Wasted Space on Executive Resume

Getting a slow response when sending your executive resume?

If so, you might be focusing on extraneous details – while starving employers of the facts they need to make a hiring decision.

In fact, if you haven’t heard, the executive resume has evolved considerably as a marketing tool for your personal brand and value proposition, complete with splashes of color and persuasive, quantifiable content.

To take stock of your executive resume’s effectiveness, consider whether you’re committing these resume space-wasting sins (and try these ideas for a more powerful and effective presentation):

1 – Your resume summary lacks distinguishing details.

The first page of your executive resume must immediately capture attention, right at the top. Yet, too many resumes contain a boilerplate summary copied from another document (“Accomplished and results-driven executive with a distinguished 20-year career in the manufacturing industry…”).

If this looks like your executive summary, you’re forfeiting valuable space that could be used for specifics on your leadership achievements, educational credentials, and stature.

Instead, write a qualifications summary reflective of your brand value, using keywords and metrics that support your goal:

Senior corporate strategist and President sought to head divisions of multinational companies, attaining 23%-45% CAGR in positions requiring sales, IT, supply chain, and operations acumen. Consecutive 6-year Infinity Award winner for excellence in business planning. Columbia MBA.

2 – You’re relying too much on white space.

Everyone wants to put a clearly written, readable document in front of employers. However, there’s no reason to sacrifice pertinent details because you’re trying to meet an (often arbitrary) page limit.

If you find that the relevant details of your executive resume take up too much room, try using borders, shading, color, or even graphical elements to set off critical pieces of information.

The result, as shown in this example of an International CEO resume, will be a neatly formatted, easy-to-read document that retains key accomplishment data and therefore influences employers.

3 – You added the same headings as everyone else.

Why is your summary of achievements called Summary of Achievements? What if you used a headline that supported your goal of a CIO role, such as Examples of IT Leadership, or promoted your qualifications for a CMO position, using Profit & Sales Results From Marketing Initiatives?

Select otherwise-boring areas of your executive resume, such as Core Competencies, Education, or Professional Profile, and think of more meaningful terms (as shown in this example of an IT Director resume).

This way, you’ll be able to use Sales Prospecting & Closing Skills, Technology Education, or Qualifications for Regional CFO as reinforcement for your value proposition.

In other words, don’t corral your executive experience inside a too-short, overly common resume presentation. Broaden your imagination and consider how to use valuable resume real estate to convey your point and compel employers to contact you.

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, CTTC, CIC 

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