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Don’t be Shy, Create an Executive Resume that Sells!

by Kim on August 31, 2016

When it comes to writing your executive resume, it can be difficult for even the most accomplished person to “toot their own horn,” so to speak. Even if you’re a humble guy or gal, and don’t much like talking about yourself, it’s fine to let your resume take shyness out of your hands by ensuring that it DOES speak about your achievements and the value you bring to the table.

Presumably, if you’re at the executive level or on track to move to the next phase of your career, you have a host of accomplishments in your background. Yet most people tend to think in terms of their responsibilities vs. what they contributed.

In my line of work, I am constantly reviewing resumes, yet I rarely see one that doesn’t need work, which is really nobody’s fault. I think most of us learned to write a resume many, many years ago, when vague objective statements were still used and employment sections were just boring lists of duties. Unfortunately, that approach just doesn’t work anymore and today’s executive resumes are much more informative.

Well-crafted, achievement-driven documents are what works in today’s competitive market. No, you don’t need to go overboard with complicated charts and graphs, fancy formatting or elaborate verbiage, but you do need to be proactive, focusing on your achievements as well as HOW they were achieved. If you’re an outstanding sales leader, that’s great… but merely listing your sales percentages or increases still won’t tell the reader how those results were obtained. When you focus on the “how’s,” readers can gain a much better understanding of your personality, drive, expertise, innovation and commitment. For example, which statement reads better?
• Increased sales by XX%.
• Tripled revenue ($4M to $12M) for key product in just one year, with overall division growing from $60M to $100M, by developing incentive program and providing supportive new training on efficient use of program.

Merely mentioning a sales increase doesn’t tell the reader much about you – XX% could be a terrible or terrific number depending on market conditions, industry growth/decline, the economy, etc. But when you quantify your numbers with actions, you send a much clearer message. Your resume is your advertisement, so it needs be much more impactful than hundreds of other ads!

When you finally do take the time to sit down to write your own executive resume, be mindful that this is where you CAN toot your own horn to let readers know what type of candidate you are. Even if it makes you uncomfortable, it’s necessary, because if you aren’t “tooting,” then someone else with a similar background is.

As always, it’s my goal to position my clients for greater work and life via their executive resumes, so please feel free to email me your executive resume for a free, confidential review.

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