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  • 5 Tips for the Executive Level Resume

    shutterstock_236141167There’s a lot of misinformation when it comes to resume writing and, as a top executive, you can’t afford mistakes. So how do you make sure your resume stands out without taking an unnecessary risk? The following guidelines will keep you on track to develop the perfect executive level resume.

    1. Quantify Your Work

    Wherever you mention anything that could possible include a number, make sure you include that number.  Did you guide a federation of associations through a series of hurdles or increase the profitable revenue of your company? Make sure you include how many or how much.

    Examples:

    • Guided a federation of 7 associations through a series of industry changes
    • Increased the overall profitable revenue over the course of 4 years by $10 million.

    Using numbers puts a value on your worth and adds an emphasis that many resumes leave out.

    1. The Glance Test

    Pick up your resume and give it a glance. How much information can easily be read within 10 seconds? Are there keywords that stick out? Are your talents immediately on display?

    While you can’t risk shorting yourself by cutting back arbitrarily, your content must be easy to scan. That means bullet points are essential. Make sure the top quarter of your resume really highlights who you are as an executive. Remember, your resume is your own personal marketing tool to make sure you stand out from your peers.

    Don’t forget to include a summary, personalized to the position that you’re applying for, that highlights what you can do for the hiring company.

    1. Areas of Expertise

    What makes you a strong leader? If you don’t already have it, add a section to your resume that discusses your specific areas of expertise. This isn’t the section to talk about your incredible spreadsheet skills, save that for LinkedIn.

    Instead, discuss things like strategizing to meet goals and coordinating operational activities between organizations. Really showcase your top business skills so that a reviewer can quickly assess how beneficial you will be to their company.

    1. Mixed Media Resources

    There are more than a few rising resume trends causing disasters on the job market, like using graphics on your resume. But just because you shouldn’t include a photo of yourself doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share your LinkedIn profile information.

    Why should you bother with LinkedIn? Because it provides you with a way to share more information about yourself that you might not have room for on your resume. The smaller details that really make you who you are make less sense on a resume but work well on this business-themed social platform. It’s also great to show if you’ve got lots of endorsements for your skills so the recruiter knows just how talented you are.

    Just make sure you’ve proofed your LinkedIn profile one last time before you submit your resume.

    1. The Ideal Length

    Executives have a lot of experience. You didn’t get to run a company by being a follower, right?  The most misguided piece of free resume advice on the Internet for executives — stick to one page.

    It isn’t possible to cram all that information on a single page, and you definitely can’t leave it out. On the other hand, a ten page resume will end up in a shred pile just as fast. So what’s the perfect length for a resume?

    As an executive, you should shoot for two pages, but no more than five. Remember, just because you have more space now doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be concise. Expert resume writers stick to four or five pages at the most for all-inclusive executive level resumes. They promise a high level of return via interviews, and there’s good reason for that, so it’s probably best to mimic their approach.

    With the right balance and attention to detail, your resume will showcase your talent to the right reviewer. Make sure the top half of your resume is light, save the depths of your skills for the ending and you’ll be on your way to the next top stop on your resume.

    Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and Digital Marketing Specialist. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to sharing advice on navigating the work world. Passionate about helping others find happiness and success in their careers, she shares advice on everything from the job search and entrepreneurship to professional development, and more! Follow her for more great tips @SarahLandrum

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