Catch up with Parts 1 and 2 here:
A caveat: Keep in mind that every job seeker is unique. The strategies that will work best for you may vary some from those that I outline here, depending upon your unique situation, job target, and other circumstances.
A few more pointers for the second page of your executive resume, then we’ll bring all the pieces together.
Tactics for the “Professional Experience” section:
- Keep job descriptions short and load them with the relevant key words hiring decision makers will be looking for.
- Replace stale, overused phrases like “responsible for” with robust action verbs, like accelerated, drove, launched, advanced, etc.
- Since space is limited, include only your standout achievements for each position. You may only have room for 2 or 3 under each position.
- Limit your career history to the last 10-15 years. There may be some situations where going back further than 15 years is advised and/or necessary.
Don’t forget your “Military Experience”.
Strong leadership, management, and organizational skills (among many others) are hallmarks of military duty. These are your valuable personal brand attributes that will benefit any employer. Let employers know about your important contributions while serving your country.
Wrap it up with the “Education” section:
Along with degrees, include additional relevant training, seminars, etc. If this information is extensive, you may need to create a one-page resume addendum.
Consolidate It All Into A Neat Package
With your clearly defined brand attributes and value proposition firmly in place, you’re ready to put it together, with every aspect and word supporting your mission and brand.
Editing is the hardest part for most people. Since space is at a premium, precision-writing is of the essence. Writing short takes time and courage. Paring down to the essentials can be painful, but remember your mission.
Today’s resume is not a comprehensive career history. It is a career marketing or advertising tool designed to capture immediate attention, generate interviews, and hopefully, pre-qualify you for a premium compensation package. Your resume needs to provide just enough information to accomplish that.
Make the content easy to access and digest. Concise on-brand statements of value, surrounded by enough white space to make them pop, work best. If you’ve done your homework correctly, these statements will provide clear evidence of your success impacting bottom line.
Concentrate first on packing a punch at the top of the first page of your resume. Power this prime real estate with the very best you have to offer – things that will deeply resonate with the reader and compel them to read the whole document.
If you rip the top section from your resume and present it alone, it should be powerful enough to sell you on its own. If the reader isn’t drawn in within 10-15 seconds by what’s at the top of your resume, you may have lost your chance to be considered.
It’s okay, and advised, to bring forward critical contributions that would chronologically land on the second page. A standout “career success story” may best be placed here. A graphic box listing your key areas of expertise will have great impact, along with a bulleted list of 3-4 hard-hitting examples of achievements, leading with the monetized results.
A standout executive resume demands forward-thinking design and bold content. You have to be willing to embrace what differentiates you from everyone else and makes you unique. You have to be willing to softly brag about the value you bring to your next employer.
Uniqueness is what will sell you. All of your efforts to pull this together successfully will pay off in every aspect of the job search ahead. You’ll be armed with the goods for better networking, interviewing, salary negotiations, and overall healthy career management.