Home

1 (800) 363-1207

Executive Resumes, CVs & Career Documents

Read these BlueSteps Executive Search blog articles for the latest tips that will help improve your executive resume and your brand. For additional tips, register for the webinar: How to Optimize Your Executive Resume.

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.
linkedin_long_posts
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.

international_executive_cv

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.

The time where executives could expect to spend their entire career in one company has long since evaporated. In today’s fast-changing executive career landscape, moving to new companies and shifting careers multiple times has become a professional norm, and is one that we all must adjust to.

Regardless of your current job status or whether or not you’re considering new executive opportunities, it is vital to have a well thought-out career management strategy in place. Executive careers can be unpredictable and if you are forced to enter a period of transition, you can reduce the time period with some careful forward planning. 

For many executives, especially those who have been in their current position for several years, the answer to this question is often out of memory.

But, with the rise of new executive searches in many sectors, according to recently released AESC data, now is the time to make sure your executive resume/CV is up-to-date and effectively written.

When working with executive search consultants, if a suitable opportunity arises, your resume will be immediately requested, leading to missed opportunities for those who are underprepared.

“Omit needless words,” wrote William Strunk Jr. in 1918’s timeless writing guide The Elements of Style. “A sentence should contain no unnecessary words…for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”

That’s good advice, and a key element in making an effective executive resume for your job search. Resume language should be tight and concise because:

In today’s job search and recruitment world, having a “personal brand” is all the rage. Most people know that they need one, but they just aren’t sure what it actually means, what it does, or how to go about defining it, much less how to communicate it to others.
 
I think that the best place to start is to describe what a personal brand is not. Many are under the impression that the personal brand is a carefully crafted image of you that has that “Wow!” factor, drawing everyone you come across to you like a magnet. It is not.