Demonstrating your promise of value to your target employers is the mission of your executive resume (and other supporting materials).
Your executive resume (and other supporting materials) must scream out
“Hiring me is the best investment”
In this article, we’re zeroing in on executive resumes.
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. So they strive to get it right the first time.
Three 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. So they include in their resume every skill, every area of expertise, and every piece of their career history.
The key first step in successful job search is narrowing focus to a group of employers who are a mutual good fit. After that, company and industry research should be done, to identify current challenges of theirs you are uniquely qualified to help them overcome.
You want to show specific employers that you understand their needs and that you possess the skills and experience to meet those needs.
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.
Your research of each target company will help you uncover their language, including industry-specific terms.
Research will also help you anticipate and deal with any concerns or reservations they may have about you.
You can’t make the case for your good fit for a company, if:
- you haven’t chosen target companies,
- you don’t know what challenges they’re facing right now, and
- you can’t align your qualifications and experience with their pressing needs.
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.
It’s important to understand that what you think are your best qualities and accomplishments may not resonate with youir target employers. They need to find out what it is, specifically, that you possess that will help them meet current pressing needs.
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 or organization.
I’ve found that many executives resist branding because it feels like boasting. Here’s what I tell them:
“Don’t be afraid to convey a feel for your personality. Think of personal branding as educating people about what kind of person you are, how you operate, and how you add value.
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 Your “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. They also reinforce personal branding in a way that generic writing can never do.
Your stories will draw an understandable straight line from what you did for past employers to positive outcomes for your next employer.
This helps you align the following assets of yours (among others) in a way that will resonate with your target employers:
Something to consider: With more and more executive resumes these days being written solely using Artificial Intelligence, specific quantified contributions you’ve made will stand out. Content written by AI can never be as specific, with numbers and other metrics, as the career stories you (or a professional resume writer) craft by hand.
Here’s an example of a career story I wrote for a CEO Consultant in Business Process and Profitability Improvement:
Salvaged 65% of over-budget, behind-schedule million-dollar Financial System IT project for $280M utility company. Banked on efforts already invested, redefined the approach, mapped out a new path, renewed confidence, and unified everyone toward the same path of success.
This kind of innovative action with monetized results reassures hiring decision makers about this candidate. They’ll see that the investment in hiring him will most likely pay off.