7 Tips for Creating an Outstanding Executive Resume

Posted by Oliver Hogue on 05/01/2021

It’s tough at the top, and competition for prized senior roles is fierce.

A strong resume is the best way to show potential employers you have what it takes to excel.

Follow the steps below to craft an executive resume with impact.

1. Tell your story

A resume is far more than a gathering of skills, qualifications and experience. It’s a showcase of your unique talents.

Use the opening summary to demonstrate why your expertise and personality make you the perfect fit for the job.

Talk about your leadership style, work ethos, self-belief and ability to be a team player, mixing in the relevant keywords.

2. Know your difference

Do you know what makes you different? As your career progresses, you begin to identify the attributes that make you special.

Taken together, they form your key value. Once you know your key value, you can work out the key messages to sum it up.

As an executive or senior manager, you gradually move past the nuts and bolts of job requirements. In the process, you develop a more sophisticated approach to work, colleagues and team members.

This forms the foundation for your personal and professional branding, and it’s important to communicate it via your resume.

3. Keep it simple

In resume writing, simplicity and sophistication go hand in hand. So, don’t lose your key messages in a sea of detail.

Work out exactly what you want to include, then convey it in the simplest and clearest way.

Talk in terms of duties and accomplishments, with a focus on:

  • Job mandate
  • Strategic objectives
  • Team/department size
  • Budget oversight
  • Reporting obligations
  • Commercial value-adds
  • Key performance indicators

4. Decode your speciality

You might be an expert in your field, but your recruiter probably won’t be.

That’s why it’s important to use commonly-accepted business language when setting out your resume.

Talk generally about job scope, priorities and mandate. Then use one section or set of bullet points to incorporate industry terminology and demonstrate specialist skills.

5. Show, don’t tell

Many candidates use industry jargon in their resumes, thinking it will impress potential employers.

However, this kind of generalisation and cliché doesn’t tell recruiters what they need to know about you.

If you use a phrase like ‘positive business outcomes’, give specific details and real-life examples of what you mean.

Explain your roles, skills and achievements in clear, easy-to-understand language, rather than relying on jargon.

6. Get with the program

Times change, and resumes change with them. Always present your resume in a contemporary format and design, to meet employer expectations.

  • Consider investing in a personal domain name and email address.
  • Mention only currently used software, along with Excel skills.
  • Choose a clear, contemporary design and font.

7. Think personal branding

Do you have a personal brand, and is it consistently positive?

Recruiters carry out extensive internet searches, to check out the credentials of senior managerial and executive candidates.

Sloppy socials and dubious photographs will only let you down. It would be so much better if the hirer found:

  • A professional website telling your story.
  • Your name in trade publications or charitable enterprises.
  • A strong, insightful social media presence.
  • Images presenting you in the best professional light.

We can help you elevate your executive resume. Upload it now for a free review.



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