Are you struggling with how best to write your executive resume?
Your timing for updating your resume couldn’t be better.
Companies with new budgets post new job openings in the first quarter of the new year.
This makes NOW the best time to write a kick-ass resume for a fruitful 2019 job search.
Quick Notables About Resumes … Before Writing Anything
If you’re sending your resume to recruiters, did you know:
- approx. 6.25 seconds is spent reading it.
- A candidate’s name, current and past job titles/employers, and education gets most of that time.
- The rest is used scanning keywords (skills) that match the open position.
That’s a lot to absorb in 6.25 seconds!
Of course, for those who use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to manage resumes … well, you can forget about any scan time until the ATS software deems your document worthy.
So, your goal is to write your executive resume to be:
- Keyword & Achievement-Rich
- Skimmable & Easy to follow
- Unique & Attention-Grabbing
Okay, let’s get started on how to do this:
Here are 5 of the best resume writing tips to ensure you’re ready for 2019:
1. Take an audit of your past year’s performance.
What success have you achieved in your career throughout the past 12 months?
A lot can happen in one short year.
The easiest way to approach this is by scanning your yearly performance reviews.
Performance evals can provide insight into:
- Projects you’ve managed/assisted with
- Successes that the Board of Directors or executive team has recognized you for
- New tasks/goals you’ve spearheaded
By reviewing your past year’s performance, you “prime your mind” for the resume update.
Okay, so let’s say your company doesn’t use performance reports.
What resources can you use to identify some of your biggest job successes?
Well, that’s easy … look no further than your colleagues, subordinates, and clients.
In fact, this is when LinkedIn InMail comes in handy.
Or, email and instant messaging work great too.
The feedback you receive can go a long way to helping you write your executive resume.
For example, let’s say you receive the following from one of your project managers:
Last year, we resolved those major issues for AT&T. They had a hell of a time with IT service delivery issues. A small team made up of Scott, Jaideep, and I integrated Scrum. You can verify with Janet in Project Accounting, but the cost savings was well into six figures. Plus, we completed about 6 weeks before our initial forecasted deadline. Not bad, right?
At first glance, you might think the above has no place in your resume.
But, with a bit of ingenuity, we can rewrite the above to this:
- Managed the Scrum team assigned with resolving major service issues to AT&T’s government client. Saved AT&T approx. $630,000 after implementing Scrum techniques to speed project management.
2. Decide what should stay and what should go.
This one can be a “toughy,” especially for executives who have in-depth careers.
Are you struggling with what to keep/ditch?
Again, I have some easy go-to tips to make this a breeze.
First, start with the back-end of your resume.
Look at your oldest position.
Is it from the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s?
If yes, your best bet is to get rid of it. As a general rule, executive resumes should cover a 10-year timeline.
Of course, there are instances when more or less is advisable.
Unless there are extenuating circumstances, the 10-year rule works for most.
Second, now it’s time to assess the aftermath of your Edward Scissorhands activities.
Ask yourself questions like:
Are you happy with the timeline of where your resume now starts?
Have you harmed your resume by excluding that old position?
If you’re not sure, submit your resume to me.
Third, chop out unrelated, unimportant certifications, education, and so on.
The easiest place to start is within your certification/education category.
Do you have certifications and/or training that’s outdated? Irrelevant to your current job focus?
If yes, ditch them.
How about job skills?
You don’t need to go crazy with this suggestion. In fact, start small.
Chop out the few select job tasks that don’t support your job target.
Easy enough … right?
Once you get more comfortable with this, proceed with a bit more nip/tuck to your resume.
3. Include metrics.
By metrics, we mean achievements … and those can be awesome additives to any great executive resume.
We gave you an example above of how to identify and write achievements.
Also, think about the state of your employer when you started versus when you left.
Quantify EVERYTHING if possible …
How did you …
Reduce employee turnover?
Sometimes some achievements aren’t that impressive.
We once had a client that eliminated a monthly software maintenance fee of $1200/month.
That equates to a $14,400 a year savings.
Not very impressive on its own.
So, we combined that amount with several other bottom-line cost reductions.
This is how we presented it:
- Saved $113,568 in the first 6 months of tenure. Identified inflated software maintenance fees and brought certain outsourced services in-house. Identified another $72,500 in the pipeline for extra contract savings.
4. Check your keywords.
Posted job openings and job descriptions contain significant keywords that recruiters search for.
Resume management systems search executive resumes for pertinent keywords as well.
Do yourself a favor by identifying important keywords for your industry and position.
Once you’ve made your list, pepper those keywords throughout your resume.
For example, keywords for those in sales could be:
- Sales Pipeline Development
- Revenues/Sales Growth
- Per-Account Sales Volumes
- Sales Contract Extensions
Keywords for those in marketing could be:
- Product Development
- Multimedia Marketing
- Market Research/Analysis
- Direct Mail Marketing
5. Do this with the top of your resume…
Update your contact information.
This may seem like an obvious recommendation.
Yet, executives change email addresses all the time.
They change phone numbers.
And, they don’t always update their resumes.
Did you know that it’s sufficient to have one phone number listed?
The best choice is the mobile phone that only you answer.
Does your resume include your LinkedIn URL?
LinkedIn Recruitment is a recruitment tool making billions in profit.
This means that LR is being used a lot!
So, making it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to view your LinkedIn profile makes sense.
Are you including your mailing address?
This might surprise you, but you may no longer want to.
Yes, there’s a new trend where jobseekers are purposely excluding their mailing addresses from the header.
In fact, there’s a growing belief that as long as your phone’s area code matches that of your target job area, a mailing address is no longer necessary.
Don’t let 2019 slip away without putting your best foot forward.
It will prove to be valuable to update your executive resume now so you can be a step ahead of your competition in the new year.