How to target your resume for your specific role or industry

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Resumes are not one size fits all.

In other words, if you’re looking for an HR job, your resume should be targeted to that particular HR role.

When I was hiring, I was pretty specific in my position description for a part-time customer service person. I loaded it with job-specific customer service keywords.

I was shocked–and a little annoyed– by the applicants who applied: a CFO, a UX coder, an insurance claims specialist, an early childhood educator, an IT consultant, and more completely unrelated to my posting (with not a speck of customer service experience in their resume.

HR managers, hiring managers, and recruiters talk about this often–when applicants DON’T tailor their resumes to the position listed.

If you’re not sure what should be on your resume, always look to the job description. It’s full of keywords and it tells you exactly what they need.

For example, if you are a finance executive what things should you put on your resume?

Financial executive resumes are different from other executive resumes in several ways. Here are a few key differences:

  1. Emphasis on financial expertise: Financial executive resumes should highlight the candidate’s financial skills and experience, including their ability to analyze financial data, make strategic financial decisions, and manage budgets and financial forecasting.
  2. Technical skills: They may want to include a section highlighting technical skills such as financial modeling, risk management, and experience with accounting software.
  3. Education and certifications: Education and certifications are important for financial exec positions. Candidates should include information about their degrees, professional certifications, and any relevant coursework. Additional professional experience is important as well.
  4. Results-oriented: Financial executive resumes should highlight specific achievements and results, such as improving profitability, increasing revenue, reducing costs, or leading successful mergers and acquisitions.
  5. Industry knowledge: A career in finance should demonstrate a deep understanding of the financial industry, including regulatory compliance, financial reporting requirements, and industry trends.
  6. Leadership and team management: They are often responsible for managing teams, so the resume should highlight leadership skills, team-building experience, and a track record of successful management.

So, what are some keywords a finance exec might use? Again, look to the job description. Depending on the job you may see any of these:

  • Financial analysis
  • Strategic planning
  • Budget management
  • Forecasting
  • Risk management
  • Investment analysis
  • Financial modeling
  • P&L management
  • Cash flow management
  • Accounting principles
  • Taxation laws
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Auditing
  • Corporate finance
  • Treasury management
  • M&A
  • Capital markets
  • Leadership
  • Team management
  • Communication skills

Make sure to incorporate these keywords appropriately in your resume, highlighting your relevant skills and accomplishments. However, avoid stuffing your resume with too many keywords as it may come across as inauthentic or spammy. Instead, focus on using relevant keywords that accurately describe your skills and experience.

Does Your Resume Match The Position Description?

Resume Keywords

I recently spent some time picking the brains of two hiring managers.

We got to talking about jobseekers, resumes, approaches to resumes, what they looked for in a resume, and job descriptions.

Something they both mentioned as a common frustration is when the candidate’s resume doesn’t match the position they are interviewing for. The job is for a VP of Product Development, but you have spent your career in procurement.

They understood that sometimes people want to transition out of what they are doing. They want to change industries, change positions, want to do something different, or just do something they’ve always been interested in.

But if that’s what you want to do, you need to make a case for yourself.

Prove to the hiring manager why you are the right fit even if your experience has been slightly different. Don’t make them search for it–because they won’t.

Do you have what they need?🤔

Many of my clients and the jobseekers I talk to struggle with what should be on their resume. Do they add ALL of their information? Older info as well, if it was relevant to the role? Less? More? Help!!!

Here are some things to consider when drafting your resume:

✅ 𝗥𝗘𝗟𝗘𝗩𝗔𝗡𝗖𝗘. First, do you really have the experience the position asks for? Be honest with yourself. You don’t want to waste your time or the hiring manager’s time if you really don’t have experience (or transferable skills) in that role. If yes, add examples of what you’ve done. If not, don’t fake it. Leave it off and lead with other experiences.

✅ 𝗞𝗘𝗬𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗗𝗦. Examine the description and notice the words they use over and over. This tells you that those words will most likely be keywords ATS will look for. Does your resume have those keywords? You can sprinkle them throughout your resume, but keep your focus on “above the fold”. This is the area that when someone is reading a document on a computer screen, the words above the bottom of the screen are what stand out first. Many times, if what is above the fold doesn’t interest/pertain to them and what they need, they’ll move on.

✅ 𝗦𝗞𝗜𝗟𝗟 𝗦𝗘𝗧. What skills do you offer the role? Each of us has a unique skill set we bring to the job. Great at relationship building? Expertise in vendor negotiations? Specialize in cybersecurity? Again, refer to the position description. What skills of yours do you see in that description? You may have more than you realize. There may be things you do every day that pertain to that new role. Make sure to add these things to your resume, as well.

✅ 𝗩𝗔𝗟𝗨𝗘. What value do you offer? How can you help the company? In what ways have you achieved success? Use quantitative examples where possible. What awards have you received? What results have you produced?

Offer proof by adding numbers $ or percentages % wherever possible.

It’s not impossible to switch careers mid-career. When you have the skills that the role calls for, make sure they are easy to find on your resume. That will make the decision to call you in for an interview that much easier.

Updating Your Resume in 5 Quick Steps

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Has this happened to you?

A company you’ve had your eye on for a while suddenly has an opening. You are perfect for it. Not only are you perfect for it but it’s the perfect role for you. More seniority, increase in pay, remote work options, family-oriented, and so on.

You open up your documents and realized you haven’t touched your resume in eight years. Ack!

It can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

Here are a few tips to help you get started.

First, work from your most recent information, gathering what your job titles have been, what you’ve actually done in these roles, and what your career progression has been in those eight years. List your daily responsibilities, and what you were brought in to do.

Next, here are the top five things to quickly address:

𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁. What impact did you have on the company? How did your role impact the bottom-line? What contributions did you make? Were you a decision-maker? Provide examples.

𝗗𝗮𝘁𝗮. Numbers and percentages prove your quantifiable contributions and success. A chart or graph is a great visual and works well if you have strong numbers. Have you helped increase revenue? Expanded the client base? Come up with a solution that cut costs, reduced risk, or played a key role in something? Talk about it and use numbers, when possible.

𝗙𝗼𝗿𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴. While some advanced formatting and graphic formatting is visually appealing, don’t clutter up your resume so much that it turns the reader off. Keep the format clean and consistent. Add bold where needed to differentiate daily responsibilities from accomplishments or to point out a key company name, etc. Finessing your format is so important. Having the right amount of formatting in combination with strong content creates a visually impactful and interesting read.

𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲. The no. 1 complaint I hear from recruiters is that the candidates applying for jobs aren’t a fit. Make sure you have the skills necessary for the position. If you don’t, don’t try to squeeze yourself into a role that isn’t meant for you. It only annoys the recruiters, and your resume will get permanently tossed.

𝗕𝗿𝗮𝗴! This is your chance to sell yourself and show what you can do. It’s OK to talk yourself up. You’ve earned it. You are the product, so show off what you’ve done and how what you did is unique and valuable to the next company. This is not the time to be shy or to step down and let someone else take the credit for what you’ve done. Strut your stuff!

Once you’ve got these basics covered, writing the rest of your resume should flow pretty easily for you. As always, let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help!


Executive Resume Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs

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The best executive resume writers have seen hundreds of resumes and know exactly what the most common mistakes are. As obvious as some of these mistakes are, it’s easy to make them when you’re focused so much on the details and ensuring you’re making the right impression. This also highlights the importance of working with a reputable professional resume writing service to ensure you give yourself the best chance at writing an effective resume. Here are some of the most common mistakes you need to be aware of and avoid making.

Using Long Sentences And Big Words

No matter how much experience and knowledge you have, your executive resume should use simplistic language that’s easy to read. The hiring manager likely doesn’t have the same knowledge as you, so if they don’t completely understand the big words you’re using, it could put a barrier between the two of you that’s difficult to overcome. Use short sentences and simple words in your resume and save the technical language for the interview when you’re talking to like-minded people.

Not Incorporating Keywords

The best executive resume writers will tell you keywords are more important today than ever before. With companies receiving hundreds of resumes or more on a daily basis, they will often use software to identify specific keywords and help them filter out resumes. Take keywords and phrases from the job description and requirements and use them in your resume when you can.

Being Too Generic

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resume. Hiring managers will see right through it if you try to submit the same resume to different companies. The key to writing an effective resume is targeting the company your applying to by identifying their needs and demonstrating how you’re a good candidate to solve those needs.

Not Talking About Accomplishments

Executives typically aren’t shy about discussing their accomplishments. However, many of them don’t talk about the achievements in detail. Use numbers and statistics whenever possible to create the most significant impact. If you just say you helped increase business over the course of the year, it’s not going to be as impactful as saying you successfully boosted sales 25% from the previous year.

Failing To Proofread Thoroughly

If nothing else, the best executive resume writers are valuable to catch the minor mistakes that could be detrimental to your chances of landing an interview. Typographical errors demonstrate carelessness and formatting issues show lack of attention to detail. While these may seem minor to you, an employer could see them as you not being serious about getting the job.
Professional Resume Services is a reputable professional resume writing service because we truly care about our clients. We don’t just write resumes. We want to know about your career aspirations, including where you’ve been and what you plan to accomplish. When we know your desires, we can help you craft the perfect resume to land the job of your dreams. Feel free to contact us at any time for help on your resume.

What to Change on Your Executive Resume When Applying to Multiple Jobs

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We’ve all been a part of a job search before where you put so much effort into writing an effective resume that you want to send it out to as many companies as possible. This is actually one of the worst things you can do, since the resume is most likely generic in nature. Hiring managers can easily identify a generic resume and will toss it out as soon as it’s identified. For the best results, the top resume writing services suggest tailoring each resume you send out to the actual company you’re sending it to. This may seem like a huge time investment, but when you know exactly what to change, it’s not as daunting of a task as you think. Here are some of the main things to consider changing when you apply to multiple jobs.

Locate Appropriate Keywords

The same types of jobs will have different job descriptions. In a world where every resume has to pass through ATS to get into the hands of a human, you have to use the right keywords for each job posting. Read through the entire description and pick out all the soft skills, hard skills and job-specific skills you can find. Then look at your resume and incorporate as many of them as possible without making it sound unnatural.

Add Statistics

Take these keywords to the next level and add an eye-catching statistic whenever possible. Hiring managers like to see percentages or dollar amounts on a resume because it puts your words into perspective and makes you sound much more credible and specific. Simply saying you boosted your company’s bottom line the past three years doesn’t have the same type of impact as saying you increased the bottom line by 10% one year, 13% the next year and 15% the following year. Your executive resume service will ask you to provide them with these statistics so they can incorporate them throughout the resume as appropriate.

Tailor Your Skills To The Company’s Requirements

Do some research on the company’s website before altering your resume. You may be able to identify their areas of need and be able to point them out. Companies and hiring managers don’t necessarily care what you did at your previous jobs. They just want to know what value you will provide their company. The top resume writing services can help you with using your past experience to demonstrate how your skills will transfer to their company and create similar results.
Professional Resume Services helps executives with writing an effective resume every day. Having a unique resume for every job you apply for is extremely valuable and well worth the time and effort. Many times you don’t have to significantly change your resume. A few tweaks and additions here and there can make a big difference. If you ever need assistance with your resume, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for tips or advice.

Critical Details to Include on a Senior Level Executive Resume

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If you’ve been on a job hunt for any amount of time, you likely have heard about the importance of details. But how do you know which details to include on a senior level resume? The formatting, length and other similar aspects can be corrected by the best executive resume writers, but even the experts don’t know the details of your work history. When you’re applying for a senior level position, consider including these critical details when writing an effective resume.

Don’t Hide Your Credentials

You don’t want your credentials to be buried in your resume or be hard to read, especially if they are a requirement for the job. Display your credentials with the rest of your Education section. If you have letters to display after your name, proudly do so! Don’t be shy. Show the reader what degree(s) or certifications you have! Recruiters and hiring managers will look at the top of the page first, so the top resume writing services always suggest putting them there.

writing an effective resumeClearly Show Your Areas of Expertise

The next thing the best executive resume writers will suggest is demonstrating your areas of expertise clearly. All of your skills from your previous job may not correlate exactly to the position you’re applying for. If this is the case, then only list the areas of expertise most relevant to the position you desire. You can do this by looking at the job description and matching certain keywords from it on your resume.

Focus on Recent Experience

When writing an effective resume, your experience should be listed in chronological order. However, most of the time it’s not as important to put detailed information about places you worked at 15 years ago. Instead, focus on the most recent and relevant experience you have. And be sure to quantify your accomplishments, since numbers generally tend to make more of a significant impact on hiring managers.

Provide Your Online Profile Information

Most employers will search for your online profile before contacting you for an interview. You could make their job a little easier by providing them with a link to your LinkedIn profile or any other profile you would like them to view. Just be sure to clean up your profile beforehand, so only the information you want to be visible will actually be seen. Nowadays how an online profile is displayed can make or break your status as a candidate, and you can guarantee the employer will look for it.
Professional Resume Services has the best executive resume writers to help you craft the perfect resume. We will ask you all the right questions in order to understand your job history, so the information can be presented clearly. The details make a huge difference in the effectiveness of any resume, and we won’t overlook anything. Feel free to contact us at any time if you are unsure about whether certain details are needed or if you are struggling with any aspect of your job search.

writing an effective resume

When you first sit down to write your resume from scratch, it’s normal to sit there for several minutes before you write your first word. Where to begin writing an effective resume is difficult, especially in today’s competitive world. But even if you have a resume you’ve used in the past, chances are some significant adjustments need to be made if you’re searching for a new job.
This brings up the point of targeting your resume to match the specific job description you’re looking at. You probably have heard from an executive resume service that it’s important to do so, but in what ways are you supposed to match them? Here are some tips to consider when writing your resume.

Focus on Keywords in The Job Description

The best professional resume writers will print out a job description, grab a highlighter and mark each keyword they can find. These keywords should describe the particular candidate the employer is looking for, as well as the strengths and skills you possess. Once you identify them all, plug them into your resume as high on the page as possible. Include as many keywords as you can, but be careful not to stuff too many of them in to make it sound unnatural.

Think About How A Potential Employer Reads Your Resume

It’s easy to talk about your past experiences and accomplishments. The biggest mistake professionals make is talking about previous achievements that aren’t relevant to the job they are applying for. When writing an effective resume, you have to write it while thinking about how a potential employer will read it. They want to see what value you bring to the table specifically for their company, and don’t necessarily care about anything else. By looking closely at the job description, the best professional resume writers can identify what’s appropriate to mention and what should be avoided.

Discover What You Truly Want From A Job

A common misconception about writing an effective resume is it should be more general instead of focused. The idea is the more general your resume is, the better your chances are of landing another open position, even if you don’t qualify for the one you really want. This can lead to a sloppy resume and an unfocused job search effort. Taking the time to truly discover what you want from a job, from a salary standpoint, cultural standpoint, work/life balance and more will help you target your resume.
Professional Resume Services is an executive resume service that helps professionals write resumes that stand out. We will always ask for the job description of any job you are interested in and tailor your resume to match it. Our professional resume writers have experience in many different industries, so never hesitate to contact us if you need assistance with yours.

best executive resume format

No matter how strong you think your resume is, there’s always room for improvement. Even the top rated resume writing services will write, proof and edit any given resume multiple times before it gets into the final form. Sometimes it only takes some minor tweaks, but other times a complete overhaul is necessary. In order to make your resume stand out, here are some secrets to strengthen it.

Utilize Keywords Properly

Potential employers look for keywords at the top of every resume. When you’re writing a professional resume, it’s important to use unique keywords that stand out, rather than using general ones used by every other applicant. Instead of saying you are a “team player,” write about a specific project in which you were a team leader and had to collaborate with others in your organization. The exact keywords can come from either the job description or the industry you work in, but the focus should be specific and unique.

Balance The Design of Your Resume

The best executive resume format will stand out, but not go overboard. The perfect balance incorporates white space and not having big blocks of text. Your goal is for your reader to glance quickly at the resume and notice something different about it. Even a two-second pause is enough time to get the reader to think about reading more. Bullet points are also critical components when writing a professional resume, and it’s easy to incorporate them when you have more than two sentences in any given section.

Control Where Your Reader’s Eyes Go

The top rated resume writing services you use will help you dictate what the reader actually looks at. The strongest resumes have two different parts to them, even though it’s just a single resume. Having a quick visual appeal when the reader glances at it is the first part. But then the content has to be interesting and relevant for the reader to continue reading – the second part. Using bold text, italics and underlining are easy ways to draw your reader’s attention to important points you want them to see. Without these small visual cues, the information you want them to see may get looked over without a second thought.
Professional Resume Services is one of the top rated resume writing services for a reason. We are always looking for ways to improve the resumes of our clients, even if we created them from scratch to begin with. By incorporating these secrets into your resume, you’ll have a stronger and more engaging document for a potential employer to read. Feel free to contact us at any time for more tips on how to improve your executive resume.