Are you updating your executive resume for 2018? Did you know that the majority of executives who update their resumes themselves worry they are including too much detail and too much overall information?

When you create your executive resume you are probably concentrating on adding detail and activity about your current and past positions – in order to guarantee that the resume covers all of your past expertise, skills and strengths…generally speaking all of the things you can do.

But in that focus we find a major problem.

The secret to an effective C-level resume is to develop it TO the role you want next – not from where you have been! A resume crafted to the role you want is easy to develop because your guide is the position you want next. That is how you will know what to put in your new executive resume and what to minimize or leave out.

Here are 3 tips to help you do that.

Tip 1: Create your resume to the internal or external role you want. Doing this is remarkably simple. It involves a mental shift. The best way to gain that shift is to begin at the end and then work backwards. Start by identifying your drivers, a few ideal job roles, the economic health and stability of the markets you are qualified for and/or interested in. Next, write your resume TO the role you want next. Connect the dots from the qualifications being asked for and your metric driven accomplishments.

Tip 2: Read someone else’s executive resume. When you read the resume of a stranger, note what bothers and or frustrates you and what impresses you. You will note that a first glance at someone’s resume is usually complete in under half a minute. This means you can bold or draw the eye to particular keywords and phrases that would be important for creating a general idea and a call to action. What is important for you to know first about a stranger? I bet it has something to do with the size and scope of their background and their responsibilities and perhaps key points that are impressive and aligned to the focus of the resume such as board appointments or advanced degrees. These are points that can be made up at the top of the executive resume to establish an initial perception. If you bury these points at the bottom of the last page of the resume, their importance is minimized and may be missed altogether.

Tip 3: Be organized. When you develop your career history, make sure you are respecting your readers by spoon feeding them everything they will need to know about your overall position before they delve into the details of your accomplishments. Beyond your title, dates and company, be sure to give a one sentence overview of the company and include size and industry descriptions. Remember that even if the company you worked for is a household name, not everyone automatically knows how big they are in capital or how many employees they have or what major awards they have won. Once you share this with your reader, consider setting up the next part of your story line with why you were appointed or recruited (and by whom) into the role. What challenges were you tasked to overcome? With these short pieces of information, now your reader has enough context to better digest the details you share with them next!

Writing and updating your CxO resume for 2018 is more marketing-driven then ever before. Your audience expects you to approach things from a clear value proposition. You can see a few examples of executive resumes for inspiration, here:

Author's Bio: 

Mary Elizabeth Bradford runs THE #1 trusted online source for expertly designed executive resumes, LinkedIn profiles, executive biographies and recruiter/private equity/venture capital distributions,, a Forbes 100 Career Website. She hired by multi-6 and 7-figure executives in multiple industries worldwide.