Tag: personal branding

Executive Resume Trends 2018: What Will Make You Stand Out?

resume trends 2018

No matter how you job hunt in 2018, you’ll STILL be asked for an executive resume – and the competition will be fierce.

Even if you use social media to convey work history or tap into great opportunities in your network, your resume remains the cornerstone of a well-planned job search.

By incorporating these key elements into a fresh, competitively designed executive resume, you’ll stand out among other leaders in 2018:

2018 Resume Trend: A Clear Focus on Your Passion.

What drives you? What type of work or challenges make you excited to come into the office? How do you inspire passion in your teams or customers? This is the kind of information employers seek about you – and it should land on the front page of your executive resume.

It’s no longer enough to state that you’ve directed teams of a particular size or managed millions in budget. Recruiters are looking for your ability to motivate teams, influence Boards, and shape customer reactions.

If you’re unsure how to convey this information, use these questions to kickstart the process:

  • What distinguishes you from the person who preceded you at your company?
  • How did you get started in this line of work?
  • What should employers know about you almost immediately?
  • How do you select and motivate the right kind of talent?
  • What legacy do you want to leave at the end of your career?

Next, take your findings and write a brief statement that sums up your answer, as shown in these examples for a Chief Technology Officer or consumer products industry Board member:

Lifelong technology evangelist and innovator commercializing profitable, disruptive products

Board member with strategic outlook on fast-paced CPG sectors

2018 Resume Trend:  A Quick-Read Synopsis of Your Career Wins.

Like this TORI award-winning resume for a Chief Revenue Officer, you can incorporate a short listing of achievements that demonstrate career highs. Here, a selection of quantifiable accomplishments are listed under the heading: Generated #1 Revenue & Customer Churn Metrics for 16 Straight Quarters.

You can easily build your own list of notable success stories by condensing significant achievements down into areas of strength, such as Sales Growth or Employee Retention.

Next, add metrics that demonstrate your expertise (45% Year-Over-Year Gains or 98% Team Engagement Scores). By providing quantifiable figures, you’ll show leadership-worthy detail that backs up your value proposition to employers.

2018 Resume Trend:  Use of Symbols & Headlines.

There’s more than one way to demonstrate your fitness for a specific industry or career level, as shown in this example of a CEO and CEO resume in the healthcare field (see the full CEO-COO resume here). To describe his area of focus, a simple symbol and headline noting his specialties were incorporated at the top of the document:

COO_CEO_Healthcare_Resume_Example_top.png

Resume headlines are one of the best ways to convey salient points of your background, while preserving space for other relevant details.

To create headlines for your executive resume, jot down short sentences or phrases that encapsulate what you do best, such as Driving Growth in Americas Region. You can also describe yourself in third-person, as shown in the example above (Highly Engaged Leader With Passion for Business Vision).

Don’t resort to boring section titles! Instead, insert headlines like Examples of Technology Leadership to introduce your achievements.

2018 Resume Trend:  A Concise Summary of Your Brand.

Like any marketing tool, your executive resume must drive home your point – fast. If you’re still using a long and winding Summary of Qualifications, start over and jot down just a few of your core strengths and achievements.

Use this data to rework the top part of your resume into a brief (and power-packed) set of brand statements. Now, you’ll be able to provide employers a quick glimpse into your executive value, saving time and compelling them to read further.

Not convinced? See how quickly you can digest the following executive resume summaries:

Accomplished technology executive with extensive experience in designing, development, and implementation of high-performance technology solutions. Proven ability to bring the benefits of IT to solve business issues while delivering application and infrastructure performance. Experienced in cross-functional team management, problem-solving, contract negotiations, and crisis management. Well-rounded infrastructure, software and data management, application development, IT financial reporting, security, and project management skills.

Vs. this shorter, tighter version:

Strategic, resourceful IT leader behind cost-controlled business improvements – upgrading infrastructure, ensuring right-fit applications, optimizing network operations, eliciting top vendor performance, and building lean, skilled teams. Strong financial and budget expertise; builds viable justification for IT investments.

As you can see, your executive resume summary must be a quick read, supplying just enough data to avoid losing the reader.

2018 Resume Trend: A Short, Powerful Story of Your Achievements.

Face it, no one has the time or interest to read a 7-page novel of your accomplishments. By culling success stories to hard-hitting statements, you’ll show employers the ability to focus on relevant points.

Most executive resumes can fit squarely into 2 or perhaps 3 pages. If you decide to offer additional detail, make sure your document is easy to navigate. As an example, this CEO resume uses a first-page summary-only strategy to introduce the candidate, with subsequent pages providing additional details.

If you struggle to condense your story into a tightly written executive resume, try reworking parts of your history into “sound bites” that capture the actions you took and the end results, using these examples for inspiration:

Delivered 42% year-over-year profit by focusing manufacturing teams on top 8 product lines and rationalizing underperforming products.

Exceeded profit records up to 34% and reached peak satisfaction scores from new relationship building efforts among Fortune 500 customers.

2018 Resume Trend:  Using Color to Set Off Important Data.

I’ve said this many times, but it bears repeating: black-and-white documents heavy with detail are easier to skim if you’ve added a bit of color.

Your executive resume needn’t employ flashing lights and neon green, however, in order to make your point. Step into the use of color by altering your resume headlines with a subtle blue or shading a few areas for emphasis, as shown in this example of  a Finance leadership resume:

VP_Finance_Sample_Resume_P1.jpg

By easing the navigation required to digest the most notable parts of your work history and success stories, you can quickly set off important points, allowing recruiters to see snapshots of value that illustrate your readiness for a new position.

In summary, there’s numerous ways to restructure your executive resume for a clear, attention-getting message. 

Make 2018 a banner year by capturing your personal brand in an innovative, content-rich executive resume.

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

 

A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline

How to write your LinkedIn HeadlineFar from being just a placeholder, your LinkedIn Profile Headline has an important job to do.

If adjusted to market you effectively, it can represent your personal brand and become an online promotional workhorse.

The most highly indexed part of your Profile (next to your name), your Headline allows recruiters and employers to locate you, based on the search terms or keywords you specify… so if you’ve filled in only part of the Headline or let LinkedIn populate it with your current job title (the default value), you could be missing out on valuable traffic to your Profile. Don’t let that happen!

Instead, use as many of the 120 characters available in your Headline – ensuring that it represents your career level and personal brand, while distinguishing you from your competition. Try the following formula when you’re stumped for an effective LinkedIn Headline that leverages your industry expertise, achievements, and keywords: Continue reading “A Fast Formula for a Powerful LinkedIn Headline”

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: Continue reading “3 Phrases That Kill The Effectiveness of Your Executive Resume”

How to Choose the Right LinkedIn Photo

LinkedIn HeadshotSo you’ve added a solid Summary, Headline, and Experience to your LinkedIn Profile. What’s next?

A great headshot that exudes leadership qualities, conveys confidence, and makes employers eager to meet you.

If you’re unsure how to select a photo for your LinkedIn Profile, you have plenty of company. Many job seekers pull in a hastily cropped family photograph or select a picture with a vacation scene, rather than taking the time to use the right LinkedIn headshot.

However, just like your best interview suit or a powerfully written Profile, a positive, personality-infused LinkedIn photo can make a great first impression. These tips will help you avoid a LinkedIn photo disaster (especially the kind that turns off potential employers): Continue reading “How to Choose the Right LinkedIn Photo”

How to Convey Your Leadership Brand in Your LinkedIn Profile

Put together a barely-there LinkedIn Profile, but you’re not sure how to expand it or make it stronger?

Nearly every executive I speak with laments the lack of time and ideas for creating an engaging, interesting LinkedIn presence.

Yet, all it takes is a quick glance at your Profile, changing it section by section, until you’re happy with the final result.

Try these strategies for building a strong, relevant portrait of your executive competencies on LinkedIn:

Continue reading “How to Convey Your Leadership Brand in Your LinkedIn Profile”

The 7 Executive Resume Trends Crucial to Your Job Search

What To ExpectIs this your year to land a new executive job?

You’ll need to be ready with a fresh executive resume tuned to current trends.

This is especially important if you’ve tried to add executive experience to your old resume, without thinking strategically about your presentation or considering how your story appears to employers.

These tips outline what you’ll need to do (and know) about executive resumes  — with fresh insight on next-generation, professional resume writing trends: Continue reading “The 7 Executive Resume Trends Crucial to Your Job Search”

How to Write a High-ROI, Branded Cover Letter

Writing Cover LetterIn my work as an executive resume writer, I often have the opportunity to work with leadership candidates on thoughtful cover letters and resumes, so I enjoyed talking with Leslie Stevens-Huffman of Dice.com for her insightful article, 10 Ways to Screw Up Your Cover Letter.

As she notes, your job search can stall if your cover letter fails to show your value or if you obviously haven’t taken the time to learn about the employer’s business.

Unfortunately, the job market still abounds with cover letters that look like templates – or that only rehash the resume (even at an executive level!).

So… what SHOULD you do when putting together a compelling cover letter? Try these tips for a powerful, standout document that cuts to your ROI and exemplifies your personal brand: Continue reading “How to Write a High-ROI, Branded Cover Letter”

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”

Don’t Just Update Your Executive Resume! Start Over Instead

Poised for an executive job search? Updating your existing resume probably seems like a logical first step, but hold on!

Your previous resume was probably written 5 or 10 years ago, using a different tone, formatting, and keyword content designed for a lower-level role. At the executive level, the game changes – requiring a different type of storytelling and presentation to ensure your brand stands out.

To write an effective and powerfully targeted executive resume, you’ll need to do more than just add job titles and dates. Here’s how to rethink your executive resume content and take steps to reach that coveted corner office: Continue reading “Don’t Just Update Your Executive Resume! Start Over Instead”

3 Ways to Boost Your Personal Brand With Resume Headlines

executive_resume_headlinesNeed to convey your leadership effectiveness in your executive resume?

Building a strong, personally branded leadership resume is easier than you might think.

 

The trick? Think in terms of headlines.

Headlines, or taglines, in executive resumes are a simple concept that can help you write about yourself, helping steer employers toward notable accomplishments that prove your value.

Try these headline tips to inject your executive resume with a dose of power and confidence: Continue reading “3 Ways to Boost Your Personal Brand With Resume Headlines”