A senior executive’s professional resume has one job, and that is to portray your value and significance that you can bring to the business. At the executive level it is expected that you have all the soft skills required to lead and manage teams, however the key is to focus on highlighting your value added skills and achievements that are directly related to what the organization is looking for. If the company is looking for a CEO with experience in turning around departments, raising equity or international expansion, then your resume needs to target these requirements and provide quantitative examples to back up your evidence.
90% of senior executives I have worked with include their past work histories on the majority of the resumes and often go back 20/30/40 years to when they first started out. The resumes are often too long, too wordy and fail to portray the skills that make them unique executives. When I read an executive resume I want to see confidence and a demonstration that this individual has the right skills and experience to fit the job.
Don’t waste time on your resume telling the reader what you are looking for. A hiring manager is not interested in this type of information. They want to know what you can do for them. Introducing a qualifications profile or career summary is a great way to sell yourself immediately on the resume. The most effective profile will provide exact answers to the job description. For example, if the role is looking for a person with change management experience, then you need to let the reader know within the first 10 seconds that you are the change management expert.
Creating an achievement section within your resume is the perfect way to highlight your past behaviors and to sell your value to the reader. Remember that numbers are more powerful than words, so don’t get too consumed with trying to explain your achievements in too much detail. Your achievement section should focus on your notable accomplishments and further provide answers to exactly what the job description is looking for in the perfect candidate.
Set up your LinkedIn profile. If you are an executive you need to be on LinkedIn. Not only is LinkedIn recognized as the leading networking tool for all executives, but developing an optimized LinkedIn profile will enable you to outrank other executives on executive searches, giving you the inside running for headhunting and career opportunities.