The Executive Resume: A Slightly Totally different Set of Guidelines

Rosalinda works for a US-based mostly world company. Several years ago, she took over the Canadian division, which had been beforehand underperforming, and turned things round for the better. About six months ago, she seized an opportunity to share a few of her strategic concepts and ideas with higher management. They liked what she had to say and just lately opened up a new VP position that is ideally suited to her, particularly since it would contain implementing the initiatives she suggested. She wants to try for the promotion, so we worked collectively to overtake her old resume. We took it from the mid-stage manager resume she used when she first received hired to one that displays the executive she’s change into during her time with the company.

Rosalinda (not her real name, in fact) is transitioning her career upward as a «new» executive, so it’s no shock that she had quite a bit to study tips on how to present herself in a new way through her resume. But, I’ve also worked with many seasoned executives who do not seem to know that if you happen to’re an executive, you must observe a slightly different set of rules when developing your resume.

Below you will discover three explicit reasons why the executive resume is so completely different from a daily resume.

By the way, I’m defining «executive» as executive directors, senior directors, vice presidents, c-degree officers, board members, and anyone concentrating on a strategic leadership position in their career.


For the individual contributor or the mid-stage manager, we count on to see a -web page summarized resume that shows about 10-15 years of work history. Experience previous to 10-15 years ago will be displayed or not – it’s totally optional. Nevertheless, for an executive, we wish to see the career progression in full. Except, of course, for the minor jobs you had early on – there isn’t any have to show the job you had as a pizza delivery driver whenever you have been in school.

There’s additionally lots more data to be included on the first page in the first part, which is the profile or abstract section. On a daily resume for a non-executive position, this part could also be as short as one or sentences, or it may very well be up to a half-page long. However, for some executive resumes, especially for c-degree and vice president candidates, the profile or summary part fills your complete first page.

Because of those factors – more years of expertise and more data in the profile – the executive resume is normally three, sometimes even four, pages in length.

Executive Profile

As I just mentioned, the profile or abstract section will, in most cases, take up the whole first web page of the resume, and the content material of that page is the second main reason why the executive resume is so completely different from a daily resume.

No matter what level your function – whether or not you are an executive or not – the abstract or profile section needs to tell about and show evidence of your worth proposition. If you happen to’re an executive, you additionally must add in something about your leadership type, as well as incorporate more language regarding your strategic business acumen.

The executive’s profile will embody the usual: a succinct positioning statement, industry-specific key words, and something about your unique value proposition. However it may also embody key words that reflect strategic-level thinking and responsibilities – terms like «P&L,» «investor relations,» and «industry forecasting.»

The majority of resumes that I develop for clients include a career highlights section. On the everyday resume, it’s a separate section that is sandwiched between the profile and the expertise sections. Generally it can be included as part of the profile part fairly than be inserted as a stand-alone section. Nevertheless, with the executive resume, I always include it as a part of the profile.

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Effective Resume Writing

Your resume is an essential a part of your job search, it is your opportunity to make an excellent impression on employers. For this reason, the information on your resume must be pertinent, straightforward to read, and attractively laid out.


Your resume needs to provide the reader with a basic evaluation of your background. Don’t litter your resume with frivolous details. Some critical areas to include are: figuring out data, training, work expertise, and student/community activities.

Figuring out data: Your name, address, and phone number are mandatory. An e0mail address may be included. Don’t embody data akin to height, weight, and race as they are not qualifications for the job. Info such as willingness to journey or date of availability might be included in an «Additional Information» category on the finish of the resume.

Goal: Although there are different views on whether or to not embrace a career objective, this info enables the reader to quickly study your career interests. Goal guidelines: too particular could also be limiting, too broad is which meansless. Should you include an goal, think about writing 2-3 versions of your resume, every with a unique objective. When you select to have an objective, it ought to be no more than two lines. You can even depart the objective off and include it in the cover letter.

Sample Targets:

«Seeking an entry-degree position as an accountant in a public accounting firm.»

«To acquire a position as a monetary and funding analyst with a major funding bank or large corporation.»

Training: This data ought to seem in reverse chronological order, with your most up-to-date training first. Embrace institution, title of degree, major(s), and any honors awarded. Embrace your GPA only if it is clearly an asset. In case you have questions on including your GPA on your resume, please talk with a Career Providers employees member. Any publications, professional licenses, or particular training could appear in this section., Information about high school typically should not be included. Finally, the degree to which you financed your own education may be included here (e.g. 80%)

Work Expertise: Often listed in reverse chronological order (current-past), the knowledge contains the organization’s name, location, position held, dates of employment, and a description of your accomplishments. Give attention to areas that relate to the position you might be seeking and provide evidence of your ability to assume responsibility, comply with by means of and work hard. IF you might have had numerous part-time jobs, highlight the most related experiences. Military expertise could also be included in this section or in its own category.

Student Organization/Community Activities: Here is your opportunity to show your commitment to your major discipline and to leadership positions outside of the classroom. This may include social organizations akin to sororities, student clubs and volunteer work. Additional classes possibly included to emphasise particular accomplishments, equivalent to «Honors» or «Activities.»

References: Do not list references on your resume. Reasonably, state in your resume that your references are «Available upon request.» Put together a separate list of professional references (three-5), together with name, title, address and business phone number of every person who agreed to be a reference for you. Bear in mind to incorporate your name on the top of the page. Take your Reference List with you when interviewing.

Targeted Resumes

«Concentrating on your resume means you are customizing your resume for a particular position, company, different targets, or career field. For instance, you may be involved in each monetary banking and accounting, but do not wish to use the same resume for both areas of business. This is when concentrating on your resume is useful. You’ll be able to tailor your resume to each industry, narrowing the main target of your resume. If you happen to download your resume into Microsoft Word, this is the place you possibly can make and save totally different focused ones.


The looks of your resume is critical.

Margins: Keep margins even, utilizing appropriate balance of whitespace to printed word.

Fashion: Sentences need not be complete. Do not write in first person, singular case (don’t use «I»). Use 8.5″ x eleven» bond resume paper of a conservative shade.

Length: Strive to not exceed three pages, unless you’ve got significant and related experience.


There are commonly used codecs:

Chronological: Presents education, expertise, extracurricular activities, skills, and achievements in reverse chronological order under each category. Advantages to this style:

Employers are comfortable with this model because it is used usually

It’s the best way to write

Achievements could be displayed as a direct results of work experiences

Functional: Organizes skills and accomplishments into functional groupings that support your job objective, which needs to be stated. Advantages:

Draws attention to your accomplishments

Allows for larger flexibility in presenting skills gained through low paying jobs or personal expertise

Useful when you’ve gotten a brief or scattered employment file or when altering career fields

Selecting a Format: If skills and accomplishments coincide with your most significant work experiences, go with the chronological format. If you should pull collectively certain skills and achievements from a wide range of experiences to display your strengths, the functional format might work best for you

No resumes will look alike; format alternative is a personal one. There are fundamental questions to reply:

Am I communicating the skills I’ve attained in a way which will fulfill the needs of the employer?

Is the format I’ve chosen the perfect way for those skills to be offered?


Use language which is as persuasive and descriptive as possible. Using action words will help within the development of a concise and businesslike resume

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