Is your resume lagging behind your career?

If you’ve been ascending the career ladder, your executive resume has probably seen many changes throughout the years.

During this time, the real story of your brand and qualifications can get lost throughout job changes and new responsibilities.

This isn’t a problem, of course, until you‘re looking for a new job. That’s when employers won’t be able to see the meaning behind your achievements or figure out what you’re really offering.

If your resume doesn’t capture your current status, you’ll need to give it a fresh look and personality that reflects today’s trends, using these 3 steps as a start:

1 – Clarify your achievements and brand—past the point of keywords.

Skills and buzzwords are great for those in the early and mid-stages of their careers. You can quickly add these to your resume and get others to grasp the breadth of your experience.

However, this isn’t so easy once you’ve arrived (at a management or executive level, that is).

This is the point at which your overall brand message needs to bubble up through the individual accomplishments that you’re using on the resume.

Sifting through your successes and what they mean to your next employer is an important step, and one that I’ve covered here in more detail.

2 – Take a look at your resume presentation style.

Chances are good that, if you’ve just piled on your last few jobs, the format is outdated and won’t represent you at the correct level.

I frequently advise executive job hunters to surf for professional resume samples, not as a copying exercise, but to get a feel for what your competition is offering.

Of course, since your goal is to stand out, you’ll want to avoid just plopping your content into that minimalist Microsoft Word resume template (which isn’t made for executives).

Avoid taking the easy way out—like 90% of all job hunters—especially if your field demands innovation and energy. Instead, build an executive message by formatting your resume to reflect the stature that you’re earned.

3 – Keep up with the trends.

Resume formats, practices, and principles change constantly, whether you’re aware of it or not. What worked well for you a few years back (or what your college career center told you) is passé today.

Even what your friends tell you is outdated, unless they have a finger on the pulse of the hiring industry—and they rarely do.

Take the functional resume, for example (please). A few years back, these were all the rage. Now try it, and you’ll quickly find out that HR is on to you and will reject your application.

You’re better off writing your executive resume to show transferable skills AND job titles now, plus networking to make an impression before the resume is seen.

One of the best ways to see what’s new in executive resume writing is to view global competition award entries and winners. Here, you’ll see some striking differences in layout, font, color, and treatment of special situations.

One thought on “Is your resume lagging behind your career?

  1. Karen F. says:

    Let's face it, different companies (HR Executives in particular) vary in their taste for resume formats. One of my clients makes it a point to ask them if they have a certain format in mind and from there, provides them the resume in that format (which I think is genius). It saves them both time and effort, plus I'm sure she gets a few brownie points for that (which never hurts, even if you have already “arrived”).

    Loved the post, looking forward to your next one. 🙂

    Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter if you need me)

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