It happened…the call about the executive job of your dreams opening up just came through via your contact, and the HR Director wants to see your resume. You might be ready to take the next step in your career, but is your resume ready for an executive-level position? Submitting a bland, non-focused resume with boring content will do nothing but get you taken off of the “call for an interview” list.
Moving on from a middle management position to the c-suite is not for the faint of heart, and your resume needs to show that you have the experience, skills, ROI, and drive to do the job, and do it well. Writing your resume is not just including your career history and where you received your degree, it’s more about creating a document that tells the complete story of who you are, what you have achieved, how you achieved it, and the value you will provide at the next level…in a creative and exciting manner. Below are 5 quick tips that will help you to ensure that your updated resume effectively states “I’m ready for the c-suite and you need to hire me”…
Your format matters – People judge books by their covers! Start with an eye-catching format. While you don’t need to put so much color on your resume that it looks like the 4th of July blew up on your piece of paper, a pop of color will appeal to the reader and help your document to stand out right from the get-go. A font style that is clean and business-like is just as important. Fancy scripts may look pretty, but they are difficult to read and you don’t want people having to work hard to read your text (and believe me, if they have to work hard, they aren’t going to read much past your name).
An exciting executive summary is a must – create a strong career summary that communicates what you have done in your career and the value you can provide at the next level. Include position and industry-specific keywords (not buzzwords…there is a difference!) that match your target position.
Highlight your biggest achievements – include a “Career Highlights” section to give a brief synopsis of your biggest accomplishments if you want. Hint: quantifiable achievements speak the loudest and make a stronger impact than just a bullet list of text. Graphs and charts tell a quick story as well!
Your career history needs to make a big impact in a small amount of time – if you are at an executive-level, it’s pretty safe to say that you have had quite a few years of employment under your belt. Focus on your most recent work experience, and don’t go back more than 15 years into your career history (you can summarize the earlier stuff). A chronological format is the easiest, most clean-cut way to do this. The exception – if your career goals/new job are unrelated to your current job…then you will want to use more of a function format to show that you DO still have the skills and experience for the job you’re trying to land.
Your education information is not as important as your career history – so move it to the end of your resume. Like your career history, degrees received 15+ years ago are probably not going to be as important to the hiring manager as your most recent career experience. Include your degrees and any relevant certifications, but remove the years. The degree is what is important, not when you received it, and announcing “I’m really old…” on your resume is probably not going to win points with the hiring manager. Minimize ageism by eliminating years if they go beyond fifteen. Wow them with your accomplishments and skillset instead.
If you are being recommended for that coveted c-suite position, be sure you have a resume that can back-up up the recommendation. Don’t embarrass yourself (or the friend that recommended you) by submitting a bland resume that does nothing to market you as the ideal candidate for the job. Instead, take the time to update your resume and maximize your chances of being the candidate whose next phone call is “we’d like to offer you the position”!
How many times have you felt you were PERFECT for that role, but still didn’t get it? You went over the interview in your mind a hundred times, noted how easily the conversation flowed, how they interviewer would nod enthusiastically when you described a certain experience or skill. They seemed excited when they said they would get back to you soon.
Then you got the email that you weren’t chosen.
Safe to say, I think we’ve all been there.
I’m a firm believer in if you didn’t get the job, something better will come along. Through the years, some of our clients have come back to us to tell us about interviews they nailed and were sure they got the job. But didn’t.
However, there are various reasons companies may choose a different route:
They decided to hire internally. As unfair as it sounds, they may have already had a front runner in mind but posted it anyway to see if there is someone better. Some companies HAVE to post externally due to contract constraints or affirmative action plans. Federal contractors or government agencies may have to post externally as well.
You were overqualified. Perhaps they think you won’t do tasks you deem “beneath you”. While it’s unfair for them to assume what you will or won’t do, it is a common concern. They may also fear that you will be bored at the job—especially if you’ve been on an impressive career track. Or, that after a while, you will leave and they’ll be back to square one.
You were underqualified. Thinking you’d be great in a role and actually having the experience to master the role are two different things. Read the job description thoroughly and make sure you have the experience to apply for the role.
They already had another candidate in mind. It’s possible they already found their choice but they had to have a certain amount of candidates to interview to fill their candidate roster. It might be company policy that X number of people need to be interviewed before a choice can be made.
Your online presence wasn’t professional or up-to-date. Hiring managers check your social media profiles to learn more about you. Turn on your privacy settings if you have personal pictures or information on there. Also, if you haven’t updated your LinkedIn profile in a while (or years!), now is the time to do it. Lack of LI presence can hurt you as well. Get it up to date.
You shared too much. I’ve talked with recruiters who said the candidate told them their life story—the good, bad, and ugly—and in the process turned off the recruiter. Keep the conversation on the company, their pain points, how you can help them, and that’s it. Don’t talk about your jerk boss, your sick parent, or a personal health problem. They really don’t want to or need to hear it. Keep it professional.
You didn’t know enough about the company. Be very prepared when you go to the interview. Research the company, its mission, what they do, what they sell, or what they are about. Research the role, figure out their pain points. Have questions ready to interview the interviewer, questions like, “What should I know about the role I am seeking? Do you have any other insight?” Be both knowledgeable and inquisitive.
Whatever the answer, you may never know. You might have done everything right and still did not get the job. It might have been narrowed down to you and someone else, but they went with the other person because they had more strategy experience.
Either way, you gave it your all.
About two months ago, an operations exec said to me, “You know, after three rounds of interviews, they finally told me I wasn’t chosen. So, I reached out to a few old colleagues that resulted in a round of interviews with a company I was never interested in and an industry I wasn’t very familiar with. But they liked me and saw what my vision was for their company–and hired me. It has been the best job I’ve ever had.”
If you are struggling with job search, hang tight. The right job will come along.
A resume today is perceived differently than it was several years ago. Your resume should not only highlight your past achievements. It should also clearly demonstrate why you are equipped to handle the particular job you’re applying for. This means the days of writing one general resume and sending it out to multiple employers are over. The best professional resume writers can help you target your resume for the short-term, while also setting a solid foundation for the long-term. Here are some of the main reasons why working with executive resume writer services is worth the investment.
Answer A Recruiter’s Questions On Paper
The best professional resume writers can anticipate questions a recruiter will have about your expertise and will work the answers directly into the resume. Not only could this potentially shorten your job search, but it may also help you prepare for an interview since you can get your mind thinking about the questions you may hear. Recruiters will always have questions for job candidates, but the more you can answer on paper, the fewer you will have to address verbally.
Highlight Achievements Without Bragging
It’s easy to write about your achievements when writing resumes and cover letters. However, you don’t want to come across as boasting. Sometimes you may not be intentionally bragging, so it’s always good to have another set of eyes look at your resume to make sure it doesn’t come across that way. Employers like confident employees, but tend to shy away from over-confident candidates.
Writing resumes and cover letters on your own can take a significant amount of time. When you leave that task in the hands of professionals, you can spend your time on tasks like networking, boosting your online brand, preparing for potential interviews and actually applying for jobs. No one wants a job search to last longer than it has to, so save yourself valuable time by working with executive resume writer services.
Polish Your Resume For Your Lifetime
When you have a solid foundation for your resume, it’s possible only minor tweaks and updates will be needed for the duration of your career. However, developing the foundation can be challenging to do on your own without an expert to at least proofread it and make adjustments. Setting a foundation one time can set you up with a quality resume for the rest of your career.
Professional Resume Services hires only the best professional resume writers to serve you in the most effective manner. Our goal is to minimize your time spent on a job search by helping you be efficient with your strategies and taking some stress off of your plate. We strive every day to be perceived as a worthy investment for our clients. Feel free to contact us at any time if you’re in need of a solid foundation for your executive resume.
The concept of c-level personal branding seems simple enough, yet some professionals don’t quite understand the ins-and-outs of it. Personal branding is an ongoing process that can take years to develop, but only seconds to destroy completely. It’s impossible to boost your personal brand if you don’t make a conscious effort to make your name known throughout your industry and beyond. You could start with developing your LinkedIn profile, attending networking events or other functions. However, the real secrets to personal branding involve differentiating yourself and being completely authentic in everything you do.
The idea of personal branding for senior level managers involves communicating the unique characteristics you offer to any individual or organization. The idea of differentiating yourself isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that often gets overlooked. Companies today always look for a candidate who stands out when they are in the hiring process. When you target and identify exactly what companies are looking for, then you can compare those needs to what you offer and present them in a unique way to differentiate yourself from the candidate pool. Differentiation is a key component of c-level personal branding.
Writing Can Demonstrate Your Personal Brand
Whether it’s on your LinkedIn profile, your resume, your personal blog or any other content, what you write and how you write it can demonstrate your personal brand. Your content should clearly show your expertise, the values you bring, your leadership style and what sets you apart from other people who have similar levels of expertise. As long as you are consistent in your writing, every single piece of content you publish will provide a boost to your c-level personal branding.
Always Be Authentic
In the world of technology and automation today, it’s easy to get away from authenticity. When you have to write your resume or LinkedIn profile by using certain keywords to be recognized, you could end up drifting away from your natural brand. The best thing to do is write and speak authentically and you’ll never have to question yourself or answer any tough questions. There are many different ways to make yourself stand out, but if you don’t do it authentically, then you aren’t doing yourself or anyone else any favors.
Professional Resume Services understands the importance of personal branding for senior level managers. While our name suggest we are experts in resume writing, our expertise goes far beyond just resumes. We want to help executives boost their personal branding to give them a better chance at landing the jobs they desire. To learn more about personal branding and how to set yourself apart, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.
One of the first steps to getting the job you’ve always desired is finding a way to land an interview. But once you finally get the interview, it’s only natural to experience some nerves and anxiety before and during it. With all the time you spent writing resumes that get you hired, you can’t let a few nerves get in the way of completely dominating your interview. With that said, here are some proven ways to help you relax before you go into your executive interview.
Music Can Be Soothing
Even if you’re not a music lover, listening to the right type of music prior to your interview can help calm your mind a bit. Your heart rate is probably already elevated as you’re traveling to the interview, so avoid upbeat tunes. Instead, find some soothing music, like some classical music, to relax your mind and thoughts. You may be surprised at how relaxed you feel after just a few minutes.
Eat, But Don’t Overeat
When you’re preparing for your interview a few hours or minutes before it begins, it’s easy to forget about eating. The best professional resume writers will tell you to eat a small snack, like a granola bar, crackers, fruit or even as much as a sandwich. Walking into an interview on an empty stomach can make you jittery and cause you to not think straight at times. However, be careful with the amount you eat as well. Overeating can make you feel a little lethargic and cause you to not have as much energy as you need.
Work on Your Posture
Writing resumes that get you hired will only go so far. Your presentation during an interview is critical as well. Working on your posture also can help calm down some of your nerves and anxiety. When you’re sitting in the waiting area, be conscious about sitting up straight. And before that, practice standing straight up with your shoulders back. Simply incorporating good posture will increase your confidence levels and naturally decrease your nerves.
Be Confident in Your Preparation
You’ve visited an executive resume writing service, practiced interview questions and completed diligent research on the company you’re interviewing with. Confidence is one way to alleviate some anxiety, so trust that your preparation is good enough to do well in your interview. Thinking of yourself as an asset to the potential employer will also help you go in with the mindset of them needing you as much as you need them.
Professional Resume Services is an executive resume writing service, but we also help our clients throughout the job search process. Whether we can help you brush up your resume, social media accounts or provide advice on nailing an interview, we are always available to talk to you. Feel free to contact us at any time for more advice to help you feel more confident prior to your interview.
Executives can work diligently and do extensive amounts of research to know what to put on a resume, only to struggle with landing a job. There’s a lot of contradictory information on the internet regarding the best executive resume format, the content that should be used in a resume, and more. When you can sort away the myths from the facts, you’ll be in a better position to have success in your job hunt. Here are a few of the most common myths you may have heard.
A Good Resume Guarantees A Job
There are no guarantees in life, and writing an effective resume won’t guarantee you a job either. In fact, many times a resume won’t even ensure you get your foot in the door for an interview, especially if sending out emails to people who don’t know you or haven’t heard of you. Numerous factors go into sorting through resumes for recruiters and hiring managers, so the only thing you can do is your best when writing a resume. However, it’s important not to get discouraged, because it could be factors other than your resume preventing you from landing an interview.
Include As Much Information As Possible on One Page
Another myth is your resume has to be limited to one page, so you should cram as much information as possible on it. The top resume writing services will tell you a two-page resume is perfectly acceptable and even better, especially if you have many years of experience and a significant list of accomplishments. The worst thing you can do is try to fit it all on one page. The best formats are easy to read and incorporate white space throughout the document, so avoid the temptation to stuff as many words as you can onto a single page.
You Can Never Overuse Action Verbs
Action verbs are important when writing an effective resume. What many people don’t realize is there is a difference between a weak action verb and a strong action verb related to resume writing. Weak action verbs include words like “managed,” “supervised,” and others. They are weak because everyone uses them. The overuse of these verbs make them less important, so it is entirely possible to make your resume sound boring when you incorporate them. Instead, focus on actual results rather than the process you went through to achieve the results.
Resumes Aren’t Too Important Anyway
There may come a time when you hear resumes simply aren’t important anymore. The old saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is true to an extent. However, no matter what your connection is with someone, a poorly written resume isn’t going to do you any favors. A quality resume may not land you a job on its own, but a bad one can definitely put you out of consideration quickly. Further, the human resource department will need to have a copy of your resume on file, so thinking you won’t need one won’t help you.
Professional Resume Services knows about every myth there is regarding executive resumes. We are one of the top resume writing services because we focus on the facts and research exactly what employers want to see. If you have any questions about crafting your resume, or about a possible myth you may have heard, feel free to contact us at any time for advice.
Investing in your career is one of the most important investments you can make. Setting clear and achievable goals will help guide you where you need to be, and improving personal branding for senior level managers may happen naturally throughout the year. There’s no time like the present to start setting aggressive, yet attainable, goals to help you boost your career where you want it to be. Once you’ve developed your short-term and long-term goals, your mindset can shift to working toward them every single day. Here’s how to make the most out of your executive career this year.
Set Clear Goals
It’s impossible to get where you want to be if you don’t know where you’re going to begin. While it’s important to set yearly goals, you can also set monthly or quarterly goals to help you stay on track. If you’re in line for a promotion this year, think about what you can do to ensure you get it rather than get overlooked. If boosting personal branding for senior level managers is a goal, then you know you must attend networking events and make your name widely known throughout your industry. Clear goals will help you figure out what actions you need to take to reach them.
Make A Point to Network
Connecting with your network isn’t just reserved for when you’re looking for a job. Even the top rated resume writing services suggest to network as much as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to attend an event every night, but at the very least you can update your LinkedIn profile and check in with your connections frequently. Get advice from other professionals whom you look up to, and you may be able to develop a similar path to success. Plus, you never know when a new opportunity will arise, so you don’t want to miss out by not connecting with other professionals.
Create New Opportunities
Just because you’re happy and comfortable in your role doesn’t mean you can’t be proactive about new opportunities. Always do anything you can to improve your executive resume biography. This doesn’t mean simply changing the words. It means to accomplish more tasks in your current role in order to beef up your profile with relevant and meaningful accomplishments. By excelling in your current role, you can create new opportunities for yourself within the same company or be put in a better position to pursue other opportunities if you choose.
Professional Resume Services is more than just one of the top rated resume writing services. We take a personal interest with each of our clients and we want to help you make the most out of your executive career in any way we can. Feel free to reach out to us at any time to learn more about how we can help you set goals to reach new career heights this year.
Most executives have the same job for numerous years, which means new resume trends have developed in the meantime. Even if you’ve only been at your current company for a few years, chances are your resume is already outdated from both stylistic and content perspectives. An executive resume writer can get your resume out of the past and modernize it to give you a better chance of being recognized. But before you hire one, here are some tips you can follow to determine on your own whether your resume is stuck in the past.
Ditch The Resume Template
Did you use a resume template for your last resume? If you did, it’s time to start over from scratch. The key to writing resumes that get you hired is making it stand out by using easy-to-read formatting, styles and effectively using white space. Plus, a vast majority of people will write their resume using a template, making it difficult to stand out. Do yourself a favor and ditch the resume template, and work with an executive resume writer instead.
Cut Out Wordy Text
The best way to eliminate wordy text is by having a clear direction with targeted content throughout your resume. You have about six seconds to impress your reader, and they won’t even take that long if they look at your resume and see more text than white space. Touch on main points, achievements, accomplishments and use concrete statistics wherever appropriate to eliminate wordiness and present meaningful information.
Remove The Objective Header
People used to think writing an effective resume meant starting off with an objective section. This used to state why you are applying for the job. This an obvious statement, because you are indirectly stating your objective by applying for the position in the first place. All it does is take up valuable space on your resume that can be used for more meaningful content instead. Check with an executive resume writer if you’re unsure how to effectively remove the objective section of your resume.
Don’t Mention References on Your Resume
Nowadays it’s understood you can provide references upon request. Don’t waste space on your resume by providing references or saying they are available. The interviewer may ask you for references, so it’s important to always have them available. Having a list of references at the bottom of your resume is a sure way to tell your potential employer that you’re not up-to-date with the latest resume trends.
Professional Resume Services knows what goes into writing an effective resume, no matter the industry you work in. Modernizing the style of your resume is important for being recognized, but so is the type of information provided. We can help you with both aspects if needed, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’re having a hard time getting your resume up to date.