Are you convinced you can write your own executive resume?
Maybe you can.
If you’ve been in on the hiring process at your company for some time, and have been in a position to review resumes of candidates, you may have a good handle on what should and shouldn’t be in a resume . . . and resume writing strategy, in general.
You know which resumes made those candidates stand out so much that you had to call them in for an interview.
Your experience being in the shoes of a hiring decision maker perhaps better qualifies you to write your own resume than others.
Or, you may be a CMO or other marketing professional who understands that the key to good resume writing is differentiating, positioning and marketing your personal brand as a good fit for your target employers, just as you market your current employer’s brands as the right choice for your target audience.
There could be any number of reasons why you are more qualified and able to write your own resume than the average executive job seeker.
I say, give it a go. You really have nothing to lose.
Want some help with this?
Check out the top blog posts below that I wrote this year on executive resume writing. You’ll find plenty of information on the writing strategy . . . including how to write your biography.
And I’ve included a post on why you may not be able to write your own resume.
Want one-on-one help from me to write your own executive resume?
I offer a “Get Started/Get Unstuck” Executive Job Search Strategy Session that can focus on helping you write your own resume. The package includes:
- All 4 of the proprietary worksheets I’ve refined over the years that have helped my clients land great-fit new jobs.
- An expansive list of resources on pulling it all together and doing the writing, once you complete the worksheets.
- A customized-for-you consultation with me in which you can pick my brain about your resume writing project.
- 3 of my popular ebooks on personal branding, executive job search, resume writing and LinkedIn, to give you an overall understanding of today’s executive job search.
If things don’t work out, and you know you need to turn to a professional to write your executive resume, take heart. Think of all the great work you will already have done. You’ll be that much ahead of the game.
Here are the best of my 2017 blog posts on executive resume writing:
Start your resume writing journey by cataloguing ALL of your career history – going back pretty much to the beginning – including achievements and contributions.
It may be 5 pages long, or even as much as 10 pages. Don’t worry. You won’t send this all-inclusive executive resume to anyone.
This is your master resume . . . a lifelong repository 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 these days – especially at the c-suite level – that 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 fairly quickly update your 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 should probably put it in your LinkedIn profile.
Before dusting off your old resume (if you have one), merely updating it with your latest contributions and career history, and expecting that, when you put it out there they will come, you need to get a handle on today’s modern resume and what part it plays in the new world of executive job search.
My 10-step process gives you an overview of what makes a great executive resume. It includes all the ingredients for a personal brand-reinforcing executive resume that will position you as a good-fit for your target employers.
Learn how to update and revive your over-edited, old executive resume that you’ve tweaked to death, so that now you have a disjointed, unfocused mess that doesn’t represent the best you have to offer.
Some of the mistakes you’re probably making, by re-tooling the same, tired old executive resume:
- The message and formatting are not cohesive.
- The formatting and font choices are inconsistent throughout.
- The formatting – typically an old style from years ago – doesn’t advance the message well.
- They clearly don’t know what a modern, optimized resume looks like.
- The newer content often contains spelling, usage and grammatical errors.
- Someone told them to use a functional format to try to hide various red flags.
- The content doesn’t communicate their unique value proposition.
- The content doesn’t generate chemistry by giving a feel for their personality.
You’re not boring. The content supporting your candidacy shouldn’t be either.
Writing vibrant content for your job search personal marketing materials can elevate your candidacy and position your brand above the rest.
After all, personal branding is all about differentiating your unique value. How better to do that than with powerful language.
Strong action verbs generate chemistry and better showcase the value you offer. In my post, you’ll find a boatload of juicy verbs to support your personal brand.
The unique value you offer goes well beyond hard skills.
Employers want to get a feel for what kind of person you are. They want to get some idea of your leadership style and how you get things done . . . what you’ll be like to work with.
What’s the best way to convey your personality?
A storytelling device resume writers have been using for decades is the C-A-Rs approach, or Challenge – Actions – Results, also known by other acronyms such as S-T-A-Rs (Situation – Tasks – Actions – Results).
Read my post for all the details.
Think you got it all right, but you’re not getting the response you expected with your executive resume? I’ve outlined 5 reasons why it may not be working and how to fix it.
Here are the first 3 reasons:
1. Your resume lacks targeting and therefore compelling content that supports your good fit.
2. Your resume doesn’t generate chemistry and differentiate you from your competitors.
3. You’re spending 80% of your time sending your resume in response to job listings on job boards and company websites.
Read about the other 2 reasons in my post.
A typical biography walks you through the person’s career progression and provides hard facts. Aside from touching briefly on marital status and perhaps hobbies, they lack vibrancy. They give you little feel for what kind of person you’re reading about and what drives them.
A brand biography is a storytelling tool that breathes life into an otherwise flat rehash of your resume. For job search and career management, a bio affords the opportunity to reinforce your brand with storytelling in a way that a resume doesn’t allow.
What you can do with a bio that you can’t do as well with a resume:
- Showcase your leadership and management acumen through softer skills and “good fit” attributes, and link them to your value proposition.
- Personalize your C-A-Rs stories and use them to reinforce your brand attributes and key strengths.
- Generate chemistry around how you use your key personal attributes, passions, strengths, and motivated skills to make things happen for employers.
- Help employers connect with you and envision you on the job, having a positive impact.
The main reason you may not be able to write your own resume is that you have trouble distancing yourself enough to objectively assess what you have to offer.
And you may not understand the complicated strategy involved in writing compelling personal marketing content (for their resume, bio, LinkedIn profile, etc.) to differentiate your value from your job-seeking competitors’.
The first specific mistake executives make when writing their own resumes is that they fail to position themselves as the best hiring choice for their target employers.
Check out my post for the other 3 mistakes that you may be making.