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Blogs Home >> >> '3 Ways An Exec Can Spruce Up His Executive Resume & Cover Letter'
3 Ways An Exec Can Spruce Up His Executive Resume & Cover Letter

The executive resume and cover letter you use -- regardless of whether you're in sales and marketing, IT, operations, finance, or wherever -- should be a unique "beast."

Your executive resume (and, cover letter too!) shouldn't look like those used by your subordinates. An exec resume is typically heavier in content (sometimes 3+ pages in length, if necessary), containing accomplishments experienced by direct-report teams or departments, as well as yourself. An executive resume might also include your involved with committees/executive boards, financials, operations, staff management, corporate branding, and market share growth -- stuff not typically seen in the resumes of base-level employees.

Chief-level professionals are exclusive, and saying that they are trendsetters and go-getters just doesn't seem to encapsulate the executive job they fulfill. Some of my favorite clients are executives, business owners, consultants, directors, and others at the top of their game. As I've stated, executives "control their careers; continue their education because it's in the best interest of themselves and their employers; embrace new techniques, systems, and processes; and, they are prone to outperform, outdo, and outwit."

Anyway, back to what you need to know about the executive resume ...

Here are 3 areas where your executive resume should be "different":

First, if your resume looks like those used by subordinates, you're going about it the wrong way. The new trend with executive resumes is to use a splash of color and graphic design to add visual appeal. Depending upon the open-mindedness of my client, I sometimes introduce a small, conservative graphic into the resume or cover letter. Think that's a bit outlandish? Here's a resume for an Airline Executive which I wrote that landed my client a new executive job within only a few weeks.

Second, your resume should contain taglines and other skim-able text that offers readers the "easy way through" your resume. Are you pressed for time? Yeah, hiring managers are too. It's also worth noting that those taglines and other industry-specific, job-targeted "short messages" should be translated throughout each of your documents: bios, cover letter, brag book, online portfolio, LinkedIn account, and video resume.

Third, your resume and cover letter shouldn't be flat by containing detailed tasks with little results. Don't have much to talk about relative to accomplishments? Don't overlook projects that are in the pipeline, or business growth that you initiated.

What else should you consider to keep your resume from being flat?

How about potential sales you've added to the revenue pipeline?

Did you initiate a partnership or reseller channel?

Improvements to a customer service department?

What about reductions to staff turnover or the implementation of Six Sigma strategies?

Depending on the specific achievement, the project doesn't necessarily need to be one that's gone to fruition either. If the project is "expected to generate ..." or "forecasted to produce ..." it's definitely something worth considering for inclusion in your executive resume, and possibly, your cover letter as well.

Posted on Wednesday, Dec 28, 2011 13:09:15 EST by trose

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