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by Lisa Marsh
Mar 11 2014
When was the last time you edited and updated your executive resume? Carefully reworking your resume can be a daunting task that many are guilty of pushing to the bottom of their executive career to-do list. It’s difficult to know what to include, where to start, or how your writing will be perceived by executive recruiters and future employers alike.
As your most influential self-marketing document, here is a checklist of factors to consider when reworking your resume:
Showcasing your Unique Selling Point: What skills do you have that will make you stand out from the numerous other executives applying for the same roles?
Resume Lengths: If it is longer than 2 pages – regardless of your amount of experience/job roles – you may want to consider condensing your information. Make sure it is clear and concise.
Spelling and Grammar: As obvious as it may appear, even at executive level, spelling and grammar mistakes do happen. It is always worth getting someone else to read over your resume.
Keywords: When your resume is processed, often by computer automation, do you have the right keywords that will make sure you are considered for the role you are applying for?
Skills and Experience: If you need to work on your skill development in areas, such as IT, to give yourself a competitive edge, you may want to look into free online course, such as codecademy.com. Don’t rely on vague ‘skill’ phrases such as ‘problem-solver’ or ‘team player.’
A Level of Intrigue: As much as you want to convey all your information, it is important to make sure that your future employer is intrigued enough to take your application to the next stage.
Culture Fit: Many executive recruiters are looking for the right cultural fit. If you have genuine interests in a certain area, such as sports or charity work, this may benefit your application progress.
Filling in the Gaps: Do you have long gaps between different employers and are concerned about being perceived as a job-hopper. By formatting your resume to showcase skills, rather than chronologically listing jobs, can be a great way of highlighting your strengths. Focusing on skills is also a great approach for those who want to change fields, but don’t have specific experience in that new industry.
Fighting Ageism: Legally, you do not need to put your age on your executive resume. This also means that you are not obligated to include the dates of your college education.
Contact information: Make sure that your contact information is clear and at the top of the page. In the internet age, you may also want to include hyperlinks to your website, blog or social media.
Rework and Rework: If you’re not getting the response you desire, make sure to re-evaluate.
Whether you are in an active job search, or are open to new opportunities, it is difficult to know when your resume might be requested. If your executive resume is not up-to-date or of professional standard, it might be time to avoid those last-minute sweats, and be start being proactive. On Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 BlueSteps aired the executive resume webinar: Building a Globally-Focused Executive Resume/CV (Premium Members - login to download a recording), aimed at equipping executives with everything they need to know to create a resume with impact, and offering advice of our top professional executive resume writer, Cheryl Simpson.
With the average recruiter only spending 6.25 SECONDS looking at a candidate’s resume before deciding whether to contact them, it is important to get it right.
Join BlueSteps today to view this webinar and access the full BlueSteps Podcast Archive.