Great Resumes Fast » Resume Writing Tips » Write Your Executive Resume Like A Pro

Is my resume not getting responses because of the job market or because it is lacking in some way? I hear this uncertainty from job seekers daily. Figuring out whether it’s your resume or an overcrowded job market is the issue is no easy task. There are steps you can take to put your best foot forward when writing your resume so you can go forth and conquer your job search with confidence. In today’s article, I’m sharing with you three strategies I employ with my clients as an executive resume writer that you can use to boost your resume’s response rate and write your executive resume like a pro. 

Let’s dive in. 

Write your executive resume like a pro

Executive Resume Pro Tip #1: Connect the dots

When I’m working with a job seeker on their executive resume, one of the first steps I undertake is determining their goals for their next career move. I need to know what position they’re targeting, what companies they have eyes on, and what’s required for each.

Then, I’m going to deep dive and go into research mode. I’m going to look for the following:

  • What hard skills are required for the role?
  • What professional, academic, and technical skills are necessary?
  • What type of experience is important to the position?
  • What values are essential to the company? How do these align with my client’s values?
  • In the industry and position my client is seeking, what needs does this company have that my client can fill?

See, my job as an executive resume writer and your job as a job seeker is to connect the dots between your experience and skills and the requirements and needs of the position. 

Employers will not connect the dots for you. They’ll assume there is no connection between you and the role. You must point out how you already have what this position and company need. And, you have to communicate it clearly without any vague fluffy statements like the ones you see on outdated resume samples on the internet.

Here’s an example of a bullet I used on a client’s resume who was submitting his resume for a Military Outreach Director position:

Launched military outreach programs in 5 counties for military veterans, homeless veterans, new recruits, current military members, and families. 

The position required experience with military programs and working with veterans. In this bullet we communicated my client’s ability to launch outreach programs, who he has served, and even added the reach of the programs he’s launched. Each one of these connects the dots between the requirements of the role: working with veterans and managing military programs and his experience. 

You want to do the exact same thing in your resume. Give the hiring manager an example of your experience showing how it aligns with the role requirements.

Executive Resume Pro Tip #2: Create A Snapshot of Wins

Another pro strategy for executive resumes is to create a separate section in the top portion of your resume that highlights your big wins.

Here, I like to start with the most noteworthy accomplishments of a client’s career. I make sure to select accomplishments that are relevant to the target role. Employers will gauge your fit for a position based on your past achievements and results. They’ll assume that if you’ve succeeded before in an area you can do so again. So show them what you’ve done! It’s not bragging, it’s communicating facts.

For example, with the military outreach director here are a few of his selected accomplishments:

✔  Onboarded 800+ YMCA members in conjunction with other trainers to new E-GYM smart training equipment

✔  Transformed and led 200-person Air Force unit fitness program by developing innovative training program that enabled continuous improvement of physical fitness. Leadership recognized with lead role in wing formation workout for 2,500 Airmen.

✔  Revamped squadron physical training program, preparing 230 Air Force personnel for new AF fitness standards; designed and developed a program that instilled discipline and allowed squadron to maximize fitness capacity without interrupting work schedules. Result was 20% improvement in personnel pass rate.

LiveStrong Certified Instructor, Exercise Medicine Certified Instructor, Strength Conditioning Instructor Certification

I like sharing this example because this person’s career experience has absolutely nothing to do with revenue generation and yet we were still able to incorporate metrics into three out of the four bullet points. Size and percentage improvements are two great ways to quantify your experience like a pro on your executive resume without ever touching revenue.

Each of these results points to the clients experience working with the target audience of his target role, hits on the experience required for the role: leading, training, mentoring, fitness, veteran outreach, and relationship building with military members. Yet, we aren’t using those words. We’re communicating these ideas through accomplishments.

When you write your resume, endeavor to create a snapshot of selected accomplishments for hiring managers to scan. They’ll get a quick hit of information, which is great for limited attention spans. You’re creating a powerful first impression of being a winner, and you’re connecting the dots between relevant results and the role’s needs. It’s a triple win!

Executive Resume Pro Tip #3: Convey Your Personal Brand

I find that most executive job seekers fall into one of two camps regarding personal branding on their resume. Either they don’t think about it at all or they’re uncertain how to incorporate it into their resumes. I’m completely convinced that a personal-brand-rich resume is the key to crafting a resume that stands out from your competition and generates interviews. Here are a few ways that a personal branding statement ensures your resume’s success and why it’s so critical to include one:

Polished first impression: A personal branding statement offers a quick, impactful introduction. It’s the first thing an employer reads, so it’s your chance to capture attention and make a polished first impression. Obscure impression = no responses. See an example from a client’s resume here.

Differentiation is key in the 2024 job market. A well-crafted branding statement shows employers what makes you unique and valuable, setting you apart from other candidates. Matching everyone else = no response.

Clear direction: It concisely conveys your professional identity, goals, and the value you bring to a prospective employer. This clarity helps hiring managers immediately understand who you are and what position you’re targeting, so there is no confusion. Confusion = no response.

Narrative control: A personal brand allows you to shape the story of your resume. By leading with your branding statement, you set the tone and direction for the rest of the document, ensuring that your most important qualities are front and center.

Compelling hook: A captivating personal branding statement engages the reader and encourages them to read the rest of your resume with interest. It acts as a hook that, if well-written, keeps them wanting to learn more about you.

Alignment with employer’s needs: By carefully tailoring your statement to align with the needs and values of your target employers, you demonstrate that you’re not just looking for any job but are interested in a specific fit where you can contribute meaningfully.

Confidence booster: Presenting a clear, strong statement of your value proposition shows confidence in your abilities and understanding of your professional worth. Every job seeker I’ve worked with over the past 16 years can attest to the importance of a confidence boost when job searching. 

Now that you know why it’s important to the success of your resume to include your personal brand, let’s talk about practical ways to create a personal branding statement for your resume. 

Here are three simple formulas for creating a personal branding statement. We use these as a starting point when writing for our executive clients, and you can use them to help you, too.

  1. The Value Proposition Formula – [Strength/Expertise] + [Unique Qualifier] = [Impact/Outcome]

Example: Executive resume writer who crafts personal-brand-focused resumes that attract 2X more interviews in 90 days or less.

  1. The Problem-Solver Formula – [Identified Industry Challenge] + [Your Solution Approach] = [Benefit for Employers]

Example: I craft compelling career stories through personal-brand-focused executive resumes that open doors to interviews and opportunities. 

  1. The Storytelling Formula – [Your Professional Identity] + [Your Passion/What Drives You] + [Your Goal/Objective]

Leading-edge Executive Resume Writer who crafts personal-brand-rich resumes that transform executives from seekers to sought-after. 

Take each of these three formulas and use them as a template to plug in your own information. See what you can come up with on your own. 

I hesitate to offer this advice because so many people will not edit/modify it to fit themselves, but if you’re really stumped, plug the formula into ChatGPT, fill in the blanks, and ask it to give you 2-3 examples of personal branding statements using the formula and information you gave it about your career. Then, edit it. Never leave it exactly how ChatGPT spits it out. Anyone can use ChatGPT to create something, which means they will, and low and behold, 1,000 other Project Managers will be out there running around with resumes that have the exact same personal branding statement as you. That defeats the purpose of personal branding. 

Alright, I’ve taught you how to connect the dots, create a career snapshot, and convey your personal brand. But what about an executive resume format that you can use for the pro tips I’ve shared? 

I’ve got you covered. You can download my free executive resume template here. It’s already designed with instructions for connecting the dots, a section for your career snapshot, and a place for your personal brand. 

If you found this article helpful, please comment below and let me know!

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About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!

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