If your job search campaign keeps hitting a brick wall, your existing resume is getting you no results, and you have been trying every method you know about including online postings, recruiters, social networks, in-person networking), maybe what you are feeding the masses is not the right tool.

Your executive resume must be a strategic marketing document not a career obituary or a string of job descriptions. After all, the only way you can attract attention is to be unique and differentiate yourself from the competition. Imagine for a second, that you were reviewing tons of resumes that all looked and sounded the same. How would you determine the best candidate?

To present yourself as the best candidate and ONLY right solution for companies, your executive resume should tell the reader who you are, what unique value you bring to the table, and give specific examples of how you have been successful in the past.

Traditional, history-based resumes told employers about the past, today’s executive resume must indicate how you can make an impact in the future.

1. Don’t Create General, Non-Specific Resumes

The popular saying, “Rubbish in, rubbish out?” is very accurate when it comes to executive resumes. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a broad, non-targeted resume provide you with greater opportunities for a wide variety of jobs. Contrary to that belief, you will get the opposite results - if you send an employer a resume that says you excel in sales, HR, technology, teaching, and training – the only place your resume will go is in the trash pile.

If you have several job targets, create separate resumes, so that each resume has its own unique story aligned with the requirements, qualifications, achievements, and personality traits.

2. Throw Out The Four-to-Five-Page Career Obituaries

Sure, potential employers want to know what you have done over the years, but including a position you held 30 years ago (before Internet was even invented) to sell you for a job today just does not make sense.

Even if you have a senior-level job seeker with more than 20 years of experience, you can still create an effective, strategically written executive resume that highlights your key qualifications without weighing down the reader with pages and pages of non-relevant content.

Your strategy should be to focus on the past 15 years of your career and summarize your early work experience in a general paragraph. For example:

EARLY COMPANY EXPERIENCE: Delivered significant contributions to company’s revenue growth and production output through Manager of Engineering & Maintenance and Project Engineer positions.

3. Follow The 5-5-2 Formula

Condense your overall tasks and responsibilities into a brief paragraph (no more than five lines) that gives the reader a snapshot of what you do. Remember to bring it life with vibrant action verbs, industry keywords, and quantifiable facts. Always avoid the overused, passive phrases like “Responsible for the development of marketing plans for clients in the West Coast region."

Include at least five achievements for each position you list on your executive resume. Limit the resume length to two full pages

4. Aim To Create A Chronological Resume
An executive resume written in a chronological format is overwhelmingly preferred by employers and recruiters; this format helps the reader follow your career path and progression a lot easier than a functional or skills-based format

While some circumstances make require a functional format, using a 100% functional format is a turnoff and immediately raises red flags about employment gaps or inexperience. Instead, use a combination format that blends the best features of both formats.

5. Make Sure That Your Personal Brand Statement Differentiates You

While your direct experience and qualifications help determine whether you are a strong candidate, when you are immersed in a job search with other executives who have a similar career background, you will need to engage in strategies to make you stand out.

A strong personal brand and brand statement concisely captures your strengths, value, talents, and performance drivers; it works well on an executive resume to position you above your peers and market you as the best choice for companies.

Make sure that you communicate who you are, your areas of expertise or industry experience and your value proposition

For example:

SENIOR MARKETING EXECUTIVE
Telecommunications & Technology Services
Driving operational initiatives that propel revenue growth, expand market share, and increase competitive advantage for startup, international companies

6. Avoid Using “Me-Oriented” Career Objectives

We can agree that your objective is to find a job and yes, it is pretty much understood that you will seek positions that offer growth opportunities and fit into your long-term career goals.

However, employers are not impressed by what you want; instead they need to be sold on what you can do for them. Lead off your executive resume with brand-focused statements of value that show employers how they gain from bringing you on board. More importantly, demonstrate that you are a money maker not just a money taker.

Which candidate would you hire as your next Director of Manufacturing Operations?

Candidate A: Seeking a challenging leadership position in manufacturing and product operations.

Candidate B: Pioneering manufacturing executive with proven success in devising manufacturing and plant operating strategies that eliminate redundancies, increase production output, and deliver productivity, quality, and efficiency improvements.

7. Hard-Core Results and Proof Of Performance Must Stand Out

For each position you held in the past 15 years or so, include concise “career success stories” written in the Challenge - Action - Results format to help potential employers see how you maximize your core skills and qualifications to solve problems and deliver results. It is also critical that you provide quantifiable, monetized evidence of your performance to really make your success story come alive. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself.

Which of the following candidates sound impressive to you?

Candidate A: Saved the company thousands of dollars during first year on the job.

Candidate B: Achieved zero lost time and 100% staff productivity during12 consecutive months for first time in company’s operating history—saving company $500,000.

Author's Bio: 

Abby M. Locke of Premier Writing Solutions is a executive career marketing strategist who partners with senior-level professionals and C-level executives to achieve personal success through cutting-edge, brand-focused career communications and innovative personal marketing/job search services.

Visit her web site at Premier Writing for a FREE report on "Making Sense Of The Online Job Search"