If you’re sizing up your executive competition for a new leadership role, you might have noticed the new trends in resumes for 6 and 7-figure candidates.
No longer the staid documents seen in the past, executive-level resumes (and LinkedIn profiles) require fresh design and concentrated text to attract the right kind of attention.
Read on for the latest trends in executive resume writing – and how incorporating them can help you land your next job faster:
1 – Shorter Page Length Isn’t Necessarily Better.
The one-page resume “rule” is really a guideline for targeting your executive resume to the audience who will read it.
For example, it’s common to shorten your resume considerably when applying to a Board seat, or when networking in person. Each of these situations requires a snapshot of your past leadership experience, education, executive accomplishments, and affiliations – condensed and to the point.
However, many recruiters and employers like to see sufficient detail on your experience in M&A strategy, bottom-line profits, team size, and international influence. It’s best to use a storytelling approach that describes how you’ve overcome business challenges or led turnarounds, complete with hard-hitting metrics.
Incorporating this type of detail often requires extending your executive resume to 2 or even 3 pages for optimum readability.
2 – Headlines Can Help With Resume Navigation.
By the time you’ve reached the C-suite or corner office, you’ll have plenty of data from which to choose in writing your executive resume. Rather than providing an endless list of bullets and hoping employers read every one, you can rely on a simple strategy to ease navigation.
Incorporate headlines or taglines into your executive resume to help break up text and give readers something else to focus on.
In this example of a TORI award-winning international CEO and Business Development resume, the additional titles Global & Regional Strategist, Executive Advisor, Economist, and Expert Marketing & Sales Partner quickly bring the reader up to speed on this candidate’s leadership record.
3 – Profile Summaries Must be Short and to the Point.
In the past, executive resume summaries were long paragraphs offering vague statements about leadership qualities and dedication (admirable qualities – but they could apply to anyone!).
Today, your resume qualifications profile should be short and stick to facts, such as a list of international regions managed or a reputation for leading turnarounds. This resume profile summary for a VP of Sales shows how to narrow the focus:
Executive rainmaker noted for quick assessment and turnaround of underperforming teams (Americas & APAC)—leveraging technology and marketing insight to correct sales methods for up to 70% improvement. High-energy, hard-charging leader who thrives on the “thrill of the sale” and structures teams for productivity.
4 – Social Links are Necessary in the Digital Age.
Employers are interested in finding out as much about you as possible, so it’s best to offer up the links to your social media accounts front and center on your resume. Even if you’re only starting to build a digital identity, a shortcut can help decision-makers find your online information.
This is especially important if you share a common name with others in your field or geographical location. Recruiters will look for alignment with your LinkedIn presence and executive resume – and you don’t want to be confused with the other John Smith or Mary Jones in your industry.
In addition, you’ll benefit from linking other social networking information on your resume, particularly if you’ve built a strong Twitter following or regularly blog on industry-related topics.
5 – Accolades Can be Used to Emphasize Your Brand.
You may have received various commendations over the years for projects, sales awards, new products, or customer retention. Instead of forgetting about these testimonials, you can strategically incorporate them into your C-suite resume for a stronger personal brand message.
Be sure to include kudos received that reinforce the value of your specific accomplishments. For example, a note from the CEO on the success of a new acquisition could be used to back up your experience in M&A strategy. If you’ve excelled in mentoring next-generation executives, you could also pull in a quote from a direct report who mentions your success in developing team talents.
When using one of these recommendations in your resume, shrink it down to relevant facts and include the job title of the person issuing it (such as VP of Business Development at XYZ Company).
This TORI award-winning CEO and Board Advisor resume shows short, powerful commendations in the first part of the document – illustrating his value to Wall Street and parent company executives.
In short, your outdated executive resume CAN pack more punch with some tweaks to your content, formatting, and writing style.
Consider incorporating today’s resume design and writing trends to ensure your documents gain more than a passing glance for choice 6 and 7-figure roles.
Daunted by the prospect of pulling 20+ years of experience into a cohesive document? Get in touch with me to experience the competitive advantage of a powerhouse resume and LinkedIn Profile that clarifies your value.
– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC