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.
If you are a successful CEO and have recently found yourself in the job market, you may have run into a few “surprises.” You may be sending your resume out to a small network of contacts, a few recruiters and perhaps applied for a few positions listed on job boards; yet, for all that effort, you may not be landing interviews.
There are many reasons that your CEO resume may not be getting you any traction. Here are a few points to consider:
- Your CEO Resume may be dated. Have you done a quick search for CEO resumes on the internet and clicked on images? Or Googled top executive resume writers and looked at their award-winning executive resume samples? Leadership resumes have changed a lot in the last few years. More attention to visual design, layout, charts and graphs which detail accomplishment metrics and incorporate colors are all techniques that executive resume writers will use to make the professional documents they create stand out. Other executives are investing in hiring professional resume writers to create highly compelling, professional CEO resumes. They understand the value of standing out from the pack and the criticality of presenting themselves in the best light possible, including improving the ease with which their marketing documents can be read.
- Your CEO Resume may be too long, contain too much information and be too text dense. Written communication has become more distilled and is most easily assimilated in short sound bites. This is where a good design can make a profound difference for you. By creating tables or call out boxes to showcase key leadership strengths, you can highlight things such as years of experience, how much P&L you have been responsible for, the size of companies you have expertise with and any special skills, such as reorganization or fast growth environments and advanced degrees. If you feel you are lacking in any of these areas, parsing out a section just to highlight key skills will help to accentuate the core abilities you do bring to the table and minimize any concerns about skills you may lack. If your resume is 3 or 4 or more pages long because after 20+ years you have “seen and done everything,” then it can be a challenge to create a resume that it more in line with the expected 2-page executive resume which is the most reasonable and easy to read. You might struggle with knowing what to put in and what to leave out of your resume. If you are going after particular CEO roles, listing all of your successes in detail – including what you did 15 years ago as a sales manager – may leave the impression that you are a little out of touch. Highlighting relevant results, not tasks, is the name of the game with today’s CEO resume. You probably have done some amazing things in your career, but the ones to list in your executive resume are those that align with your goals moving forward.
- Your resume may not be focused. Again, a generalized overview of what you do is good. But companies, board members and top executives expect that you come to the table with a clear message that communicates your value and especially your branding. I like to think of your branding as “the promise of an experience; the experience a company or team will have when they work with you.” What are the main things you are known for in your leadership style? What are you doing when you are loving your work? What principals do you stand for no matter what? What special skills are you reputed for? Are these points communicated in your CEO resume? If not – they should be.