Is your 2019 New Year’s Resolution to find a new and challenging executive role? If so, you will need to make sure your search strategy is effective, your resume meets best practices, and your LinkedIn presence conveys the appropriate message to your intended community.

Often, resumes will try to cover too many job targets on one document. It confuses recruiters who will quickly lose their interest. If you don’t write to a specific target audience, your resume won’t connect recruiters to the job they are trying to fill. A modern resume is a well-branded resume. The first and most important step is to define your brand and key differentiators.

Create your brand positioning statement and a tagline to define your value proposition and set the stage for the rest of your resume. Branding links your attributes, achievements, and strengths with your value proposition in a way that differentiates you from your competition and aligns with the needs of your target audience. As an executive, you also want to showcase your character and leadership skills combined with your ability to shape the culture of an organization.

In addition, remember, a modern resume should be accomplishment-focused not task-focused. It should be concise, easy to read and quickly show your leadership capabilities, as well as your ability to strategize, solve problems and address challenges.

For your achievements, follow the Challenge, Actions, and Results (CARs) methodology, focusing on capturing achievement-based stories that meet the needs of your next potential employer. These achievement-based stories can also serve as a guide for the candidate during the interview phase in which he/she will be able to easily draw on examples of obstacles you’ve helped companies overcome, briefly specifying how you did this, and the result.

In addition, throughout your resume incorporate key words and buzz terms used in the target industry. Review numerous job postings and replicate those key words you see continuously repeated throughout the job postings.

This brand and value proposition should then be moved online, so that you send a clear consistent message across all channels. Job seekers with a stronger online presence are the ones who are noticed over those who have little or no presence online. In fact, as an executive, LinkedIn will likely be recruiters and hiring decision makers’ first introduction to you.

If you don’t have a strong online presence with on-brand information supporting your value proposition, you’re likely to be overlooked. Your LinkedIn profile should not be a replication of your entire resume. Write in first person statements. Provide a few highlights of your successes under each position. Highlight your value proposition in the summary section while providing some personal insight into who you are or some interesting facts about your background.

So, does your resume and social media need to be targeted differently for corporate recruiters versus search firms? Your social media presence can be the same, but your resume may need to be altered a bit. Corporate recruiters use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) searches and filters to find and rank resumes received. Therefore, for corporate recruiters, include a hard skills (key words/competencies) section and make certain the resume is ATS-friendly, meaning you also need a text-only format of your content that will be readable to the software program,

If you are working with an executive search firm, you can present a more visual resume with text boxes or columns, however, many recruiting firms also have an in-house format they use when presenting candidates to a potential employer. Therefore, they may require you to adjust your resume to their standardized format.

Regardless of your target audience, your resume and LinkedIn profile should showcase the trajectory of your career with the goal of highlighting your contributions in driving revenue and business strategy.


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