Monday, September 13, 2010

What Makes an Executive Resume Different From Most Professional Resumes?

Executive resumes, professional resumes, regular resumes... what's the difference? I asked executive resume writer, Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter. Here's her take on the subject.

Though I think professional- and executive-level resumes share many characteristics, perhaps what distinguishes the executive-level message is the higher level of expectation regarding communicating strategic, return-on-investment impact combined with leadership skills and culture fit.

Executives, known for their profit and loss (P&L) accountability are at (or near) the top of the food chain in most companies, departments or divisions. From executives, more is (or should be) expected in regard to their career contributions, and the resume is no different, as it is the executive’s career vessel in which a plethora of critical career victories and breakthroughs are housed!

A vivid career story should be the foundation of an executive resume, and like a compelling short story, it must be written with the audience’s needs in mind. Not only should the executive ferret out and be prepared to communicate his marquee accomplishments, he should also ensure a finely focused career repository that achieves the following: a) cherry picks those triumphs that will most resonate with his target audience; and b) provides a forum in which to illustrate the nuances of his leadership talents related to building morale; inspiring and influencing others; listening to his team, colleagues and board members; enacting nimble, strategic decisions; and much, much more.

An executive-level resume, even during this age of purported social-media and technology truncated attention spans, must provide more, and because of this, it still is okay – and even a value-add – to create a two- to three-page portfolio that shows (not tells) a performance record replete with gradated chronicles that prove an ability to battle pop-up storms and envision strategic solutions to forecasted challenges and opportunities!

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter is a Master Resume Writer and President of CareerTrend. You can follow Jacqui on Twitter: @ValueIntoWords.

1 comment:

Dawn Lennon said...

Once again, Jacqui offers the right dose of succinct advice for the successful executive resume. She makes a powerful point when recommending the use of targeted and impactful "stories" of outcomes achieved through leadership and business best practice savvy.

In the maze of paper and interviews that are the reality of executive job search, it's those stories that "stick." They connect with the reader's needs, create a snapshot of the applicant's style, and mirror that benefits that will accrue to the business that makes this great hire.

Thanks for sharing Jacqui's expertise and for showcasing her on-th-money approach. ~Dawn Lennon