Adam has spent the last 10 years building a successful career as an innovative Information Technology Manager for a major Tier 1 automotive supplier. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic hindering our country’s automotive industry, Adam is currently on furlough, receiving unemployment benefits to help make up for some of his lost income, and is truly wondering if he will even have a job to go back to when his organization reopens, or if it will reopen.
While Adam knows that he is well-liked by his current employer, he still needs to prepare himself for the fact that his furlough/unemployment status may become permanent, and that he will probably have to start looking for a new job.
Knowing that he will be joining hundreds of candidates looking for new jobs in a competitive field, Adam will have to go back through his 10+ year career and start strategizing his way to a successful job search.
As we have worked with professionals like Adam for years, here are some key steps Adam will be taking as he begins a new job search:
Start with the basics – a resume that is written by a professional resume writer. Years ago, resumes were just a piece of paper that outlined a candidate’s career history; today’s resumes are strategically-written marketing tools that don’t just document each job worked, but are more focused on targeting specific jobs and industries, using a candidate’s accomplishments, experience, and skills. And yes, many employers will still want a cover letter to accompany the resume. Hiring a professional will save Adam time as well as will ensure that his career documents are up to par with other candidates who will be competing for the same jobs.
Establish a presence on LinkedIn and start networking. LinkedIn provides job seekers endless ways to market themselves, find jobs, and connect with specific companies and industry leaders. Adam needs to ensure that his profile is current, appealing, and contains the right information to position him for IT jobs in markets not only in the automotive industry, but in other industries, as well. Tip: recruiters wouldn’t be using some of LinkedIn’s premium search features if they weren’t finding quality candidates for their clients through the site.
Expand the search by looking for jobs/companies outside your current industry. IT candidates are needed in almost every industry in today’s professional world. Adam will need to be open to using his skills and experience in a field outside the automotive market.
Brush up on interview skills. Chances are when Adam does get called for an interview, it will be done via Skype or Zoom, or some other teleconferencing system. Even in a remote setting, he will still want to prepare for this interview as if it is a “in-person” meeting. Having a resume, list of his biggest career achievements, and answers to common interview questions by his side during the interview will help him to be able to speak confidently and with ease as he uses solid details to communicate why he is the best candidate for the job.
Whether our current economic crisis has you currently unemployed, furloughed, or preparing for a potential job loss in the near future, you can use the above tips to ensure that you, like Adam will be ready to take on whatever lies ahead in your career, and will find a job and success in your professional life.
Using Keywords to Create a Compelling Story on your LinkedIn Profile
If you are currently employed or actively seeking employment, chances are you have already established a presence on LinkedIn so recruiters and hiring managers can find you (and if you aren’t on LinkedIn, then quit reading, sign-up on the site, and then come back to this article). My question is…what are you doing/including on your profile to ensure that you actually can be found? Are you networking in industry-specific groups?
Making connections with colleagues in your field? Applying for jobs? Whatever you are doing, you need to ensure that your profile contains quality content that communicates your value and markets you effectively for the jobs you’re applying to. How do you do that? It all starts with saturating your content with targeted keywords and keyword phrases that are in line with the skills and qualifications hiring managers and recruiters want to see when looking for candidates in your field.
LinkedIn is actually a large database that uses certain fields to sort information on user profiles. Utilizing effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies (i.e. keywords) on your profile is how you will get “selected” during database searches.
Keywords are just what they say they are – “KEY” words that you need to have on your profile to not only be found in candidate searches but also to show that your skills match the qualifications companies are looking for. Here are a few areas of your profile where it is so important that you are using keywords, and not just any words to tell your career story.
Your headline is located just below your name, so it is seen immediately when somebody clicks on your profile. You have 120 characters (yep, that’s it) to pull the reader in to want to learn about you-make the most of that space. Note: LinkedIn automatically uses your current job title in the headline when you sign-up so check to make sure that is what you want on there. Otherwise, you need to change it immediately. Use keywords that are relevant to the positions you’re applying.
For example, instead of “Sales Manager at Acme Products” (which may be your current job title), make your headline “Business Growth Executive: Sales & Operations Management, Revenue & Territory Expansion, Branding, Account Development“.
You have just used 119 characters to tell the world what you can do and not just what your current job title is.
Once the reader sees your amazing headline, the next step will be to find out more about you in your profile’s “About” section. LinkedIn allows 2,600 characters in this section-plenty of opportunity to tell your career story.
Think of your “About” section as you would a cover letter, tell a little about yourself and your career trajectory. Include some quantifiable highlights and your keyword list, or a list of core competencies.
This is an ideal section to get the most bang for your buck when you are trying to get the right keywords for SEO purposes. Be creative and clear when using keywords to share your best attributes. Don’t just put “Management”, instead use “Global Operations Management”. You have the space, you just need to use it to your advantage to effectively market your skills and competencies.
You only get 50 entries in this section, so it’s imperative that you make each one count. As with your “About” section, you want to use the right keywords (skills). Instead of “Leadership”, try “Executive Leadership”. Not only does that tell the reader that you are a leader, it also tells them what level of a leader you are! Are you in HR? Do you really want to consult and not just be in one spot? Then add “Human Resource Consulting” as one of your skills.
Once you start putting information into this section, LinkedIn will automatically give you some suggestions as to other skills you may want to use that are related to your field. If the skill fits, use it. Try to fill this entire section, but if you can’t, don’t try to fill it in with soft skills or fluff. Your skills must appear relevant and dynamic–fluff won’t help you get found during an SEO search. Hint: you can always look at the profiles of some of your colleagues to see what industry-specific keywords they are using in their “Skills” section.
The bottom line…the “key” to increasing traffic to your online profile is to ensure you are applying effective SEO techniques and strategies. Use the right keywords in the right places so that you get noticed by hiring managers and recruiters looking for candidates in your field!
Job Hunting: Best Practices for Today’s Job Market
A fortunate few never actually look for jobs: they are recommended by colleagues or recruited by former co-workers. For the rest of us, here’s a toolbox of best practices to make job-hunting easier and more productive.
Personal Branding is Part of the Process
DO have a recently-updated resume. Have it reviewed and reworked by an expert.
DO have a recently-updated LinkedIn profile with a clear, professional-looking headshot.
DO make sure the dates and titles on your LinkedIn profile match your resume.
DO ask for recommendations from those who know you and your work well.
Online applications are changing.
Let’s say you are a pharmacist and you spotted a LinkedIn job posting that looked like a perfect next role, but there’s a catch – you need your LinkedIn profile updated. Forbes wrote that more and more companies are asking to include a link to LinkedIn profiles. It is wise that before you start applying for an online job posting, your own profile should be updated too.
Where to Begin Your Search
DO pick 5-10 companies you admire and for whom you think you’d like to work.
DO your research online on each company, find a common connection, and ask for an introduction. LinkedIn is a great resource for this.
DO invite people in these companies for a quick cup of coffee near their office. Say something like, “I’d love to hear what you like about working at X. Can I buy you a quick cup of coffee?”
DO ask people you trust for a recommended recruiter who can help you.
Networking for Your Job Search
DO let friends and family know you’re looking for a new job.
DO attend Meetups in your field of expertise.
DO look for and join LinkedIn groups in your profession.
DO expand your personal network by taking part in volunteer activities. Make sure to choose a cause that you truly care about.
How to Use Company Websites
DON’T rely only on applying to jobs online unless your skills are in high demand.
DON’T regurgitate your entire resume into your cover letter if you’re using one. Keep it simple.
DO try to find an advocate inside the company as well as applying online.
DO tailor your resume to the job, highlighting the most important skills.
New to the search.
A jobseeker or maybe a new graduate may be searching for better employment. The perfect fit to get the right connection may be to check job boards online, especially for those who are looking in the finance field. Right now, this is a booming industry with an array of jobs for job seekers. Finance Jobs wrote that it helps if seekers explore their options to get the job that fits their skills.
Stay the Course
DO look for a job before you need one. 411 is easier than 911.
DON’T get impatient. Depending on your salary, it can take 6-10 months to find the next right position.
DO take consistent action so you feel empowered.
DO take good care of yourself physically and emotionally.
Looking for the right job is tough, but it gets better.
Once you’ve dealt with a couple of bumps while job hunting, you will eventually reach your goal of finding that next job. Though it doesn’t stop there. Beginning a job, whether you are new to the field or not, still takes adjustments. Pitfalls are intimidating in a new environment, says Psychology Jobs. Remember this: the velocity of your search should be the same as when you have a job.
Adding Velocity to Your Search
DO find ways to help others along the way.
DO assume that things are working out for the best, keeping a positive outlook.
DO stay curious and open-minded. That job that doesn’t seem to be a fit could end up being the best one in your career.
DON’T allow yourself to become bitter, angry, or desperate. These attitudes are a repellent, and people pick up on them, even when they can’t pinpoint what it is about you that is off-putting.
Your job search can be a trial, or it can be an interesting and exhilarating adventure. By deciding to take the long view, asking for help along the way, and refining your job-hunting skills, you’ll be giving it the attention it deserves. Happily, your results will reflect this.
Post written by Katherine Davis for ProfessionalResumeServices.com
Top Tips and Techniques for A Successful Job Search
Searching for a job is a crucial part of your professional career. It isn’t just about simply submitting a copy of your résumé to a recruiter and then waiting for a call. Because of the ever-growing influx of job seekers everywhere and the impact of the internet in our society, the process of job searching has changed a bit. Job searching nowadays is online and network-based. It’s a matter of using the resources you have at your disposal to get hired. And if you don’t have enough weapons on your arsenal, then you will have a tough time landing a job. If you’ve just hit another dead-end on your job search, then consider another plan of action. Here are some top tips and techniques for a successful job search to help you in crafting a job search strategy.
Take a Path to Self-discovery
First up, you must discover yourself. Do a detailed self-analysis to determine your skills, interests, achievements, ambitions, values, and potential. All of these are factors essential in finding the right job for you. Once you have found out what you really need and want, then it will be smooth-sailing from there. The next steps rely on what you find out in this process.
Adapt Your Résumé
Take as much time as you need to focus on writing a tailored résumé specifically targeting the job(s) you wish to apply for. Make sure that every important detail is mentioned clearly. Give the recruiter a chance to know why you are the best candidate for the job. Remember that most online job hiring posts can get pretty crowded, particularly a high paying job with good benefits, so the recruiter should be able to identify the skills you define at a glance on your résumé.
Find the Right Match
Find a shoe that fits. Since you have already discovered your needs and wants, it will be easy. Follow your interests, values, and skills to find the appropriate job to apply for. Do the necessary research and learn about the companies that you are interested in. See which ones have a suitable job offer that checks off the boxes on the list of your self-discoveries.
Be Proactive in your Approach
The normal thing to do after you’ve sent out your applications is to wait for a response from the recruiters. Do not do that. Although there is some truth to the saying “Good things come to those who wait,” you have to remember that we are living in a modern world. Instead of waiting, go out there and go after the things that you want.
Capitalize on Your Network
As cliché as it sounds, being able to “name drop” on your résumé or cover letter can elevate your application to the top of the pile or close to it. Make the best out of the network that you have to land a job. Reach out to former colleagues, team leaders, or supervisors to see if there is a job vacancy that they are aware of. If you just got out of school, you can ask your family members or friends if they can recommend you to a company.
Track Your Job Search Processemployment
The good thing about recruitment nowadays is that it’s done online. In the era of smartphones, it’s easier to keep track of your job search activity and applications. Keep tabs of all the applications you’ve sent. This way you’ll know which ones to follow-up one, what responses you’ve received, etc.
Set Your Goals
And last but not least, remember to set your goals, weekly or daily. This allows your mind to be an active participant in your job search. Make sure that you set attainable and measurable goals, which you can look back on in the future as a way to track your progress.
Author’s Bio: Rosette Monell works as a human resource personnel in an Asian firm. Aside from her job, she’s also a freelance writer who talks so passionately about public relations, different work ethics, and culture. On her free days, she likes to spend time alone with a good book about career building in one hand and a warm cup of tea in the other.
Leadership Tools for Executives Seeking New Opportunities
Taking on a new leadership opportunity can come with undue stress surrounding the demands and qualifications of the role. Familiarizing yourself with the common tools executives use to operate at their full potential can make a major difference in your confidence entering the new position. Use the strategies listed below to give yourself a head start on your new career step and get you ready to be the best leader you can be!
Strategic Thinking and Decision-Making
Every individual has a different skill set and expertise that makes them fit-to-hire within given leadership roles. Leadership responsibilities can be some of the most demanding, and can require the right kind of professional characteristics and skills to reap beneficial results. It calls for prompt and accurate decision-making and strategic thinking to devise the right solutions for issues that may arise internally and externally, as well as the ability to be innovative and find creative solutions to complex problems. Supporting innovation amongst employees and team members is also crucial to gain a wide set of perspectives and expertise, and resolve issues that depend on broader or more focused thinking.
Strategic thinking is another attribute that allows for the design of forecasting and prevention methods that combat possible challenges. It can be used by leaders to address internal team changes, concerns, advancement opportunities, and to instill proper conflict management and resolution strategies. Strategic thinking also applies to external factors by helping to monitor competitors entering the market and determining the best course of action internally to address new demands and differentiating factors. This can lead to more forward-thinking production planning to remain relevant and on top of changing trends to be a market leader.
To determine whether or not you are a strategic thinker, review these qualifying characteristics:
Strategic leaders do not try to fit the mold. They think outside the box, even if it is unpopular to do so, to take calculated risks.
They learn from their experiences to implement tried and true improvements and prevention methods that could yield better results.
They push themselves and their teams to accept new challenges. They believe in their team, having full confidence that their efforts will lead them to success.
They keep a positive attitude, seek opportunities, and seize them. They do not let fear of failure dictate their actions, but instead, push past comfort zones to seek better results.
Strategic thinking leaders are forward-thinking influencers. They influence decision-making and set a purpose-driven example by driving team members to trust the process, and believe in what their leaders are striving toward.
Management Strategies and Tools
Technology is making waves in modern business, demanding new leaders to familiarize themselves with the right tools that get the job done. The main role of tech-based tools in leadership is to keep projects and strategies organized and easily accessible. They also provide data collection to further streamline leadership decision-making and forecast future trends that could impact the internal operations.
Managing financials is one of the major responsibilities bestowed upon leaders, so having the right organizational tools to manage financial information is key to accurate project planning, payroll, and budgeting. Management tools like ERP systems include modules that cover all major aspects of financial management. Familiarize yourself with these tools taking the business world by storm to bring in a fresh perspective on ways to properly utilize its features to improve operational productivity, better outline future project plans and forecast possible budget constraints. CRM software can also be used for external operations to ensure that all client relationships stay organized and production meets their demands to remain competitive in your company’s given market.
Managing tools do not always consist of tech-based software, but can focus on team building strategies as well. Research varying ways of engaging employees to learn their individual strengths and weaknesses and adjust your leadership approach accordingly. For example, introverted employees may prefer more authoritative leadership, while more independent team members may prefer the opportunity to engage in knowledge and power-sharing methods. With this knowledge, you can build a more effective team and connect with employees on both personal and professional levels to build trust. Be sure to be genuine, open, well-informed, and accessible to team members, and share your credentials to instill their confidence in your direction. Be goal driven to find purpose in everyday work and influence your team to seek shared goals by acting as a coach. Do not assume you have all the answers, and take employee input and ideas into consideration. Studies show that engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave an organization. Modern leaders are transforming traditional leadership by supporting collaborative, authentic, and creative work environments where professionals can flourish and share their expertise on a fair and even playing field.
Training and Team Building
Proper leadership training will most likely take place post-hiring, but it is still good practice to review the training materials and process prior to acceptance of the role. Begin by learning core leadership practices and processes, and understand the different leadership styles to determine which you identify with most. These styles consist of:
Autocratic Leaders…create clear strategies and expectations and perform decision-making processes on their own. These leaders are prone to micromanaging, and this style is the least desirable.
Delegative Leaders…allow teams to make decisions together with a collaborative style.
Participative Leaders…balance between the first two styles of leadership. They provide guidance and set standards for their teams, but take into account ideas, feedback, and input from team members in decision-making processes.
Having a grasp on ways to train prospective team members is important. Recognizing each individual’s specific skills and strengths will help you delegate tasks accordingly and can result in higher levels of efficiency and productivity. If a team member wants to broaden their skills in order to take on new challenges, determine a comprehensive training program that offers both in-person and online courses that are accessible and can be completed in a timely manner to get your team up and running as promptly as possible. A communication strategy also helps with training initiatives by opening the flow of information from team members to leaders, and supplies transparent feedback and insight into training offerings to implement improvements in problem areas. Clear communication also creates channels to review goals and timelines to ensure the team is up-to-date on current deadlines and processes.
Building motivation amongst team members requires realistic goal setting and recognition of both small and large achievements. By outlining a goal- orientated strategy, team members are able to envision their role in making impactful decisions and innovative thinking to develop calculated action that brings the team closer to its common goal. As a leader, you need to set an example and remain transparent about expectations and team or process changes. Team building activities are a great way to keep all team members informed of these changes, and allows for recognition to be shared regarding milestones and accomplishments. 35% of professionals surveyed in a recent study found that gratitude and recognition boosted their overall productivity. Fostering positive morale and motivation helps keep you and your team members happy, productive, and moving forward toward common goals.
The Future of Leadership
Keeping a weathered eye on the leadership horizon before applying to a new role is key to understanding where leadership techniques are headed and if your skill set and personal attributes align with future demands. With the adoption of automated tools, artificial intelligence, and emerging technologies changing the game, the pace and rate of change is increasing. This can easily become overwhelming when trying to evolve a strategy and team to meet or surpass these demands. Team skills and expertise will need to reach higher standards and be tech-driven. The need for technology knowledge is key to growth and steady positive performance. Overarching goals and objectives are based on these future trends and market demands, so perform in-depth research on up-and-coming leadership tools that may be seeing a digital transformation in coming years. Boost your own skills to remain competitive amongst other candidates and prepare yourself for being a leader in a tech-driven world.
With the recent global pandemic crisis, many of our nation’s businesses, education institutions, and entertainment venues have either lowered or ceased operations completely.
However, if you are in an active job search mode, there are plenty of ways you can still focus on your job search within the safety of your own home. Meaning…don’t use a global crisis or “social distancing” as excuses to stop your job search (March Madness is out-so do you really have anything else to do?).
Here are some tips for staying on top of your job search and getting closer to landing your dream job, even if you have to do so from home.
Fine-tune Your Resume:
Even if you are working remotely from home, you can still find time to dust of your old resume and get it ready for your job search. Focus on updating your achievements, skills, professional development activities, and of course any employment/promotion changes since your last update. Be sure your format and writing quality align with today’s standards, and last but not least, proofread the entire document to ensure it does not have any typos or other errors. If you need help, don’t hesitate to hire a professional resume writing service.
Beef Up Your LinkedIn Profile:
Be honest―when was the last time you actually updated your LinkedIn profile? As this is the biggest professional networking/job search site in the world, you need to use it– and use it daily! Like your resume, your profile needs to contain content that is current and well-written. Are the skills you have on your profile relevant to the skills/qualifications listed in the postings you’re applying to? When was the last time you changed your profile picture? When you created your profile in 2014? Use this site for everything it has to offer―join groups, check out job postings, add to your network, reach out for recommendations, update your settings so recruiters can contact you, etc. With so many people working remotely, you know they are going to be online and not at the water cooler.
Reach out to colleagues and other industry-specific clients who may know of openings in their own workplaces. Email, text, or pick up the phone and call these individuals and let them know you’re looking to make a change in your career. If you’re interested in certain companies, go to their websites and learn more about what they do and if they’re hiring. If so, reach out to the “contact” person listed on the site. Get your name out there!
Plus, during a time of crisis is when people band together in unity. This is a great time to deepen your network even more. Reach out, offer free advice (relating to what you do if applicable), join discussions, and help where you can.
Prepare For Your Interview:
If you’re really ready for a new job, then you really need to be ready to nail the interview. Do you have an interview strategy or style? In today’s professional world, many companies start out with a phone interview, prior to bringing you on-site. How do you sound over the phone? Confident or shaky? Practice answering potential questions and with a voice that is upbeat, full of confidence, and markets you and your credentials. If you’re interview is done via video conferencing, Skype, or FaceTime, then you’re probably also going to need to work on how you will look as you’re answering questions. Practice in the mirror so you can see your facial expressions (my face gives everything away, unfortunately… does yours?).
Do your homework! Know who your audience is (this can be done when talking with the person(s) scheduling the interview with you), as well as the culture of the company so that you have an idea of what to wear to your interview. Gather all of your supporting documentation (resume, references, certifications, etc.), and lastly, look at the travel logistics from your home to the location of the interview, if you do actually have to meet in-person at the company or another remote site.
As with any crisis, there are always things to do to stay positive and keep moving forward in your job search and in life. You may not be able to meet with a hiring manager or recruiter in person for the next few weeks, but you can get yourself prepared to do so in the very near future. While we are all trying to deal with our own version of “Social Distancing”, it certainly does not have to stop job seekers from pursuing their dream jobs. This includes you!
Ever wonder if you are putting the *right* information on your LinkedIn profile?
This is a common question I hear, “I don’t know if this or that should be on there” or “I wasn’t sure so I just downloaded/copy/pasted my whole resume to my profile.”
While you want to establish the information you add is relevant to your brand and impactful, you don’t want it to be a duplicate of your resume. They are meant to complement one another. You want your reader to see a little more of a human side to you as well. Think of the LinkedIn profile as the friendly, humanized version of your resume.
Here are some things to think about when building and adding to your profile:
☑️ Fill out all the sections. Don’t leave anything blank. Fill in the volunteer, certifications, languages, projects, honors, awards. You can add PowerPoints, photos, samples of your work (I have these on my profile) coursework, and things you have done in your career.
☑️ Add a profile photo AND a background cover photo (get rid of that blue LI background!). This makes it uniquely you. I love seeing customized background cover photos on LI profiles. They definitely add personality and/or help brand the client by having a photo of the company, service or product they represent.
☑️ Write a headliner that sizzles. Instead of “Account Executive”, write “Account Executive specializing in the development of groundbreaking sales and service strategies internationally”. Add a little zing to it. Get your reader interested. Some even call the headliner “prime real estate” meaning it’s a great place to add keywords and branding that help direct LinkedIn’s algorithms to your profile. Get as clear and focused as you can. Add buzzwords if you know what they are. Not sure? Find jobs that interest you and notice the same words listed over and over? Add them. Don’t neglect this section.
☑️ Create an About section that speaks to the reader. That section used to be more formal and many people wrote theirs like a biography–3rd person, boring, etc. These days, it’s all about the conversation. Get them interested in what you have to say. Write in first person. It’s OK to be a little more human here. People expect it—and love it. The About section should be engaging, interesting, and conversational. Think of it as if you are speaking to someone at a networking event. How would you speak? What would you say? You’d keep it professional but interesting, right? You want to tell a story about why you do this type of work and what makes it interesting. Be enthusiastic.
☑️ Add Content! Make sure to add descriptions of what you do at your job. Add your daily responsibilities as well as your accomplishments. This is where I see clients fall short. They add their company and job title but nothing else. LinkedIn rewards content. While you don’t want to copy and paste chunks from your resume, you also don’t want to leave critical information out. Rewrite those areas but make sure to add content to your roles. What were you most proud of accomplishing? What projects have you worked on that added value? What is interesting about where you work?
You can also add numbers and percentages. If you are hesitant about sharing exact figures, you can say, “increased revenue 87% in two years”. Adding numbers adds to your credibility and gives the reader a glimpse of what you have done.
☑️ Get a recommendation. A recommendation or two on your profile livens it up and gives you more credibility. What good do thousands of connections do for you if you don’t have one recommendation? It might feel awkward, but once you’ve asked it’s done and guess what? You’ll most likely get that recommendation!
☑️ Create an endorsements section. Complete the skills and endorsements section and pin the top 3 that related to your job hunt. Again, these are key with algorithms and recruiter searches as well.
When all of this is done, remember the key to a strong LinkedIn profile is engagement. The more you use LinkedIn, the more it rewards you by showing your profile in recruiter searches. Reach out, plan on getting on LinkedIn 10-15 minutes every other day and watch it go to work for you.
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”!