Tag: 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.
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.
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.
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. I wrote a more in depth post about C-level resume tips like this here.
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.
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TOP EXECUTIVE RESUME WRITER AWARDED INTERNATIONAL MASTER-LEVEL WRITING CERTIFICATION
Mary Elizabeth Bradford, Founder and Executive Director of maryelizabethbradford.com, has been awarded international certification as a Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW) by Career Directors International (CDI). This Master-Level certification, the pinnacle level of competency for CDI, required Mary Elizabeth to demonstrate her superior knowledge and experience in contemporary resume writing through an intensive examination of her professional writing. She was assessed on her broad range of industry knowledge and expertise in the areas of strategy, branding, advanced visual appeal, and contextual narrative. Recognition as a CMRW sets Mrs. Bradford apart from the competition and distinguishes the high caliber of her credentials in assisting top-level executive clientele (Director to CXO and Board Members) with professional resume services.
Maryelizabethbradford.com offers expert-level resume writing and career advisory services for executive clientele in the global marketplace. She empowers clients to navigate the complexities of the job search and emerge as successful candidates. Mrs. Bradford is a recognized speaker and author whose career advice has been seen and heard on Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, PBS, NBC, Glassdoor and Career Builder, to name a few. She has more than 17 years’ expertise assisting 6- and 7-figure clients in achieving their career goals. She is the author of The Career Artisan Series eBooks—which have been best sellers on Amazon, and include titles: The New Executive Job Search, The 21st Century Resume, Interview Follow Up Techniques, Phone Networking Secrets, and The Hidden Job Market, and has been published in multiple resume writing and cover letter compilation books. In addition, she has received the highest CDI Award given: The Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also achieved Certification as Master Career Director, Certification as International Advanced Resume Writer, Awarded the CDI National Career Innovator Award, won two awards for 2015 Top Career Advice Blog, and maryelizabethbradford.com was voted a Forbes Top 100 Career Website. To learn more about Mary Elizabeth Bradford, visit her website at www.maryelizabethbradford.com.
CDI is an international association that provides proactive resources and assistance to empower its members to apply the world’s best practices in career development, resume writing, and job searches.
PART 2: IMPLEMENTATION
In Part 1 of this article (which I strongly recommend you read if you haven’t already) I shared that your primary objective for utilizing LinkedIn is threefold:
- Connect with key players.
- Keyword optimize your profile so that when people find you and want to pitch job opportunities your way, you will have already aligned your profile with the opportunities that are most relevant to your talents, skills, and preferences—and crucial to your happiness and job satisfaction.
- Use LinkedIn to develop thought leadership.
Let’s break down how these top three steps can be achieved:
Join Groups in Order to Connect with Key Players
There are tens of thousands of groups and group forums on LinkedIn. Forums give you an instant audience in a particular industry, networking group, alumni group, recruiter group, company, or geographic area! Currently, you can join up to 50 groups.
Search for groups on LinkedIn using the search bar at the top of your profile, and pick those groups that are most relevant to you. If you are a CFO in the airline industry, you might use keywords including CFO, Airline Executives, Financial+Aviation, etc…
Once you are accepted into a group, you can pose a question, post a news or blog article, or check out new career opportunities in the jobs section of the group.
But your most important priority, once you have joined LI groups, is to scroll through the member listing and invite key players and recruiters to join your network! Your reason for doing so? Because you are both members of the same group!
Why do this? Because you need to be in someone’s first-, second-, or third-degree network if you’re going to show up in their search results when they are looking for someone like you! In just minutes a week, you can check out the member listings for your groups and email select members to quickly and strategically grow your network.
To do so, check their profile for an email, then click the connect button and choose the “Other” option. Your message to whomever you wish to invite is simple: We’re in XYZ group together and I want to invite you to join my network! No need to include a greeting, since LinkedIn does that for you.
In the event that you can’t find an email, you can also directly message that person and ask them to connect with you or ask a fellow group member to introduce you. A third way (and the way I do it) is to check off the “Colleague” button so you can send them an invite directly.
Some will say you must know the person to use the “Colleague” option (including LinkedIn); however, I am of the school of thought that if you and I share a group together and I want to invite you to join my network, the fact that LinkedIn forces me to say you are a colleague in order for me to send you an invite is more of an “oh well, okay” situation. But that is me and just my personal opinion. What you decide to do is up to you and what you feel most comfortable with.
If the group you join is job search-related—or you are joining groups outside of your industry and you are concerned that you might inadvertently reveal the identification of your current company—you will want to hide the group icon so that it does not show up on your profile. You can easily do this in the group preferences settings once you are accepted into the group.
Become a Thought Leader Using LinkedIn
Wondering how to use the LinkedIn Activity Feed at the top of your home page? Articles you can post regarding those things that are relative to thought leadership include:
Info on a great career/leadership book you just read.
- A picture of you with the keynote speaker at a conference or seminar you recently attended.
- Links to one of your blog posts or an interesting career-related article you just read or were quoted in.
- A photo of your volunteer service—running a 5K for a cause, for example -or promotion of any other cause about which you are passionate.
Once or twice a month is all you need to keep you top of mind with your network and solidify your branding and professional perception.
Bonus Tip On Privacy
We all assume some risk when we put our information online. You can adjust who sees your network and activity feeds in the LinkedIn settings section of your profile. For example, if you are concerned about your employer being able to see what you are doing on LinkedIn or knowing about your connections, simply set these to private.
There are many other ways to use LinkedIn to benefit your business, career, or consulting business. These are just a few. Find more information and step-by-step strategies here.
Effective executive resumes do several things at once:
- They are visually attractive. White space in the resume – or “real estate” – is respected. Big blocks of text that are hard to read through are omitted.
- At the top of the resume, key words are used precisely to help the reader understand the executive’s focus of direction, and any metrics are added to help the reader understand the size and scope of the executive’s profile. Examples include P&L to $200 Million, Fortune 500 Companies, Manage Teams to 300, Mergers and Acquisitions, Turnaround Expert, and so on…
- Parsing out leadership highlights in a box or sidebar builds on their executive snapshot – again, helping the reader understand their expertise in quick sound bites. They match up their skills TO the positions and titles they are focusing on moving into. Relevant keywords in their leadership snapshot may include things like: MBA, Total Years of Industry Expertise, Board Appointments, Awards, Certifications and even community highlights such as nonprofit committee positions.
- Charts and graphs are used in moderation to help add powerful visuals to their executive resume and can help to accent particular career successes. Colors – again, used in moderation – liven the document, creating an easier read, and solidifying branding by reinforcing an industry or position color. Examples include red for some sales and marketing or larger than life personalities, and blue and grey for healthcare executives.
- Under professional history, a story is well constructed and includes the size of the company and whether the executive was recruited, appointed or promoted. Bullets lead with results first, as this keeps the reader’s interest. Leading with something such as, “Improved customer service ratings 75% in 12 months,” becomes a powerful motivator to the reader; they want to keep reading to understand why. The executive has successfully communicated that they understand their value to potential companies, which heightens the reader’s confidence in them.
Crafting executive resumes is considered by many professional resume writers to be an art. And although executive resume writing is a component of an unregulated industry (the careers industry), top internationally certified advanced resume writing certifications can be earned through highly credible associations such as Career Directors International.
As a top executive resume writer, I have the privilege of speaking to many top executives on a weekly basis. There are a few statements I hear over and over again from these executives in career transition. They include:
“I have not had to look for a position ever – they have always come to me.”
“I really don’t know much about today’s job market; I haven’t had to look for positions for many years.”
“My resume is extremely dated and doesn’t represent me the way I would like it to.”
“I have tried to write about myself and my accomplishments, but it is just proved to be too difficult.”
“I have done so many things and amassed so many executive level skills at this point in my career, my resume would be 5 pages long if I wrote it.”
These are all very common, frustrating situations for top executives, and all very good reasons that they seek to employ top certified executive resume writers to design their C-level resumes. At the C-level, most executives would spend money at their salaries to actually try to write their own resumes.
Another important factor is the ROI of working with a top writer to design a C-level resume. Most often the leverage a professional C-level resume gives means more interviews in less time and often more money. Ostensibly, C-level executives who invest in professional leadership resumes will recoup their initial investment or often see a return in the form of an increased salary, more interviews, a shorter job search and the like.
A C-level resume is a leadership document that is strategically planned out and designed to convey your value in the form of telling your story and communicating the metrics-driven accomplishments you have a track record for. If it’s done right, it sets the peg higher for initial conversations and builds the value of who you can be to a potential employer. It should create intrigue and pull opportunities to you.
A C-level resume that is professionally created ensures that your story is told crisply and in a compelling manner. The set up and delivery is compiled for easy reading – it is interesting – and white space is respected. Accomplishments are set in tables and perhaps shown on a graph and your top-branded accomplishments are called out in short sound bites. This gives your reader satisfaction at the cursory glance.
Common mistakes executives make when they write their own resumes include big blocks of text and simply including too much information. These sub par resumes do not adequately convey leadership strengths or give the stellar first impression needed to land interviews for an executive level position. If you write your own resume and feel the backlash of silence from recruiters and job boards you have submitted your resume to, you will be tempted to feel a loss of confidence in the job market and possibly in your own value. A professionally written C-level resume means you can step out with aplomb – and this good energy will carry over to your interviews.
It is rarely disputed that a top executive resume writer is a valuable resource for your C-level resume, as the investment often pays back very well. They can also serve as trusted sounding boards for executive decisions during a job search and provide other valuable resources such as LinkedIn design and optimization, recruiter distributions and more.
A very common comment from my executive level clients is that searching for career and job search help on the internet is extremely confusing.
The internet is a great place for getting questions answered and researching economic and job search trends, but it is the sheer volume of information that can tend to make a professional’s head spin.
To cut through the fat, the best thing to do when you are vetting any new service is to start by going through associations.
Please understand that career services is an unregulated industry. That means buyer beware! Going through associations allows you to compare writers and other coaching services side-by-side, and insures that you can instantly find people who take their career seriously through industry-regulated memberships and association certifications. I like Career Directors International because in my opinion, they are the career services industries gold standard. Their certifications are not inexpensive and they are difficult to obtain. Certifications must be renewed and continuing education credits submitted to “hold” the certification.
Here are some initial credentials to look for when you are reviewing a resume writer’s website:
- They are CERTIFIED, preferably thru Career Directors International (yes there are good writers who are not, but this is like an insurance policy!).
- They have been seen/heard/published in major media like Wall Street Journal, MSN, FORBES, etc.
- They have won awards for their resume writing.
- They have authored or been featured in career- or resume-related books.
- They have been in business for at least 10 years (if you are a top executive).
- They have expertise writing for your industry/position.
What else should you consider?
- Look at the resume samples on their site and read the site content. Do you like and resonate with what they are saying? My personal feeling is that a writer who knows how to market themselves will probably be pretty good at marketing you too!
- Reach out to them. Do they respond promptly? Do you like them and are you resonating with the feedback they are giving you? This is important because remember, this is a person you are entrusting with a very important project! They will be giving you advice and you must like/trust them enough to take it and implement it.
- If they can help you with other needs you may have in your job search, such as understanding how to use social networking like LinkedIn or helping you with other job search strategies, that’s a big plus!
What about price?
The truth is that top writers are offering resume packages anywhere from $800 to $3000 on average. If you have never worked with a writer before you may feel this is “expensive.” Remember these professionals, when at the top of their game, usually spend thousands investing in industry-related continuing education. Certified resume writers are highly trained. They can save you tons of time and frustration, and have amassed years and years of experience – this is truly priceless when you are in need of the right help and best information.
It is also important to realize that resume writing is an unusually labor intensive service that requires many hours of concentration and communication, for every project they undertake. Most often, executives who invest in themselves via an executive resume writer or coach make that investment back many, many times over. There is no guarantee of course, but it is safe to say, that is the expected and most often achieved outcome.
Of course, I am a certified resume writer but I am sharing this in the true spirit of helping. I am not everyone’s writer – the most important thing is that YOU find the writer who is a great fit for you! Merry Christmas!
Many of my clients over the years have made big leaps up the ladder to better positions, exciting challenges and more money. How did they do it? Of course every case is different, but if you are looking to advance your career in the upcoming year, here are some things you can put into place right now:
Keep track of your accomplishments.
This is something I think all of us should be doing regardless. Avoid the mistake of thinking that someone is always looking over your shoulder tracking all of your career related accomplishments – or worse – that you shouldn’t because your job is “just what you do.” Take full responsibility for tracking your accomplishments and stepping back to view your value to your company as a whole. In other words, don’t just note the accomplishment, but the result it helped your company to achieve in $ and/or %.
Make a 30-minute meeting with yourself every 60 to 90 days to track your goals and write down your accomplishments. 30 days before your annual performance review, you can share your “progress report” with them. Many of my clients have stated that this type of initiative landed them a bigger raise.
Invest in yourself.
Whether your company pays or you foot the bill yourself, obtaining certifications, involving yourself in prestigious associations, or committing to coursework to obtain an advanced degree, are all endeavors that can have big returns for you! By perhaps pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, your industry or business expertise is expanded, and you will be keeping yourself fresh and relevant by learning something new. Those you work with will be motivated by your leadership and initiative.
Update your offline presence.
Leadership resumes have dramatically changed over the last few years. Those that are professionally written tell your story in a powerful, readable, and visually compelling way.
A highly polished and crisply delivered message sets the peg at a much higher level for your initial conversations, continues forward from that very professional initial contact, and gives you a competitive edge. This is why you will often hear that top resume writers help their clients land much better positions with significantly more money.
To find a good professional resume writer, I have always advocated that job seekers go to Career Directors International and look for qualified writers with advanced resume writing certifications. CDI’s Certifications are notoriously difficult to get, and that’s a good thing for you. In a largely unregulated industry, it’s an insurance policy that you are getting someone who can actually help you. This is why paying for top writers is generally a very wise idea. You truly get what you pay for in this instance.
Update your online presence.
Once you have your resume aligned with where you want to be, you will also need to create continuity between your new resume and your LinkedIn profile. You can get some major leverage through LinkedIn by optimizing your profile. The secret is connecting with the right recruiters so you can find yourself in their universe when they have a search need for a candidate (like you). Key word optimizing your profile to better align yourself with your next career steps will help you to “be found.”
Also, join as many relevant groups as you can and strategically connect with key group members. Just invite them into your network by introducing yourself as a fellow group member. Remember, you can change your profile settings to hide “job related” and “recruiter” groups so those group icons do not show on your profile.
Many executives I speak to share with me that they have never had to look for a job before – the jobs came to them. And even though in recent years the market is tougher, it is still quite possible to draw opportunities to you.
Here are a few things you can do now to set yourself up for success:
Connect With Recruiters
Back when I was a recruiter, there were some executives that would actually hang up on me when I called to pitch them a job – only to call me a year or two later asking about open jobs I was working on. Unbelievable! But I know YOU are not ever going to do this, right? Right! Because today it is all about being networked so everyone can help each other.
So first things first: find the recruiters in your industry. It makes no difference if they are close to you geographically, only that they work in your industry or specialty. Call them and let them know you are happy where you are, but that you would like to invite them to call to network with you, and to keep you in mind for any particular opportunities that might be a good fit. Remind them to keep this confidential and not to send your resume to any companies without your prior consent. Do this with 5 or 6 good recruiters and you will be in good shape!
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
Did you know that your Linked In profile, done correctly, can dramatically increase your weekly visitor rate? You want to pull the right eyes to your profile so that you are top of mind for networking and potential opportunities with the people you most need and want to be connected to. There is a trick to this, but it is not hard to set up if you know how. I just took a large group of executives step-by-step through how to set up their LI profile and recorded it here. This is a “must-know” for every career-minded professional.
Become a Thought Leader
How do superstars attract opportunities? By being good at what they do, yes, but many times you will find them stepping into the fullness of their potential through leadership positions outside of their companies. This includes speaking at associations and trade conferences, writing articles for associations on their area of expertise or getting involved in their local chamber of commerce for their particular business function (such as being an ambassador for their cities local manufacturing sector). This attracts people, makes networking easy, and challenges you mentally to always be the best you can be – step out and try new things using your career expertise as your springboard. Years ago I stepped up to become a thought leader in my industry, especially on the topic of tapping the hidden job market. You just have to be willing to share what you know with others. Many people struggle with the “but who am I to do that?” syndrome. In fact, most everyone does. Those feelings are a normal and a part of the progression. Acknowledge those feelings, but continue on!
Have An Outstanding Resume
Are you really serious about the edge you want in the market? A professionally written resume will wow both recruiters and companies, set you well apart from your competition, and work to secure you more interviews and offers. There is just no getting around the ROI you can experience by investing in yourself in this area. Make sure your writer is certified with a top association and an experienced writer in your industry. You can see samples of professionally written executive resumes here. Put a reminder in your calendar every 90 days to keep track of your career accomplishments, no matter how small – and try to quantify them with %% and $$ whenever possible. This small effort has a direct effect on your future salary.