Job seekers applying for executive positions need resumes too. So, if you were hoping to get a dream job in the C-suite without that vital document, it’s time to revise your strategy.
While it may be true that a lucky employee can climb up the corporate ladder through promotions within the company, most candidates do have to go through a job search process every now and then. At this point, the ability to craft a winning resume becomes one of the key skills.
But what if you’re not particularly good at writing documents or don’t have enough time? In this case, you can always get professional help and hire a writer who will help you make the most of your skills and work experience. For example, you can find one at ResumeService24 – online writing service with more than 50 writers available.
Alternatively, you can learn about the ways to improve your CV on your own from this article. But before we move on, let’s get this clear: a regular professional resume and an executive resume are not quite the same.
How Is an Executive Resume Different?
As a rule, putting together an executive resume that will engage the recruiters is usually a more daunting task than crafting a regular professional CV.
Here are some key differences that set the two documents apart:
- Document length.
- The overall level of self-presentation.
So, what can you do to make your resume more appealing to a recruiter or a hiring manager? Here are a few suggestions.
How to Improve Your Executive Resume
Hopefully, you’re already moved past generic CVs and are aware of the existence of the ATS system (not always applicable to C-suite candidates, but still). So, now is the time to further customize your most important document to get more interviews and land a job.
Start With a Summary
A resume objective could suffice for an entry or mid-level position. But if you’re aiming higher, start your document with a summary instead.
The main difference between the two is that an objective focuses on your career aspirations first and foremost, whereas a summary is essentially your resume in a nutshell. The latter is aimed at selling you as the exact “product” the company is looking for.
Highlight Your Key Skills
As you might already know, there are two main approaches to resume writing:
But in an executive CV, a mixed approach usually works best. You can highlight your key skills in a noticeable and easy-to-read way and point out the positions and companies to you applied these skills to. This way, you’ll avoid the long lists of workplaces and skills that may seem unconnected.
Quantify Your Achievements
Management is all about quantifiable results. When a company is hiring an executive, it is expecting that person to show numbers: revenue, sales, growth, etc. Therefore, not being able to present your achievements in a quantifiable manner puts you at a disadvantage.
So, don’t forget to throw in a few numbers to explain how exactly you helped your previous employers thrive. You can do it in a separate Selected Accomplishments (Career Highlights) section near the top of your document or in your Work Experience section.
Extend to Two Pages
Applicants are usually told that a one-page document is a standard. However, that standard is different for a C-level resume where two pages are a go-to document length. The reason is, C-level candidates have a long story to tell, so they need more space to tell it right.
Still, having more space doesn’t mean you can ramble on about irrelevant things like your high school achievements or your first job as a cashier. At this level, no one needs to know that anymore.
Leave Out All the Fluff
Therefore, be concise and leave out all the fluff. If you’re not sure what exactly to exclude, here are a few tips:
- focus on the most recent work experience and most relevant skills;
- limit your experience section to the past 15 years or so;
- consider how every previous position or skill that you have is relevant to the position you are applying to;
- read the job description and demands carefully.
Move the Education Section to the Bottom
Your education might have been your most valuable asset when you were just starting out but not at this point of your career. So, you can safely move this section to the bottom of your resume unless you have recently taken some prestigious training like MBA, for instance. In the latter case, you can consider it an accomplishment and include it in the summary.
Make It Look Impressive
Last but not least, an executive resume should look the part. Therefore, avoid free generic templates and double-check grammar and spelling (or hire an editor to do that for you).
Style is also crucial, as many recruiters admit that things like a wrongly picked tone of voice, vague sentences, typos, font sizes that don’t fit, and other seemingly minor faults in an applicant’s CV instantly turn them off.
Now that you know how you can improve your C-level resume, it’s time to take a fresh look at your document, decide what changes you need to make, and start adding these small tweaks that can make all the difference. And if the task still seems too daunting, you can always hire a professional resume writer to do it for you.