Some of the prospective c-suite clients I speak with come to me certain about what needs to be done to improve their executive resumes.
A COO, for instance, has seen a resume for another COO that really hit home with him, so he wants his to mimic that one.
He wants the same key words in his, the same formatting, the same skills highlighted, and the same kind of feel for him as a person. He bets that the resume he saw was a job-winner.
I explain to him what today’s executive resume needs to be and do, and that his approach isn’t a good one.
He doesn’t understand the importance of differentiating himself and his unique value from everyone else competing against him.
He believes that sameness will help him land the job.
A same-old resume would put him on a par with all the other same-old resumes. But with so many competing for so few top-level executive jobs, employers are looking for those who rise above the others.
And that’s what personal branding helps them do, and why it’s no longer optional in executive resumes and executive job search in general.
My job as a c-suite personal branding strategist is to position them as best-fit candidates for their target employers. This means relying on company and industry research to uncover current challenges facing their target companies, so that we will know how to best present them as the solution to their target companies’ problems.
A resume that covers all the bases for ANY COO position (for instance), won’t align that candidate’s unique value with the pressing current needs of their specific target employers. It won’t position that candidate as a good-fit or resonate with those employers.
To be fair, it may work. It may get you an interview or two. But it may not work at all, and you will have missed many good-fit opportunities with a resume that never gets seen or read. Are you willing to take that chance and possibly extend your job search by that many more months?
And the value of a deeply-targeted, focused resume goes far beyond a digital document that lands relevant interviews.
Mining the information to develop a killer resume brings you clarity about your value-add in the marketplace, making it that much easier for you to clearly communicate your good-fit qualities, as you network and interview, and know how to ask your network to help you with your career goals.
Don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all resume. An untargeted, generic resume probably won’t hit home with anyone. And avoiding doing the hard information-mining work leaves you unprepared to compete in today’s challenging job market.
photo by Walt Stoneburner