This guest article is from Adrienne Tom, a valued connection and colleague.
In order to captivate a reader, executive resumes require more than just strong, tailored content. They also need proof. Proof of the communications expertise and business leadership one claims to covet. Saying you are good at something and providing clear evidence of it are two different things.
In an executive resume one must prove their claims.
Supporting evidence lies within measurable impacts, specific quantities, and strong metrics generated during a career. For greater impact: load your executive resume with relevant results. Even better, lead with them.
Take this example: a friend is telling you about their recent fishing expedition, laying out all the things they did and the actions they took before sublimely mentioning ‘we caught a lot of fish’. Would you be impressed? Perhaps. Yet exact measurements are missing and you may have tuned out long before the results were mentioned.
Now, let’s say this same person started the story with ‘12 fish were caught in the first hour of our fishing weekend!’. Would that get your attention faster? Likely. That’s because the results are clear and presented early.
When I work with executives to position their value ‘on paper’ the primary goal is to ensure content speaks to the reader, fast. Leading with results and front-loading points throughout the file generates a strong impression, builds excitement, and connects the dots.
To ensure the inclusion of measurable and scaled details in your resume, strive to answer: how many? how much? and how often?
If you’ve directed teams, list the size: Teams of 450.
If you’ve managed budgets, quantify the largest amount: Budgets of $45M
If you’ve driven revenue growth, show the value over time: $40M revenue expansion in 2 Years
Now store these results away for high-impact positioning in your resume.
Leading with results spoon feeds the reader what they want, first. You answer questions before they can be asked and you align proof points with position requirements. Results also drive energy and action into the file!
Leaders appreciate the value of numbers and measurable business impacts, so don’t make them hunt for them in a resume. Commence the file with a strong header and supporting value statement, not a generic list of keywords or blanket phrases.
For example, a general opening might say:
Executive Leader: Revenue Generator | Team Builder | New Business Developer
Yet there is no scale and no measurements in the above statement to hook and engage. An improved resume header would include size, scale, and metrics. Something more like:
President and CEO: Global $45M Facilities Management | Teams to 450 | 300% Revenue Growth in 4 Years.
The key is to keep this same approach up throughout the resume, with all statements, including bullet points. Front-load points to powerfully position strengths and build the readers’ appreciation of capabilities.
Standard bullet statements may include impressive figures and important metrics but if key details appear near the end of content the impact becomes less wow and more oh-by-the-way.
- Developed differentiated product line which decreased service time for end users and added $36M in new profit over 3 years.
- Shifted vendor relationship management to internal support group, producing $10M in annual cost-savings.
- Employed longer sales cycles to close accounts in historically challenging European territory to grow new business revenue 156% over 2 years.
- Added $36M in new profit over 3 years by developing differentiated product line which decreased service time for end users.
- Produced $10M in annual cost-savings by shifting vendor relationship management to internal support group.
- Grew new business revenue 156% over 2 years in European market, employing longer sales cycles to close accounts in historically challenging territory.
The difference is discernible. There is no hunting for impacts in front-load statements and key points don’t run the risk of getting buried or overlooked. What matters most appears first.
As an executive, you want the reader to get invested in you and your abilities. To hook and engage, lay out content in a clear path, baiting with impacts that are hard to overlook or pass by. Lead with results.
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Adrienne Tom is a multi-award-winning executive resume writer with Career Impressions. She packages and positions executives and top professionals, helping them level-up, land faster, and increase their earning power! Visit her website to learn more.
Photo: Flickr, zigzagpress