With a number of factors converging to necessitate 2-page executive branded resumes, various collateral documents such as Leadership Initiatives Profiles and Executive Career Biographies come into play for executive job search.
These brand-driven career marketing communications supplement your resume with deeper information and evidence supporting your promise of value to your next employer.
I’ve explained why 2-page executive resumes have become the norm in several posts, including “My Resume Stinks: Top 10 Executive Resume Mistakes”.
You can link here to a fictionalized sample of a Leadership Initiatives Profile I wrote for a CEO of Global Operations. (You can see his entire Executive Career Portfolio on my Website resume samples page. Look for “CEO – Global Operations Management Executive”.)
His Leadership Initiatives Profile highlights 3-4 case studies which are deeper slices of critical contributions he made to past companies. We used the C-A-R framework to begin developing the document:
Challenge – Actions – Results
Here’s how CAR breaks down:
→ What was a specific CHALLENGE facing the company and/or your team? Were you dealing with particularly difficult odds with this situation? What were the stakes?
→ What ACTION(s) did you take to meet the challenge and improve things (whatever the goal was or whatever needed turning around)? Walk through it step by step.
→ What were the long and short term RESULTS that positively impacted the company? Did you succeed in meeting the goal and/or turn around the situation? How long did it take to see the results? Monetize the results and/or use hard facts whenever possible.
A similar approach to developing these stories is the S-T-A-R method, or
Situation – Task – Actions – Results
Either of these exercises culminates in 3 to 4 “career success stories” which clearly evidence how you tackle and turn around problems impeding organizational imperatives.
Decision makers reading these stories can begin to picture you in the position they’re trying to fill, solving problems, making things happen, and positively impacting bottom line.
A concise, 3 or 4 line snapshot of 1 or 2 of these stories may go in your executive resume. The longer version goes in the Leadership Initiatives Profile.
As with your executive resume, a Leadership Initiatives Profile is a great opportunity to support your brand value. It should be loaded with the relevant key words that will hit home with decision makers who are evaluating you.
This document is often introduced later in the game, once the interview process begins or in follow-up correspondence, to avoid inundating hiring decision makers with too many documents at once.
Some significant additional benefits come from working on CAR or STAR exercises:
→ Your stories help transition you into a positive frame of mind for your job search.
They help boost your confidence in the value you offer by reminding you of important contributions you’ve made to past employers. You can clearly see how well you handle challenges.
→ Your stories become valuable tools for interviewing.
Have you ever been interviewed by an inept communicator? Someone who either hasn’t prepared by reading your resume, just doesn’t know what questions to ask to get the information that will help them assess you, or is so busy talking she never asks you any questions?
Interjecting one or two of these powerful little stories in those opportune moments will wow the interviewer and can seal the deal for you.