Spent hours writing your executive resume, believing that each phrase gets analyzed for meaning? Have you pored over every word, endlessly checking a thesaurus to find just the right descriptor?
Unfortunately, your efforts can go unnoticed. Employers rarely scrutinize resumes for pertinent detail (even at the executive level!) and instead rely on a quick scan to make an interviewing decision.
In fact, some hiring audiences, such as the CEO, might not even make it past the first few words of your carefully written, multi-page narrative.
So how WILL your leadership resume be reviewed during the hiring process? Read on for (myth-busting) tips and strategies to get the attention your career deserves:
1 – Second or third resume pages are often ignored.
So, you’re sitting down to the interview and expecting many questions to come your way.
Yet, you’ll see that even though your interviewer has a copy of your leadership resume, he or she seems to be playing catch-up when reading anything past the first page.
Here’s the reality: most hiring managers barely have time to glance at your resume, take in a few key points, and then study the top half of the first page.
Most will, at best, flip open to the second page to see your education, and then go back to the top.
Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that the top 3-5 strengths, key facets of your personal brand, executive qualities, or standout educational achievements from your background make it onto the first page.
Otherwise, they won’t get read (or at least, not until the interviewing decision has already been made).
2 – Some audiences are overwhelmed by your full resume.
Ever handed your resume to a CEO? You’ll find out pretty quickly that many high-ranking executives don’t have the interest level or attention span to read it.
Some hiring authorities at the C-level or on a Board of Directors aren’t that interested in the details covered by your executive resume, especially if it takes up multiple pages.
For these groups, a cover letter can suffice for the high points of your background. A career or executive biography, in particular, will be easier for them to digest.
In addition, most networking venues are not the place for your full resume. Shuffling pieces of paper or handing off a full-blown work chronology to someone you just met can be awkward. Here’s where a single-page Networking Resume or career biography will do the trick.
3 – Your resume strategy must take personality traits into account.
With the high cost of hiring, training, and motivating employees, companies are more eager than ever to get the recruiting process right the first time – and find loyal, hard-working executives or team members.
This means your personal brand message (your personality fit, work style, and the way you get results) HAS to take center stage – with as much resume real estate as your accomplishments.
Wrap phrases that show your personal brand at work (took initiative to lead new project, turned around failing initiative, or inspired team members to complete challenging tasks) throughout your achievements – avoiding clichés such as self-motivated team player or dedicated, hard-working leader.
For even better impact, combine these descriptions with solid metrics that show the scope of each accomplishment. By proving your leadership skill, business acumen, and sense of personal accountability (and showing your effect on the bottom line), you can become irresistible to employers.
In summary, you’ll want to spend significant time on the placement, personal brand message, and document presentation used to represent your career – giving employers what they need in the format they’re most likely to use.
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