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Writing your resume for the first time in years? Whether you’re aware of it or not, resume trends have changed substantially. In fact, the document you send out WILL compete with custom-designed, focused resumes for other executives. Therefore, you’ll need to ensure your resume is in line with cutting-edge changes in format and style. What's changing in recent years and months? Besides the fact an objective isn’t workable anymore, many resumes now contain a splash of color. Several also have a branding headline, or a metrics- and detail-packed summary that replaces tired, overused phrases.

Latest Resume Trends

Consider implementing these trends into your own resume as a way to stand out:

1. A Touch Of Color

While color can seem like a huge stretch for a resume, it can also be a valuable tool that makes certain elements stand out. For example, a dash of red used in the borders of a resume for a financial professional (such as this Finance Director) can help set off different sections of the document. This is especially helpful for resumes packed with detail.This is because the color can ease navigation and readability. Should you decide to incorporate color in your executive resume. Start with just a border or headline to get a feel for the fit against your achievements. Of course, you’ll want to ensure the color is used very sparingly, especially if you’re not used to applying it in other documents. If it seems like too much, back off and review the resume in black and white for a comparison.

2. A Branding Statement

One of the best-kept secrets of professional resume writers, a headline or branding statement allows you to put one of your top strengths front and center in your resume. This allows employers to quickly see the impact of hiring you. As an example, the branding headline “Driving Multimillion-Dollar Revenue – in Aggressive Markets – With Advanced Distributor Support” was used to distinguish this Sales leader. This leader was gaining ground against competitors that constantly tried to infiltrate his accounts. Rather than spelling this all out in detail, the opening statement was used to set the tone of the resume. It used numerous examples of revenue achievement that followed. If you’re trying to write a branding statement for yourself, first identify and flesh out your top three to five executive strengths. Such as... cost control, process efficiency, global team direction, and so on. Next, look at which of these skills has the most impact on your employers, and then formulate a concise and focused sentence that you can use at the top of your resume. Developed more than one sentence? Use both headlines, as long as they are set off from each other in a slightly different font size (or with another color).

3. A Metrics - And Achievement - Driven Summary

Employers and HR professionals must have seen thousands of “team players” by now… Those that are “dynamic” and “motivated” included. Since your summary lives in prime resume real estate, why not add your most notable achievements and qualities there? For example, this summary for a CIO and CTO candidate contains descriptions of achievements, career level, and distinctions – while adding keyword content:

“Trusted IT executive advisor and confidant; pivotal leader for long-horizon business assessments, integration support, and delivery of targeted technical improvements. Strategic business partner and global technology strategist engaged in ongoing C-level advisory roles of 1-10+ years. Fluent in leveraging open source, analytics, modeling, ETL, database, and business intelligence solutions. Notable honors include InfoWorld 100, Computer World 2009 Laureate, & Federal Computer Week Knowledge Management awards.”

When you put your resume together, consider moving some of your strongest achievements and career highlights up into the first few words and phrases. Don't save them for later on in the resume. You’ll find employers appreciate the opportunity to review the high points of your experience, rather than digging deep into your executive resume to find them. In summary, your best bet – even if you’re just getting started with your job hunt – is to incorporate a few cutting-edge elements. They can help you distinguish your credentials in a sea of resumes, so don't miss out on these resume trends! After all, the way your leadership message is delivered is as important as the message itself!

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