7 Elements to Introduce into an Executive Resume

Business people conference in modern meeting room

Fluid” does not begin to describe the state of the global labour market in 2021.  Without rehashing the turmoil that the past 12 months has lashed upon global economies, some managers and executives find themselves fighting job security or worse still, a job lost.

In 2021, it is no longer about who is most qualified. A key tactic for senior professionals and executives should be to focus on recent, relevant achievements that are pertinent to the job you are applying for, not on your seniority.

In a recent career coaching session with a senior Supply Chain Manager with more than ten years of experience in a global, 3rd Party Logistics organisation, Malcolm (*not his real name) he expressed concern that although he and his team had employed their best efforts to introduce new technology and software operating systems to cope with the changing pace of business, his job might be in jeopardy due to sweeping, across-the-board retrenchments.  He’d been scanning the job portals and had even connected with a few head-hunters but wasn’t getting any joy.  Asking my opinion, a quick evaluation of Malcolm’s resumé highlighted a few areas of concern. Despite its up-to-date modern format his document, it read like a career chronicle that focussed on his past accomplishments and didn’t showcase any of his recently acquired skills or achievements.

This begs the question, “How does Malcolm  create a future-fit resumé that can catapult him firmly into a new role in 2021 and beyond?”  And the answer?  Start by viewing your resumé as your best marketing tool and not a history lesson!

Consider these statements for a moment…

  • The future is happening FAST!
  • Competition amongst applicants is higher than ever.
  • Face to face interviews are virtually a thing of the past.
  • LinkedIn is  the marketplace of choice for skilled head-hunters.
  • You should probably already belong to an invitation-only C-suite network platform like Winmark Global for example, where you share (and learn from) best practice scenarios with like-minded individuals.
  • You should definitely be increasing your reading and research quota’s to help you keep abreast of global trends.
  • Understand your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • The top first third of your resume is the most expensive real estate on the page.
  • Resumé length does not denote ability or seniority. The appropriate length of the document is dependent on where you are in your career, but the norm in 2021 is two to three pages for applicants with 10+ years of working experience.
  • There is NO one-size-fits-all resumé.  You MUST try to read the job advert properly before slanting and sending off your resumé, or the Applicant Tracking System that houses your application before matching it to a job, can’t digest the contents and therefore won’t shortlist your profile for review.
  • Providing a Job Title for the position you are applying for, on your resumé, as well as in the Subject Line for your email, gives the reader context and prompts them towards the next step in evaluating to your profile. Omitting this leaves the recruiters and hiring managers frustrated and they may skip right over it.
  • Your resumé should always be in MS Word or PDF format.  A basic MS Word format allows for quick and easy editing.  Google Docs  and MAC Pages are a no-no.  These require 3rd party permission for the document to be opened in email.
  • Being brief and selective about the experience you include will ensure readability and demonstrate that you know you know what accomplishments are most important for the role you’re applying to.

The Recruiter or Hiring Manager will have three considerations in mind when reviewing your resumé:

  • What you have achieved recently,
  • how well you did it,
  • and, whether what you accomplished applies to them?

Consider including these 7 new elements in your senior professional or executive resumé:

  1. Companies want to hire individuals who can weather the storm and lead teams through difficult times by capitalising on trends in their industry or products during both up and down cycles. Set yourself apart by showing your target audience that you stand out as being someone who can look good when things are challenging, as well as when things are going well.
  2. Reflect how you manage to operate without a textbook by showing that you can operate in ambiguity and uncertainty and how you thrive in it.
  3. Demonstrate how you’ve reinforced revenue streams, reinvented old streams…how you repositioned business processes, created new working environment, or re- created revenue streams.  How you’ve creatively cut costs to improve margins without cutting heads.  How you’ve introduced  remote working tools, automated processes, or saved on rental. All without decreasing efficiency or killing morale.
  4. Provide examples of how you developed top talent within your past employers (so that it’s not just about what you’ve accomplished, but it’s also about what your team have accomplished and most importantly it’s about you wanting to show that you can attract top talent to work for you and in your organisation.
  5. If you are concerned that your age might count against you when applying for positions don’t lead with age – nobody cares that you have 25 years of experience if they don’t know what you’ve done recently – lead with that.
  6. Include your LinkedIn URL (but make sure that the data on our profile correlates with that in your resumé).  Hiring authorities will search for you by name over the internet before they even open up your application; and refer to any forums or affiliations that you participate in where you share best practice ideas and scenarios on working under tough market, and economic conditions.
  7. Indicate whether you are available for relocation and what passport(s) you hold.  We will (eventually) be able to travel internationally again in months to come.

In a recent poll conducted over LinkedIn, I asked job seekers to evaluate the “future-fit-ness” of their resumé, and more than 52% of the respondents admitted that their documents were “outdated and tired”.  If your resumé falls into this category it’s time for you to ring the changes to avoid the very real risk of just NOT BEING NOTICED.

Applicants in leadership roles should focus on an achievement-based document that reflects the new way of working in 2021… and beyond.

Hire Power has structured a package that we believe will help senior candidates navigate the Candidate Journey more seamlessly.  Feel free to contact me for more details.

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