“Wait a minute! I need a resume that has everything about my career in it?
But I’ve been at the c-level for more than 10 years. And I’m over 50. It’s going to be more than 20 pages!
And I read all the time that executive resumes shouldn’t be more than 2 pages.”
Are you thinking I’ve lost it? What good could an all-inclusive executive resume possibly be?
Dump everything about your career history (more about this in a minute) . . . dating back to the beginning . . . into your kitchen sink resume.
This is the master document that includes ALL your experience, skills, qualifications, achievements, metrics, areas of knowledge, areas of interest, etc.
Yes, I think you should HAVE a continuously updated kitchen sink resume, but DON’T CIRCULATE IT, because it won’t be clearly focused on your target employers’ needs and how you can help them.
Your kitchen sink resume is not about specific targeting. This is a lifelong repository which you’ll add to, and from which you’ll grab bits and pieces to create or tweak the resume you WILL circulate, based on whatever companies you’re targeting in the job search you’re conducting at the time.
Because it’s unlikely in this employment climate that, at the c-level, you’ll stay in any one job for more than just a few years, you need to always be at-the-ready for a career move.
If a new great opportunity presents itself, or if you’re suddenly out of a job, you need to quickly pull together a targeted career marketing portfolio – relevant resume, biography and other career documents, and LinkedIn profile and other online presence.
Your early career history (beyond the most recent 10-15 years) may not be necessary in your circulated resume, but you may want it in your LinkedIn profile.
Be sure to flesh out those early jobs, adding details on your LinkedIn profile, instead of just posting your title and company name.
If you create your comprehensive kitchen sink document, and keep adding new career experiences to it, everything you’ll need for your circulated career portfolio will there.
Start with an outline of every job you’ve ever had, with:
- Your title and dates you held the position
- Company name, type of company (description), location and annual revenue
- Names of notable customers (if applicable)
- Scope of your responsibilities
- Projects you contributed to and/or directed.
- Budgets you managed and amounts
- Direct and indirect reports, and their positions
- Specific contributions of yours, with metrics, that benefitted the company
- Any special circumstances surrounding why you were hired?
- References who can attest to the value of your work.
Your education, with:
- Name of institution and location
- Degree(s) earned with date, areas of study and any recognition or notable achievements
- Any continuing education, seminars, training, etc.
- Certifications — full name of credential, certifying organization and date
Then work on these lists:
- All your skills and areas of expertise — both hard and soft skills (such as technical aptitute and “people” skills)
- Presentations and publications (if any of it landed online, include the link)
- Career recognition (if any of it landed online, include the link)
- Professional Affiliations – name of organization, your involvement (member or leadership role) and dates
- Community service / volunteering – name of organization, your involvement (member or leadership role), notable efforts and dates
- Awards — full name of award, presenting organization and date
- Hobbies, areas of interest, favorite personal pursuits
Now for the really interesting stuff:
Dive into your outline and flesh out projects, achievements and career stories, using the C-A-Rs approach, or Challenge – Actions – Results, also called S-T-A-Rs (Situation – Tasks – Actions – Results):
Describe each significant contribution, in each job, in terms of business value, by answering the following questions. Try to come up with several examples for each job:
1. What was a specific CHALLENGE (or Situation) facing the company and/or your team? Were you/the company facing particularly difficult odds with this situation? What were the stakes?
2. What specific ACTION(s) did you take to meet the challenge and improve things (whatever the goal was or whatever needed turning around)?
3. What were the long and short term RESULT(s) of your ACTION(s) that positively impacted the company? Did you meet the goal, improve things, and/or turn around the situation? How long did it take to see the results? Monetize the results and/or use metrics whenever possible – NUMBERS TALK!
Having all these stories in your back pocket will also give you extra fodder for job search networking and interviewing.
Whew! Take a breath and congratulate yourself for compiling all this information.
Don’t be surprised if you have 20 or more pages of content, plus bulging folders of supporting documentation.
But I’ll bet you uncovered some juicy nuggets you forgot all about. Things that could be very important to certain employers.
Whether you do the work yourself or hire a career professional, you’re ready to go.
photo by Drew Coffman