing Officer resume, is to keep the high-value data and shed the “fluff” that takes up residence on too many resumes.

By blending metrics and examples of ROI with graphical elements and text, you can clearly delineate pertinent career success stories. This is much preferable to squeezing details into a tight space with hard-to-read font.

The result will be a neatly formatted, easy-to-read document that retains key accomplishments and influences an interviewing decision from target employers.


The same headings as everyone else.

Why is your summary of achievements called Summary of Achievements?

What if you used a customized resume heading that supported your goal of a CIO role, such as Examples of IT Leadership, or promoted your qualifications for a CMO position, using Profit & Sales Results From Marketing Initiatives?

Select otherwise-boring areas of your executive resume, such as Core Competencies, Education, or Professional Profile, and think of more meaningful terms (as shown in this example of an IT Director resume).

This way, you’ll be able to use Sales Prospecting & Closing Skills, Technology Education, or Qualifications for Regional CFO as reinforcement for your value proposition.

In other words, don’t corral your executive experience into a too-short, overly common resume presentation.

Broaden your imagination and consider how to use valuable resume real estate to convey your point and compel employers to contact you.