Demonstrating your promise of value to your target employers is the mission of your executive resume (and other supporting materials).
Note that, when I mention “resumes” here, I’m shorthanding for all the content you create for job search documents and online profiles. That is, your LinkedIn profile, biography, cover letter, etc.
Your executive resume (and other supporting materials) must scream out
“Hiring me is the best investment”
A resume that hits the mark makes it abundantly and immediately clear how the candidate gets things done. It shows how she or he does things like:
- Driving down costs
- Building profitability
- Improving performance
- Leading winning teams
- Turning around failing business operations
- Positively impacting bottom line
Consider the hiring decision makers you want to impress who are tasked with filling executive jobs. The cost of hiring is steep. Hiring mistakes cost even more and make decision makers look bad. Therefore, they strive to get it right the first time.
3 ways to make your executive resume position you as the best hiring choice
1. Start with Career Targeting
One of the biggest mistakes executive job seekers make is trying to cover too many bases in their search. They think they need to appeal to all types of employers. Therefore, they include in their resume every skill, every area of expertise, and every piece of career history.
The key first-steps in successful job search are narrowing focus to a group of employers who are a mutual good fit. After that, company and industry research should be done, to identify their current challenges.
Think about it. The purpose of a resume is to qualify you as a potential candidate – both in personal character and in skill sets. It should make people reading about you feel compelled to want to meet you and learn more.
How can you write about what makes you a good fit for a company, if:
- you haven’t chosen target companies,
- don’t know what challenges they’re facing right now, and
- can’t align your qualifications with their pressing needs?
In summary, knowing your target means you’ll know who you’re writing your resume (and LinkedIn profile, etc.) for. You’ll know what content will hit home with them. Therefore, using targeting is a much better approach than guessing at what needs to be in your resume. You’ll make the mistake of including every possible qualification, relevant or not.
2. Generate Chemistry in Your Executive Resume with Personal Branding
Personality and leadership style are important qualities to employers. They want an indication that you’ll fit in with their corporate culture. They want to know you’ll ramp up quickly in leading their teams.
You need to connect your “softer” skills – personal attributes, values, vision, drivers and passions – to the hard qualifications they need. Showcasing your personal brand in your resume helps you do this. Your personal brand helps people assessing you determine whether you’ll be a good personality fit for their company.
Strike a chord, make a vivid connection, and set your self above your job-hunting competitors. Build brand messaging that differentiates your unique set of qualifications and value promise.
3. Show Them the Money in “Career Success Stories”
Drive home your promise of value with tangible evidence of how you contributed to companies in the past.
Success stories, told in a Challenge – Action – Results framework, help hiring decision makers picture you in the jobs they’re trying to fill.
An example from a senior sales and marketing executive’s resume:
Revitalized stalled business and increased new sales/new revenue growth $5 million in the first 2 years by persistently networking and pursuing forgotten market pockets: lost sales – smaller, untapped businesses – prospects overlooked by the competition.
This kind of innovative action with monetized results reassures hiring decision makers about this candidate. They’ll see that the investment in hiring this candidate will most likely pay off.