As an executive resume writer, I commonly hear executives and rising leaders say, “I wrote my own resume a while ago, but it just doesn’t work anymore,” when describing their difficulty in the job search.
Here’s why: at the executive level, the whole game changes. Your college resume won’t cut it anymore!
You’ll need to show critical initiatives, strategic planning, global and national leadership, cultural change, turnarounds, fiscal acumen, Board collaboration, market analysis, and other details in order to compete.
So, should you write your own executive resume? Here are 4 crucial considerations:
1 – Can you identify your own personal brand?
It’s been noted that a personal brand is what others say about you when you’re not in the room.
If you can frame this value proposition by succinctly expressing the core of who you are, how you influence and engage others, the steps you take to move the company forward, and what your results look like, you’ll have a good start to your personal brand.
Executive resume writing requires that you both describe AND substantiate your personal brand in every phrase, achievement, and bullet sentence – avoiding off-brand information while labeling your skills at the precise executive level you’re targeting.
2 – Can you gather data to substantiate it?
If you’re serious about advancing to the next step on the career ladder, you’ll need to mine your 360 reviews, performance evaluations, and colleague testimonials for key metrics.
If you can’t recall quantifiable proof of your results, use percentage ranges to show approximate figures for sales revenue growth, cost savings, or other accomplishments.
Try the steps from How to Write a Great Resume – Fast to pull in critical data on your successes, turnaround achievements, and leadership story, keeping in mind that others often have a better perspective on your value than you do.
3 – Can you express your value in achievement-driven, keyword-specific language?
Executive resume writing isn’t about rearranging words on the page; it requires prioritized data to rise to the top of your document, with supporting details strategically placed throughout the resume.
Remember – employers and recruiters WON’T read very far into your document (see What’s Wrong With Your C-Level Resume? for details). All the salient details need to be up front and easy to navigate, accompanied by powerful metrics and keywords to carry you through ATS software.
In addition, your executive resume must tell your story in a mere 2 to 3 pages, without using a tiny font or non-existent margins.
4 – Will your new executive resume keep pace with 2021 and 2022 resume trends?
Are you familiar with what employers look for these days?
Bring yourself up to speed faster by looking around at the current trends in resume writing, ensuring your familiarity with top executive resumes from around the world. Read What Your Resume Should Look Like in 2021 to get more detail on these trends and see resumes that made the grade in 2021 and 2022.
This is especially important if you’re still somehow convinced that your resume needs to fit on a single page, contain your picture, or use an objective (hint: these are incredibly outdated assumptions!).
Remember, in today’s job market, you’re more likely to compete against a professionally written resume than ever before.
It pays to be aware of new standards and innovation in executive resume writing, and consider whether you need to hire an executive resume writer to help you – or if you can go it alone.