Home » Business » Careers and Jobs

Executive Resumes: A Basic Approach To A Stellar Presentation

May 31, 2008
As a professional resume writer, I often see self-written resumes by executive-level clients that are general and task oriented. In short, a throwback to the typical resumes done by high school graduates. These formats might include such categories as objective, skills and work history. The information presented is general and fails to tell what is behind the information listed. Furthermore, the format is often lackluster. Nothing stands out and the rhythm of the resume is inconsistent. It fails to tell a story.

An executive resume must tell a story. Who is this candidate? What industry are they in? How many years of experience do they have? What do they specialize in doing? And, what are their most impressive career milestones that will set them apart from the competition?

The answers to all of these questions can be "unfolded" using the elements of a resume that is widely used for most resumes from mid management and up. This includes the use of a title statement that serves as a branding statement. For example, Profile: Sales and Marketing Executive - Hotel Management. Followed by a tagline such as "Offering 15+ years of experience driving the success of a major hotel chain to achieve status as a globally leading organization with $4 billion in annual revenue."

This statement, followed by a powerful four to seven line career synopsis that is a mini career bio and not a hodgepodge of out-of-the-box cliche attributes, subsequently followed by a core competencies list that is industry specific and tailored, can be very powerful.

It is not uncommon to begin the experience section with bulleted statements. However, that is not the best way to present an executive's information. It is wise to include statement on a particular company first to give the reader a sense of what this company is all about.

Then, follow this company overview statement with how the position or tenure started and what key challenges were on the table, along with most of the day-to-day in a paragraph.

Finally, follow this overview statement with "Select Achievements" or "Key Accomplishments" or "Career Milestones" that is underlined followed by bulleted statements to highlight how those challenges were met along with other notable achievements such as spearheading programs, cost-saving initiatives, team leadership, vendor negotiations, quality assurance, business development planning, etc.

Often times an executive resume contains a lot of information that might end up being very difficult to follow. It is important to break up the information into functional areas directly under a particular employer. This is called combination - not to be confused with functional. This presentation of "data bites" allows the reader to easily find what they are looking for because things are itemized into mini sub-categories. This also contributes to the overall appealing design of the resume.

With all of these approaches, probably one of the most critical component of the resume is the actual wording. It must be more intense. For example, the executive version of the word "combining" is "leveraging" and the executive version of "resulting in" is "Return On Investment" (in some cases). Other million-dollar words include: synergy, thought leader, turnaround management and logistics.

Lastly, it is not uncommon for an executive resume to be three pages in length.
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 263
Print Email Share
Article Categories