Is Your Executive Resume On Target?

Resumes

Are you thinking that 2022 is the year you really want to score that executive-level position with your company? Or for a completely new organization? Either way, you’re going to want to have your marketing tools ready for the new year-new job search adventure, and being able to present hiring managers and recruiters a targeted, executive-level resume is the first step in the process.

Whether you haven’t updated your resume in 20 years or two, it’s still necessary to take a long inventory of what is currently on the resume, what needs to be added, and what you can do to make it better. Here are a few tips to get you started…

THE BASICS:

Everybody knows that you should have your contact information, work experience, and education on your resume. However, this information still needs to be strategically written and displayed, so that it stands out and doesn’t just look like a pile of information you quickly plopped on a piece of paper.

  • In your contact information, include your name (professional), relevant credentials (CPA, MBA, PhD, etc.), phone number (mobile is preferred), email address (personal-not work or school email), and your location (city/state is sufficient). Your name should be bigger and stand out more than the rest of your information, which should be displayed professionally, either after or underneath your name. Include the word “LinkedIn,” and link your resume to your online profile, if, and only if, your online profile is complete and optimized for your new job search. (It needs to send the same message as your resume.)
  • Your career history needs to start out with a strong title. PLEASE do not use the words “work” or “employment” in your title. Think of how an executive would talk about his/her career. “Professional Experience,” “Career Narrative,” or “Career Chronology” are some other options. Write this section so that it is keyword-saturated, achievement-focused, and achievements are quantified where possible. If you were a sales leader or in a position where you made an impact in growing business or revenue, this is your opportunity to share this information! Use creative/colored bullet symbols to separate your achievements, and ensure that your job titles and years in each position are accurate.
  • If you are a new graduate, your education information can be listed at the top of your resume. If you are NOT a new graduate, this section should follow your career history and, depending on how long ago you graduated, you may want to leave the years out of this section. If you make the title “Education & Credentials” (or something of that nature), you can also include any relevant certifications and professional development/training here.

THE EXECUTIVE NEEDS:

Now that you have the basics started, there are other things you need to include in your resume to tell your story, appeal to the reader, and ultimately market yourself effectively for the job you’re vying for.

Career Summary

  • Use industry-specific keywords and powerful descriptors to paint a brief introductory picture of who you are, what you have done, and the value you can provide in an executive-level role.

Branding

  • Branding is KEY! Come up with a branding statement or at least some type of title at the top of your career summary, so that the reader knows immediately what level you’re at (or want to be at).
  • What are you known for? What are you good at? What do you love to do? What do you want to continue to do in your next role?
  • You could also just use a few key terms or even multiple titles (COO, CFO, etc.) to show the reader this information.

Career Highlights

  • If you want to communicate some of your best career successes, adding a “Career Highlights” section just before your employment history is a great idea. Include 3-5 bullets of your biggest career achievements (successful programs you’ve implemented, process improvements, cost reductions); anything that shows where your leadership resulted in a positive outcome for a client or an organization.
  • Think “results-rich” statements when you are deciding on what to add. Think METRICS. Where did you generate millions in cost savings? What strategies or deep dives did you conduct to see where there were holes and money drains?

Soft Skills

  • How are your problem-solving skills? Do you shine when listening and communicating to your team? Are you good at critical thinking? What about conflict management? Don’t underestimate the power of your soft skills. Companies are hungry for that balance.

Board Leadership & Affiliations

  • Companies want to hire executives who have industry knowledge and can work with Boards of Directors and/or other c-suite teams. Include your memberships in professional organizations, as well as any board experience you have (paid/volunteer).

Pandemic Information

  • How were you able to flex and adapt during the pandemic? What changes have you made, contributed to, or implemented relating to the pandemic? What role did you lay?

Format

  • Want to level up? Then you better level up the look of your resume. Your format needs to stand out just like your content, so PLEASE, do not do a simple black/white, 12-point Times Roman font for your entire resume! Add some pizzazz! A little bit of color goes a long way in getting your resume to stand out in the pile–and is also very appealing to the eye.

Additionally, including language proficiencies (if you’re seeking a global position), honors, awards, publications, etc., anything that can help the reader to truly get to know you in the brief few seconds taken to scan the resume.

These are just a few things you can do to ensure that your resume is on target to give a strategically written chronology of exactly who you are, what you have accomplished, and the value you can provide in an executive-level position in 2022.

7 Skills to Add to Your Resume During COVID-19

Executive Resumes

Businesses are hungry for remote workers open to taking on the clients that once belonged to the full-time employees who have since departed from their teams. This desperation from businesses implies that your professional background does not matter as much as your sense of commitment, your work ethic, and the degree of loyalty and responsibility that you put into your work.

The reality of the matter is that companies are willing to hire and train new employees, remote workers, and independent contractors, as long as they show that they are up to the task. This is the world we live in, and with so much uncertainty, it’s perhaps easier to get a job today, now that employers are starting to become more open-minded to a number of different backgrounds and kinds of experience.

Today, we live in a world where everyone truly needs everyone if we are going to make it through. Here are seven skills to add to your resume during COVID-19 that show just how dedicated you will be to your next potential employer and demonstrate how much they’ll need you.

1.  Advocate for your Articulateness

People are impressed by those who know how to speak articulately. Bring this way of speaking into your interview, but on paper, highlight those activities that bring this skill to life. Have you written anything that’s been published? Have you given a speech at an important event? Are seminars part of your background work experience? Are you a proficient speller?

Consider the ways in which your words have served you in your professional life and write these examples down. Employers want to hire staff with the ability to connect with clients in confident ways that eloquently represent their company — it’s one of the top qualities employers look for.

2.  Showcase your Discipline

Demanding jobs require workers willing to put up with challenging tasks. Do you have a history of working in labor or construction? Perhaps you are an exceptional landscaper or have the grades of a genius. Maybe you were a committed athlete throughout college.

Find those areas of sheer discipline that you have executed throughout your life and mark them down as examples of your skill. Employers are most interested in working with staff that can consistently provide what they need at standard levels. The more disciplined you are, the more likely you can give them what it is they need.

3.  Indicate your Cultural Competence

As e-Commerce takes the stage, more and more businesses are introducing clients from other countries. Understanding the cultural etiquette of different parts of the world is crucial to creating positive business relationships with others dissimilar to you.

Show your potential employer that you are culturally aware by listing any travel or business experience where you were exposed to different kinds of people. These can include volunteer efforts as well. The more diverse you seem, the more of an asset you are to employers looking to make cross-cultural connections with businesses and clients from around the world.

4.  Show Digital Proficiency

Today is the information age, and tech knowledge is something employers will find very hard to pass up. List all software and programs you are familiar with and explain how they have served you in your professional life. Indicate your strengths with these applications and provide ways that including these strengths into the job you’re applying for will benefit the company. If you took any computer science classes or digital design classes during college or on your own, explain what you know well and how it may be of service to the position you are applying for. The more you know, the better.

5.  Include Humanitarian Involvements

Employers who can see that compassion is one of your strengths will really appreciate this quality. Having a sense of altruistic character in their workers will make the company environment more positive and will improve client interactions. Being a kind thoughtful person goes a long way in terms of the communications aspects of a company. It also highlights that you likely have a great deal of patience, which is needed when working in social environments. List any volunteer work you have completed, pointing back to skills you may have used that would benefit a potential employer. It may also help to explain why you chose to participate in these activities, as your employer may appreciate your genuine interest in helping others.

6.  Showcase your Adaptability

Hectic work environments require staff members to adjust accordingly. Share professional stories where you had to think fast and make important decisions. Seeing that you are strong in the area of problem-solving will intrigue possible employers, as coming up with solutions is an essential part of any serious position.

7.  Indicate your Competence Working Alone

Today, more than ever, the ability to work independently has become a crucial need for employers and individuals alike. Give your potential employer a list of jobs or tasks you have completed on your own during, lockdown or prior, that display your ability to handle things by yourself. Seeing that you can manage things alone will give your potential employer confidence in your ability to complete work independently when needed.

The skills you want to think about adding are those that reflect the changes that 2020 has instilled in all of us. It’s true. Those who are succeeding right now exude independence, dependability, and digital proficiency to an insane degree, as these dark times call for nothing short of incredible, superhuman strength. So, put on your heroic red cape and do your very best to advocate for yourself during your next job interview. Write down this set of skills to prove that you too, are a well-prepared leader in this strange new world.

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. He is currently a contributing editor for 365 Business Tips.

Updating Your Resume in 5 Quick Steps

Job SearchResume KeywordsResume WritingResumes

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!

 

Creating a Safety Net for Job Loss

Career & Workplace
Be a step ahead and learn how to prepare for job loss

Due to its very nature, job loss is something many people try to avoid thinking about. It’s a stressful situation, and many people have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality for it. But this doesn’t stop it from becoming an ever-present fear in working-class America.

 

Shifts in the job market, economy, and even within one’s own company can lend itself to thoughts of “What if I lose this job?” This is especially difficult at a time when more and more jobs are becoming automated or being outsourced to freelancers and other firms.

 

Fortunately, the fear of job loss can be mitigated by preparing for it well in advance of losing one’s job. There are some great ways to create a safety net early in your career for a time when you might not be working.

 

Build an Emergency Fund

An emergency fund is a type of savings fund, usually with a few thousand dollars in it for a car repair or medical expense. While these are all great reasons for having one, an emergency fund has a lot of added value when it is created as a way to prepare for job loss.

 

Depending on your situation, unemployment can last a few months to as long as a year. This means that to be prepared, you should save up enough money to be able to live comfortably for up to a year, while you search for your next job.

 

It sounds like a scary thought but you can determine this by calculating your average monthly expenses, and then multiplying that by the number of months you want to be prepared for. For example, if your average monthly expenses total out to about $2000, you’ll want to have at least $12000 set aside in an emergency fund, enough to get you through about six months of job loss. However, if you’re looking to be prepared for a year-long period, you can also multiply your expenses by twelve, about $24,000 set aside for job loss.

 

While the total amount needed may seem daunting, preparing can be made easy by putting aside a certain percentage of your income from every paycheck into a bank account with no fees, allowing you to hold onto everything you save. Avoid withdrawing any money from this account unless absolutely necessary, as this will act as a fixed income source in the event you lose your job.

 

Have Multiple Sources of Income

Unemployment can become a lot less stressful if you have multiple sources of income, as they offer a great fall back. (They also have the added benefit of making wage negotiations much easier and less stressful.) There are two types of income to take into account when discussing ways to generate money on the side: active and passive income.

 

Active income is any type of secondary job or side hustle you might have. I’m a huge fan of the side gig. If you have been considering starting your own small business or taking on an evening or weekend job like consulting or project management–or even ridesharing, consider it as a safety net for potential job loss. Passive income involves making investments, either real estate or dividend stock investments, that produce income on a monthly or quarterly basis. These require less work but more upfront costs than a side hustle, due to the fact that they require an initial investment cost.

 

Networking and Personal Branding

Finally, you can make the process of finding a job faster by building strong career relationships. Networking gives you the opportunity to have people to rely on when switching careers for references, and may even be the push you need to find your next gig. Remember to spend time socializing in a professional and productive manner on LinkedIn so that you build a great network of people at your job. These relationships can give you a sense of security, and even make it less likely that you’ll lose your current job.

 

Consider building your personal brand on websites like LinkedIn that allow you to put a heavy focus on your career successes. Spend time writing well thought out posts about the industry you work in, and share other people’s content as well. This will be a great fallback to reference when looking for a job, as most employers look at social media profiles before hiring.

 

At the end of the day, job loss is a scary prospect, but the harm that comes from it can be mitigated by spending the time to create a safety net for yourself. This allows you to spend more time focusing on your current career, which in turn makes the risk of job loss far less likely.

What Should I Be Adding To My LinkedIn Profile?

Social Marketing/Online Branding
Are you putting the *right* information on your LinkedIn profile?

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.

 

The Ultimate Must for all Executive LinkedIn Profiles, Emails, Resumes and Cover Letters

Executive ResumesJob Search
resumes and cover letters

Grammar, spelling and punctuation issues can bring your job search to a screeching halt before it even gets started. Still, too many executives overlook basic typographical errors that significantly hurt their chances of landing the job they desire. Whether it’s your LinkedIn profile, resumes and cover letters, emails or anything else, always take the time to proofread your work before any other eyes see it. Some recruiters and hiring managers may forgive a typo here and there, but you shouldn’t rely on it. Here are some tips for avoiding these mistakes and why it’s important to avoid them.

Proofread Everything Before Sending or Publishing

Never rely on the spell check program your word processing software has. Many important words can go undetected when misspelled, so it’s always important to give every document a thorough proofread before sending or publishing it. When you’ve looked at your resumes and cover letters for hours, it can sometimes be easy to overlook simple mistakes. Those simple mistakes could be costly and derail your job search.

Misspelled Words Can Hurt Your SEO

Not only will a hiring manager likely push your resume and cover letter to the side if they contain typographical issues, but you might also be undiscoverable online. Hiring managers rely on online searches to find the best candidates, so if important SEO terms are misspelled, they won’t find you. Everything from the headline of your LinkedIn profile to the list of achievements in your resume all factor into your SEO. One misspelled word can hurt you in different ways, so looking at everything with attentive eyes is worth the effort.

Have A Professional Read Your Documents

An executive resume service will easily catch simple typographical errors. However, what they also do to help is make sure your resumes and cover letters flow naturally, make sense to the reader and clearly demonstrate your brand and intentions. It’s entirely possible for you to have a resume free of grammatical and spelling issues, but still not help you because the language isn’t clear. This is where an executive resume service is beneficial to ensure your target organizations understand exactly who you are.

At Professional Resume Services, we don’t want simple mistakes getting in the way of your dream job. We are here to help you with any aspect of your job search, whether it’s creating a new resume from scratch or fine-tuning an existing one. Typographical errors aren’t a reflection of whom you are necessarily, but they can severely hurt your job search efforts. Feel free to reach out to us at any time to see how we can ensure this doesn’t happen.

How Old is Your Executive Resume?

Executive ResumesJob Search
executive resume writer

If it’s been a while since you looked for a new job, you likely haven’t updated your resume during that time. Depending on how long it has been, simply making updates to it won’t be sufficient. When writing an effective resume today, you have to take into consideration how it looks digitally as well as on paper. And a lot of the resume writing strategies that applied a decade ago should be avoided now. Recruiters and hiring managers will be able to easily tell if your resume is dated, so here’s how you can rework yours to catch it up with modern times.

Old Resumes Need To Be Reworked Completely

Any professional resume writing service will suggest rewriting your resume completely if it’s close to a decade old. Sometimes it’s best to start with a blank document so you won’t be tempted to operate under the same framework as your old resume. But when you’ve only written a couple of versions of your resume, and none of them have been recent, how do you know where to start? An executive resume writer is a good resource since they are up-to-date on what should and shouldn’t be included.

Resume Writing Strategies To Consider

Old resumes didn’t typically highlight a job applicant’s personal brand. Today, personal branding is essential to include on resumes, since it’s what sets you apart from the rest. It can be difficult to do this if you’ve never done it before, so there’s no harm in working with an executive resume writer for assistance.

Keywords, formatting, hyperlinks and more should also be modernized in your resume. With more employers using applicant tracking systems to help them filter through resumes, it’s essential to include proper keywords and phrases to ensure your resume gets recognized. Targeting is also highly recommended when writing an effective resume. Employers can spot a general resume quickly, so do your research and demonstrate your knowledge about the company and their needs in yours.

Outdated Details Should Be Removed

Details like where you live, professional references, outdated expertise, an objective statement or other personal information don’t belong on resumes anymore. Of course, if a specific employer asks for this information, then you should have it handy and ready to provide it to them. Nothing demonstrates an outdated resume more than including these types of details, which most employers aren’t interested in.

Professional Resume Services takes pride in being a trusted professional resume writing service for numerous executives. Keeping up with the times is difficult today in the fast-paced world we live in. It’s especially difficult to do so if you have held the same job for many years and need to put together a resume quickly. Whether you’re actively looking for a job or if you just want to give your resume a boost, feel free to contact us for a consultation.

3 Things to Keep You Busy While You Wait for the Executive Job Interview Call

Job SearchResume Writing
executive resume service

Job searches can be stressful, time-consuming and frustrating, but they don’t have to be. It’s natural to think you’ll get a call for an interview right away when you send in your resume to a company. But even if you worked with the top rated resume writing services, there’s still a chance you won’t get the call as quickly as you had hoped. Instead of dwelling on it and thinking about where you may have gone wrong, use the downtime to your advantage. You never know what may happen, but keep yourself busy by doing these things.

See if Other Companies Match Your Interests

Every executive resume service will tell you to not put all of your eggs into one basket. While you should spend a significant amount of time researching a company before sending in your targeted resume, don’t stop there. Move on to the next company to see if your personality fits with their culture and if you have the skills they are looking for. Most people have a specific list of companies in mind that they want to work for, but may discover other opportunities in the meantime they didn’t expect.

Make A New LinkedIn Connection

You can also use your downtime to update your LinkedIn profile and come up with strategic ways to utilize the platform. Take some time to find executives from other companies of interest and reach out to them. There’s never any harm in introducing yourself and making a new connection. Just don’t go overboard by building your list of connections so large and not knowing half of them. Making connections through your LinkedIn profile can lead to various opportunities later on.

Thank Your Past and Current Mentors

Waiting for a job interview call is a good time to reflect on where you’ve been and look forward to where you want to be. An executive resume service may suggest reaching out to your past and current mentors to simply thank them for how they’ve helped shape your career. They will appreciate the gratitude more than you think, and you never know if they’ll be able to provide you with one last nugget to help you move forward.

Professional Resume Services is more than simply an executive resume service. We work with executives who are at different points in their careers and are pursuing different paths. Some executives we work with don’t have a LinkedIn profile, while others simply need to brush theirs up. No matter where you’re at in your career or what type of career advice you think you need, feel free to contact us at any time to see how we can help.