With more than 20 years of executive resume writing experience, I’ve learned plenty about best practices. And I’ve innovated strategies to help my clients stand out above the competition.
Collaborating with executive job seekers, I’ve helped them define their personal brand and create their personal marketing materials (resume, LinkedIn profile, biography, cover letters, etc.). My writing style has evolved to meet the requirements of the ever-evolving job search landscape. And the quality of my writing has improved.
I shared 2 favorite tips that can help elevate the value you offer and catapult your job search forward in my post, 2 of My Favorite Insider Tips for Executive Resume Writing.
2 More Favorite Insider Tips for Executive Resume Writing
Here are two more tips. With adjustments, both of these also apply to writing your LinkedIn profile:
1. Back up relevant keyword phrases with solid examples.
Your targeted research will uncover the important keywords and phrases you need to include in your resume, and all your personal marketing materials.
Remember that numbers and metrics pack a powerful punch. For each job in your Professional Experience section, choose the 3 or 4 most important keywords phrases (or areas of expertise) and back them up. Include a specific example of a contribution you made in that area – using value-driven metrics whenever possible. Format them as bullet points. For example:
- Project Management – Increased efficiencies 425% managing delinquent loan tracking system with Agile methodology.
But don’t hide all your juicy bullet points in the Professional Experience section. Add the ones that will be most relevant and compelling to your target employers into the Summary section at the top. Block together 3 or 4 of them, and keep them short and sweet – no more than 1 or 2 lines each.
2. Strategically position relevant content.
Don’t bury a top achievement from your early career in the experience section, just because chronologically that’s where it goes. If it’s something that will be relevant to your target employers today, it’s okay to move it up to the summary section, for better impact.
For instance, say you worked 10 or 15 years ago for a well-known, highly-respected global corporation. To this day, your leadership style is guided by their philosophy. Add a line or two about that into your summary. It’s likely to impress people and will prompt them to turn to the next page of your resume to read more about it.
Or, say you were an early adopter of relevant technologies at a company you worked for more than 10 years ago. The job may land on page 2 or 3 of your resume, but you can mention this distinction in your summary section as well.
Also, highly specialized (and relevant) training and professional development that would typically fall to the bottom of the last page of your resume can be placed above the fold in the summary.
Things to keep in mind with executive resume writing
Not sure whether an accomplishment or career distinction belongs in the resume summary? Always keep this in mind: Put yourself in the shoes of people assessing you.
Your resume should be written in such a way that they can quickly and easily find what they need. Make sure they don’t have to sift through too much so-so information to get to the meat. They may not take the time to do that.
Think of that summary section as a quick snapshot of the unique value you offer. Some people may read no further than that top third or half of the first page. Make that content matter and, hopefully, compel them to read your entire document.