Updating and Reviving Your Executive Resume

Joe Weinlick
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An executive resume needs to look crisp, polished and updated just like any other job seeker's resume. The major difference is a resume for this level of job should be two or more pages, closer to a curriculum vitae, as opposed to the one-page standard for lower-level positions. Discover a few tips to update and revive your document for your next C-suite job search.

Fix the Formatting

Before you start altering the meat of your executive resume, fix the formatting on your old document. Your resume should have an easy-to-read font, some white space in between tidbits of data and no spelling errors. The functional format should use bullet points, a career summary containing four to five bullet points at the top, and concise sentences filled with provable numbers. Don't forget to add links to your social media, professional portfolio and LinkedIn page. Once you fix the formatting of your existing resume, you can update it with pertinent information.

Tell Your Story

An executive resume tells your professional story. Use the CAR method at strategic points to tell the story of how you accomplished a major milestone in your career. CAR stands for "challenge, action, result."

Start a sentence by naming a challenge you faced as an employee at a company. For example, say your challenge was to lower the employee turnover rate when you were the head of human resources at Acme Brick. Next, explain the action you took to try to solve that problem, such as overhauling the company's hiring strategy and implementing new employee feedback software. Finally, give the result of your actions; this could be lowering the employee turnover rate from 15 percent to 5 percent in three months after implementing your plan.

As part of a larger story, the CAR method tells the story of your biggest accomplishments at the most relevant jobs you had in the past. Your executive resume should have a clear, concise story filled with provable numbers that goes from point to point as your personal brand grows.

Enhance Your Personal Brand

Personal branding allows you to target certain employers as you highlight various skills. Your work history doesn't change, but the skills you choose to showcase to each employer do, depending on the company you want impress. Personalize your resume to the employer based on research into the company's culture, the problems the employer is currently facing and the market forces that drive the company's business strategy. Tie these into your professional experience to enhance your personal brand as HR and the search committee examine why you're a perfect match for the job.

Fix all Errors

Once you find your message and branding, thoroughly vet your executive resume for grammatical mistakes and typos. Errors in your copy denote someone who doesn't pay attention to details, and executives absolutely must be detail-oriented people to turn those details into big-picture concepts.

An executive resume still needs to wow the people who hire you, even if you networked connections within the company. Make sure to refresh your document ahead of applying for a C-suite job so you stay with the times and show you are a serious candidate.

Photo courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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