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Category: Executive Branding

Top 10 Executive Resume Writing Tips for 2019

Top 10 Executive Resume Writing Tips for 2019 If you’re an executive looking for trending advice on how to update your resume for maximum result, follow my executive resume writing tips below!

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Marketing Yourself

  1. Marketing 101 tends to be evergreen, so the techniques executive resume writers employ to make your executive resume POP remain the same in 2019. Strong marketing is still king. This includes summary ideas captured in a strong, single, centered or bolded sentence, bullets that begin (not end) with your metric or impact, and boxes or side columns that communicate general key points (how big/how much/how many/where etc.) to give your readers context.
  1. Your resume is not a historical narrative. It is a piece of marketing collateral – built to stimulate conversations regarding the role you want next.

Using LinkedIn Profiles & Web Portfolios

  1. Your resume should NOT be an exact reflection of your LinkedIn profile. It should also not be linked or uploaded to your LinkedIn profile (screams “I am looking for a job”). Your resume is written in implied first person, while the generally accepted tense and tone of your LI profile is first-person informal.
  1. Online websites are being asked for more and more often. In 2019, it is an excellent idea to grab, even in a couple variations (domains are the new real estate) and if you like create your own Web portfolio. It’s a layer of communication that makes it easy to communicate your value points, your photo and your contact information – without the ‘drip’ marketing.

Formatting Your Executive Resume

  1. The top of your resume’s first page is prime real estate and needs to communicate your scope of interest, ideal company size, industry of interest to you, and scale of your expertise. For example: Chief Financial Officer / Global Consumer Brands / P&L to $3B.
  1. If the top 1/3 page of your resume is the king, the white space throughout your resume is the queen (campy – I know). As your eye draws down through the document, you should have plenty of white space to bring balance, organization, and a sense of clarity to your document.
  1. One-page resumes seem to be preferred by PE firms, boards, and generally first introductions. Two- or three-page resumes are just fine for C-suite executives. My top clients have both a one-page and a full resume and tell me they use them both.

Writing to the Future

  1. What are the top 5 things you wish to do in your next role? Let’s say they include financial restructuring and M&As. Now, brainstorm on your top accomplishments with those items and showcase them in your resume. In other words, begin at the end and focus on what you want to do next…decide on your preferred title and responsibilities…then think about your accomplishments in those categories. Those are your showcase points for your new resume.
  1. Portfolio career executives, as well as executives who wish to showcase their skills across C-suite positions, interim C-suite roles, advisory roles, board appointments, private equity / venture capital roles, and even thought leader points (keynote speaking engagements / adjunct professor roles / major media) are becoming more and more popular – more and more categories are being created in 2019 to demonstrate an executive’s leadership experience. Presenting your expertise in this way stimulates outside-the-box conversations.
  1. Your executive resume creates the initial first perception that will help evolve all future conversations. By focusing on what you want to attract and writing to those positions and industries, you will guarantee the strongest audience draw. I share executive resume samples here if you would like to learn more. Here is an article on how to pick a resume writing firm that covers some great points.

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.

Executive Leadership: 9 Key Characteristics of Trusted Industry Leaders

This is a MUST READ for all C-level leaders. It resonated with me deeply, because I learned a long time ago that the foundation of all interviews is the opportunity to engender trust in a small window of time. Read the full article, “Why Jonathan Thurston is One of the Most Trusted Leaders,” by personal branding coach, Jane Anderson.

Protecting Your Online Image


Good information on protecting your online image:

  Read about it here!

The Executive Bio – A Career Management Essential

A  very interesting and short article on The Executive Biography from BlueSteps. They have a fresh idea: use your bio when networking. I like that idea a lot!

A couple additioexecutive-biography-article-minnal tips:

  • Who else expects to see your biography? Boards and Senior Groups in PE/VC Firms.
  • Please never, ever, ever use an amateur photo in your bio or LI profile. A professional photo with good lighting is the quality level you must stick to. Please, trust me on this one. You deserve to look fantastic and your attention to professional polish will keep your confidence intact!

Read more here:  BlueSteps

Tips on How CxOs Can Optimize Their Executive LinkedIn Profiles

Many C-level executives tell me they have a LinkedIn profile but don’t really do anything with it. Other CxOs share they don’t even have a profile. Concerns range from simple lack of time or interest to privacy concerns.

I think the main issue is lack of understanding relative to value. Many executives simply don’t see how LinkedIn can benefit them. But there IS value in having a LinkedIn profile if you are a top executive. Below are several ideas and tips for leveraging those benefits:

Adjust Your Privacy & Settings

First, if you are concerned about privacy, in the security settings of your profile, you can change the setting for “Select who can see your connections” to “Only you.”

This way, your company and your competition cannot see who you are connected to. And if you wish to connect with others that may raise an eyebrow or two within your team (top-retained recruiters—or even your competition), no one can view your connections except for you.

Summary Statement

It’s a good idea to have an email—and maybe even a phone number—at the very beginning of the Summary statement. This ensures that people who may be visiting your profile can reach out to you, even if they may be outside of your first- or second-degree network of connections. If you are open to new opportunities, there is no reason to broadcast it, since you can very easily give someone a way to reach out to you!

Privacy tip: set up a new Gmail account with a variation of your name or something that is business-friendly, and use that email in your LinkedIn Summary statement.

Keyword Headings

When deciding on your keyword headings, think about what a recruiter or other key decision maker might be looking for when searching for someone like you. An advanced degree, splashy award, high-level certification, or size/scope information, such as “Fortune 500 Companies,” “Fast Growth Start-Ups,” Board Member,” or “International Expansions.” If you are looking to change industries, think of how broad your industry choice can be without looking as if you are searching for another opportunity.

Depth & Breadth

Most resume writers agree that LinkedIn profiles are best written in first-person informal. Generally speaking, the details in your profile should not be covered as thoroughly as they are in your executive resume. A good rule of thumb is to add just enough detail to create intrigue. Your profile should never, in my professional opinion, broadcast that you are looking for another opportunity. LinkedIn seems to work best for establishing thought leadership and to expand your network into specific areas.

Expand Your Network

When you expand your network with recruiters and key decision makers across a few industries and divisions, you are creating a network that can be leveraged. For example, a few years ago my husband was complaining that his LinkedIn connections were almost nonexistent. He is in the wine business, so I suggested he find those in “his tribe” through direct searches and LinkedIn groups and invite them into his network. Within 45 days my husband had more than 400 of the most powerful global connections of suppliers, distributors, wineries, vintners, wine-recruiters, HR directors, and high-profile critics in the wine industry. He regularly receives important information and job solicitations now through his LinkedIn profile.

Thought Leadership

Have your read an insightful industry article in Forbes that you agree with? Did you recently attend—or even better—speak at an industry conference? Attend or help lead a community event? Why not share that in your activity broadcast? Articles are another great way to share your insight; including pictures or videos will make them more clickable. Remember to keep it all business! This is an excellent way to solidify your brand and thought leadership within your network.

Although there are many other optimization and design tips that are important to know, these tips are great starting points to get you using LinkedIn as a tool that will give you market leverage and solidify your branding message.

Selected as a Top Career Website

Excited to announce we have been selected as a Top Career Website on Career Igniter!

The SECRET to Leveraging the Power of LinkedIn

Only 5% of executives I speak with on a weekly basis share with me that they are “happy” with their LinkedIn presence and that they regularly attract ideal job opportunities through LinkedIn.

The other 95% share with me that although they may have a profile, they don’t do much with it—and frankly, that’s because they are not sure what to do with it.

A question for you: What are three things you WISH LinkedIn could do for you? Please stop reading for a minute and define one to three things you wish LinkedIn could do for you.

I’ll wait here …

Are they:

  • Bring you more business?
  • Draw ideal job opportunities to you?
  • Establish the perception of thought leadership?
  • Scout for talent for your company?

Once you define what is important to you—you can then determine how to use LinkedIn to provide you with optimum market leverage.

If you want to establish thought leadership, look into WHAT you want to say to your audience—and use LinkedIn’s activity broadcasts to do it; or post using LinkedIn’s blog feature (like I do!).

If you want to scout for talent, you might want to upgrade to a Premium account and concentrate on expanding your network. You could also explore LinkedIn’s Recruiter App for your company’s needs.

If you want to energize your network, you might want to first write out all of the reasons WHY that is important to you—and then develop a simple system to spend 15 minutes per week on LinkedIn to actively increase your connections. Can you define the industry, titles, geographic locations, and so on, that you want to expand? This will help!

If you want to expand your business, you may look into LinkedIn advertising (I do) to reach out to your ideal audience.

And whether you are a passive or active job seeker, think about WHO you want to be seen by. Did you know that if you are not in your target market’s 1st-, 2nd-, or 3rd-degree connections, they can’t “find” you? It’s true.

If you want to learn how to expand your network and get real, actionable results, check out the online program I’ve developed (one of my most popular courses) that teaches executives how to attract career opportunities through LinkedIn. It works! Learn more about it here.

What Does Your Brand Stand For?

One of my clients sent me this really neat graphic of branding categories. Although meant for companies, I think this is a really fun infographic that groups value propositions. Where do YOU see yourself here? I shared with my client (who asked me the same) that overall the three areas of my business connected with these categories are Emperor, Protector and Source.

What Does Your Brand Stand For (1)

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