Category: executive resume writer

5 Executive Resume Writing Secrets Used by Experts

Starting to write your executive resume?

You might feel overwhelmed by the amount of information needed to produce a standout document – especially if you have decades of experience to cover.

Take a step back to look at your value proposition and contributions from throughout your career, framing your story step by step. Not only will this aid you in writing your resume succinctly and clearly, but you’ll be in better shape when it comes to fielding interview questions.

Consider using these 5 tactics to mine for career and personal branding in an executive career (the same steps employed by professional resume experts): Continue reading “5 Executive Resume Writing Secrets Used by Experts”

Seeking the Best Resume Writer You Can Find?

resume_writer

Launching a job search? You’ve probably thought about hiring the best executive resume writer you can find.

There’s a plethora of resume writers advertising services online and through social media. 

But how do you know if an executive resume writer will market you effectively?

What if the final product doesn’t represent you or your field? What if you don’t understand the writer’s work?

What should you look for (and ask) when vetting the best executive resume writer for you?

I recommend setting out to qualify writers with these 7 questions, which will give you a good idea of the quality, responsiveness, and attention you’ll receive. After all, most executive resume writers represent a sizable investment (from $500 to more than $4,000). Continue reading “Seeking the Best Resume Writer You Can Find?”

The Truth About Award-Winning Resume Writers

Award winning resume writerSpent any time hunting down a great resume writer? 

If so, you’ll see plenty of services online and via social media sites, with numerous resume services touting award-winning expertise and credentials.

A quick search for “award winning resume writers” on Google produced more than 31 million results from nearly every country in the world. The same LinkedIn search yielded dozens of resume writers, all claiming awards on their Profiles.

How can this be?

Of course, you’ll want to vet any resume writer thoroughly if you plan to hire them. Your resume (and LinkedIn Profile) are easily the most important career documents you’ll ever need.

Particularly if an award-winning resume service is truly important to you, being cautious will pay off in selecting the right provider!

In other words, you’re looking for truth in advertising.

Follow these tips to ensure you’re working with a writer whose performance has been independently tested and verified: Continue reading “The Truth About Award-Winning Resume Writers”

Should You Hire an Executive Resume Writer?

portrait of business executiveReadying your resume for an executive job search?

You’re up against intensive competition from leaders with a wealth of experience.

But will you need a professionally written executive resume to compete at this level? Does every executive outsource this part of the job search?

It depends. While it’s true that every impression counts in today’s job market – and that many executives turn to a professional resume writer, there are cases where you’ll be able to rely on a self-written document.

Weigh these 5 considerations when deciding to use the services of an executive resume writer or go it alone:

1 – Is resume writing your strong suit?

If you’re a naturally expressive writer, you might be able to compose the detailed, achievement-rich story of your background needed to capture interest at an executive level.

However, if you dread writing in detail about most subjects – and you haven’t kept up on the latest trends in executive resume writing, then it’s time to consider bringing in an expert.

This is especially true in cases where your background is complex, and you anticipate devoting hours to weeks on the task.

Rather than spending considerable time on your leadership resume, it can make more sense to concentrate on efforts that only you can undertake – strengthening networking relationships, starting conversations with executive recruiters, and polishing your LinkedIn / social media presence.

2 – Do your executive competitors rely on resume experts?

Look around at your executive competition to see if their LinkedIn Profiles appear polished and personally branded – AND if they’re successfully landing new jobs. You might see some trends.

Executives in sales and marketing roles, for example, regularly tap into resume writing services to help them edge out the competition. (Many resume writers will tell you their main business is centered on serving sales leaders).

In fields involving more jargon and technical skills, though, you may find executive resume writing services to be the exception. As an example, some medical professionals are able to target a leadership role if their degrees, places of residency, or areas of practice speak for themselves. In the case of this Chief Revenue Officer, an expertly crafted resume was instrumental in organizing large amounts of data.

Many CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, CTO, CNO, and CLO candidates seek executive resume writing services because they’re accustomed to outsourcing tasks of high complexity. At this level, your executive resume will be routinely compared against these well-crafted portfolios. Don’t come up short!

3 – Are your skills extremely rare – and in hot demand?

If your phone is already ringing off the hook with calls from executive recruiters, or you’re receiving at least several LinkedIn messages per week from employers eager to bring you in for an interview, you may not need to turn to an executive resume writer (as long as you’ve compiled your career history into a presentable document).

The same will be true if your field has few experts – and your resume or LinkedIn presence will therefore generate interest quickly.

On the other hand, if you find sending out your executive resume only results in the sounds of silence (even after multiple rounds of tweaking it to fit the job description or to add accomplishments), then it’s time to look closely at an executive resume writing service as part of your strategy.

4 – Have you been able to write (not just talk) about yourself effectively?

Many people can tell a colorful story of their achievements and career high points – but only if asked probing questions, and only in talking through their stories. (This is why I interview executive clients and take copious notes.)

If you possess this type of “blind spot,” then struggling to write your own executive resume can be a daunting task. In this case, you’ll find collaborating with a top-notch resume expert to be invaluable, as they’ll spend the time to draw out both your career stories and the relevance of each one to your ultimate goal.

However, there are executives who’ve stayed in close touch with their inner marketer, continually documenting success stories that effectively describe their career paths. If this applies to you, then writing your own executive resume isn’t that much of a stretch.

5 – Are you up to speed on trends in executive resume writing?

Many people are surprised at the new look of leadership resumes, particularly when they review executive resume samples to get an idea of what others are using in job search.

If you’ve stayed relatively current on resume trends, or had a resume professionally written within the past 2-3 years, you may be able to put together a striking presentation that will capture attention.

Conversely, if you’re unaware that an executive resume can take up more than a page, or if you’ve never experimented with fonts beyond Arial or Times New Roman, then your job search can suffer significantly from a bland resume – and you’ll need expert help.

In summary, executive resume writing services can be effective, but they’re not for everyone.

Consider your situation and needs in context against the job you’re seeking, and make your decision accordingly.

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, enjoying the competitive advantage of 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.

– Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CPBA, TCCS, COPNS, CIC, CTTCC

How to Write a Compelling COO Resume

cooexecutiveTransitioning into a COO role – or taking the next step from GM or VP of Operations?

To be competitive, your COO resume must deliver a quick, yet potent snapshot of strategic leadership and tactical qualifications.

In today’s job market, most COOs direct broad functions such as marketing, production, sales, and technology, while presenting strategic ideas to the Board and playing a large part in company growth.

Management and team direction, profit growth, process improvement, quality standards, cost savings, and promotional acumen can be equally paramount to a strategic vision that drives bottom-line results.

Therefore, your COO resume will need to demonstrate both detailed success stories and an overarching message of leadership.

If you’re struggling to combine these elements into your COO resume, use these tips and examples as guides to a strong picture of success at the executive level:

1 – Add Success Stories (in Context!).

Your career story is often more engaging when told from the standpoint of problems solved, challenges overcome, or roadblocks removed.

Therefore, you’ll want to include descriptions of the situations behind each result for greater impact. As an example, the second page of this COO sample resume contains details of Crisis & Change Leadership that show $1.2 million additional claims revenue produced when the COO stepped in to take over a management job. Continue reading “How to Write a Compelling COO Resume”

Need a Leadership Resume Fast? Don’t Panic

On the receiving end of a recruiter’s call? Found a great job online, but it closes soon?

Your elation can quickly turn to panic, especially if you haven’t updated your resume in some time.

You’ll want to maximize every minute, of course, while creating a document that makes it look as if you’ve spent weeks crafting each word.

Here are 3 shortcuts to reviewing and refreshing your leadership resumeall in short order – to meet the demands of a choice job:

1 – Gather your thoughts.

Before your fingers hit the keyboard to start the resume writing process, take a step back.

Resumes are much more effective if they directly tie your experience to the job, so you’ll need to build your value proposition around this particular role. You can always create a newer version to fit a different job. Continue reading “Need a Leadership Resume Fast? Don’t Panic”

3 Reasons Why Your Executive Resume Isn’t Working

In the midst of an executive job search – but getting little to no results from your resume?

In today’s job market, the sheer volume of competition means your executive resume faces more hurdles in landing an interview.

An unmistakable brand message that clearly positions you as a leader is a must, especially when distinguishing yourself among other executives!

If you’re frustrated with the lack of action from employers, read on for some common problems that can prevent your executive resume from conveying your true status – along with corrective tips:

1 – You’ve chosen mid-career language to describe yourself.

By the time you’ve reached at least the Director or C-suite level, “highly motivated,” “proven ability,” or “results-oriented” aren’t going to cut it anymore.

Not only are you up against candidates that are portrayed in stronger terms, but this type of language shows that you’re struggling to articulate your personal brand and executive qualifications.

A better strategy? Wrap a signature achievement into each statement or paragraph—allowing you to clearly assert your value proposition. Continue reading “3 Reasons Why Your Executive Resume Isn’t Working”

Is Your Executive Resume Too Wordy?

Finding it difficult to sum up your value proposition in a 2- or 3-page resume?

In addition to annoying employers, a too-long resume can quickly lose its potency and dilute your brand message—leaving decision-makers confused about why they should hire you for a leadership role.

Here are some tip-offs to a too-wordy resume that fails to distinguish your skills:
  • Your bullet-point sentences are longer than 2 or 3 lines, making them nearly impossible to scan quickly
  • You’ve started many phrases or sentences with the same word, which weakens your message
  • Your performance results are buried all the way at the end of each sentence, and are therefore hard to find, with minimal brand impact
  • You’ve added too many adjectives and adverbs, with every achievement noted as “outstanding,” “exceptional,” and worst of all, “successful.” (employers certainly hope this is the case!)

If any of these apply to your executive resume, it’s easy to trim excess words with these 3 techniques that drive your point home quickly:

Skip verbs for increased impact.

As a branded marketing document, a leadership resume can use innovative conventions, such as sentence fragments that remove the verbs. Consider this example of a sentence transformation:

Original:

Led large-scale operations restructuring and expansion of call centers and company facilities, resulting in a 63% profit increase in just three years and the region’s lowest personnel costs.

New:

63% profit increase in 3 years plus lowest per-employee expenses with enterprise-level operations restructuring and expansion.

Here, the original sentence was condensed 37%–but it still conveys the same meaning. Now, imagine what cutting more than a third of the clutter could do for the clarity of YOUR executive resume!

To use this technique, make list of front-loaded results sentences like these, give this section a name (such as Selected Leadership Results), and then pop it on the front page for maximum exposure.

  

Take out that long, winding summary paragraph.

There’s no need to bore your reader with a lookalike resume summary or profile that states the obvious, such as:

“Dedicated team player with proven leadership, technology utilization, and financial expertise. Skilled in completing projects and communicating at all corporate levels, with excellent team-building and cross-functional collaboration skills.”

Don’t waste this key area of resume real estate with a description that fails to tell a story. Instead, cut down the volume of words while giving a snapshot of brand value that pulls in some achievement metrics.

Here’s an example culled from a leadership resume for a candidate moving up the ladder to a CTO role:

VP Technology attaining 99% over-goal performance by exceeding SLA requirements through strategic planning, cost containment, and contract negotiations.

Note the metrics and specific job title blended into the summary statement – with a message that promises value and performance.

Learn to write a branding headline.

A trade secret among professional and executive resume writers, the headline is actually a tagline that allows you condense more data into a tight space. The best part? Your resume can use more than one headline to convey your strongest points.

Here are some examples of headlines that encapsulate value and position job hunters for a specific role:

  • Senior pharmaceutical executive behind accelerated, multibillion-dollar product launches
  • VP Sales driving global growth for new-media marketing company achieving worldwide recognition
  • Investment professional promoting financial health through investment & capital planning

A branding headline can quickly give employers the “big picture” of your achievements, without taking up precious space on your executive resume.

To create this statement, combine the position you seek with a major achievement from your career, showing the results of your work or the approach that you use. In fact, you can lift a success story directly from the body of your leadership resume and summarize it—allowing you to remove extraneous detail from elsewhere in your document.

As you continue to adjust your executive resume and tighten the language, be sure to show it to colleagues and others familiar with your work. You’ll probably find that, even with excess words removed, that it still conveys your brand message—and faster to boot.

  

Secrets of an Executive Resume Writer: Where to Put Key Information

Like hiring managers and recruiters, I read plenty of resumes sent to me by job hunters hopeful for a shot at a great new role. And like hiring authorities, I struggle to find the most pertinent information about each candidate as I scan through the documents.

Many professionals still adhere to resume formats that kill their chances of winning an interview, burying their most attractive credentials and making it harder for employers to see salient points.

However, it’s not your fault! Setting out to write your own resume is a daunting task that throws even the most skilled writer for a loop.

Marketing managers, HR directors, and even journalists can struggle to write a successful, interview-winning resume, as they often miss key points about their own career histories and are unsure how to quickly make that critical first impression.

What truly masterful executive and professional resume writers know is that the ORDER in which your resume displays your skills can make or break the reception you get.

Here’s an example: I recently received a resume from a seasoned operations executive that listed his education first, then his work history. No professional summary, just a quick list of who he’d worked for and a few numbers.

Halfway into reading it, I spotted some organizational projects that he’d led that had trimmed expenses by 30%, allowing the company to open a new facility with no extra staff! Why wasn’t THIS information front and center?

In another case, I worked with an executive that had graduated from Notre Dame, plus earned an MBA from a prestigious university.

Even though his recent experience as a CFO was much more prominent than the education, these university names could be a key qualifier that resonated with employers.

Therefore, I brought this information to the forefront by noting it in the executive profile of his new resume–eliminating eyestrain for hiring managers who might be on the lookout for these notable qualifications.

My advice for you? Take a STRATEGIC look at what you offer, noting the top 3-5 qualifications, credentials, and achievements that will make you stand out among others vying for the same job.

Next, redistribute this information on your resume so that it gives an immediate impression of who you are, what you do, and why employers need YOU to solve business problems.

You’ll find that, the less your reader needs to hunt for key data, the higher volume of interviews–and successful job offers–will come your way.

Job search strategy: How carving your own path leads to success

If you’ve read my book, How to Get Hired Faster, you know that I’m a strong advocate of finding your niche and “selling it” to prospective employers.

Now, this New York Times article features a Denver executive job hunter who did just that: he found, as many do, that job boards don’t produce fast results and that he needed to widen his network.

He notes that, along the way, he became more involved in maintaining business connections. At the urging of a key contact, he initiated a dialogue with hiring authorities about an open position, even though it seemed beneath his level.

This is a key strategy that I advocate to anyone in the job market ! You’ll never know if a company realizes that YOU are the solution to their business needs until you make an attempt to COMMUNICATE this message.

In the end, he was hired at a Denver-area company as a result of his conversations and connections with the CEO–after convincing the firm that his expertise could produce the business results that they sought.

What a great success story! Of course, this is proof that you can influence employers to take note of your unique skills–without chasing down job leads or relentlessly pushing the Send button to distribute your resume.