Take These Overused, Trite Words Off Your Executive Resume

Executive resume errorsIf you want to impress employers, don’t repeat the same tired words you’ve seen in other documents!

These terms can water down your personal brand message (and bore recruiters).

To ensure you’re piquing the interest of hiring authorities, scan your executive resume for these too-common words and phrases – and consider using more powerful replacements: Continue reading “Take These Overused, Trite Words Off Your Executive Resume”

How to Write a CFO Resume That Reflects Your Leadership Brand

cropped-financialteam.jpgPursuing your next step up the career ladder as CFO or Controller?

Your CFO resume must connect the dots from tactical details, such as financial reporting or systems, to strategic advisor and CEO partner.

By showing examples of strategic decision-making and forecasting, IT oversight, performance recommendations, and Board influence, your CFO resume will position you to compete against other contenders for a C-suite role.

Here’s how to present your value proposition on a powerful, effective CFO resume: Continue reading “How to Write a CFO Resume That Reflects Your Leadership Brand”

How to Write a CIO Resume for Interview-Winning Results

How to write a CIO resume

Aiming for a C-level or Director role leading an enterprise IT organization?

You’ve probably wondered how to transform your resume from a list of technical skills in order to reach the corner office.

How can you craft a brand message strong enough to get attention for a CIO, IT Director, or CTO role?

Working with CIO.com on an IT Director resume makeover, I spent time with Richard Hein, Managing Director, answering this very question. Surprisingly, it’s often business acumen (more so than tech skills) that attracts hiring authorities… and with CIO.com’s candidate, business alignment was clearly the focus of his career.

To obtain these results, I recommend taking a step back from the typical list of projects, protocols, and programs usually featured on an IT resume, using a fresh eye to show how your achievements met business needs.

These 4 powerful tips for how to write a CIO resume (or IT Director resume) will help you shape a brand-driven, compelling document that elicits action from employers: Continue reading “How to Write a CIO Resume for Interview-Winning Results”

Will Your Executive Resume Make the Grade?

Do you need an executive resume writing service?As a writer who works with executives on a daily basis, I see many different types of “before” resumes – some good, some not so much.

Invariably, the question arises as I talk to executive job hunters: Is my resume really THAT bad?

Do I really need to work on it, or will it just need a few tweaks? What could I possibly need to change? (… and so on).

Even if your executive resume was already professionally written, you may still have doubts about its effectiveness (especially if you didn’t go through a deep-dive analysis of your personal brand).

Look at your executive resume objectively for a few minutes, then answer these 7 questions to determine whether it needs an overhaul: Continue reading “Will Your Executive Resume Make the Grade?”

The 5 Essentials of a Powerful VP Sales Resume

VP Sales Resume SampleWant to be considered for a coveted Vice President of Sales role – with a leadership resume that promotes you far above a Sales Manager or Director?

You’ll face an uphill battle if you rely solely on the same metrics and quota figures that nailed your current position.

Here’s why: employers assume that a VP-level sales leader will have already mastered the art of building relationships, training sales teams, and exceeding objectives. Most Sales Managers or Directors aiming for the VP slot have proven that they can close deals and surpass expectations!

What your resume REALLY needs to make it past the gatekeeper for a VP Sales job are these 5 elements, strategically positioned on your executive resume to illustrate your readiness to take the helm of an entire Sales organization: Continue reading “The 5 Essentials of a Powerful VP Sales Resume”

How to Write Your Resume When You’re NOT The Perfect Candidate

Man with gaps in work history or no college degree

If your career trajectory contains a few speed bumps (such as a gap in work history or job hopping), you’re among the multitudes in this job market.

Given the state of economic affairs over the past few years, most job seekers don’t fit the classic picture of a “stable” work history at a single employer the way they once did.

I recently sat down with Jacquelyn Smith of Forbes.com to discuss ways of dealing with a not-so-perfect career history for What To Do When Your Resume Looks Like Bad News, reiterating that problematic job situations can often be overcome with just a few key changes to your resume.

Here’s how to address common “sticky” situations (ones that seem to trip up even the most well-qualified job seekers):

Job Gaps

A period of unemployment is no longer an automatic red flag to many employers. Therefore, you’ll want to be as up front and concise as possible when dealing with a gap.

Continue reading “How to Write Your Resume When You’re NOT The Perfect Candidate”

5 High-ROI Resume & Cover Letter Fixes

Resume section headings matterSometimes, you have to feel for the person who is reading your resume on the other side of the hiring table.

Too often, job seekers resort to almost identical phrases on resumes and cover letters. Yet, if you want to generate serious attention, you’ll need to shake things up a bit!

Here are 5 fast, simple ways to think outside the template on your resume and cover letter:

1 – Introduce your resume with a specific, branded title.

Pursuing a global business development or marketing role—one with authority for trend watching and sales in industry verticals?

Sure, you can use Business Development Executive, but Director Strategic Sales packs more impact, plus retains the keywords (Director and Sales) that are needed at your career level.

There’s always more than one way to introduce yourself. Project Manager is fairly specific, but you can give yourself a bit more latitude with a general title such as Project Executive, with a second line that lists Portfolio Manager, Project Director, and PMO Manager as job targets.

2 – Alter your resume headings for powerful impact.

There’s no law that requires your resume to use sections such as Experience, Education, and so forth.

If you’re in sales, you can use the title Relevant Revenue Highlights to describe a selected list of sales successes, while an Operations Manager can create a section entitled Operational Productivity Improvements to show important achievements. This executive resume sample uses a section called Signature Performance Benchmarks.

Light on experience? Group your training under keywords that make sense to employers, such as Sales Education, Leadership Training, or Technology Knowledge.

A caveat: be sure to change your resume headings BACK to typical phrases if you’re submitting an online application likely to pass through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) – and send the pretty one directly to hiring managers.

3 – Give recruiters something else to read besides your job titles.

Are your job titles very general, such as Associate Analyst or Senior Consultant? Help employers out (please!) by specifying exactly what you do in your career.

Get creative and add another line underneath your real title with more descriptive terms such as Project Manager, Product Development Analyst, or Business Process Reengineering Manager.

4 – Change your cover letter’s enclosure line.

Adding just “Resume” with the notation Enc. after your signature doesn’t quite cut it as a parting shot.

How about Enc: Business Development Leadership Resume or Attached: Senior Leadership Qualifications Summary instead?

5 – Try adding a P.S. to your letter.

The power of the post script (or P.S.) is well-documented. Marketing studies have proven over and over that this may be the most-read sentence of your entire cover letter.

Branch out a little and try a grand finale such as “I’ll be glad to share my ideas for bringing XYZ Company’s Western region revenue to #1 in the nation. May we talk?”

In conclusion, don’t believe everything you read about a single RIGHT way to create a resume or cover letter.

Instead, experiment by adding some flair and road-testing different ways of stating the same information – and you can easily end up with a better response.

 

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.

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