resume writer
executive cv

Executive Resumes – The Right Combination

by Kim on August 1, 2016

While I typically don’t follow the outdated rules when it comes to creating executive resumes, there are a few basic “do’s and don’ts” to abide by in order to ensure that your resume gets read.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that your resume needs to be one page. At the executive level, your resume will likely be at least two pages because you need more than one page to highlight an accomplished career. The reader is not going to stop reading merely because a resume looks too long. However, if a long resume is nothing but fluff, or hard to read, then yes, page length would be a problem.

Today’s format for the executive-level client is typically more of a hybrid format, which is really just a manner of saying that your resume should have a specific skills/strengths section, a summary statement and a reverse chronological outline of your work history starting with your most recent/current position. When you have a couple of different (and easy-to-read) sections, you have a better chance of readers understanding what you can do, how you’ve contributed and where your career started to really take off as you settled into your executive roles.

The opening profile or summary statement is extremely important because this is where you set the tone for a “good read.” If you don’t hook readers here, they may not even be interested in learning more about you. This opening should convey your level of experience, leadership qualities, ability to produce measurable results and information specific to your areas of expertise and results generated from your skills. However, you should always customize this profile section for particular positions sought; ideally this section should be developed to position you as the primary candidate, so it’s important that you customize your executive summary when you can.

Your employment section is where the “meat” is, including all of your accomplishments. You want to craft full, descriptive bullet points in complete sentences outlining the results you were able to generate. When you try to write in “shorthand,” or don’t lead off your accomplishments with verbs, readers can’t fully comprehend how you translate your daily activities into meaningful achievements such as cost savings, sales increases, profitability improvement, new product introduction, or whatever else you did to positively impact the bottom line.

Don’t date yourself either. At the executive level, you don’t want to be highlighting your first job out of college. Despite what some “experts” say, it’s perfectly fine to trim your early career history to even just a line or two if only to show progression. Any “old” information can easily be covered during the interview, so there is no need to advertise your age.

Producing the most effective executive resume on your own can be daunting. If you want to see if you’re on the right track, or if you’re using the strongest resume possible, I have always offered free resume reviews while maintaining confidentiality at all times.

Previous post:

Next post: