In today’s competitive talent marketplace, it is crucial for executives to clearly differentiate themselves from other experienced candidates vying for the same roles. A CIO is a CIO is a CIO. It’s not about how you’re the same as every other executive at your level in your field, but how you’re different. Broad, sweeping statements in executive resumes that are disproportionately focused on job responsibilities and could apply to just about anyone do not add value. Showcasing your distinctive expertise and accomplishments as a business leader will help you stand out from your competition.
Following are some of the concepts I keep in mind when writing executive resumes:
Highlight Unique Business Successes
Not every CFO trimmed expenses 37% in one year. Not every GM bolstered sales revenue to surpass targets by 15%. Not every Head of Merchandising launched six brands to outpace market growth by 5% in a given category. Not every Marketing SVP successfully repositioned a brand to deliver sales 20% year-over-year sales growth. These are the types of accomplishments that will set you apart from other candidates with similar experience.
Provide Context for Accomplishments
Effective executive resumes put accomplishments in perspective by noting the challenges faced, actions taken, and results achieved. An executive is hired with a very specific challenge in mind. Consider the “before” and “after” state of the business to illustrate that you were up against similar situations in your past roles and how you’ve overcome obstacles to deliver results.
Differentiate Position Scope
If you’re the CMO and one of only three executives at the top rather than one of a nine-member executive team, it’s likely that you’re heavily involved in all aspects of the business – that’s unique and should be called out in your executive resume.
Focus on Intangible Results, Too
Remember, results are not exclusively about business metrics. Results are also about the way you transformed the organization starting with the structure, culture, people, and processes, so be sure to mention those successes, too.
Need some help with your executive resume? Contact me and let’s schedule a time to talk.
My partnership with Resume Preferred ensures that early to mid-career professionals have access to my approach and process. Contact Robin Kelley at 415.596.4160 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.