How to Build an Executive Resume

If you want to land an executive position, your first step is getting an interview. For the interview, you must make sure that your documents speak volumes about who are and what abilities lay hidden within. This requires a strong resume with an updated Linkedin profile if possible but also ensuring the content of one’s work merits attention in order not be overlooked! You never know when opportunity will knock so keep those skills sharp by staying current on all things related-from technology advancements or industry practices--to ensure success at any job interview. 

How do I write a Senior Executive Resume? 

Executive resumes are a unique and specific type of resume. They are designed specifically for those in executive or managerial positions, who need to highlight their skills and experience above all else. Because an executive resume is so different from other types of resumes, it can be tricky to know how to write one. This blog post will outline the steps you need to take to build an effective executive resume. 

Image
resume

 

What Recruiters Want to See in Your Resume: 

1. An Executive Summary 

For any executive resume, it is vital to provide a statement that gives an overall image of how you will provide value to the organization. The top of your resume is prime real estate and the best place to do so. It’s your first chance to emphasize your best overarching qualities that align with the job at hand. Attention spans are ever-shrinking, so it’s important not to make your statement overly wordy. Executives get right to the point. For example, if you know the company you are applying to needs new leadership, it is important to consider the company's needs and what they want in their next leader. The executive summary should include your relevant experience as well as how you meet these requirements with proven results from past jobs that match up perfectly to this opportunity. Make sure your executive summary is a personal statement that you’ll feel comfortable speaking about during the interview process as well. 

2. Credentials and Core Skills at the Top  

In addition to having your summary at the top of your CV, it’s effective to list your top skills and any important credentials you might have. Moving significant skills to the top is an easy fix that helps isolate your strengths in one area. Placing your top attributes at the top helps ensure they are not overlooked. As mentioned in the first tip, the top of your resume is a hot spot for recruiters’ eyes. If you are struggling to choose which skills to put at the top, look at the job description you are applying for. Sometimes it’s best to work backwards. Include the specific skills listed in the job description that correlate with your own experience. Your credentials and core skills should complement your executive summary. You should spend roughly 80% of your time working and reworking the content of your resume and 20% polishing the design. (kirbypartners.com

3. Two-Pages 

You are not alone if you find this tip surprising. It is a common misconception that resumes should be only one page. By the time you are a senior director or executive, crafting a one-page resume for can seem like a nearly impossible task, so two-pages is considered the norm at this level. Utilize these two pages to display your work experience such as your work history, accomplishments, and education. Any early experience, such as entry-level jobs, can be either removed or moved to the second page and referenced as a bullet point as they are less relevant. Include only the most applicable information.  

At this point in your career, recruiters do not care about the side job you did during your college summers (unless it’s relevance seems imperative to securing the role or helping to spark a connection). When in doubt, look at examples of other executive resumes so you can familiarize yourself with the material and find a format that you think best reflects you and your accomplishments. The look and feel of your resume/CV matter! Hover conducted a study in 2017 that showed 86% of 121 key decision-makers will review a resume if the option is offered, and 71% of them stated how the portfolio looked would influence their hiring decision. (forbes.com) Think of your resume/CV as your career portfolio. 

4. Focus on Your Most Recent Work Experience  

For most resumes, you may notice that they go in chronological order, starting from the oldest. But executive resumes are different because you want to amplify your most recent experience. Experts do not recommend going back any further than 15 years. Prioritize your most recent positions. They’ll be most relevant to your job search process. It’s also helpful to include details about the company itself and how you specifically made an impact there. In addition try including any statistics with proven ability to seal results; such figures might include revenues generated during one year while operating under certain assumptions about future performance - these numbers show exactly where your talent lies. A study of 459,000 LinkedIn members proves executive resumes with several job functions are more likely to succeed. (zety.com

5. Less is More 

Many people make the mistake of including day-to-day duties that dilute the rest of their experience. While including daily responsibilities may be useful for those who are in their early to mid-career, for higher level professionals, these smaller tasks are distracting to recruiters and don’t really showcase exactly what they are looking for. Rather than reading about your daily duties, recruiters want to know your strategic priorities and scope, as well as how you met your targets, contributed to organizational objectives, and applied strong commercial insights to add value. Since you are limited to how much you can include, every word matters. Try to use the first bullet point to describe the intention of the role and strategic objectives. Then use the following bullets to define the scope of the position, such as department, team size, budget accountability, partners, and relationships. By mindfully setting each bullet point, your resume will highlight your skills, ability to meet key performance indicators, and express what you learned from the position. 

6. Education Belong at the End 

When you’re early in your career, one of your best-selling points is your degree. A few years down the road, your current experience becomes more valued. Once you are ready to become an executive, your recent experience highlights your knowledge and expertise way more than your degree can. While there are exceptions such as advanced, late-career degrees or prominent skills, general education is better suited at the end of your resume, on the second page. This is also another good opportunity to spark a connection if the recruiter or hiring manager has any knowledge or experience with your Alma Mater.  

 

Do I need to hire an executive resume writer? 

Your resume/CV is one document that will continue to follow you throughout your career journey. As you evolve as a professional, your resume must evolve with you. If writing your own resume feels too overwhelming or tedious for you, you should consider consulting a resume writing service. BlueSteps has top-tier executive career services, including career document experts who can spin the straw of your existing resume into career gold. Building your personal brand showcases your achievements will increase your chances of getting noticed by top-tier executive recruiters and BlueSteps wants to help. 

Subscribe to BlueSteps for more help on finding your next executive-level position.  

Comments


Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Get started on your career journey by downloading our free guide "Your 2022 Job Search Playbook"