Are you wondering if your executive resume is doing a good job communicating your value at the cursory glance? You are wise for asking yourself that question because it is by far, one of the single most important jobs your resume has. In fact, in order of importance, your resume must do the following:

-Show your focus of direction, core keywords and strengths.

-Show a strong summary argument for the position you are focused on.

-Draw your readers eye to particular key components that will give them enough perspective on your qualifications to make a decision on what to do next.

I like to call these things framing. It’s the art of creating a perception of you in 10 or 15 seconds. Highly experienced executive resume writers will use this to help align a client with their target market. Here are a few tips to help you utilize this technique – starting with some basic things that everyone has in their executive resume.
Your name and address:
Certainly, you can draw attention to your name as it is what most readers will look at first anyway. But what about your address and phone number? Is that something your reader needs to see at the first glance? Since it typically is not, you can put your address and all other contact information in a smaller font, either at the top, or even in the footer of your executive resume. And following this same rule, your contact information does not need to be bolded, or in a contrasting color at the top of your executive resume.

Key words at the top of your resume:

Most professionals will create two or three very general keywords at the top of their resume. It may look something like this:

Sales executive | Team Builder

Perhaps this is done in support of a belief that if one uses too detailed keywords they may alienate their audience. Interestingly, the opposite is true. In an executive resume the more you can create context for your reader, the more value you can easily translate. For example, looking at the title keywords above – note how it tells you little, if anything about the person, their actual oversight or focus of direction.

Now look at these keywords below and note what impression it gives you:

Global Sales Executive (he works globally – scale) | Fortune 500 Technology Companies (he works for big technology companies in the technology industry) Multi-Million Dollar Deals (he does large, complex deals) | what else might be important here? Teams to 300 \ Market Expansions across 3-continents

How did the above set of keywords alter your initial perception of the candidate? Didn’t it give you a much more clear perspective into who the client is, the size and scope of his areas of expertise and his focus of direction?

Now that you have a much more clear perspective regarding basic context you will have a much great ability to digest whatever details you read that go under those keywords.

Conversely, if the keywords: Sales Executives / Team Builder are left as the only keywords with a big block of text directly under them, a typical response to that particular set up is that the eyes will begin to drift and the text will only be skimmed versus read. Why? Because your reader has not been given enough information with which to categorize the details you are now asking them to read.

This to me is the #1 problem with most resumes and the #1 thing that many resume writers miss. It’s the marketing 101 component of how people digest information at the cursory glance.
So now at the top of your executive resume you have framework of perception (here is how I want you to perceive me), and you have alignment (this is who I am and where I am going Sales exec/global technology) now you need the third piece which is making a quick snapshot ARGUMENT for the persons worthiness to BE in that position. Maybe it looks like this:

Snapshot accomplishments:

Built 3, $100M technology divisions in 3 years for 2 Fortune 500 companies

Realized a $57M top and bottom line revenue gain through initiating a sales reorganization

Drove nearly $1B in 4 years through leading turnaround of two lagging product lines

*Note: these are simply stated. Results are front loaded to capture attention.

Or maybe you also add this or do one or the other or embed a chart. These are all examples of a "snapshot argument":

16 years' executive sales leadership
Adjunct Professor, Technology Product Sales, Harvard School of Business
Advisory Board for 2 tech startups
P&L to $550M
Teams to 300
Conceptual / Technical PreSales
Large Customer Relationship Management
$100M Deals
Author of:___ featured in Technology Today Magazine

These points are the basic steps of properly framing an executive resume. This is what I do with all of my C-Level Resumes. You can see some examples of those here:

Author's Bio: 

Mary Elizabeth Bradford owns and operates one of the top web-based executive resume writing firms in the world for C-Level executives, She has won many of the highest awards her industry offers, is a triple internationally certified executive resume writer, coach, and former executive recruiter. She offers executive resume packages, supporting documents, recruiter distributions, and online career programs that help her clients secure more interviews and offers. She also licenses her award-winning online job-search coaching programs to other top resume writers throughout the world. Visit her at – a Forbes Top-100 Career Website.