executive resume 2016












2016 is around the corner. (I can’t believe it!) January is the busiest time in the career services industry. Every year resumes that flood my inquiry inbox fail to address critical points employers and hiring managers want you to answer. I am sharing the top 16 with you today, so you get off to a great start!  You’re welcome!


1. What is your new career goal? Be very specific about the function and industry. A title would be great but not necessary. What is essential is that you are transparent (and sure) about the type of role you seek. Are you looking to assume an executive position in operations? Finance? Sales? Business Development? Technology Implementation? Even if you have worn many hats – one hat per resume!


2. What is your specialty? Bottom-line: what do you do well? Being result-driven is great (and expected), but to what end? What type of results? WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT! 🙂

Are you great at creating opportunities for growth? Identifying top talent? Operationalizing? Reducing costs? Innovating? GREAT! How much? How often? Why? How?


3. What is in it for them? Your resume is about you, but it is not for you! You need to speak to your audience and heal those pain points.

We are not looking for this –> “You will hire someone who is hardworking, dedicated, and wonderful.” [Eye roll] We are looking for palpable, quantifiable, and bankable accomplishments.


4. Are you on LinkedIn? There are several ways you can answer this on your executive resume; one method is to include your LinkedIn URL in your executive resume’s header.  (Please be sure to customize your LinkedIn URL). And, please make sure your LinkedIn profile is not a rehash of your executive resume.


5. What is your reputation/personal brand? This is important because it will evolve and strengthen your executive resume’s persuasive power by marketing beyond qualifications to promoting differentiation. (i.e., Unmatched talent that only you can offer.)


6. Where are you now? It is surprising how many times I come across an executive resume that has not been even slightly updated. If you don’t know what to write right now, the least you can do is add your current job title and employer. Yes? As a matter of fact, please do that right now! Thank you.


7. How did you exploit the role they assigned to you? This is critical. It is great to step into a role and perform an excellent job, but it is competition-outdistancing to reinvent it and exceed stakeholders’ expectations.


8. What change did you drive or what impact did you make? Is your governance the type that calls others to action or rallies diversified stakeholders behind a common goal?


9.  How do you measure you were effective? Even if you are not in a metric driven role, I assure you there is a way to tie your contributions to quantifiable success (perhaps indirectly). What influence did your leadership have on top and bottom-line?


10.  Did you have P&L responsibility? How much? How did you strengthen P&L Management? Quantify.


11.   Did you have direct reports? How many and at what level? Global? National? Regional?


12.  Did you assume different positions within the company? Please list them all and if they were lateral moves or promotions.


13.  Were you asked to take on special projects? If so, what was the goal? What was the value? What resulted?


14.   Was this a first-time role or did you replace someone? Tell us what happened.


15.   What major challenges did you need to overcome? Set the stage. Create contrast.


16.   Who did you report to or work with directly? This is important, especially if the leader you most paired efforts with is in a position you are now seeking.


I could go on, but I think this is enough fodder to get you going with a 2016 executive resume revamp. Your executive resume must be clear, targeted, and rich with specifics that will set you apart.

Good luck!

Rosa Elizabeth Vargas
Certified Master Resume Writer (CMRW)
Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)
Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW)
Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC)





Who are you as a leader? What is at the core of your executive DNA?


The answer to this question is crucial because it will serve as a brand development compass. Don’t try to be anyone else or to ‘guestimate’ what employers might want to hear. Instead, let’s uncover the value your authentic brand delivers. Yes, ultimately we must tie your brand promise to what your target company needs. First, let’s focus on ‘commercializing’ who you truly are as an executive.

1 . Where are you heading?

The first question I pose to my executive clients is simply, “What is your career path?” If we know where you are heading, then we can dive into the Why and What is calling you there.

2. Why?

Why are you interested in this next-level career move? Why does it call you? How will it be more fulfilling than where you are now?

3. What?

What value does your experience offer in this new position and how is it unique?


Authentic Brand Exercise 

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Hidden Marketing Strategies for a Winning Executive Resume

Hidden Marketing Strategies for a Winning Executive Resume

Take an honest look at your resume. Go ahead…I’ll wait. Now, tell me, what did you feel? Are you proud of this dossier? Did you discover that your best triumphs jump off the page and grab you? Does it highlight your best accomplishments, paying homage to your legacy? Has it outlined the steps of your journey to the top? Would you confidently rely on this resume to guide your interview with a top Fortune 50 /100/500 firm?

Writing a spellbinding and persuasive resume isn’t just about polishing it [SMH]. Your executive resume must woo your reader and make them IMAGINE, FEEL, and ACT! Yes, yes, yes! FEEL something. Feel curious enough to continue reading…compelled to call you, engrossed in learning more about you. Their gut feeling should tell them that you might just be the best!

So how do you create a propulsion toward YOU and get YOU into that executive chair?

Promise. What is your brand promise? What is your guarantee? What do you clearly state you will deliver?

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LinkedinLet’s get right into it. Shall we?


#1 – No picture.

Profiles with no pictures are ignored [because they are boring]. Please place a picture on LinkedIn. Stop procrastinating, get a nice headshot, Photoshop it just a bit if you must, but get one pronto! Contrary to what others will say regarding attire, I am advising you go with something other than the ‘mundane’ black business suit. A warmer earthy tone will help your profile pop in the sea of black attire.

If you don’t have time to attend a professional photoshoot and have decided to take your own picture then please be very attentive. Choose a picture that zooms in on your attractive face, smile, polish your look, choose a clean and well-lit background, and please make sure you are the only person in the picture (no family members, no one else in the background and definitely no pets.)


#2 –No tagline in the “Headline” section.

Most LinkedIn users will list their most recent job title in this area since this is what populates by default. This is a huge mistake as the Headline section not only is a great keyword section, helping you gain better traction on LinkedIn and Google, but because this is excellent real estate (ROI). Use this Headline section to make a strong impression and offer value to your network.

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