By Lisa Rangel, CPRW, PHR, CEIC, CJSS, MCS, SNCS & OPNS
Staying current in 2013 on Executive Resume Trends can be a daunting task. However, we have used the proverbial crystal ball to research, identify and outline various trending items that today’s top executives need to know to stay ahead of their competition and optimize their compensation in today’s competitive landscape. Consider at the following executive management resume trends when writing your resume:
(1) Write your resume to be found by recruiters using Boolean search terms. Corporate and search firm recruiters use Boolean search terms in search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo), social media sites (LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook Open Graph, Twitter Search, etc…) and other association niche sites to find talented executives. Bottom line is if your executive resume does not include these phrases used naturally in your resume, your resume may not surface in the search results. Be sure to keyword optimize your document.
(2) Ensure your resume is ATS friendly. Complicated graphs, ornate graphics, tables, charts and other electronic document ‘flair’ may not really ‘fly’ when it comes to your resume getting processed properly by an applicant tracking system (ATS). Use font type, font treatment (bold, italics), borders and shading elements to give your resume a distinct look, without inhibiting its digestibility into ATS systems.
(3) Have visual versions of your traditional, content resume. What do I mean by this? Consider an infographic of your experience timeline to post on Pinterest, a video resume on Vine or YouTube or a PowerPoint displaying your successes on SlideShare. Not only do these forms demonstrate your presentation savvy, it can also speak to various audience types that flock to these different sites. It can also help you be found more readily by recruiters, as your information is catalogued by Google Search and other search engines in a multitude of ways.
(4) Give your resume a marketing collateral feel by using branding elements in your content and visual choices. Utilize every aspect of your executive management resume (words, colors, borders, font type, font size, shading elements, etc.) to brand yourself and make you and your resume memorable in the mind of the hiring manager. Be sure your unique value proposition is communicated clearly to the reader immediately!
(5) Realize the top ¼ of your first resume page is prime real estate. Use it to capture your reader’s attention, keep them engaged, keyword optimize your document and visually set yourself a part from the competition. That is a lot of work to be done by a small section of your resume. Don’t waste it.
(6) Use achievement based bullets and not job description bullets when describing your work experience. Employers want to see how you succeeded at a certain function—not simply that you were responsible for the function. How you made money, saved on costs, streamlined processes and contributed to the corporate culture in measurable manners is what you need to outline on your executive resume.
(7) Move past just having a LinkedIn Account and consider employing other social media venues to promote your brand and cultivate new professional contacts. See where other professionals in your industry congregate online and open up accounts on those sites to see what traction you can gain and real time information you can find to make your communications more precise.
(8) Please just stop using objective statements—this is not really even a new trend, but some executives really feel the need to put one on the resume. And it just needs to stop! Summaries are the new resume writing technique (ok, not so new technique) where you describe how you will add value to the new employer’s requirements.
(9) Use whatever resume length is best for you—but not a word longer than it needs to be. Concise writing is still king!! The one-page, two-page or multi-page rule has become less hard and fast and really is dependent on the person’s background and industry. But realize, just because you write it does not mean it will be read. Keep your reader engaged in 5-10 second increments no matter how long your resume is.
(10) Customize your resume for each exploratory inquiry and defined job application you make. The more you know about the job, make the customization specific. The less you know about the job, make the customized elements of your document more broad to appeal to a wider range within your discipline and/or industry.