Okay...so here's the deal on my love-hate relationship with Halloween. My birthday is today, October 31 - the problem is that I really HATE the celebration of Halloween and everything that it really stands for.
Of course, I look forward to celebrating my birthday every year, but silently dread the Halloween festivities that I am forced to share on my special day. Don't write me off as a party pooper and take away my cool points...please:)
However, in the spirt of the dreaded Halloween day, I have decided to offer you a few resume improvements tips - let's just call it my "treat" to you:
1. Stop Making Potential Employers Guess
Your executive resume is a strategic marketing document and the product you are selling is YOU. At first glance – especially in the resume profile section – the reader should know who you are and the value you bring to the table.
If you are unsure of your job target or immediate career goals, a generic resume is not going to help you. A focused, targeted executive resume convinces hiring managers that you are the right person for the job. Which one of these executive would you trust as your next CFO?
Candidate A: By training and professional experience, highly qualified in financial and strategic management of business in many industries.
Candidate B: Performance-driven finance executive with deep expertise in spearheading initiatives that strengthen internal infrastructure, expand revenue-generating capabilities, and maximize ROI for startup and high-growth companies.
2. Stop Using A “Me-Oriented” Resume Objective
You need to hook employers in with buying motivators. Instead of starting of your executive resume with a self-centered objective statement that screams “I am only focused on my needs”, use brand-focused statements of value that show employers how they gain from bringing you on board. Which candidate seems like the right fit for a manufacturing executive position?
Candidate A: Seeking a challenging leadership position in manufacturing and product operations.
Candidate B: Pioneering manufacturing executive with proven success in devising operating strategies that eliminate redundancies, increase production output, and deliver productivity, quality, and efficiency improvements.
3. Stop Choking Readers With Lengthy Resume Content
Even if you have more 20 years of experience, you can still create an effective, two-page executive resume that highlights your key qualifications without weighing down the document with too much detail or inadvertently “aging” you. Here are two effective ways of handling early career experience without having to flush out every job you had since high school.
Choice A: EARLY COMPANY EXPERIENCE: Delivered significant contributions to company’s revenue growth and production output through earlier roles as Manager of Maintenance and Project Engineer.
Choice B: EARLY CAREER: Held series of executive management and leadership roles including VP, Finance/Controller for several national restaurant chains.
4. Stop Talking About What You Are Paid To Do
Don’t be so married to your job tasks that your executive resume falls short on branding and value proposition. Good facts/statistics to include are budget size, the number of direct/indirect reports, the number of divisions or branches you manage, sales/revenue objectives, the number of clients, local, national or regional offices, and the title of your immediate boss.
Maximize your valuable resume space for details on important projects, achievements, and other accolades.
Before: Manage daily activities for real estate portfolio for investment management company and supervise staff members.
After: Challenged to deliver 10% return on $700 million investment portfolio in unpredictable, evolving real estate industry. Oversee all daily activities including ROI maximizations, client relations, loan negotiations, and investment dispositions.
5. Stop Making It Hard For Employers To See What Makes You Different
Extract strong statements from your performance evaluations or management feedback reports to make an immediate connection, generate real interest, and entice employers to call you in for a personal interview. Who would you be interested in meeting?
Candidate A: Fifteen years experience supporting corporate IT operations and application development in complex 24x7 environments involving multi-site locations.
Candidate B: Primary architect and pioneer of groundbreaking, “first-of-its-kind” technology initiatives that reposition companies for long-term sustainability and continued financial success. “He is truly a strategic thinker who can ascertain the business challenge and deliver an innovative, technology-driven solution.”
6. Stop Leaving The “Beef” Off Your Executive Resume
You can tell me that you are great, but unless you demonstrate your “greatness” through strong, high-impact achievement statements, I am going to have a hard time believing you. Remember it is important to communicate the context in which the achievement was made – in other words, saying that you grew revenues 25% in one year sounds fantastic, but if it was already growing at that pace then your actual contribution was minimal. Which of the following candidates sound like a powerhouse to you?
Candidate A: Saved the company thousands of dollars during first year on the job.
Candidate B: Achieved zero lost time and 100% staff productivity during12 consecutive months for first time in company’s operating history—saving company $500,000.
Ask yourself these questions:
-- Does your executive resume accurately describe your management style and leadership capabilities?
-- Is it rich with compelling Challenge-Action-Results success stories that indicate your revenue-impacting performance?
-- Does it convey enthusiasm or energy motivating the reader to contact you?
If you have answered “no” to any of these questions, you should be talking to Abby Locke. She is an executive resume writer helps senior-level executives to achieve career success through cutting-edge, brand-focused career documents and proactive career management strategies. Her distinctive resume samples have been published in 13 national career publications...click here to schedule a resume consultation.