Are you looking for executive resume writing tips to land an interview? Perfect, read and implement these modern strategies for designing a top-performing executive marketing document.
If you are considering a career change or a moving up in your company, preparing an epic executive resume is the first step!
Most people start the new year off with goals or resolutions. Why not focus on your career as an executive?
If you are unhappy, not meeting your full potential, looking to switch organizations, or eyeing up a promotion, the first step is developing and maintaining a powerful executive resume. Let me help make your 2019 shine by showing you how to design and write an effective, interview-landing leadership resume!
Now you may be wondering what type of position falls under “executive.” Here are just a few examples: Sales Executive, Marketing Executive, President, Vice President of Sales, Chief Information Officer (CIO), Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Operations Officer (COO), Director of Operations, Construction Superintendent, Transportation Manager, and the list goes on.
Regardless of industry, the key theme that permeates any high-level position is senior leadership.
Below you will find 7 tips to help you write a hard-hitting executive resume to highlight your leadership skills and executive-level accomplishments.
Executive Resume Writing Tips to Capture Interviews
Demonstrate your leadership skills and supervisory duties as much as possible.
Leadership, organizational oversight, policy development, staff training, and employee accountability are important areas you should focus on within your resume – if they apply to you. The reader will be looking for any experience you have in leading an organization, collaborating with employees, and liaising with internal and external stakeholders alike. You can highlight these duties within the section of your resume devoted to Professional Experience. Under each position, describe the job responsibilities that pertain to leadership.
Now take a look at your leadership-based achievements. What have you done that goes above and beyond your normal, daily duties? Use these examples to concretely demonstrate your management skills. These will also be included in the Professional Experience section, and listed as bullet points under each correlating position; thus helping the achievements stand out and grab the reader’s attention.
If you have trouble coming up with relevant accomplishments to include in your executive resume, use the CAR acronym to help you: Challenge, Action, and Result. What was the Challenge? What Action was taken? What was the Result? Try to demonstrate a skill within each achievement as well. For instance:
- Initiated brainstorming sessions with the management team to develop new methods for penetrating global markets.
- Collaborated with the Information Technology department to create a program that could easily track and minimize internal fraud.
- Launched a new company-wide sales initiative to re-energize the sales team, land new clients, raise staff morale, and boost profits.
Dig deep to uncover facts and figures.
Speaking of job-related accomplishments… When coming up with your executive leadership achievements, try to use numbers as much as possible. These figures measure results and are seen as quantifiable achievements in your resume. This is another great way to prove to a Board of Directors you will be an asset to the company.
If you are uncertain of the exact numbers, they can sometimes be found in performance evaluations or reviews, letters of appreciation from department heads, etc.
Examples of fact-based accomplishments include:
- Launched the successful acquisition of a multimillion-dollar investment company in 2017. Company shares saw a 25% boost upon acquisition.
- Renegotiated client contracts to generate $1.5M in additional revenue over the course of three years.
- Collaborated with vendors to employ more effective and reliable products, resulting in a decrease in inventory level by 45%.
Review and incorporate executive-level keywords in your resume.
Regardless of the industry you are in or are applying to, you must incorporate relevant keywords or buzzwords within your resume. Review current job postings and descriptions to see if there are new keywords hiring managers and recruiters are looking for. This is particularly helpful if you are transitioning fields, or if it has been a while since you last updated your job application documents. Aside from keywords, hiring managers or recruiters are looking for other critical criteria in a resume.
Incorporating buzzwords not only grabs the reader’s attention and gets your resume past the applicant tracking systems, but demonstrates you know what you are talking about, have remained current on industry trends, and bring a strong working knowledge to the table.
Depending on the executive position you are applying for, the following catchphrases could be some keywords to consider integrating: training budgets, performance evaluations or performance feedback, presentations, turnaround management, solutions management, continued education training, orientations sessions, training programs or training materials, career development, and employee training.
Update your executive resume on a regular basis.
Right now you may be saying to yourself, “Candace, I love my job, why would I need to keep my resume up-to-date? I’m not applying for anything else in the near future.”
What if the right opportunity presents itself and you don’t have a resume tailored and ready to submit to the executive position?
You’ve been dying to apply to X company, just discovered a spot is available, but you found out at the last moment and the closing deadline is tomorrow… Now what?
What if an executive recruiter contacts you about a fabulous C-level career opportunity and request your current resume? Don’t procrastinate on this important marketing document.
If you update your resume on a regular basis, you will be ready when the opportunity presents itself! As well, by being proactive and ready to submit your resume at a moment’s notice, you will stay one step ahead of your competition in 2019.
Reach out to me, if you need help writing your executive resume and cover letter. You can review our executive C-level writing packages and determine what is right for you.
Other reasons to keep an updated executive resume include:
- Performance evaluations and reviews.
- Career development planning.
- Setting professional goals.
- Tracking the progress of long-term projects.
- Communicating your value to the company.
- Networking for a new position.
- Applying for recognition awards.
- Applying to be a Subject Matter Expert.
- Reminding yourself of the value you bring and to seeing just how far you have come throughout your career.
Eliminate old or outdated information.
When reviewing your current executive resume, decide if there is old information to discard. Is it time to exclude irrelevant jobs or courses? Start at the end of your resume and work backwards.
Most recruiters or hiring managers won’t look back more than 15 years. Since it is a good idea to keep your resume to two pages if possible, axing outdated information is a good way to shorten the document. Another way to condense your document is to write concisely, leave out flowery words, and eliminate unnecessary redundancy.
Reflect on the past year’s accomplishments. What happened? What did you achieve? Are there any new certifications, courses, or skills to add? Did your role change at all over the past year? Did you finalize any new projects? Did you overcome any challenging obstacles? Did you have an annual review?
If you do receive an annual review, look to see if there are supervisor comments you can include as a testimonial within your resume or cover letter. These quotes are another fantastic way to showcase your proven track record and skill sets.
Focus your executive resume appropriately.
Your resume and cover letter must be targeted towards the position you are seeking. If you are seeking a sales position, you would write your resume differently than if you were in the banking industry.
The best way to ensure you are tailoring your document correctly is to read and re-read the job posting. It will layout explicitly what is required of the job seeker and what assets you should possess.
When developing your executive resume, make sure you touch on as many assets as possible. If there are simple things you are lacking in (i.e. certain skills could be stronger or a certification is needed), do what you can to improve your skills or take specific courses, ensuring you check off additional boxes in the reader’s mind. If you have a course or certification underway, or you plan on taking in the very near future, you can still include it on your resume, with a disclaimer of “pending” or “in progress.”
Include Your LinkedIn Profile URL.
Did you recently get set up on LinkedIn? If so, incorporate the URL in your header, where the rest of your contact information is listed. Make sure your profile is a professional Executive LinkedIn Profile. This is an excellent electronic platform you can use to convey your skills, education, and experience, while networking, and making yourself visible to corporate headhunters.
If you haven’t created a professional LinkedIn Profile yet, you may want to consider our LinkedIn profile development service – the greater the positive exposure, the greater your chances are of landing your dream job easier and quicker!