Invariably, the question arises as I talk to executive job hunters: Is my resume really THAT bad?
Do I really need to work on it, or will it just need a few tweaks? What could I possibly need to change? (… and so on).
Even if your executive resume was already professionally written, you may still have doubts about its effectiveness (especially if you didn’t go through a deep-dive analysis of your personal brand).
Look at your executive resume objectively for a few minutes, then answer these 7 questions to determine whether it needs an overhaul:
1 – Does your resume provide metrics in the TOP HALF of the first page?
Employers want to figure you out quickly. If you don’t connect the dots for them, they’ll comb through your dates of employment and job titles, looking for reasons to rule you out.
Unless you have a perfect job history, a degree from Harvard, or you’ve been #2 behind Bill Gates at Microsoft, a quantifiable introduction (one that doesn’t talk about your “proven ability” or “highly accomplished” background) is a requirement for a high-powered job.
2 – Is your resume design STRIKING and RELEVANT to the job you’re pursuing?
If you read this question and had to take another look at your resume, it’s probably not eye-catching enough to stand out against competing documents.
3 – Did you add an INFOGRAPHIC or CHART to your executive resume?
While not the only piece of data someone will see, a graphic of your achievements makes a statement and draws the eye toward your top wins.
As it’s often said, “a picture is worth 1,000 words.” A chart can be of high value in covering the salient points of your long career with just a few notations (not a novel).
4 – Are your awards or distinctive career honors at the TOP of your resume?
Employers will nearly always miss information that’s buried, especially if it is placed as a footnote to your job responsibilities.
Accolades that mark you as a solid candidate must land in prime resume real estate (that top half of the first page again), or your audience can get lost finding them.
5 – Does your resume fit into 3 pages or less – with a READABLE font?
Remember those 10 seconds you have to get employer attention?
If your executive message can’t fit into the first page (with an obvious statement of value), with just enough detail (using 10-point or larger font) in subsequent pages, most people won’t spend time looking for it.
6 – Are the names of major clients, employers, or universities listed on the FRONT of your resume?
(See #4 above.)
Employment at an industry-leading company tells recruiters that a) you’ve passed a stringent vetting process in the past; b) you have credibility in your field; and c) you offer an edge over competing candidates from (probably unsuccessful) no-name companies.
The same goes for graduation from a renowned alma mater, or your ability to secure top, brand-name accounts. (Name drop! Please!)
7 – When you send your resume out to employers, are you receiving a RESPONSE?
The ultimate litmus test of whether you need executive resume writing help, a positive reaction from employers should be your main goal.
No matter what I (or even you) think of your executive resume, it has one main job: to bowl over hiring authorities and compel them to call you before their competition does. If it works, you’ll know it.
One final clue:
If you answered “No” to the majority of these questions, you probably know the answer to the original one.
Need a competitive edge for your executive job search?
As the #1 U.S. TORI award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate – PLUS arm you with the job search tools that will get you hired faster.
My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche-market companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.
Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results my expertise can bring to your transition.
– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC