3 Phrases That Kill The Effectiveness of Your Executive Resume

Want to distinguish your leadership brand among competing candidates?

Then ditch the boring language you’ve seen on other executive resumes.

Just because other resumes (professionally created or self-written) employ a blend of monotonous, overused words doesn’t mean you have to follow suit.

Shake things up and inject some power into your personal brand message by refusing to add these mundane descriptors to your executive resume:

1 – “Accomplished leader.”

Did you copy this opening line from another resume? If so, you’re in good company.

Why you should reconsider this phrase: It’s a no-brainer and does you a disservice. You’re better off telling companies what’s different about your accomplishments – competitively so – to open up a different conversation.

What you could say instead:

  • Progressive bank CEO & catalyst for lasting, significant profits (shown on this sample of a CEO resume)
  • CEO and new-market proponent launching XYZ Company’s first scalable growth strategy, with 26% year-over-year revenue results
  • 500% growth over tenure from original book of business – largest deals in company history (from a VP of Business Development resume)

2 – “Over XXX years of experience…”

Continually updated your resume over the years – and can’t think of what else to say?

Why you should reconsider: Years of experience are not always an asset in the job search, especially as you advance into prime territory for age bias. Earlier in your career, those first 8-10 years under your belt make you a mid-career asset (experienced, but not quite expensive). Don’t let employers see your 20+ years of history as a reason they can’t afford you.

Longevity doesn’t always mean effectiveness. We’ve all known colleagues who just put in their time, merely surviving during decades of experience. Therefore, you’ll need to focus on ROI, rather than the length of your tenure.

What you could say instead:

  • Global experience leading business development to an all-time high of 35% annual growth (in spite of economic downturn).
  • Rapid promotions to VP of IT (exceeding colleague career paths), due to diligent handling of international infrastructures
  • Senior sales operations executive behind competitive benchmarking and an industry-leading 43% rise in revenue

3 – “Seasoned.”

Trying to make your case as the top senior executive with this descriptor?

Why you should reconsider: No matter how you put it, this description is going to sound as if you’ve got one foot into retirement – perhaps because it’s lasted among the over-55 set for a number of years. See point #2 regarding age bias in the job search.

There’s many other ways to note your lengthy experience and results, without making references to your age or seniority.

What you could say instead:

  • Energetic executive regarded as innovator and performance driver for teams across Americas, APAC, & Middle East
  • COO driving sweeping impact to profits, company reputation, & customer retention (shown on this COO resume for a candidate in his late 50’s)
  • VP Operations credited with shaping manufacturing strategy for expansion into 5 new, profitable international markets

In short, break away from those all too well-used phrases – and add some energetic language to your executive resume!

Describing yourself in terms of ROI and leadership scope helps employers see the authentic value and influence you’ll bring to the company – and makes your resume more engaging to read.

Executive Resume Writer

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 and top C-suite, EVP, VP, and Director positions at Fortune 500 firms, niche companies, start-ups, and emerging industry leaders, using powerhouse documents and executive job search techniques tailored to today’s job market.

Get in touch with me to experience the outstanding results I can bring to your transition.


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