5 Tips to Create an Executive Level Resume

5 Tips to Create an Executive Level Resume

So, you are starting your search and need to write an executive level resume. Rest assured, you are off to the right start. Whether you are fed up with your job or just looking to make a career transition, your need for a resume is inevitable. As you are probably already aware, your executive resume is fairly important.

This 1-3 page document is how recruiters and hiring managers determine which applicants are worthy of interviewing. I know, the job search process can be a real nuisance. However, the resume is not one of those steps you are going to want to rush.

Don't worry, all you have to do is use the following tips to create your executive level resume and you will get the attention you deserve.  

1. Summary replaced objective

We will assume that you know how to add your name and contact information to the top of your resume so we will skip right past that… An executive summary is extremely important for a senior level position! This is where you explain in a brief, strategic message, what you can do for the company. This summary does not need to be rewritten for every single job you apply for, but it should be tweaked towards a specific industry and job title.

If you are still using an objective statement to begin your resume, you need to get with the ages. An objective statement is where you state your objectives and career goals. We are sorry to break it to you, but most companies do not care about what they can do to further your career.

Rather, they want to know what you are bringing to the table to benefit the organization. Focus on your experience and qualifications in your summary to set the tone for your executive level resume!  

Sample Summary:

“Successful, accomplished senior level Sales Operations leader skilled with proven strategic vision and the ability to develop and execute on complex commercial plans to increase profitability. Adept at delivering expansive growth, operational productivity, proactive insights and sales force effectiveness through the development of talent, organizations, and systems. Entrepreneurial, versatile and innovative business leader, skilled at using data and analytics. Effective and persuasive communicator with a natural ability to interact seamlessly with executives, personnel, and customers, specializing in making the complex simple and easy to understand and leading with a resourceful, collaborative, hands-on style.”  

2. Customize your resume for the job

It’s important to understand that your situation is unique from anyone else that is looking for a six-figure job. Don’t waste time looking for a one size fits all solution, instead spend that time wisely strategizing your own solution. How many opportunities are available for the position, location, and salary that you are looking for?

If you are willing to work anywhere in the U.S. and accept a wide salary range, then you may not need to edit your resume as often as someone else. You have the law of large numbers on your side, and the luxury of applying to many different positions that fit your criteria. Plus, applying to jobs can be an annoying task. Don’t make it harder on yourself by sending 1,000 customized applications.

Contrary, if you are a Manager, Director, or VP who isn’t willing to relocate, and is very set on a specific salary, you might notice that there are very few jobs for you to apply for. You do not have the law of large numbers on your side. This makes it very important to submit the highest quality executive level resume to each job you apply for. If you only find ten jobs a month that are a good fit for you, you better make sure you have sent ten executive resumes that are slightly tweaked towards each position.

Your executive level resume is no different than anything else. Take dating for example... you might try a few cheesy pick-up lines before you find one that works. You can do that because you have millions of options. But if you only had five choices, you would make sure that you brought your A-Game every time.  

3. Quantify your accomplishments

Accomplishments can be one of the most challenging components of your executive resume. You would be surprised at the number of resumes that come across my desk with bullet points that describe the job duties of the position. Please believe me when I tell you that the person reading your resume is smart enough to know what the typical Director of Sales Operations does day-to-day. A quick Google search on “Director of Sales Operations Job Description” can tell you that. The hiring manager expects to see a lot more than job duties on your executive level resume.

When you are writing, your executive level resume you absolutely must quantify your achievements whenever possible. I understand this is easier to do for sales positions then it would be for an English Teacher but do your best.

If you increased sales at your company… By what percentage? What new markets were you able to enter? What projects did you lead and what were the outcomes (don’t mention the bad ones)? These are all questions hiring managers are asking in their head while reviewing your executive level resume. Quantify achievements and explain the outcome of each major task that you completed. Be specific, and if you don’t know exact figures, ballpark, and (don’t inflate) estimate.

The point is, everyone has similar experience levels. If you send a resume describing your job duties, you are no different than the other 49 resumes being submitted. Stand out, show off your achievements that everyone else left off their resume and secure your interview.  

Sample Achievements

  • Led creation, implementation, and training of activity dashboards, improving visibility and metrics of sales representative’s sales coverage ( an increase of 15%), call per week ( an increase of 55%) and co-travels with managers ( an increase of 20%).
  • Conceived, developed, and implemented first-ever identification of 50,000 retail outlets into field and Account Manager reports, resulting in optimization of sales force effort to highest potential targets and the creation of a new marketing pull-through strategy.
  • Dramatically revised compensation, forecasting, and quota allocation programs to enhance strategic alignment, increase sales force engagement and maximize attainment curves at territory, region, and area levels.

4. Keep it simple

There are about a million opinions out there on how you should design your resume. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. I am sorry that you paid $1,000 for a fancy looking resume that doesn’t bring results. It’s time to start fresh.

We have proven time and time again that your achievements and work experience speak louder than any font, color, or formatting on your executive level resume. Don’t get caught up in these fancy designs that are created to attract you to some resume service. No design in the world is going to get you an interview if the content is garbage.

Also, everybody has a different opinion on what looks good. If you send your fancy resume to one recruiter, they might love it. But you can easily send that resume to another recruiter, who happens to hate the color red. Don’t risk your future position on silly recruiter bias. The content on your executive level resume is king, and everyone can appreciate good content.  

5. Play the game & get hired

Whether you like it or not, if you want a job, you must play the game. Recruiters and hiring managers love to believe that you are only applying to their company, that you are not using your resume for any other job openings, and that you spent many hours crafting a resume just for their eyes. Ha! That is hilarious. Who has time for that?

As unrealistic as this is, this is truly what companies expect out of their applicants. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard recruiters complain that someone sent a resume that was not 100% tailored towards the job posting. They clearly have no idea how time-consuming the process of applying for jobs can be.

This goes back to the point we made about being strategic. Sometimes it is best to customize your resume towards a particular job, and other times it isn’t. How confident are you that your skills align with the job? Do you feel extremely qualified? Without ever speaking with the hiring manager, would they be able to look at your executive level resume and feel confident in your abilities? If the answer is yes, send the resume as is. If you feel like you have the skills for this position and you want the job, but your resume just doesn’t quite show off the specific skills required, then customize it! It’s that simple.  

Executive level resume service

By implementing the tips above, you will begin to see dramatic increases in application to interview conversion.

If you are like most senior level executives, writing a resume is the last thing you have time to do, but you understand it is a necessity to find a new position.

Lucky for you, Find My Profession employs a whole team of highly skilled and knowledgeable resume writers who would be happy to assist.

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