Executive Resume Writing Services—Know This Before You Hire One

A good Executive Resume Writing firm can help you with your career transition in multiple ways that can be truly life-changing. By writing your executive resume to the role you want, the firm can help you to achieve your goals, which may include a higher title; a move to a bigger or better company; increasing your overall compensation; or all of these and more.

More specifically, by writing a resume “up” to your next role, an Executive Resume Writing firm helps you to create a powerful draw—helping the readers of your executive resume understand your specific value proposition for the role you want. This, in turn, sets a mental marker in their mind that attaches your abilities to the skills and requirements of the up-leveled title you want. This has a very natural ripple effect—it’s very typical for my clients to land much more money and a much higher title, secure more interest and more interviews, and have generally more leverage in the market. All these things happen rather naturally when the foundation of your goals is well mapped out; and your marketing materials—your executive resume, executive biography, and LinkedIn profile—are clearly written to the role you want next.

Problems with poor marketing messages

Have you ever had recruiters reach out to you through LinkedIn  for roles that were just at or slightly under your capabilities (I wrote here previously about LinkedIn for executives)? This is simply a marketing / perception issue, and a good resume writer with a strong marketing orientation can quickly and easily solve this for you by redesigning and rebranding your executive LinkedIn profile and your executive resume. This is specifically achieved via your Executive Resume Writer’s leading you to focus on contextualizing your preferred outcome and then working backwards—which includes getting a good sense of the keyword patterns in the roles to which you are most attracted. When you are vetting potential Executive Resume writing firms, be sure to ask them about their process and their philosophy of resume writing, and how they plan to market you. Hopefully, you hear from them a similar approach.

Setting realistic expectations of your resume writing team

Setting expectations is another key area you want to explore. It is imperative that you go into an executive resume writing partnership with a grounded and realistic understanding of both the services and the deliverables, and that you are prepared to participate and partner with the firm to achieve success.

This includes an openness to work on details of your executive career track, to define impact and metrics; participation during the editing process; and an openness or willingness to embrace transitional strategies that could accelerate your results. An unwillingness to participate actively in any of these things; or a general expectation that you are “paying” for everything to be done for you; could negatively impact your results.

The truth is that the success these partnerships’ success equally depends on you; and is in fact, largely what you make it. Thus, understanding the rather large “performance management” component of a partnership between you and a career services firm—it’s safe to say that a positive attitude is everything. And, in fact, a negative attitude can completely hinder the success and progress of an individual—no matter how good the firm or writer helping you is.

As an example: When I have, in the past, hired business coaches or various experts, I may have gotten only one or two key points from our meetings. However, those one or two key points typically either became very important puzzle pieces to increasing my efficiencies or helped in growing my overall business. I didn’t disparage those encounters for not delivering on every question or challenge I brought to the table; I focused rather on the tenfold ROI that the one or two points on which they really delivered, benefited me. I went in with an open mind. What I learned made me better and made my company better; and that is valuable!

Setting realistic expectations of how long your job search will take

I greatly cherish and am inspired by all of the ongoing testimonials I receive from my clients. I think it shows a consistency of success from which I, too, learn as I continue to grow in my expertise and abilities. We never stop learning!

Within these testimonials, an important distinction is that some of these client’s career transitions took longer than others. Most of my clients make their transitions (anecdotally speaking) in just a few months, and that is at the C-level—which I think is extraordinary compared to the market statistics which are usually somewhere between 12 to 14 months for executives. Some transitions take longer and some searches are a little more challenging (changing industries); this can be for a multitude of reasons having to do with factors that span across industry health/future economic outlook, client qualifications, complexity of goals; and even time of year and time available for client to invest in their job transition. I try to help all of my clients pre-plan and map out their next moves in a realistic way, because all of these aforementioned factors have one thing in common: They are all outside of my personal control.

What I can control, though, is on what I focus to empower my clients. In addition to contextualizing goals, I am there for the occasional issue, and willing to help with any client transitions that don’t go 100% smoothly—as long as I have a willing and positive partner client. This is where the rubber meets the road; and to me, when I find a consultant or a company that is willing to stick it out with me to tackle challenges or address issues in a quick, straightforward way—this is a value trait I honor and respect. Often, these are my closest advisors and most preferred vendors.

I hope this rather vulnerable perspective helps you as you form your expectations of Executive Resume writing services or similar career resources.


Mary Elizabeth Bradford, CARW, MCDMary Elizabeth Bradford and her elite team of award-winning, top certified executive resume writers and former top executive recruiters and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier CxO’s and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. Would you like to discuss your executive level transition and explore your options? Book a complimentary, confidential discovery call now.