When updating an existing resume, many make the same mistake—and that is—they simply add the new employer, titles, dates, job description and send it in for that fantastic opportunity.
Steps To Update Your Executive Resume Like a Pro
Before we get into the mechanics of refreshing your resume, let’s determine the best strategy. The following questions are essential to how you will carry out your resume update strategy.
1. Is the target job opportunity the same title you have now? Sometimes job seekers are going after positions similar to the ones they presently hold, but with greater opportunity for growth and better salary/benefits.
2. Are you looking to shift gears? Perhaps you are trying to progress to the next level or are interested in shifting away from your current industry?
Great. Now, based on your response, let’s take the next step.
When You Are Going After The Same Job Title/Similar Job Opportunity
Step 1. Add your current employer, job titles, and employment dates.
Step 2. Describe how well you have done your job—in other words—impact and contributions.
Step 3. Revisit your Executive Resume Summary, and make sure you add the job title; integrate some buzzwords relevant to that job you are after.
Step 4. Go over the other pages of your resume (prior roles) and remove information that is no longer relevant to the new position you have now and are after again.
Step 5. Be sure to delete or distill very old employment (say more than 15 years). You can list prior/old job titles and employers without describing your role.
The steps above will help you ensure that you have integrated your latest employment while you also strengthen your candidacy. Underscore that you are contributing in that same capacity right now.
When You Are Updating Your Executive Resume For A ‘Next-Level’ Opportunity
If you are getting ready for a career change or career progression, updating your resume becomes even trickier. I recommend you enlist the help of a professional executive resume writing service whenever possible. For now, here are steps you should carry out:
Step 1. As mentioned above, add your current employment information.
Step 2. Yes, add a job description with a focus on contribution/impact.
Step 3. This is where we will take a different approach: Create a highlight section on page one of your resume and accentuate top achievements that position you to make that jump.
Take a look at some of our executive resume samples for inspiration.
Step 4. Revisit your Executive Summary, but instead of emphasizing your current role or providing an overview of your career, be very specific and bridge that gap. What positions you to make that jump?
Step 5. As I mentioned before, revisit your entire executive resume and distill to keep the resume as concise as possible. I often rewrite resumes that are more than three pages in length because the job seeker has just piled new employment on top of old jobs over the years.
Bottom-line as you evolve, your resume must also evolve and not just with a face lift, but you sometimes must level it and rebuild. When you just add your latest employment, you are doing yourself a disservice because the information is not selling a total picture.
Align the edits/updates you are making with where you are heading next in your career.