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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.

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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.
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Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.


All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!

Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.

Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.

Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.

Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.

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