4 Quick Ways To Improve Your Executive Resume

Try this: pick up your resume and scan it for 15 seconds. Then, put it down and write down what you can remember. Now, ask yourself, "Would I call this person?" Related: 4 Phrases That Scream ‘Underqualified’ On Your Executive Resume If your executive resume does not have a clear value proposition that compels someone to call you, then you need to make some changes. Here are four ways to do that and immediately improve your results:


1. Have A Clear Value Proposition

You can call it personal branding or a unique selling proposition, but the bottom-line is employers want to quickly know, “Who are you and why should I consider you for this position?" Start by taking the fluff out of your resume’s opening. I define “fluff” as statements anyone can make but no one can prove. For example, “results-oriented,” “great communicator,” and “accomplished professional.” Here’s a simple trick: Make believe you are on Jeopardy and Alex Trebek is introducing you to the audience. Would he really say, “Here is an accomplished executive with great leadership skills and the ability to motivate staff"? Probably not. Instead, you would hear something like, “Our next contestant is a senior IT executive who specializes in start-ups and turnarounds. He has worked at such industry leaders as EDS and Accenture where he used world-class best practices and methodologies to drive record levels of revenues, profits and market share.” In short, what can you do for the company and what do you bring to the company that makes you stand out?

2. Keep A Consistent Theme Throughout The Resume

Now that you have established a clear value proposition in your opening, you must continue that theme throughout the rest of the executive resume. If you stated you are great at turnarounds, then your resume should answer the questions: What did you do and what was the result? Don’t lead with your managing a migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 unless it was an important part of your turnaround strategy.

3. Make Your Executive Resume Easy To Read

I was trained by one of the best copywriters in the world, a man who was paid $114,000 per day for his direct mail copy (he commanded that much because his work would sell millions more than other people’s work). His tip to me? Your document must have a compelling message and must be easy to read. The same is true for an executive resume. A one-page densely written resume is hard to read; a three-page easy to read resume that has little valuable content will not land an interview. Choose an appropriate font like Tahoma or Calibri and make sure the resume is physically easy on the eyes. Just as important is to make sure you have followed the rules and stayed with your theme. Should you have a one-page resume or a three-page resume? Yes. See my blog post, "What the Well-Equipped Executive Has in Their Portfolio."

4. Pepper Your Resume With Testimonials

A great way to prove your value is to intelligently pepper the resume with quotes, and testimonials from bosses, customers, and colleagues. This is especially true if you are changing career directions. For example, I prepared an executive resume for a retiring Colonel but his military experience had no bearing to what he would do in a civilian leadership role. We added quotes like “One of the Top 5 Officers I ever worked with” from a General in the Pentagon and he received dozens of calls. Testimonials are third-party tributes to your value and you should make them easy to find by placing at least one on the first page. If your executive resume is not getting the results you want, try these simple tricks and you should see a big difference in your job search results. Want an expert opinion? Send me your resume for a FREE resume evaluation and I will give you candid advice. This post was originally published at an earlier date.

Related Posts

How To Answer 7 Of The Most Common Interview Questions Top 3 Tips For Phone Interviews How To Ace The Panel Interview

About the author

Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation for more information.   Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Diane submitted. She has recently worked with a co-worker on a group project. When it came time to present the project at a meeting, Diane let her co-worker present. While it went great, the co-worker proceed to take credit for nearly all of Diane's work. Frustrating to say the least!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less

There are LOTS of questions around resume dos and don'ts. There's so much advice out there that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what's the correct answer.

During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

SHOW MORE Show less