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Read these BlueSteps Executive Search blog articles for the latest tips that will help improve your executive resume and your brand.

It may go without saying that having an internationally focused, branded bio, resume or CV and other career marketing materials is a must if you want to be seriously considered for jobs overseas or an international assignment.

But in an increasingly competitive and global marketplace, even if you are not looking to work abroad, having a more international profile can help you stand out and strengthen your application for many types of positions.

As an executive, you know the importance of distinguishing between activities that are strategically focused and those that are tactical in nature. Often, you develop and direct strategic plans while delegating the related tactical actions to your management team and those who report to them. Not surprisingly, a similar distinction applies to your executive resume.
 
What do I mean by that? To start with, your resume can be considered a strategic document overall, in the sense that it takes a long-range look at your career and is kept current in terms of job-market trends, your expanding business expertise, and other factors that have long-term implications.
 

Executive bios take branding to another level, linking an executive’s softer skills to their value proposition in a way that isn’t possible to emphasize in a resume. BlueSteps allows you to include your executive bio in your career profile, so it’s important to have a professionally written bio that will represent you in the best light. To clarify any confusion around executive bios, let’s look at a few points:

Purpose:

  • To reflect who you are and what you have accomplished in your career 
  • To reinforce your brand
  • To tell your career story with more personality

It complements your resume:

It’s fairly easy to craft a professional brand for career advancement when you’ve been building on the same career track the whole time. Your brand is essentially a summary of what you’ve been doing all this while and how you’re ready to take it to a whole new level. But what do you do if you’re looking for a career change?
 
The good news is that the biggest obstacle career changers face is more often one of perception rather than ability—in other words, it’s not so much a matter of having the requisite skills to take on a new role but convincing others that you can make the switch. (Of course, this assumes you do, in fact, have the technical skillset and necessary qualifications.)
 

Like the people who write them, all executive resumes are unique, but there are seven common pitfalls that are often made by those who write their own resumes. To improve your chances of success, and keep your resume out of the trash pile, here is a breakdown of what you need to look out for.

1. Not Optimizing Your Resume

Your employment situation can change in a heartbeat — the company may be acquired, or sold, or go out of business. A great boss may leave for a new position — and maybe he wants you to come with him/her. Or maybe his/her replacement wants to bring in his/her own people. Are you ready to jump at a new opportunity in an instant?

Even if you are not actively looking for a new position, your executive resume should be updated and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

When writing their own resume, executives the world over tend to focus on standard job duties rather than results. This approach inevitably falls flat. It causes a resume to read like a dull, copy and paste job description rather than an engaging account of a person’s unique work record.

Every professional action has a result. At the executive level, that result is usually more interesting than the action itself. You’ve no doubt engaged in activities that changed and benefited your employers in profound ways. Describe those benefits on your resume, and you’ll have a much stronger job search document.

Last year, Linkedin opened up long-form posts to the general membership. Prior to that time only Influencers (famous people, leaders in their field) designated by Linkedin were allowed to write those short, pithy articles that accumulated and were archived on their profile pages. The rest of us had been relegated to ephemeral Linkedin Updates that disappeared into the news thread once posted.
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In July of 2014, when the little pen icon appeared on the update box, intrepid trail blazers began posting on their Linkedin Profiles. Overnight, a plethora of short articles, essays, and observations with accompanying images populated profiles.

Whether you call it a resume or a CV, this career document is an essential element in an executive job search and career management strategy. Because BlueSteps members come from all around the world, we at BlueSteps Executive Career Services have become accustomed to answering questions and providing feedback regarding members’ CVs. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions.

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I’ve worked full-time as a executive resume/CV writer since 1981. I can’t even begin to calculate how many resumes/CVs I’ve written, but it’s in the thousands!

After 30 years, I know things about resume/CV writing that most job seekers don’t - I’m sure you can say the same about your profession. There are always "insider secrets" that only people who work in those professions know because that knowledge comes from years of experience. In this article, I’m going to share some of those things with you: resume/CV writing strategies and actions that you can use to strengthen your resume/CV and give yourself a competitive edge.