Executive Resume Not Getting Results? This Is Probably Why
You may get away with updating the resume you’ve had since college or hastily putting together a resume on your own early in your career. However, once you reach the executive level or are targeting senior executive roles, you need a results-driven executive resume that tells a powerful career story.
The Career Ladder Myth
Most people think of climbing a career ladder. But the career ladder is a myth. It’s a career pyramid. Competition isn’t as tough for early careerists or even mid-level managers because there are a lot of jobs at those levels. As you move into Director, VP, SVP, and the C-Suite roles, however, there are not as many jobs.
“Nice Girls” Don’t Get Ahead. Strong Women Do.
Although I started my resume writing business in 2014, I’ve been in the career field over 2 decades. Over the years, I’ve read a lot of business books. Some books provide practical advice. Some provide inspiration. A few provide both.
As editor of career intelligence, The Savvy Careerist’s Resource, I had the chance to read the (then) recently published Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois P. Frankel, PhD. It was the revised edition of the New York Times best seller Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make which was published a decade before.
I saw myself on many of the pages. Besides practical advice the book is peppered with stories from Frankel’s coaching practice which provide real-life lessons.
As the title suggests, the book is set up as series of mistakes to avoid followed by coaching tips that can be implemented immediately. When I was offered the opportunity to interview Dr. Frankel, I jumped at the chance.
Want To Get Promoted? Up Your Game.
The proverb “all things come to those who wait” was meant to instill patience. The truth is, “everything comes to him who hustles while he waits,” attributed to Thomas Edison, is a better remembrance for those who want to get ahead in their career.
The days of getting promoted because you’ve been warming a chair for X number of years are over.
Today, you need to position yourself for advancement actively.
Build and Nurture Your Network
Whether you’re an executive or a young careerist, it’s easier to move ahead when you have help. Most people think of building a network as making external connections. However, establishing relationships within your organization is equally important, particularly if you’re angling for a promotion.
Attending industry events is a great way to meet new people; however, don’t forget about the people you work with now. Go beyond the company’s holiday party, take advantage of opportunities to meet colleagues at all levels. Work on the company newsletter or volunteer to help with the next event or participate in the “whatever” drive.
Get to know colleagues at all levels. Turn acquaintances into friends over lunch or dinner. I have too many friends, said no one ever.
How To Create A Career Path (And Why You Should)
Working at something you’re passionate about doesn’t automatically lead to job satisfaction. A large paycheck alone won’t necessarily make you happy at work either. It turns out, being on a career path with opportunities to move forward is almost as coveted as getting a raise.
The majority of professionals of all ages, responding to a 2019 CNBC/survey Monkey* online poll, said that more training or learning opportunities would most improve their job satisfaction after a higher salary. Having more paid time off came in second, and a more flexible schedule was third.
The survey noted that dissatisfied workers are more likely to cite a lack of career advancement than not feeling well compensated. “Four in 10 workers give their companies a negative rating on how well they help their employees advance their careers,” said Jon Cohen, SurveyMonkey Chief Research Officer.
How To Establish Yourself As A Thought Leader
A tight job market means tougher competition. People who hadn’t considered moving a couple of years ago are passively looking. Those casually looking have transitioned from passive to active job seekers.
Today, standing out from your competition is essential.
If you’re a senior executive or pursing those roles, one of the best strategies is to have others see you as an authority in your industry, a thought leader.
One way to be recognized as a thought leader is to share knowledge with your community.
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.
Consider that when putting together your executive resume.
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.
But, depending on your particular situation, it might be even better.