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Category: Executive Resumes & Cover Letters (page 1 of 8)

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!

We give complimentary consultations. If you wish to schedule a time for us to chat about your next move, contact us here.

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 Resume Writing Services—Know This Before You Hire One

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.


On Forbes: Key Marketing Elements of the Most Powerful CEO Resumes

On Forbes: Key Marketing Elements of the Most Powerful CEO ResumesIn my latest article on Forbes, I take a sample CEO resume and show you how to communicate key points to your audience fluidly and effectively – both at the cursory glance and in the deeper read.

Click here to read more, plus check out the other articles I’ve contributed as a Forbes Coaches Council author.

CEO Resume Samples: 3 Things to Look For in a Results-Producing CEO Resume

Is it time to dust off your CEO resume? If you are being recruited or ready to vet a new CEO position or wishing to step into your first CEO role – your executive resume is the foundation for your audiences first perception of you. You know how first perceptions are – once they are “set” it’s very hard to move the needle – so your executive resume has a tremendous amount of power to create the impression you want.

But not all CEO resumes are the same. A resume should be and can be so much more than a historical narrative of where you have been. The spirit of this same approach is one where you think, “if I just list all the amazing responsibilities I have had, I just KNOW someone is going to read them and find the perfect role for me.” This thought process puts the power in the hands of the reader. A much better approach is the value-driven approach. A CEO resume that says “I know who I am and where I am going” serves to engender the trust of strangers MUCH faster than the former approach.

This article here shows a few CEO resume samples that really work to translate leadership and value – in a matter of seconds – because at the cursory glance that is all you have.

There are three running themes you will see in the CEO Resume Samples article above. The first is a clear definition of what the executive is going for in terms of title, company size and industry, or some other key indicator such as PE-Backed Companies or Fortune 500 Companies. The reason this is so important has to do with the way people absorb information at the glance. If you are respectful enough to your reader to give them the “table of contents” before “chapter one” then you have effectively given your reader the key points they need to know foundationally before they can adequately dive in – either details of your abilities, accomplishments, or soft skills.

The second running theme in a CEO Resume that is both effective and produces results is a focus on the metrics. People can only care how or what you do after they have been given the opportunity to understand what happens when you do it. So, we begin the conversation by focusing on your metric-driven results FIRST and then explain briefly how, what, or why. Bullets that begin with results and summary statements that showcase your core accomplishments in a professional narrative show you understand what the emphasis has to be on first to establish trust, respect, and credibility; and it does indeed most quickly engender trust with your audience. If there is any one area where we need to communicate results fluently and clearly, it’s in your executive resume!

The third running theme is a visually well put together resume. As your audience’s eye draws down through the document, what you have bolded or put in another color captures first look, so use these differentiators wisely so that your core bits of information (where, when, over what geography, company size, P&L, how many employees, and core accomplishments) are looked at first. Additionally, graphs and charts used with moderation appeal to the visual executive and keep the reader on the page longer. Many studies have been done that demonstrate a visually appealing document commands a longer look and leaves a more favorable first impression – critical when expressing in written form your CEO executive candidacy.

If the thought of writing your resume yourself as distasteful and you wish to hire an executive resume writer to do it for you, this article covers some tips to vet top CEO Resume Writers. Additionally, this article here can help you with CEO job search strategies you may not know about.

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.

5 Things You Should Know Before Hiring an Executive Resume Writer

Five Things To Consider Before Hiring An Executive Resume Writer

Thinking about hiring and executive resume writer? In my article, Five Things To Consider Before Hiring An Executive Resume Writer, I walk you through five important factors you should take time to assess before making your decision.

See the other articles I’ve written for Forbes  as a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

ATS Scam Notice

There is a scam currently circulating on the internet.

Clients, please be cautious if you are approached by a “recruiting” firm and told you are being considered for an executive job. Here is what they will do:

  1. They will ask you to send your resume (and most likely, sign a non-disclosure agreement).
  1. You’ll get back an email stating that although they were able to open your resume, it could not be loaded properly into their ATS.
  1. They will send you a link to “score” your resume (or straight to a site to “fix” your resume for a fee).
  1. You’ll load your resume (with NO job announcement) to be scored. It will fail.
  1. You are sent to a website that will “fix” your resume for a fee.

This company changes names often to evade authorities.

Executive Resume Writer Mary Elizabeth Bradford Appointed as Judge for 2018 TORI Resume Writing Competition

Mary Elizabeth Bradford to Judge TORI Resume Writing CompetitionFor the second year in a row, Mary Elizabeth Bradford has been appointed to serve as a Top Tier Finalist Judge for Career Director International’s 2018 TORI Awards.

The CDI Toast of the Resume Industry Awards are regarded as the gold standard for best content/visual resume representation the industry has to offer. Top resume writers from all over the world compete for first, second or third place in their respective categories ranging from Executive to Healthcare, Finance, Sales, and Entry-Level.

According to CDI President, Laura DeCarlo, “The Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) award winners represent the epitome of excellence for job seekers to stand out from the competition for the 60-80% of all jobs that are found through networking and the hidden job market.”  TORI award winners are considered to be the top resume writers in the resume writing/careers industry.

Check out past TORI winners here.

3 CEO Resume Samples that Show Strengths that WORK

20+ years of expertise summarized in a 2- or 3-page document is not an easy feat. This explains why developing a Chief Executive Officer resume can be tricky. Often, CEOs will come to me with original 5- pages resumes, simply as a result of not knowing what strengths to emphasize and which to minimize or exclude.

However, here are three Executive CEO Resume samples that demonstrate universal selling points that are generally applicable across all C-Level resumes.

Executive Resume Sample #1

Give your audience a clear table of contents at the top of Page 1.

CEO Resume Samples: Executive Resume Sample #1

Click to view full resume.

In this first resume, you see how the CEO spelled out who he is, and where he wants to go—very clearly. For example, just the keywords at the top give you the following information:

  • Industry of Preference and Expertise: Tech Companies in Growth Mode
  • Title: CEO / Advisor
  • Organizational Structure Preferred: Private Equity
  • Special Area of Expertise: M&A’s, Growth

As the eye draws to the document’s other supporting areas, what this CEO specializes in is very clear:

Risk Controls / Executive Board Partnerships / Strategic Exits

With this context – now the reader not only knows the CEO’s primary skills, strengths, and industry preferences, he/she also has enough context to read deeper into the document and digest it. In other words, without a table of contents or summary overview, it’s difficult to digest the details.

View the full CEO executive resume sample #1 here.

Executive Resume Sample #2

Speak from a position of leadership and metrics to set the perception as a results-driven leader in the minds of your readers.

CEO Resume Samples: Executive Resume Sample #2

Click to view full resume.

Leaders are expected to garner results. It is anticipated that their vision and personality will inspire and motivate their teams. By clearly focusing on the results you deliver, you inspire the trust of your readers.

This second executive resume example demonstrates the results the CEO garners. It spans revenue growth, expansions, major transactions, major awards (industry thought leadership), and high-visibility projects.

IMPORTANT: Note that the bullets begin with the CEO’s result…not the activity and THEN the metric result at the end.

View the full CEO executive resume sample #2 here.

Executive Resume Sample #3

Set up your storyline to make it easy for your reader to understand your value.

CEO Resume Samples: Executive Resume Sample #3

Click to view full resume.

This particular resume has some special components. First, it’s a one-page version of a three- page resume. One-page resumes are often preferred by banks, boards, and private equity firms. This resume is also color-branded to the CEO’s industry of choice. It clearly demonstrates her thought leadership and industry expertise. It gives scale and scope at the cursory glance. It is visually very attractive.

Even though it’s only one page, this resume clearly outlines this CEO’s career narrative. It starts with her title and provides a summary of why she was hired. Then, it crisply delivers her primary accomplishments, which are supported with just enough detail in the few bullets below the summary accomplishment. This respects the reader and sets up the storyline so that the reader WANTS to digest, read, and understand this CEO’s career narrative.

IMPORTANT: Note that each bullet begins with her quantifiable result…NOT the activity and then, the result at the end. Beginning with the result shows more energy and power. It translates that this CEO understands it’s the RESULT—not the activity—that is of primary importance.

View the full CEO executive resume sample #3 here.

In summary, the majority of CEOs hire a resume writing firm to develop their marketing documents —but even if you don’t write your own resume, these tips will help you know what to look for in a top executive resume writer or executive resume writing firm!

If you would like to chat about executive resume services, you can request a confidential, complimentary call here.

Quick Tip for Top Executives on Executive Resumes

The best executive resume writing tips in one quick, 3-minute video. Mary Elizabeth Bradford, The Career Artisan, addresses the top issue executives encounter when writing their own resume and shares the resume tips she uses in her practice.


Want more information on DIY resumes? Visit Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s Success Store at:

Interested in having Mary Elizabeth create your resume for you? Visit to schedule a 15-minute introductory call.

Selected as a Top Career Website

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

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