Drafting a perfect executive resume

Step 1: The first step is to read through the job vacancy profile and begin to draft job objectives. Of course, they must be responsive to the position you are applying for

Step 2: Identify what knowledge, skills, and experiences will suit the job position best

Step 3: Create a shortlist of your qualifications and experiences that will reflect your suitability for the position

Step 4: Draw from your past experiences and search for accomplishments that prove you can effectively perform the job responsibilities

Step 5: Elaborate on your brief accomplishments that emphasize your abilities in handling the position you are applying for. It is also very important to emphasize how your work has benefited your previous employers

Step 6: Prepare your work history in chronological order, emphasizing your achievements. Concentrate on areas of how you added value to that positions (increased profit, reduced costs, implemented a new proposal, increased accuracy, project work, employee development, leadership initiatives, awards and recognition)

Step 7: Don’t forget to list your educational qualifications, especially those that are relevant to the position. As an executive you have probably completed relevant training courses or leadership workshops that will further aid your resume application

Step 8: Presentation is crucial and the key is consistency!

Step 9: Target your resume with relevant information that will aid you in getting the job. At the executive level, the hiring manager is looking at your overall history – the tangible and intangible elements that make you an executive who can lead the business forward in a positive way. As mentioned previously, employers are looking for more than just work history when making personnel decisions at the executive level

Step 10: Don’t forget to use strategic keywords throughout your resume and even include 10-12 keywords to highlight your key skills. Examples of strategic keywords include:

Strategic & Tactical Planning, Relationship Management, Employee Development, New Business Development, Team Building, Training and Mentoring, Client Vendor Relations, Account Retention, Lead Generation, Presentation & Negotiation


Does Resume length matters?

Your resume should be as long as it needs to be to show that you’re the best fit for the position. Employers will spend limited time reviewing your resume – which is why you need to be concise.

Less is more. Write concise accomplishment statements. Eliminate fluff and jargon. Only say what is necessary. Sell yourself. As a rule of thumb, if you have less than 10 years of work experience your resume should fit 1-2 pages. If you have more experience (or the job requires more unique skills) a 2-3 page resume could be a better
portrayal of yourself.

One option is to create a 1-page resume for the specific application, and then create a more robust “online resume” with a tool like VisualCV.

What a resume is not:
• An exhaustive list of every single position and duty you’ve held
• A personal document that includes information about your spouse, children, or hobbies
• About you – it’s about how you can help the employer.
• A guarantee of employment – it is an important step in the job seeking process.


How to write a resume objective

If you have a clear and specific goal in mind when searching for a job, it can be useful to provide a career objective statement on your resume. A well-written objective statement that outlines your background and achievements is another chance to show that you’re the right fit for a job.

What is a resume objective statement?

A resume objective statement, or CV objective statement, is an opening statement at the top of your resume that outlines your work objectives. The aim is to summarize, as concisely as possible, your background and key skills as well as what your goals are.

While some may argue that resume objectives are unnecessary or outdated, if crafted properly they can show that you know what you want out of your career and demonstrate that you have suitable skills and experience for the job.

How to write a good resume objective statement

Like all well-written resumes, your resume’s opening statement should be tailored to suit the job you’re applying for. Aim for one or two sentences summing up your background and where you’d like to go.

Your objective should directly relate to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you’re applying to be a manager at a chain clothing store, but you eventually want to be head of merchandising at a luxury clothing brand, your statement should still align with the store manager position and how you’d like to grow within the business.

It’s also important to show that your goals will add value to the business. So, while you want to talk about your career aspirations, you should also include information that highlights your skill set and experience in the field.

For example, a poor resume objective would look like, “Seeking a senior accounting position where I can challenge myself professionally”.

A good objective for a resume might read, “Certified accountant with an MBA looking to apply my 7 years’ experience in corporate accounting to grow XYZ Company.”   


Quick resume format tips

  • Choose a fuss-free layout that provides enough white space so the resume is easy to read. Ensure the design suits the industry and job function you are targeting (for example, a graphic designer’s resume will need a more creative look than a finance professional’s resume)
  • Keep the text size no smaller than 10 point font and provide enough white space so it’s easy to read
  • Aim for 2-3 pages to include the information that is relevant for the role – there is no need to include everything that you’ve done over your career
  • Ensure your name and contact details (mobile phone and email address are requirements) are clearly visible at the top of the resume.
  • Include a career summary or professional profile at the beginning that highlights your relevant experience, core competencies and technical skills. This should capture the attention of the reader instantly and place you in the ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ rather than the ‘no’ pile when being screened.
  • For each role you’ve held, include the company name, job title and the dates. Start with your most recent role and then add your previous roles in reverse chronological order.
  • Describe briefly the scope, responsibilities and important aspects of each role, to whom you reported, the number of people you managed, size and type of projects you handled and size of budget if relevant.
  • Include bullet points of your accomplishments for each role. These should include the tangible results of your efforts. These accomplishments may be profit improvements, streamlining of processes, time savings, cost savings, improved morale within the department, completion of projects under budget or ahead of schedule, etc.

How to write a cover letter that stands out

So you’re applying for a job that asks for a cover letter, or you’ve decided it’s a good idea to include one anyway. What should you include in it? Employers and recruiters could be sifting through hundreds of cover letters to create a candidate shortlist, so it’s important to keep yours concise while clearly outlining why you’re the best person for the job. 

Make sure to:

  • Address the hiring manager by their name, if you know it
  • State the role you’re applying for
  • Include a compelling opening statement about why you’re a great fit for the job
  • Match your skills and experience to the job, including related keywords and phrases
  • Mention any relevant successes you’ve had in previous roles
  • Outline why you’re passionate about the job and industry
  • Close with a call to action to meet

Aim to keep your cover letter to one page and only include information that is relevant to the specific job you’re applying for – avoid filling the entire page but instead stick to a few concise paragraphs. Hiring managers are busy, so brevity is key.


Importance Of Linkedin Profiles

LinkedIn’s mission is simple, connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.

With more than 450+ million users in 200+ countries and more than two new members joining every second, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet.

More importantly, LinkedIn is becoming increasingly used as a tool by hiring managers and recruiters to source talent. Not only does LinkedIn provide a dedicated jobs section where employers post vacancies, it is also the perfect environment for “passive job seekers” – people who aren’t currently looking for a new position, but would consider one if the right offer came along.

Successful Resumes can help you build an engaging LinkedIn profile that attracts potential employers and networking opportunities.


Importance Of Resume

Your resume is one of the most important documents you own. It is the tool that helps pave your future. It needs to contain the right mix of information to sell you to potential employers in the most effective and appropriate way.

Research shows that potential employers give less than 10 seconds to deciding whether they will read your resume in detail or whether your resume goes into the ‘NO’ pile.

Resumes need to be more than a typed list of your employment history. In a highly competitive job market, employers make recruitment decisions on more than just skills and experience. They want to know how candidates will add value to their organization and fit into their team and culture.

A Successful Resume blends your professional profile with your unique abilities. Your resume clearly and concisely details who you are and what you have to offer. Most importantly, it needs to be keyword rich and meets the requirements of any applicant tracking software.