Part 4 – Pulling it All Together to Write Your Personally Branded Executive Resume
If you’ve read the first 3 parts of this 5-part series, you should be well on your way with the information-mining process to create your executive resume.
Today, I’ll show you how to strategize all the information you’ve amassed, pare down and pull out the pieces that will most resonate with your target employers, and actually compose your executive resume.
If you’re just joining in, catch up with the first 3 parts here:
Part 2 – What Personal Branding Is and Is NOT
And in the final part coming up:
Part 5 – 10 Resume Do’s and Don’ts – Insider Tips To Capture Attention and Land Interviews
How To Strategize Writing Your Personally Branded Executive Resume
→ The Summary or Professional Profile Section – Brand Your ROI Above the Fold
The top third or half of your resume is prime real estate. Since recruiters and hiring decision makers often allot only 10 seconds or so to reviewing each resume and determining whether that candidate will go into the interviewing pool, this spot is your make or break opportunity to capture attention.
Think of it this way. Whatever lands above the fold should tell enough of your story to sell you on its own, because some reviewers may not read any further than that. If the reader isn’t immediately drawn in, you may have lost your chance to be considered.
So concentrate on packing a punch there. Power your summary with the very best you have to offer – things that will deeply resonate with the reader and compel them to read the entire document. Everything beyond the summary section provides supporting evidence and further details.
Some above the fold branding tips:
Create a keyword rich professional headline with a brand-supporting tagline, spotlighting what you’re most known for. An example:
COO – Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain Turnaround Leader
Maximizing process innovation to cut costs and eliminate waste faster than the rising costs of doing business.
Include a bulleted list of 3-4 hard-hitting examples of your most recent achievements that will resonate with target employers, and lead with the monetized results.
Add a quote. Insert a short compelling quote from someone you’ve worked with about you and the value you offer. Or include a quote of your own – something you’re known for saying. Or choose an inspiring quote that guides you, from someone well-known in your industry. Highlight it with italics and bolding to make it stand out, and consider placing it in a graphic box for even more emphasis.
Don’t bury a top achievement from your early career in the Professional Experience section, just because chronologically that’s where it goes. If it’s something that will be relevant to your target employers – say, a relevant certification or other professional development – it’s okay (in fact, wise) to move it up to the summary section, for better impact. Even a standout earlier “career success story” (see Part 3) may best be placed here.
→ Content for the Professional Experience Section
This area zeros in on your scope of responsibilities for each job you include on your resume, along with the top contributions you made while in each job, that will be relevant to your target employers.
Each job, of course, should include the company name, location, your title, and beginning and ending year you held the job. Then start each job description with a brief description of the company (you’ll only need to do this once, if you held several jobs at that company), including size of the company, and services/products, unless it’s a well-known company.
In a few sentences, describe your scope of responsibility including budgets you managed (type and amount), major clients/customers (if applicable), number of people managed and their positions. Include any special circumstances about why you were hired.
Then follow with 4-5 bullet points (if space allows), showcasing your top contributions, in terms of what will be most important to your target employers.
For added impact, you may want to lead each job description with your most important contribution, that will be most relevant to your target employers.
If space allows, you can also insert a quote here from someone you worked with about your value to the company.
[More tips for the Professional Experience section in Part 5 of this series.]
→ Other Relevant Resume Sections
Don’t forget to include 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.
Add in relevant professional affiliations/associations, and your specific contributions, if noteworthy.
If you’ve received any notable and relevant awards, add them here, too.
→ Wrap It Up With the “Education” Section
Along with degrees, include additional relevant training, certifications, seminars, etc. If this information is extensive, you may need to create a separate resume addendum.
Now that you’ve written the content for your executive resume, and perhaps created a draft document, you’re ready to format, edit, and finalize it.
In Part 5, I’ll give you tips on strategizing that final document.