Executive Resume Guidelines

Resumes for those in mid-career at an executive or manager level should look very different from those younger or with less experience. Our executive resume guidelines will show you how to craft a powerful and compelling statement that will showcase what you are best at doing and want to do.

When you want to make a job or career change in mid-career, what you tell people verbally and in your resume must be consistent and send the same message. Too often people use a standard chronological resume that focuses completely on their past. This is a retrospective view of you because it only describes what you have done and where in the past.

Think of your resume as your brochure. Company brochures tell prospective customers what they are best able to do for them. Your resume and your verbal message (verbal business card) needs to do the same thing. Like a brochure, you must take a prospective approach by first telling others the position you want, what you are best at doing, and then highlight your achievements. That should be the top half of the first page of your resume and should be consistent with what you say in your verbal business card when you are doing employment networking.

Following that, you show the details of where and when you worked and other information, such as education, qualifications, etc. Think of this similarly to when you are having a conversation with someone. If they resonate with what you tell them (your verbal business card) they will ask for the details of where and when, etc. When they look at your resume, if the top half resonates with them, they will be compelled to read the where and when, etc. (the chronological part).

At mid-career, you need to demonstrate that you are in charge of your career by telling others what you are best at doing and want to do, and then be able to demonstrate your capabilities with achievement stories. When you started your career, you couldn’t do that very effectively because you hadn’t yet developed the skills or gained the experience. If you use the same chronological format as you did in your early career, you are leaving important future career decisions to recruiters and potential employers. That is not who should be making career decisions for you!

To read more about executive resumes and to download guidelines for preparing your resume, click here.

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