By Wayne Richardson, Executive Career Expert with www.BestResponseResume.com
When I worked as a recruiter with a prominent firm, the emphasis was always on identifying applicants who show the most potential. This was a Herculean task, as some of the most experienced and seemingly qualified senior executives used a cookie-cutter strategy when presenting their talents. This pedestrian approach rarely put their applications on a short list. In fact, our priority was almost always given to candidates - even those with less experience - who seemed to understand what the market wants and skillfully articulate their distinct potential contributions to companies they wanted to work for.
Here is what YOU can do to ensure that employers see you as a prime candidate:
1. DISCARD TYPICAL FORMATS: When employers are about to make a multi-million recruitment decision that affects the future of their company, they will not be influenced by a resume that looks good but lacks real substance. Nor will they find appealing the same predictable 'one-size-fits-all' textbook example with your information instead of John Doe's. If you want to be seen as a more serious and certainly more worthwhile contender, make certain that the resume fits your career, not the other way around.
2. IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT YOUR PAST. One of the main challenges of describing executive careers is this - they all sound great. It is a rare executive who does not have "an excellent track record", "strong organizational abilities" and "great decision making skills". Yet, it is indeed an uncommon leader who can translate his/her knowledge and skills into a clear and persuasive value proposition. In other words, when writing your resume, fast-forwarding the benefits of your experience will immediately give you precedence over other applicants.
3. BE REFRESHING. The language many executives use in their resumes and interviews can often be summarized in one word" recycled. Dryness and lack of originality of executive career documents is so common, that it sometimes resembles nothing more than looped elevator music. Unless your job search is a mere formality, using a template for your resume or memorizing mass-market answers to interview questions can tarnish your professional image. To create a message employers will remember, step outside of the overused. Infuse your presentation with vivid and impactful descriptions to turn "old news" into an enticing proposal.
4. HAVE A CONSISTENT FOCUS. Too many executive resumes use the 'patch quilt' technique" bits and pieces of relevant and irrelevant details. This can confuse prospective employers. Do they really care that you are able to use a major software package when at your level such tasks may be delegated to junior staff? You get the idea. By focusing on your 'brand identity' and minimizing the fluff, you will be ahead of mass-market applicants when seeking better jobs.
5. TURN GAPS INTO BENEFITS. Some executives believe that absence of a certain skill, their age, limited education, or other factors will be an obstacle to securing a new position. It doesn't have to. Properly positioning yourself in your documents and meeting with employers can actually turn the situation to your advantage, and make you look like a great catch. For instance, we recently helped one of our resume clients (a 59-year young Logistics executive) eliminate the age concern by promoting his "long-standing, priceless business relationships with key industry suppliers". Another client (a Business Development executive who does not have an M.B.A.), got multiple offers when he emphasized that he would rather "add six zeros to your corporate revenues than three letters after my name"!
P.S. WANT TO KNOW THE SMART 'SHORTCUT' TO MORE INTERVIEWS AND TOP JOBS? Go to www.BestResponseResume.com now to discover the "best-kept secret" of getting on hiring managers' short list, receiving up to 12 times more interviews, and landing great job offers - faster and easier.