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.