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How to Get Employers to Read Your Executive Resume

A lot of people ask, if you are at the executive-level, do you really need a professionally written resume? The answer to this question is pretty straightforward.

Yes, you really do want a high-quality, professional resume.

That said, what most people do not tell you is that resumes just account for a part of the hiring decision. They are the beginning of the hiring process and need to be an effective marketing document.

We review dozens of resumes weekly and the vast majority of these are not good. Some are seriously not good.

We understand that it takes a lot to impress a demanding hiring managers these days. Your objective is to create an effective resume that will get read by the right person.

Beyond a modern resume template, here's what makes fora professional resume that can help you stand out from the rest of the executive candidates in the job market.

Your resume is easy for top executives read.

Everything is nicely organized: Spacing is appropriate, business names in bold, roles italicized and job details arranged using bullets. And always, no mistakes anywhere. We prefer the font was nothing exotic. We will not comment on the topic of Arial versus Georgia font choice, however it should remain simple and easy to read. (Meaning whether on a screen or on paper.)

It portrays an interesting job success tale.

A document tells a story about the candidate's career path. There are no information gaps. From top to bottom, there is a definite"before and afterwards." In only a few seconds, employers manage to observe a exact pattern of the candidate's professional development. In other words, the chronological list of work history in order of date, with the latest position in the top which shows a clear progression of senior roles and more responsibilities.

It lists accomplishments, instead of just roles.

What employers really want to know is whether you're an above average candidate who is capable of delivering quantifiable results. It's always better to highlight your duties by describing your most impressive achievements.

Check out these real-world examples:

  • Rather than "Ran operations for international markets," write "Enlarged operations to eight new states in the Northeast region."

  • Rather than "Led marketing and sales department," say "Supervised sales and marketing team and attained 27 percent annual growth while only increasing the funding by 7.5%."

It sticks to the truth.

When an employer reviews a resume there should not be discrepancies that raise a red flag during the review. Everything looks as believable and the amounts aren't exaggerated. Better still, the resume has links to the individual's LinkedIn URL and personal website, which details a portfolio of his career. This makes it easier for employers to verify the resume, which in turn make the candidate look to be an honest person.

What is the best advice? Always tell the truth. 

While large accomplishments and recognizable business names will give you an advantage, make no mistake: Firms will likely complete a reference check and should they learn that you lied about something, it is game over.

It doesn't include the typical generic resume statements.

Including Any Of these overused terms will make a hiring manager sigh.

More real world cases:

  • Rather than "excellent communicator," say "Presented at vendor events and spoke at leading recruiting events."

  • Instead of "highly inventive," state "Designed and implemented new worldwide project tracking platform."

Your resume gets a warm introduction.

The best way for employers to receive a professional resume is through a recommendation.

Not everybody is going to have a relationship with someone at their dream business, but knowing someone who will make an introduction is the best means to get an employer's attention.

The simple fact that when your resume comes through a recommendation from a respected colleague, it makes that person need to find out more about you.

Sending your resume all over the Internet will not get you results. That might sound hard, but here's the truth: You should go out of your way to receive a warm introduction if possible. If you do not have a relationship at the firm, do your research and find a friend who knows someone who has a relationship. Then, ask your possible referral for a call.

As soon as you've established a new relationship, tell them about the job opening you are considering and ask if they can recommend you. If it's possible to make this happen, your resume will likely get read.

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