Whenever the clock hits midnight on New Year’s Eve, there is an overwhelming temptation to feel like a new start is necessary. Changes may involve setting new goals, activities, or finding a new job. Even with all the evolving job search tactics, the modernized traditional resume will be the trend for executives in 2018.
So, what exactly does this mean? We explain how executives can prepare their resume for a job search in 2018 in five easy tips.
1. Custom content
Increase your resume success by customizing the content to be reader-friendly for both people and machines. Depending on the job, customize the details, numbers, experience, skills, and keywords to get your resume past the screening stage of an application. Readers of resumes are pressed for time and want to know, “Will this person be able to provide what I need?”
Hiring managers do not want to make assumptions. They do not want to dig for clues and quantifiable numbers. So, get rid of the unrelated content. Customize your resume into a short, succinct style that shows a company will benefit by hiring you. Anything that does not make the case for hiring you should be removed.
2. Be clear about your value
Make your value proposition and then support your proposition throughout the resume. Making your value clear requires being honest with yourself, knowing your audience, and knowing what matters most to them. If you are not sure of what that is it may be a job you should pass on, or better, research more.
3. Offer proof of your claims
Think of what it means for lawyers who must prove a case “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Evidence to prove your claims is required. You must prove the case for “why you should be hired.”
The way to captivate the executive resume reader is to prove your communications or leadership expertise. Use quantifiable numbers and metrics that support your claims of being the strongest executive. Provide clear evidence of how the application of your skills led to positive business outcomes.
Example of “Proof of Claims”:
“Generated $255 million in new revenues in just 12 months by directing a global team of 300 to create, execute, and adjust new marketing strategies.”
4. Lead with your strongest results
Create an immediate connection with hiring managers and make an impact by leading off your resume with your strongest results. You are an executive. You understand the value of measurable outcomes. More so, you sincerely appreciate getting to the point.
Novel-length resumes, summaries, statements, and bullet points hurt your resume by burying strong results in a massive field of text.
Lead with results. Spoon feed them to the reader. You will answer questions before they can be asked. You will align the proof of your results with job requirements and qualifications. Here is a statement with strong results:
"Grew new business revenue 300% over five years in the South American market, with a team of 6 employing longer sales cycles to close accounts in a challenging territory."
5. Make the ATS happy
Even though you have to market yourself uniquely, keep in mind that the majority of major companies still use applicant tracking systems (ATS) for screening out applications.
When applying for positions online (especially), know that an ATS is likely screening your resume. You won't be able to navigate the application process effectively without an understanding of how an ATS works. You want your resume to be ATS-compliant. If it is not you will be screened out for the job even if you are perfect for it.
All applicant tracking systems differ so having a better understanding of basic ATS practices will work in your favor.
What is next for executive resumes in 2018
Bolder creations and design tactics. These resumes will support more effective, modern job search approaches. This includes networking and referrals. Visually stimulating resumes with unique formats, layouts, charts, or graphics to highlight key content will be experimented with and naturally become the norm by year’s end.
The key for executives will be to avoid going overboard and not making a distracting display of scattered content. These resumes will not always be ATS-compliant but the year 2018 for executives will be all about “going around such systems” to get an executive’s resume in front of the right people.