A C-level resume in today’s career market must promote your ability to thrive through unprecedented times, lead others in crisis, and tap the power of digital transformation to drive results (growth, profit, expansion, culture change, turnarounds, client trust, employee satisfaction, and organizational evolution).
Executive resume writers/executive resume writing services can help you hone that value-add message.
How to Upgrade Your Executive Resume To A C-Suite/C-Level Resume
Is your resume a C-suite level presentation? Does it showcase the scale and complexity of your leadership journey to the C-suite table?
If you are like many of our CxO clients, you’ve been pretty busy steering your career and haven’t had the opportunity to dive into your resume development thoroughly. I understand.
As many of my executive clients share on the phone, “My resume looks dated and not a true representation of how much I have grown in my career. The last time I updated my resume, I was not in the C-suite.”
If that sounds familiar, don’t worry. I will share 7 strategic changes you can make that will level-up your executive brand and evolve your executive resume to C-suite status.
Are you ready? Could you confidently hand over your C-suite resume, today, to an executive recruiter?
In a world where everything is in crisis mode, the hiring and training of C-level leaders (CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, CDOs, COOs,etc.) is a whole new game. Yes, some onboarding and succession planning has been put on hold (see an article by Spencer Stuart on this topic). However, what I have witnessed is that sometimes they need to hire at the C-suite level quickly to react to internal shakeups.
This level of urgency in connecting top executives with immediate opportunities often means that executives are not ready with a resume that communicates their true story to strangers.
How to Exude That CEO, CFO, CIO, COO, CMO, CIO Moxie
A C-suite-tier resume must be developed from a strategic level. Sounds obvious. Right? Ins’t that the way all resumes are prepared and not just C-suite? No.
Most home-grown resumes, even for senior executives and corporate executives, are missing that critical strategic punch. More often than not, the resumes that I review sound more like job descriptions– as if you are teaching an executive recruiter what is expected from someone that holds that particular position.
Your C-suite resume shouldn’t tell someone what your job entailed but showcase the value of having YOU in that position.
How to add the ‘strategic’ into your new C-suite resume
Once you have become part of the CxO team– you no longer need to build a resume that demonstrates you are qualified. Obviously you are. What you now need to do is to anticipate challenges and write from a future perspective.
How exactly do you accomplish this future-stage resume writing approach? See below.
7 Powerful Changes That Will Level Up Your Executive Resume To C-Suite Caliber
#1. Actions vs Skills: Forget listing a sea of competency. Instead, it would be best if you told stories of how you came up with innovative (and cost-effective) solutions.
Whatever C-suite skill you were considering listing, write around a scenario that conveys that skill in action.
#2. Forward vs Backwards: Don’t lean into old accomplishments too heavily. A more powerful resume writing approach would be to forecast market climate and industry challenges that we will face for the next decade and pitch your insight and strategy plan.
#3. Risk vs Safety: Pitch a value proposition that challenges the hiring authority’s perspective or incites curiosity.
For example, instead of saying that as a Chief Executive Officer, you will provide excellent corporate governance (that’s expected), say that you will govern through the eyes of a CEO who is a positive disrupter (of course, it depends on what your brand/trademark).
Aren’t you wondering what that means? A positive disrupter. Hmmm. Would you want to know? I bet you would call to find out.
#4. Mind-blowing vs Impressive: Sharing the breadth and scale of your C-suite leadership on your resume is important because a title doesn’t hold the same weight across different companies. Yet, what you really must share is how you exceeded targets, how you redefined that role, and how you made your mark. In other words, ‘before and after’ you came along = two very different companies.
For example, setting strategic plans for technology direction is the mandate given to a Chief Information Officer. Instead, how did you change what was required from you in the CIO Role?
#5. Quantification vs. Narration: Don’t bury numbers in the copy. Notice that our C-suite resume samples include financial charts. Please see the executive resume samples here.
The idea is to help executive recruiters and hiring authorities grasp the impact or your strategic solutions quickly. Chose financial figures that reflect your value offer.
One caveat — don’t drop charts into your resume arbitrarily. If it can be said in writing and pack a more powerful punch then that’s the strategy you should follow.
#6. Tailored Suit vs Off the Rack: Design a C-level resume that looks like it belongs to a distinguished executive. Executive resumes that I rewrite look more like resumes for junior employees. To establish a C-suite presence, you need the power of custom designs. You see, when you design a resume that works to tell your story, design elements are leveraged to accentuate, prioritize, and translate value. In addition, the look and feel of your resume must be in alignment with your industry, your brand persona, and your value offer.
#7. Selective Sharing vs Full Disclosure. Yes, you read that right. Many job seekers try to dump all their accomplishments on one resume. Please don’t do that.
Here is what happens when you try to write an executive resume that shares it all:
It means more time for the recruiter to sift through mundane data before they can understand your value offer and determine you are a better choice than all the other candidates. Will they invest the time?
You come off a little desperate. Confidence is attractive. Even in job seekers. Share what is essential and word it as you mean it.
You leave no room for a great interview. Your resume is not supposed to tell it all. Your C-suite resume is to grab attention, connect, persuade, and call to action. You do the convincing after you capture that executive interview.
The above C-suite resume writing strategies should help you improve your resume immediately.
Please review our C-level resume writing services. If I can be of assistance, contact me.
Rosa Elizabeth Vargas