Let your resume talk you into that
dream executive role
Okay, so you have been connected with leading
executive search firms and
targeted headhunters and know that you only get one chance to impress… Well, your resume is your trump card and if you play your cards right, you could be onto a winner.
You know you have the skills and enthusiasm but how do you condense all of this information into an attention grabbing masterpiece without sounding too wacky or rigid? There is a fine line between creating a conservative image and standing out from the crowd, you want to catch the eye but in a good way…so how do you do it?
In most cases, the old adage ‘play it safe’ rings true as executive search firms, head hunters and executive recruiters are still very stuck in their ways when it comes to reviewing resumes. If you want to be a little adventurous, the most radical thing you could do is replace that staunch, white paper with a daring cream. One step further over the ‘notice me’ threshold and you will be creating such a noise around your resume that an executive recruiter is likely to reject it rather than accept it.
Research shows that executive search firms and recruiters can ascertain in under 15 seconds if your resume will go into the ‘no’ or ‘yes’ pile. With this point in mind, we owe it to ourselves to ensure that the person upstairs is drawn to our resume the moment that it is picked up. Keep information brief with the most important facts presented in such an enticing way that the employer instantly has a good feeling about you.
Don’t waste time using flowery descriptions which tend to waffle on, keep to the point and ensure that your skills, achievements and career history are clearly and neatly defined using powerful words such as “achieved” and “impressed”. This means plenty of headers and bullet points to introduce different sections using a consistent format to create a polished presentation.
From the top
Start selling yourself from the very first word onwards by outlining your key achievements, evidence of how this has benefitted previous employers along with a detailed but streamlined career history. Don’t use samey descriptions throughout; keep everything unique and authentic.
The perfect resume is normally sculpted around each individual job that you
apply for. Pick out key words in the job description and demonstrate how
your skills will benefit them. If your previous jobs were within a
different field to the one in which you are applying show how these
skills can be transferred to complement the role.
Words are the key
In this technologically advancing world, search
engines are used to filter out inappropriate submissions. So make it an
aim to implement key words into your resume which are relevant to the
position. Don’t go overboard as computers can spot intense
repetition…too many and your application could be considered as spam and
end up in the junk mail folder where it will never be read. If you are
submitting your resume to
executive search firms,
headhunters or executive recruiters, it will join a large database of other resumes. This means that when a position becomes available, the executive search consultant will enter keywords into the database which is relevant to the job description. With clever use of keywords, your resume should always be picked up by the software hence ensuring that your name appears on the shortlist of interviewees. This is even more relevant with technical roles as the consultant may not be familiar with the jargon used and will be reliant on keyword compatibility in selecting suitable applicants.
The importance of a good resume
If you do not take the time to present a neatly crafted CV,
executive search firms will fear that you will produce a similarly disappointing standard of sloppiness in the work place. A newly created resume needs a lot of altering and re-phrasing before it is ready to send. If you have doubts about sending your resume straight away, put it in the drawer until the next day. Usually a fresh pair of eyes will spot errors such as dates being muddled or you may remember points that you failed to include or see spelling errors which are screaming at you to correct.
A second opinion
Ask someone else to read the finished product so as they can give you constructive feedback on the feel it creates. A good way to check if you are walking the walk and talking the talk is to read the content back to yourself out loud, do the sentences flow or have you just spouted out a scatty list of skills, qualifications and objectives?
Little things like these make big differences to the way that your resume is viewed. With today’s rocky climate, there are hundreds of people all baiting for the same role. Competition is rife so you need to zap an employer right between the eyes with your shining example of how a properly constructed resume should look. Even if you make it through to the next level but are not asked for interview, you can rest confident in the knowledge that there was something in your resume which made the employer feel you were competent enough to be very seriously considered.
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