You are an ambitious business leader. You’ve worked hard to acquire knowledge and master your craft. You are trusted and respected by your peers. But, today you embark on a new challenge, one that is sure to test your resolve.
Years of exemplary leadership have earned you awards, salary increases and promotions, but how do you grab attention and inspire trust in executive hiring managers who have never experienced your value proposition?
In today's ultra-competitive workforce, experience, education and certifications are merely prerequisites. Regardless of your professional accolades, you are merely 1 of 100,000 qualified candidates. But that is about to change...
YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE STARTS HERE
This post will teach you EVERYTHING
you need to know about executive resumes, including specific dos and don'ts of executive resume writing, numerous executive resume samples and a step-by-step video tutorial.
This is not your typical executive resume writing guide.
Most of the executive resume tips online were authored by someone who has never walked in your shoes or accomplished your goals. Yes, I'm talking about the certified amateurs who champion keyword optimization.
I launched MeetYourGig.com because I knew there had to be a better way.
Fact: A-list companies do not evaluate executive-level leaders based on search terms. Even if you fall into the trap of believing magic words can guarantee interviews, you still have to articulate leadership in person to earn offers.
This graduate-level guide teaches you how to differentiate yourself on paper, online and in-person, by training you to think and communicate like a CEO. Remember, you only get one chance to make a powerful first impression.
Disclaimer: There are no shortcuts to crafting an elite executive resume that gets 10X more interviews. Those who execute as instructed always outperform those who skim past the important details. To attract the best... be the best.
Ok. Let’s begin with the most important question of all…
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF AN EXECUTIVE RESUME?
Certified professional resume writers and recruiters believe the objective of a resume is to summarize qualifications, strengths and match for a job. This is short-sighted and sets you up to fail from the beginning. Let me explain why.
Imagine your spouse, sibling or child has been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. There is a cure, but it costs $10,000,000. Doctors estimate 2 years of survival without treatment.
You have $1,000,000 in total assets and a business plan that, if executed properly, could deliver the 10X ROI needed to save a life. It will cost $250,000 to develop the innovative product.
That leaves $750,000 to hire 10 heroic business leaders and key staff. 10,000 candidates apply. The clock is ticking. Who will you entrust with the fate of your loved one?
Will you hire the first 10 applicants who can get the job done or will you carefully invest in those who champion your cause and demonstrate they will deliver 10X ROI?
An executive resume should articulate passion and value creation, yet so few do. Apply what I am about to share and you will gain a competitive advantage!
SHOULD YOU HIRE A PROFESSIONAL EXECUTIVE RESUME WRITER?
Before you waste $1,000 on an executive resume writing service, understand that few certified professional resume writers have ever started or grown a business. Most have never worked in your function, let alone accomplished your goals.
How can you expect someone without a business background, who paid $325 to become a certified resume writer in as little as 7 days, to market you to executive hiring managers?
No time? Do you expect the author of your executive resume to interview for you too? Last I checked, the demand for “leaders” who cannot articulate their own value proposition in person is still 0.
Your resume is your first and last impression. Crafting it on your own will boost your confidence, elevate your communication skills and better prepare you for interviews. If you cannot back it up in person, you will get passed over.
I’ll never forget Patrick, an early client who resisted my D-I-Y approach. After shortcutting my process, we had a heated debate. 34 days and 2 target executive job offers later… he was a believer.
WHO SHOULD YOUR EXECUTIVE RESUME SPEAK TO?
Survey 100 HR managers, recruiters and headhunters. Ask them what they look for in a target candidate. They’ll list the following: experience, education, certifications, career progression, work gaps, location and salary expectations.
Why? That is what their predecessors taught them to look for.
Now survey 100 successful entrepreneurs, CEOs and executive-level hiring managers. Their response is vastly different. They look for 4 characteristics in core team members: passion, problem solving, performance and communication.
Why? They know what it takes to launch and grow a business.
If you want to generate 10X more interviews, you must grab the attention of the business leaders with a fiduciary responsibility to protect their “baby” and grow the bottom line. Learn how to win their trust and you’ll catapult your career.
Sebastien came to me after 3 months of being rejected by recruiters. An accomplished VP, he was demoralized. 90 days later he had met with 40+ C-level executives, accepted a target offer and negotiated a $10,000 salary boost.
A PROVEN EXECUTIVE RESUME WRITING GUIDE
Enlightened leaders recognize, value and hire other great leaders. The problem with most executive resumes is they fail to distinguish superior leadership. But, if you aren’t afraid to outwork your competition, you can easily stand out.
If you’ve ever participated in a corporate strategic planning initiative, you are likely familiar with the VRIO framework. The 4 components that determine competitive potential in business also predict resume efficacy. Take notes!
Value: Would you rather drive a Fiat or a Ferrari? Guess what? Executive hiring managers are no different. Poor spelling and grammar? Long autobiography? Useless or irrelevant content? Inconsistent formatting or ugly design? Trash can. Are you a high-quality brand?
Rarity: Why does LeBron James get paid $33,000,000 a season to play basketball? Because GMs know he averages 27 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists per night, and has led his teams to 7 NBA Finals in a row. What is your return on investment? Are you 1 of 10,000,000 or 1 of 1?
Imitability: There are lots of amazing female vocal artists, but there is only one Adele. Likewise, nobody else shares your exact vision, values, personality, career path, knowledge, perspective, skills and habits. How can you leverage this wisdom to improve any organization?
Organization: Would you pay flawless diamond prices for cubic zirconia? Never. Similarly, if you fail to articulate your process for delivering superior ROI, executive hiring managers will never trust your ability to execute for them. Are you presenting a $100,000+ investment?
WHY SHOULD COMPANIES INVEST 6-FIGURES INTO YOU?
Every employee represents a business investment with an expected rate of return that exceeds the cost. Naturally, companies hire those with the greatest perceived ROI (these famous Warren Buffett quotes
can quickly help you understand how employers invest too).
While there is no publicly traded talent market, your resume serves as a prospectus none-the-less. For $100,000+, are employers investing in Tesla or a penny stock? If you want to be perceived as the Amazon of your talent pool, the best executive career advancement advice I can offer you is to quantify your talent ROI.
Start by asking yourself these 3 simple questions:
How do I make companies money?
How do I save companies money?
How do I save companies time?
Every project you’ve ever executed checks these boxes, directly or indirectly (estimated). For example, authoring strategic plans, optimizing portfolios, developing technology, streamlining operations, repairing relationships and mentoring staff all create value.
It takes time to quantify ROI for every accomplishment in every role spanning your entire career, but you’ll gain a competitive advantage over thousands with similar experience, education and certifications. And you’ll never have to do it again!
When executed properly, your versatile solutions and documented ROI are transferable across industry, company and role. And, because every company is seeking to improve profitability, you are free to pursue the opportunities that make you happiest. That is true empowerment.
At this point, you should feel both excited and a bit overwhelmed. Stick with me and I promise I’ll show you exactly how to get to the finish line, step-by-step.
HOW TO COMPOSE AN ELITE EXECUTIVE RESUME
A premier executive resume tells a story of passion, problem solving and performance.
It communicates only what a busy CEO, COO, CFO, CMO, CTO, President, Vice President or Director needs to know. A top executive resume includes 6 sequential sections:
Profile Summary: Includes a broad target functional title, followed by a short paragraph describing your value proposition, then a comprehensive list of high-level functional hats you can wear relative to your target role.
Select Accomplishments: Demonstrates your leadership versatility by showcasing 5 different functional business strengths relative to your target role. Each highlights a specific business challenge you were exposed to, your high-level process for solving the problem and the quantifiable value you delivered.
Professional Achievements: Specify title, company, location, start and end dates, plus a brief overview of your scope of responsibility and the functional hats you wore in that role. List specific functional contributions followed by the quantifiable value you delivered.
Education: List degree, major, institution and location.
Certifications: List certificate and sponsoring or administrating organization.
Proficiencies: List specific technologies, methodologies and other relevant skills.
WATCH THIS FREE RESUME WRITING TUTORIAL
YOU’VE CRAFTED A TOP EXECUTIVE RESUME. NOW WHAT?
A word document has no value. A printed resume has value for the person you hand it to. But, an expert-crafted LinkedIn profile will create value for thousands of prospective talent evaluators and hiring managers, every single day.
Now that you have a top executive resume, let’s go over how to optimize your LinkedIn profile:
Headline: <Target Function(s)> Executive | Consultant | Open Networker
This is purely for positioning and maximizing conversion rates when you send connection requests to business leaders (that will make sense in the next section).
The rest is as easy as copy, paste or match…
Summary: Paste your 5 Select Accomplishments
Experience: Match your resume
Education: Match your resume
Certifications: Match your resume
Skills: Utilize the maximum amount and select relevant skills only
Also, be sure to join target industry, functional or professional groups.
Lastly, create a custom LinkedIn profile URL and add it to your resume
In just 30 minutes, you've got an All-Star profile! By the way, thousands of online con artist charge $300 or more for that. You’re welcome.
HOW TO GET 10X MORE EXECUTIVE-LEVEL INTERVIEWS
Josh, like most IT executives, came to me as an introvert. Initially, he was uncomfortable with what I am about to share, but he ended up authoring an incredible success story. In 90 days, he met with 100+ C-level executives and secured a dream job with an emerging business!
Most executive job seekers invest their time browsing job boards, tailoring their resume, submitting online applications, attending networking events, asking for referrals and waiting for recruiters to find them. They engage everyone except for the hiring manager.
As an accomplished executive, you’re used to spending time with key decision makers and having 100% control of your destiny. If you want to learn how to tap into the hidden job market to land your dream job, here is a proven formula for success:
Tactic: Engage hundreds of CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CMOs, CTOs, Presidents, Vice Presidents and Directors directly, via LinkedIn.
Approach: Express an interest in learning more about their business and formula for success.
Golden Rule: Never mention you are looking for a job or attach your resume.
Bonus: Sending out hundreds of connection requests per week will catapult you into the Top 1% in LinkedIn profile views, enabling you to appear higher in organic search rankings.
HOW TO CONVERT 10X MORE INTERVIEWS INTO JOB OFFERS
When you engage these influential business leaders and key decision makers, follow this simple, systematic approach to convert coffee into career advancement:
Ask questions > Listen attentively > Learn their story, philosophies and motivations > Identify common vision, purpose and values > Discover their organizational goals > Scope their business challenges > Identify areas for improvement > Share a plan for how you can improve and grow their business.
Demand for your leadership will skyrocket.
While your peers are focused on one-time transactions (all about them, all about now), you will build long-term relationships with successful business leaders, cultivating a stream of executive career advancement options for years to come.