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professional executive resume writersSimply listing out your career accomplishments and highlighting your experiences on an executive resume isn’t enough to get recognized today. In a way, writing resumes that get you hired is all about how you display the information and what keywords you use, no matter how experienced you actually are.

You generally only have about six seconds to impress a recruiter with your resume. And that’s assuming you’ve already passed the automated trackers using the right keywords to even get your resume in the hands of the recruiter. Here are some insider tips about executive resume writing you may find useful.

Unused Keywords and Basic Formatting Issues Can Hurt You

One of the keys to writing resumes that get you hired is using the right keywords throughout the resume. The best way to find these keywords is to look directly at the job description or the list of requirements from the job posting. Identify certain keywords from those places and use them early and often in your resume.

Another aspect that can make or break you is not using the best executive resume format. Use should use bullet points, bold text and indentations to your advantage to make the resume look clean. No one likes to spend a lot of time reading a resume, so the fewer words you can use to get your accomplishments highlighted, the better off you’ll be.

Many Companies Use an Applicant Tracking System

The main reason why keywords are so important today is many companies use an applicant tracking system to filter through resumes. Any given job posting could generate thousands of applicants. The only way a recruiter can narrow them down efficiently is to use technology to identify certain keywords. If your resume doesn’t have the keywords they are looking for, it won’t even make the cut to be looked at by human eyes.

Professional Writing and Feedback is Critical

Receiving objective feedback is important when writing resumes that get you hired. You can get feedback from family, friends, colleagues or even professional executive resume writers. A professional resume writing service can look at a job description, identify the keywords and incorporate them into your resume to optimize it as much as possible.

Professional Resume Services is here to help executives by providing services from some of the top professional executive resume writers. Whether you need to start from scratch with your executive resume, or if you only need a final proofread, we are here to help you. Feel free to contact us at any time for more insight into executive resume writing and how we can help you.

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professional resume writing serviceExecutive job boards have a purpose, but the chances of you landing your dream job from them are very low. Spending a significant amount of time on your executive profile is great, but the best way to display it isn’t necessarily on an online job board.

Hundreds and thousands of jobs are posted on job boards every day. So when you look at the success rate of even landing an interview, you will quickly see your time and resources can be spent better elsewhere. Here are some of the top reasons why you should avoid job boards for your executive job search.

The Job May Already Be Filled

Sometimes HR managers forget to take down a job posting once the position has been filled. It’s natural to assume a job posting is active, but that’s simply not the case. If you’ve spent a lot of time on your executive profile, spending time searching and applying for non-existent jobs doesn’t make sense.

Job Descriptions Could Be Inaccurate

When a company posts a job opening on a job board, they sometimes use the same posting as they did previously, even if job duties have changed. As a result, you could take your resume to a professional resume writing service to optimize the keywords and language, but it won’t even matter. The best way to know the exact job description of a position is to actually speak to someone.

Your Executive Resume Could Be Lost

Any given executive job posting could get more than a hundred applicants. You may be the most qualified executive, but if your executive profile doesn’t have the exact keywords the company is looking for, you won’t even be considered. It’s much easier for your resume to get lost in the shuffle when you apply for a position on a job board. The better option is to hand your resume to a recruiter at a networking event.

Success Rate of Landing A Job is Low

When you look at the amount of applicants applying for any given position, you can clearly see your chances of getting the job is low. You have a better chance of getting a job if you spend the time on your LinkedIn profile development and connecting with HR managers or recruiters via the LinkedIn platform. Time is critical, so spending it wisely when searching for an executive job will benefit you in more than one way.

Professional Resume Services can help you optimize your executive profile, no matter what avenue you choose to use for your job search. While executive job boards aren’t necessarily the best option, we will support you and help you as much as possible if you choose to use them. Feel free to contact us at any time if you need a professional resume writing service to help you land your next job.

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Make it pop by writing an effective resume.

Writing an effective resume will make it pop.

If you’re going to spend a lot of time writing an effective resume, you might as well know the secrets to making it pop. You only have a few seconds to impress a recruiter before they move on to the next resume. Resume writing is an art not many people have mastered, but the ones who understand it will have a higher likelihood of landing the job they desire. Here are four ways you may not have known could help your resume stand out!

Targeting Is Key

The best resume writing service will advise you to target every aspect of your resume. Mention the specific job you’re applying for and your exact accomplishments. Avoid putting in accomplishments not relevant to the job you want, no matter how good it looks. The hiring manager is only interested in what you can do for them so they won’t care about a certain accomplishment if it doesn’t translate to their job.

Repeat Keywords

Keywords are tricky because you don’t always know which ones recruiters are looking for. Instead of being general about skills and accomplishments, be specific. A professional resume writing service can help you identify keywords based on the job you’re applying for. The more you use keywords throughout your resume, the more likely your resume will be noticed. Just be careful not to saturate your resume to the point where it reads unnaturally. Try checking out the job description you are looking at for more keywords.

Tailor Your Resume to the Job You’re Searching For

Any professional resume writing service will tell you there’s nothing worse than using the same resume for different jobs. Recruiters can easily identify when someone just blindly sends their resume to them. Put in a few statements about how you will help their company based on your research about them. Showing you’ve researched the company and understand their needs will go a long way in making your resume stand out.

Use a Performance Profile

Your performance profile should show how your skills match the objectives of the company and the ability to do the job you’re applying for. A good tip is to look at the job and skill requirements on the job posting and incorporate those points in your performance profile. Many companies will use the keywords they’re looking for in their job description so that’s a great way to target your resume to the job and match your performance capabilities with their job opening.

In today’s busy world, getting your resume to stand out among the rest can seem like an impossible task. By using these four tips, you should see more success.

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Attract attention by using keywords in your c-level resume.

You c-level resume should use keywords to attract attention.

Keywords in a resume? Who needs them? If you’re trying to land a c-level position, you need them! More than three quarters of employers rely on keywords to narrow their vast pool of applicants to choose the most promising and bring them to the interview stage.

Why Keywords Are Important in a Resume

Recruiters looking for the winning c-level resume for a specific position rely on automated resume databases to cull through hundreds and often thousands of online resume submissions collected by a firm. When a recruiter places an ad for a position opening, he or she usually includes a punch list of must-have criteria for the successful applicant.

Similarly, when sorting through resumes of applicants responding to the position, he or she will use must-have keywords. These might include the name of the city where the position is based, specific skills, required foreign languages, programming languages or educational degrees. The recruiter enters these keywords into his or her search criteria and may immediately cull 4,000 resumes down to 76. He or she will then quickly scan those 76, spending literally seconds on each one to decide if it is a “keeper.” The more must-have keywords he or she sees in that brief scan, the more likely that candidate will move to the next stage and land a phone or in-person interview.

Effective Ways to Use Keywords to Boost Your Interview Odds

You can use keywords to your advantage when you know how important they are. When you are applying for a c-level job, jot down buzz words from the punch list of “must-have” qualifications in the job posting. In addition to using these words often and as near the top of your resume a possible, use them in your cover letter. Recruiters expect a good executive resume cover letter to be concise and to the point and to spell out quickly why they should take a closer look at the resume it is introducing. Fitting in the most important keywords without appearing to “keyword stuff” your cover letter is an art. The best approach is to enlist guidance from the best resume writing service you can find to boost your chances.

Beyond creating an intriguing executive resume cover letter, it’s a good idea to create a “skills” punch list to include in your resume. Regurgitate the “must-haves” from the job listing into a “skills” section for your resume. Last but not least, use keywords naturally throughout your resume to boost the odds a recruiter’s automated system will flag you as an outstanding candidate.

Invest in Skilled Professional Help

When you’re seeking a c-level position, your c-level resume should change with each job you apply for. This can be time-consuming and a bit mind-boggling if writing isn’t your forte. Don’t risk losing out on a perfect position because your resume or cover letter wasn’t up to par. Do yourself a favor and hire a pro with a proven track record. Contact us and leave the details to us.

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one fast way to evaluate your resume

If your resume is not getting the results you’d expect based on your skills and experience, maybe it needs to be evaluated. All the information could be perfect; perfectly bland. Here’s a fast way to evaluate your resume, and it’s based on the way it will be evaluated when it reaches that VIP looking for someone to fill a position:

Pick up your resume and scan it for 30 seconds, then cover it and write down what you remember. 

Actually, thirty seconds might be longer than most HR people look at it, but they have developed serious speed reading skills. What do you remember about your resume? What stands out?

Now consider that your resume is something you are familiar with — and it was probably hard to remember what you said about yourself. Imagine what it’s like to read through hundreds of resumes in an attempt to find the best candidates to call in for interviews! These people don’t know you, and they do know what they need in the position.

Be Memorable and Consistent

The keywords that need to be there are the words used in the job ad, because that’s what they are looking for. But you are offering a unique spin on that because of your individuality. Build on that uniqueness by presenting yourself with synonyms of those keywords where it’s appropriate and keep a consistency throughout your resume by answering the question in their mind:

Why should I hire you?

Another way to say the same thing is, “who are you and what do you bring to this position?” If the answer to the question in their mind isn’t obvious, then you need to work on your resume until it can answer that question with fast and clear.

 

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a visual view of resume keywords

Have you ever made a word cloud? The most popular version of a word (or tag) cloud generator is Wordle, but there are many other options out there. Teachers love creating word clouds for visual learners because it helps the student see the most frequently used vocabulary in a text.  But you can use your favorite word cloud generator to compare the frequency of words in a job opening and your resume.

Here’s why I think this is a good idea: you’ll quickly see if any words in your resume match the words in the ad.

What you are seeing in that word cloud is the key vocabulary in the text — keywords. Resume keywords play an important role in getting your resume into the “call for interview” pile on an important desk. You’ll also get an idea of how often you use certain words to describe yourself. Does your resume word cloud show an active, effective candidate? Does anything match the word cloud of the position you are applying for? If it doesn’t, then you have some work to do on your resume.

The closer your language matches the language in the ad, the more apt you are to be seen as a “match” for the position. It should go without saying that I’m not telling you to make stuff up, because lying on a resume is a bad idea. But highlighting the similarities between your qualifications and the qualifications of the candidate they are seeking is a good idea.

If you are a visual learner, using a word cloud generator to evaluate your resume and the job opening is an easy way to see which words are being used most often and decide what to do with the way your resume is written.

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Defining Your Career Objective
One of the most often used phrases on a resume is usually found under the heading “Career Objective,”or “Career Summary” and the same phrase is used over and over without regard to profession. It’s a generic phrase that your career objective is to find a job somewhat related to the degree you studied for in college. The exact wording varies slightly, but it all means the same thing: you haven’t put much thought into your career.

It’s understandable when you are unemployed and willing to take basically any position offered that you might use a generic phrase. It’s still a mistake. You need to, at the very least, tailor it to match the specific job you are applying for and to be different enough from others applying for the job that you merit attention from the hiring manager. Better still is to spend the time thinking about your dream job and to state your actual career objective.

It doesn’t matter if your objective is above, or even skewed from, the position to which you are applying. You can address this, briefly, in your cover letter. As an example, if your career goal is to be a computer software designer but the position you are applying for is at the help desk, you can state that while your goal is to be a software designer you are willing to work as a tech at the help desk because it will enable you to better understand the components of software design from the perspective of the user. A hiring manager will likely appreciate your honesty as well as the way you think about those situations.

Remember, if you haven’t been able to define your career goals to yourself, then you will never be able to define them to someone else, and you will certainly never be able to meet them. So spend some time figuring this out and update your resume accordingly.

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Should You Update Your Resume?
One frequent question I hear from my clients (even those who are happy in their jobs) is, “How often should I update my resume, or should I?” After all, they aren’t looking for a new job and are happy where they are in their careers. This is a stumbling block that people need to get over quickly; you should always have an updated resume.

From a practical standpoint, are you really completely content to remain in exactly the same position you are currently in for the rest of your career? Even movement within the same company can often come with a request for an updated resume. And isn’t movement the whole point? Keeping your resume updated for such occasions makes sense… especially if you are on a senior or executive track. Plus, you have most likely learned new skills, taken a few new classes or seminars, tucked some new accomplishments under your belt, and/or just generally changed since you took the position you are currently in, so your resume should reflect that.

There is also the reality of economics to consider. Companies shift focus, change and develop over time. People lose jobs and move on to other careers. All of these factors mean that you will likely be hunting for another job some time in the course of your career. Having a resume ready to go will allow you to quickly find a new job. It’s also far easier to keep a resume updated than to start over and try to fill in the missing pieces.

Keeping your resume updated makes sense, and is a practical way of handling your career. You will always be ready to hand over a current copy when the opportunity presents itself.

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Phrases Not to Include on Your Resume
Your resume is valuable real estate. It needs to be kept as brief as possible while highlighting your past employment and skills in the best possible light. Therefore, it’s important to include the best of the best on your resume.

While it’s important to include as much positive information as possible, it is equally important to know what NOT to include on your resume. Because your resume is one of the most valuable marketing tools in your job search, you want to ensure that you are including information that is relevant to your career goals, and removing anything that does support those goals.

References

Don’t include the line “references available upon request.” It’s completely pointless and a waste of space. Both you and the hiring managers know that you are going to produce references simply because in 99 out of 100 cases they will be required.  Just be sure that you have a reference page, formatted to match your resume, ready to hand over at the interview.

Generic Statements

Statements such as “highly skilled,” “reliable,” or “energetic team player” are generic and really don’t put you in a positive light. If anything, they show you as someone who hasn’t really considered the alternative. If you have been doing anything at all, then you have skills. Show what you have done with those skills instead of using a phrase that means nothing. “Energetic team player”?  What else is there, a lethargic loner? Being energetic and a team player are expected work traits and shouldn’t be highlighted on your resume. It strikes a hiring manager as trying to fill blank space on the page. The same is true of “reliable.” If you aren’t reliable, then you will not last long.

Writing a great resume isn’t difficult if you create a document that matches the needs of the employer, as well as effectively communicates your skills and expertise. Look at your resume the way an employer would and update it accordingly.

You own the space and you need to make it work for you, and your job search.

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What A Resume Is NOT

So often, when researching how to put together a resume, the posts and articles are a lot of “a resume is this,” and “a resume should have this,” but often, there is no information about what is dangerous or unnecessary in a resume. That is what this post is for–to help you understand what a resume is not so you can create the best and most impressive resume.

A resume is not:

  • A letter: It is not a place to talk or chat about yourself and your accomplishments. You can do that a little bit in your cover letter, but mostly that type of communication will be for your interview.
  • A soapbox: Blatantly bragging or putting false commentary into your resume in order to make your skills sound better than they are isn’t advisable. While it’s good to sell yourself and your skills, sell them on skills you’ve actually done, not what you”think you can” do.
  • A comedy club: You don’t need to add humor or personality to your resume. Employers are not looking for that type of thing in a resume. They want simple facts with enough information for them to decide if they want you to come in for an interview. Add some personality to your social media profiles. Talk about your interests and likes in that type of forum, but a resume is not the best place for them.
  • A grocery list: While, yes, you will list your skills, work experiences, and accomplishments, there is more to it than that. You can’t simply list every job without a few details like dates of employment, job title, employer, and some job duties. You don’t need a lot of detail, but you need enough so your potential employers have an idea of what you have done.

These are things to watch out for. Your resume may seem like it doesn’t have your voice or personality, but that is OK. It doesn’t need all that fluff. Save that for your cover letter and, more importantly, your interview.

 

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