How To Show Momentum On Your Executive Resume

Unfortunately, most resumes, including executive resumes, show change not momentum. Many of the resumes I see indicate that the client has moved from one position to another, but doesn’t emphasize the underlying factors.

One of the reasons employers prefer reverse-chronological resumes is because they show a candidate’s career progression. But, when you want to convey value it’s not enough to just indicate that you moved from one position to another. Even if that move has been to a higher position.

Some people are moved up the ladder because they’ve been with a company the requisite time. Others are promoted because of their achievements.

When you’re putting together your resume think about that.

Let’s say you were recruited by your current employer right out of college. Over the last 10 years you’ve changed positions 3 times. Maybe each time you were even promoted.

That’s great.

But, depending on your particular situation, it might be even better.

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Does Your Executive Resume Generate Calls?

Early in your career a resume that proves you have experience may be enough to get you the job. Once you’ve reached the executive level, it’s not.

Once you’re at the executive level, or are targeting those roles, you need to demonstrate value.

The value you bring to a potential employer.

At this level, recruiters and employers won’t be impressed that you managed a team, even a large team. That’s expected.

Recruiters and hiring managers want to see the positive impact you’ve had on your current and previous employers. The impact you’ve had on your team, on your department, or across the company.

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3 Reasons Recruiters Aren’t Calling You

As a businessperson, I go to a lot of networking events. Some, like SHRM, provide professional development. Often, I’m speaking at job seeker groups. Wherever the event, I always meet people who are looking for a new job.

Their most common complaint is not getting interviews.

Before becoming a resume writer, I worked as a recruiter. That means I reviewed countless resumes and spent hours on LinkedIn looking for candidates. That experience gives me some insight into why recruiters call some candidates but not others. Here are 3 reasons.

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Do You Have A “Tombstone” Resume?

The best resumes, the ones that will get a hiring manager’s attention, are marketing documents. They are designed to sell you (the product) to a potential employer (the buyer).

They are not laundry lists of responsibilities. They are not boring employment histories. They don’t include every job you’ve ever had or every single thing you’ve done during your career.

That style of resume is sometimes called a “Tombstone” resume because it is directed towards the past, not the future.

Your future.

When you’re putting together your resume keep these 5 things in mind.

1) Your resume is a marketing tool. It’s not an employment history or a job application. While you should never lie or grossly exaggerate, you should frame the content in a way that sells you to a potential employer. Here’s why lies matter.

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How To Stand Out From Your Competition

If you’re planning to look for a new job in the next 6 months, it’s time to start working on your resume. Now. Whether you’ve decided to write it yourself or plan to hire a professional writer, it ALWAYS takes longer than you think it will.

Getting recruiters to notice you isn’t easy.

As a recruiter, most of the resumes I received were much like reverse-engineered job descriptions.  A few years later, the resumes I review as a resume writer are much the same. Even the resumes of C-level executives.

Under each job title, there are long, bulleted lists of job duties and responsibilities. Boring. To get an employer’s attention include a brief overview of each position followed by 3 to 5 bullets that demonstrate value.  These are things that stand out, things that had a direct impact on your team, department, maybe even the company.

Make sure to quantify your results whenever possible. You may think that saying you made millions of dollars for a company is impressive. But, it’s not. Employers want to see numbers. For example, the campaign you developed built your newsletter list by XX.

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6 Point Executive Resume Checklist

You may have heard of Marshall Goldsmith’s bestselling book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful.

The truth is, it’s the same with resumes. The resume that generated interviews early in your career, won’t get you noticed once you reach the executive level.

The resume that listed your duties and responsibilities won’t impress recruiters and employers who are filling executive roles. Here is a 6 Point Checklist for developing an interview-generating, executive resume.

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Avoid Inconsistencies That Can Scare Employers Away

One of the fastest ways to scare recruiters and hiring managers away is with inconsistencies. If you’re actively looking, your resume may be the first time a potential employer meets you. If your resume catches their interest, the next step will be to view your LinkedIn profile.

To avoid raising eyebrows, make sure they won’t find any surprises. Your LinkedIn profile and resume shouldn’t mirror each other word-for-word. But there shouldn’t be inconsistencies either.

Job Titles

Start by making sure the job titles on your resume and LinkedIn profile are the same. If you have an obscure or inaccurate job title, you may choose to include the actual job title and a more accurate title with it. For example, if your job title is Analyst II, but your position is more System Analyst, you use Analyst II (System Analyst).

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Resume Bloopers: Bad To Bizarre

During your career your resume is one of your most important marketing tools. It’s  often the first time recruiters and hiring managers meet you. While some may overlook a typo or two there are some mistakes that you cannot recover from.

A recent article on “Interview Bloopers” was so popular I decided to follow it up with one on resumes.  With this in mind, I asked recruiters and hiring managers to send me some “Resume Bloopers” things that made them stop and say “I can’t believe that he or she put that on a resume!”

These are listed in what I consider bad to worse to bizarre.

Too Much Information

I’m in the construction industry. I’m always surprised to receive a resume with a headshot. To add to the blooper, an individual will often include: Divorced – 2 Adult Children – 1 Dog – Healthy Non-Smoker! This type of resume makes a recruiter cringe. It makes the company even more vulnerable to discrimination claims.

—Submitted by Revee While, Director of Marketing, Primaris

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