You wouldn’t create a gourmet meal and serve it on dirty dishes, right? So why would you engage in a Job Search 2.0 campaign using an executive resume with outdated, ineffective strategies?

If you have been conducting a targeted job search that is not generating any interviews or netting you zero results, it may be time to take a close look at the document you are marketing to recruiters and employers.

Are You Sold On A One-Page Only Resume?

If you are one of those die-hard executives who is still abiding by the one-page resume rule, you have just added weeks and weeks to your job search. How much valuable content did you have to eliminate to get years of leadership experience and expertise down to one page?

If you downplay your career progression and cut out critical information to get it all onto one page, you run the risk of appearing extremely under-qualified. Though your primary goal is to keep the resume content succinct, concise, and brief, if your career story is compelling and accomplishment-focused, then developing a two-page resume is very acceptable.

While there are innovative, one-page career marketing documents like the Networking Resume and Career Biography, your standard executive resume should not be squeezed onto one page.

Is The First Page Of Your Resume Confusing The Reader?

Keep this in mind, you have about 15 to 30 seconds to make a great impression to a potential employer or executive recruiter. Don’t make the mistake of filling your resume’s first page with heavy detail that does not support your qualifications, experience and expertise.

Information like education, certifications, associations, and volunteer work can take up too much valuable real estate on the first page if it is not directly related to your immediate job target. Instead, use the first page to strategically draw the reader with strong personal branding statement, career highlights, and core competencies that will put you in the “Yes” pile.

Are You Burying Your Executive Resume With Too Much Fluff?

If you have opted to include a summary of executive qualifications, key achievements or an executive profile, avoid adding “fluffy”, superfluous statements that don’t add value like these:

-- Great problem solver concerning customer relations, inventory management and cost containment.
-- Demonstrates superior leadership through conceptual thinking and strategic planning.
-- Articulate communicator with expertise in professional presentations and key professional relationships.

These statements are too general and can be used by any executive candidate – in addition, they do a poor job of communicating any real differentiating value between you and other jobseekers.

Why not use powerful statements like these:

• Forward-thinking strategist able to structure contract agreements, financial investments, and joint ventures that increase business growth and minimize financial losses.
• Broad-based expertise with marketing to diverse cultural and ethnic groups in untapped, domestic, and international markets.

Is Your Executive Resume Heavily Weighted With Career Achievements?

Anyone reading your executive resume should not have to work hard to determine if you are the right candidate and your “wow” factors should stand out immediately.

Always keep in mind that your executive resume is a career marketing document that needs to effectively “sell” you to potential employers.

When your career achievements and high-impact accomplishment statements are buried among your daily or overall responsibilities, you can easily be overlooked as a viable candidate.

You can draw attention to major career achievements in several formats:

A. Try writing an umbrella statement with quantifiable successes that really show your problem-solving and leadership capabilities. In both examples below, you would place the statement before the actual job description.

Developed a healthcare consulting services company from startup to fully operational in just nine months; grew annual revenues from zero to $5 million in first year.


Performance Impact: Introduced innovative process improvement initiatives that automated 45 processes, shrunk operating costs by $500,000, and eliminated 100% of manual, time-consuming tasks.

B. You can also use hard-hitting, bulleted statements that really stand out like these examples below:

• Delivered $13.5 million savings in general and administrative expenses by conducting extensive review of corporate and field human resources operations.
• Reduced annual HR expenditures 50% by eliminating duplicate costs, creating benefit efficiencies, and reducing employee training costs.
• Decreased staff turnover 20% and boosted employee satisfaction by implementing targeted recruiting, retention and human resources enhancement programs.
• Lowered annual benefit costs for two consecutive years by introducing managed care approach to employee health care plans.

Is Your Personal Brand Or Value Proposition Statement Missing From Your Executive Resume?

Adding a personal branding statement to your executive resume helps to manage the readers’ expectations right from the beginning. Think about your professional reputation, your unique attributes and the consistent trend of career accomplishments - use that information to write strong, memorable branding statement that can be included as part of the title header on your executive resume.

For example a Manufacturing executive may have a branding statement like this:


Engaging cutting-edge technologies to advance corporate-wide initiatives, expedite manufacturing processes, and achieve aggressive revenue / cost objectives.

If a career move is going to be on your list of your New Year’s resolutions, take the time now to get your executive resume and career marketing documents in order. It may be time to just toss your existing resume!

Copyright 2008 Premier Writing Solutions

Author's Bio: 

Abby M. Locke is an executive career marketing strategist at Premier Writing Solutions. For more than a decade, she has partnered with senior-level professionals and C-level executives achieve personal success achieve personal success through cutting-edge, brand-focused career communications and innovative personal marketing/job search services.