Heather Eagar asked:
Securing a top-level job (executive, senior manager or senior professional) may seem like an impossible task, especially if this is your first time applying for one. But if you feel that you’re ready to take that next step in your career, you can certainly get the job you want – you’ll just have to put in the necessary work by creating a great resume.
Undoubtedly, a resume for an executive-level job is different from one for a lower-level position. So before you send off your application for the position you’re eyeing, you should take some time to develop strategies that can help you write a standout executive resume. Here are some ideas to get you started …
Use an Executive Profile
While you may be used to using an objective as an introduction to your resume, for executive jobs it is a good idea to create an executive profile. It serves a similar purpose in explaining why you’re applying for the position, but also goes one step further to summarize your key qualifications.
The executive profile is typically much longer than an objective, sometimes spanning up to a half of a page. In the profile, you can highlight 4-6 specific skills or qualifications that are each followed by examples of these skills. For instance, one qualification may be that you’re “effective and wholly accountable in high-profile executive roles.” Beneath this qualification you can note the reasons why this is true. By doing this you’ll be able to highlight your standout abilities without forcing the employer to sift through the resume to find them.
Show Them You’re a Complete Package
As an executive you are expected to showcase leadership and strong decision-making skills at all times. You need to prove you are a visionary who can help the company grow. Also, you must have integrity, charisma, and the ability to communicate with individuals at all levels in the company. In other words, you should be the complete package.
A good way to express that you are is by creating an achievement-oriented resume that focuses on specific instances at your previous employers that show off some or all of the above criteria. You may have taken a chance on a retail product that others were unsure of, but your risk-taking made the company record profits. Or you may have masterminded and implemented a new team to manage internal conflicts that was so successful that turnover decreased by 30 percent. Whatever details you choose to highlight when summarizing your experiences at previous employers, you should also tailor them to match what the specific employer is looking for in an applicant.
Believe You Belong There
It may seem a bit intimidating to take steps toward higher-level positions, but fortunately for you no one starts at the top – you are not the first to try this. So see yourself in that great job, making confident decisions, and catapulting the company into a new stratosphere. Your positive attitude will serve you immensely in writing your resume as well as interviewing.
Submitting your executive resume is only the start of your journey in securing a top-level job. But by creating a very thorough, very informative, and very professional one, you can at least know that your dreams are that much closer to being realized.