You’ll find yourself at a disadvantage in today’s aggressive job market.
Plenty of job seeking activities have changed over the past decade… and your executive resume needs to keep pace with them.
Job seekers in 2015, 2016, and beyond must develop and leverage a personal brand message throughout each aspect of their resumes, social media activities, cover letters, and LinkedIn Profiles.
To ensure your resume and job search activity aligns with the latest resume writing trends in 2015, take note of these 5 critical elements:
2015 Resume Trend #1: New Ways to Present Data.
Gathered metrics on your job performance, but not sure how to make them stand out? In 2015, executive resume trends include the use of graphics and charts (such as the illustrations in this sample sales resume).
Even if you’ve never added a graphic element to your resume, take heart: thanks to the Insert function in Microsoft Word, adding a chart is easier than ever. This function will display an Excel spreadsheet in which to add the requisite metrics, as well as prompt you to select the chart of your choice, such as a bar graph.
Remember that hiring managers are constantly looking for candidates who distinguish themselves at a leadership level. By highlighting the metrics you’ve worked hard to gather (and achieve), you’re making their job easier in 2015.
2015 Resume Trend #2: A Fresh Design.
If you’re an executive or senior-level professional, you’ll find the basic resume style of yesteryear is now outdated. Effective resumes in 2015, 2016, and beyond rely on dashes of color, changes in font style, intensive keyword strategy, and graphics, as shown in this 2015 sample of an executive resume.
The trend toward using eye-catching design elements isn’t new; executive resume practices have evolved over the past few years, with a transition away from the one-page, all-white documents of the past.
If your resume isn’t employing these strategies, update it now! A refresh is always a good idea in order to stay competitive.
2015 Resume Trend #3: A Powerful, Targeted Cover Letter.
Why would a cover letter be important relative to your resume in 2015? While it’s true that employers will often read your resume and LinkedIn Profile first, they’ll also use your cover letter to gauge your communications skills.
Therefore, you’ll want to take some time writing an effective cover letter that appeals to hiring audiences – ensuring you’re both addressing their needs and mentioning your knowledge of the company.
Even if you target recruiters in 2015 (who aren’t as interested in your cover letter), keep in mind that many executives (CEO, CFO, COO, or head of HR) are likely to review your letter to get a feel for your writing style – looking for a fit with the company culture and goals for employee engagement. You’ll benefit from ensuring your cover letter delivers the same message of ROI as your resume.
2015 Resume Trend #4: Concise, Brand-Focused Wording.
In 2015, leadership resumes have evolved into shorter, more precisely written documents, especially when it comes to the first page.
This means you no longer have to write a bloated qualifications profile, but can instead list pertinent details (as shown in this COO resume example).
As noted in the points above, this document employs leading resume trends, including graphic elements, color, and a summary of the candidate’s career trajectory — all effective strategies in distinguishing executive qualifications.
2015 Resume Trend #5: Alignment With Social Media.
Congratulations! In 2015 and beyond, you’ve become a hot search topic, as employers and recruiters are turning to Google and LinkedIn to learn more about you.
If your resume writing and LinkedIn styles aren’t in alignment, this trend can catch you off-guard – making it difficult for employers to understand who they’re reading about.
Therefore, as you’re writing your resume for use in 2015 or later, keep in mind that your social media profiles must reference the same personal brand message (designed, of course, for a more engaging, personable tone), even if you’re referencing the same keywords and achievements.
In summary, an effective executive resume in 2015 and beyond requires evidence of your leadership achievement, standout design, social media alignment (or social proof), and a branded cover letter as backup. Don’t go into your job search without observing these trends!
Need a competitive edge in your job search? As an award-winning executive resume writer, I create branded, powerful resumes and LinkedIn Profiles that position you as the #1 candidate.
My clients win interviews at Fortune 500 firms including Citibank, Google, Disney, and Pfizer, plus niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders.
Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.
– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC