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Your résumé: fit for an executive?

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Hiring,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers

If your résumé is a bit mossy, it may be because you’re not quite the rolling stone you once were … and you’re ready for a big move up.

That means you’ll need a new résumé that reflects your leadership and wisdom, not just an update with two-line bullet points.

Here’s how to draw up an executive- level résumé:
  1. Ditch the one-pager in telegraphic style in favor of a well written, two- or three-pager, so you can detail your many achievements.

    One way to preserve the salient details: Include an attachment or standalone section listing projects, publications and presentations. Reserve the heavy ammo—your greatest successes and your persuasiveness—for the main body of your résumé.

  2. Put each accomplishment in context. Use data to substantiate your claims, saying how much your team added to the top and bottom lines, how much you cut costs, how many new products you launched successfully, how well you reduced turnover, etc.

    Just remember that anyone hiring at your level will know whether raising sales 50 percent is a great or lousy number. If you must choose between a simple figure and a comparison, pick the comparison.

    Reminder: In executive searches, candidates are vetted thoroughly. Puffing up your achievements will do you in, sooner or later.

  3. Tell stories to show what happened. A conversational tone provides relief for weary headhunters. If you say “I,” “we” and “our,” you’ll not only make your story clearer, but your personal commitment will shine through.

  4. Share your vision. Don’t be afraid to say what you want to achieve. Organizations are looking for leaders with a plan.
Where do you see your industry and markets going, and why? What can you bring to the table? What opportunities do you like best? Your résumé is about the future as much as the past.

—Adapted from “Executive Résumés Must Speak Volumes,” Donald Asher, Career Journal, The Wall Street Journal,

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