Crafting an effective executive résumé: Tips from a pro
Résumé and career expert and speaker Louise Kursmark presented a résumé and LinkedIn profile workshop for our Executive MBA class recently, and I decided to share some of the take-aways here with alumni. I find that when working with current EMBA students or alumni, one of the first things they want to discuss is the résumé. Focusing on the résumé first can be a red herring that misleads or distracts from the relevant or important issue. Why? It's a great way to procrastinate the "real work" of the job search -- the dreaded networking processes; and it's a way to avoid focusing on the fact that you may not know exactly what your next career target is. (We'll talk about that in a moment.)
The bottom line, at least for now, is that the résumé is a necessary evil. Hiring managers still want to see your work history in some format. So let's talk about the key points of crafting an effective executive résumé using Louise Kursmark's Top 10 tips.
Set a target, and write your résumé to your audience. Not entirely sure what you want to do next? Take the time to at least define your ballpark. Say you are interested in pursuing a career in finance, but you’re not sure exactly what function; you can at least include finance-related words and phrases in your résumé.
Be unique. Avoid generic content that could be written about any similar candidate.
Create Context. Context adds meaning and aids comprehension.
Don't be vague. Include numbers and other quantifiable results to make your achievements memorable and credible.
Don't drown your readers in detail. More than ever, we're living in a sound-bite society; résumés have gotten shorter and more concise as a consequence. If you want the reader to read anything, put less on the page.
Create the right perception. Paint the picture you want others to see (while remaining in the realm of reality).
Make it easy to read. Write your résumé to reward both a quick skim and more thorough read.
Keep up with the times. It's not your parents’ job search. Get up to speed on LinkedIn and understand that hiring managers are likely reading your résumé on a computer or hand-held device.
Sweat the small stuff. Appearance counts. Accuracy counts. Grammar and spelling count. The care and attention you give your résumé represents the care and attention you'll give your best work for your next employer.
Don't clone yourself on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn profile should present different but complementary facets of your professional image.
I'm always pleased to hear from alumni -- please email me to comment, agree, disagree, or just to say hello! Cheers, Laurie Sedgwick, firstname.lastname@example.org