Readying your resume for an executive job search?
You’re up against intensive competition from executives with a wealth of experience.
But will you NEED to find an executive resume writer to help you compete at this level? Does every executive outsource this part of the job search?
It depends. While it’s true that every impression counts in today’s job market – and that many executives turn to a professional resume writer, there are cases where you’ll be able to rely on a self-written document.
Weigh these 5 considerations when deciding to use the services of an executive resume writer or go it alone:
1 – Is resume writing your strong suit?
If you’re a naturally expressive writer, you might be able to compose the detailed, achievement-rich story of your background needed to capture interest at an executive level.
However, if you dread writing in detail about yourself – and you haven’t kept up on the latest trends in executive resume writing, then it’s time to consider bringing in an expert.
This is especially true in cases where your background is complex, and you anticipate devoting hours to weeks on the task.
Many resume experts have launched their writing businesses after years in recruiting (as noted by Donna Svei of Avid Careerist in How to Find the Best Executive Resume Writing Service for You), and can offer you the sharp eye of a practiced hiring authority.
Rather than spending considerable time on your leadership resume, it can make more sense to concentrate on efforts that only you can undertake – such as strengthening your networking relationships, starting conversations with executive recruiters, and polishing your LinkedIn / social media presence.
2 – Do your competitors hire executive resume writers?
Look around at your executive competition to see if their LinkedIn Profiles appear polished and personally branded – AND if they’re successfully landing new jobs. You might see some trends.
Executives in sales and marketing roles, for example, regularly tap into resume writing services to help them edge out the competition. (Many resume writers will tell you their main business is centered on serving sales leaders).
In fields involving more jargon and technical skills, though, you may find executive resume writing services to be the exception.
As an example, some medical professionals are able to target a leadership role if their degrees, places of residency, or areas of practice speak for themselves. In the case of this Chief Executive Officer, an expertly crafted resume was instrumental in organizing large amounts of data.
Many CEO, CFO, COO, CIO, CTO, CNO, and CLO candidates hire executive resume writers because they’re accustomed to outsourcing tasks of high complexity.
At this level, your executive resume will be compared against well-crafted portfolios. Don’t come up short!
3 – Are your skills extremely rare – and in hot demand?
If your phone is already ringing off the hook with calls from executive recruiters, or you’re receiving at least several LinkedIn messages per week from employers eager to bring you in for an interview, you may not need to turn to an executive resume writer (as long as you’ve compiled your career history into a presentable document).
The same will be true if your field has few experts – and your resume or LinkedIn presence will therefore generate interest quickly.
On the other hand, if you find sending out your executive resume only results in the sounds of silence (even after tweaking it to fit job descriptions or add accomplishments), then it’s time to consider an executive resume writer as part of your strategy.
4 – Have you been able to write (not just talk) about yourself effectively?
Many people can tell a colorful story of their achievements and career high points – but only if asked probing questions, and only in talking through their stories. (This is why I interview executive clients and take copious notes.)
If you possess this type of “blind spot,” then struggling to write your own executive resume can be a daunting task. In this case, you’ll find collaborating with a top-notch resume expert to be invaluable, as they’ll spend the time to draw out both your career stories and the relevance of each one to your ultimate goal.
However, there are executives who’ve stayed in close touch with their inner marketer, continually documenting success stories that effectively describe their career paths. If this applies to you, then writing your own executive resume isn’t that much of a stretch.
5 – Are you up to speed on trends in executive resume writing?
Many people are surprised at the new look of leadership resumes, particularly when they review executive resume samples to get an idea of what others are using in job search.
If you’ve stayed relatively current on resume trends, or had a resume professionally written within the past 2-3 years, you may be able to put together a striking presentation that will capture attention.
Conversely, if you’re unaware that an executive resume can take up more than a page, you don’t know how to adjust a resume for Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) or mobile devices, or if you’ve never experimented with fonts beyond Arial or Times New Roman, then your job search can suffer significantly from a bland resume – and you’ll need expert help.
I love this no-hard sales approach to promoting executive resume writing professionals. You are objective, yet make the argument that some people DO need an executive resume writer. This is the best way to create, or maintain, credibility in the market. Very nice post, Laura. I will share.
Bob, your note is much appreciated. I wanted to provide a benchmark of sorts to help gauge whether a resume writing service will provide substantial ROI. For many people, there’s an immediate benefit, but for others, it’s just not as critical.
A truly reputable business person thinks the way you do.