As the New Year approaches, many executives commit to taking a fresh look at their resume and their entire career marketing approach to be ready for new opportunities. Whether you’re thinking about a role change, are plotting a new direction or are dedicated to a complete career reinvention, getting prepared with a purposefully crafted, branded and market-compelling resume will propel your transition to new levels of success.

executive_resume_tips_new_yearA quick examination of your current resume and some forward thinking and preparation now can save you countless hours of time down the road when you need your resume for an opportunity. Here is a brief overview of the five most important things to consider when you are reinventing your executive resume for a new year.

1) Measure Outcomes. Go through your resume and ensure that each accomplishment includes a measurable result. It is not enough to say that you “transformed or improved the business.” Measure the impact your actions had on revenue, profit, expenses and other pertinent financial metrics – numbers persuade and influence readers (e.g., a 20% increase in revenue, a $50m decrease in OPEX, a 2-day decrease in turnaround time, a 10-point increase in customer satisfaction). Quantify, monetize and measure all results.

2) Make it Short, Sharp and On-Target. Resumes are marketing brochures and should be written in a concise, yet context-rich, results-laden style. Most executive resumes will have the greatest impact when presented in a two-or three-page format, specifically designed to highlight the executive’s greatest strengths, achievements and impact. You have one chance to launch your product into a crowded and competitive job market. Don’t waste the opportunity and risk alienating your readers with a long-winded “catch-all” of everything you’ve ever done in your career.

3) Build a Marketing Portfolio. A market-ready resume is just one component of an effective executive transition portfolio. An effective career communications portfolio also includes:

  • LinkedIn profile - consistent with your resume’s brand, message and tone and that serves to attract recruiters and hiring managers to make contact with you.
  • Letters and/or e-notes - always tailored to your specific opportunity - never send a general template.
  • Bio - A one-page bio is often the best introductory document or leave-behind tool in your communications arsenal. A resume has a limited appeal and purpose, whereas the bio provides a snapshot view of your key career moves, achievements and strengths.

4) Go Global - Create an Internationally-Focused Resume. The executive job market is global and increasingly companies source the best talent from a global talent pool. Executive search firms operate across borders and use candidate databases, such as BlueSteps and LinkedIn, to identify and interview prospects. Stand out as a candidate by highlighting how you collaborate with international colleagues, organizations and governments to achieve your mission-critical objectives. Ensure that your resume meets worldwide best practices by writing a two-page, results-oriented document that clearly links your brand to the specific needs of your target market. A well-written, branded resume illustrates your personal marketing savvy and attracts your target buyer, no matter what country they are in.

5) Disrupt your Market - Be a Thought Leader. Make a resolution this year to catapult your brand to a higher level in your profession and industry. Define contributions you make in magnifying your impact in your organization, board(s) and volunteer roles. Elevate your profile through writing/publishing, conference keynoting/speaking, digital and traditional media participation, LinkedIn Pulse and key industry associations. Throughout the year, capture your thought leadership impact and brand by writing results-oriented entries in your resume.


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