Executive resumes are a different and complicated species. More comprehensive and detailed than a traditional resume, an executive resume is designed to paint a crystal-clear portrait of your experience, abilities and professional personality. If your executive resume isn't producing the results you want, consider the following possible reasons why.
It Isn't Targeted
A generic form template won't cut it for an executive resume. Companies look to their executives and upper management to solve problems, implement big-time solutions and lead their organizations to success. Therefore, an executive resume must convey a targeted message to potential employers. What problems are they facing? How can you help them solve these problems and create a better work environment? These are the kinds of questions your executive resume needs to answer in order to make an impact.
It Isn't Unique
Because of your extensive high-level work experience, your executive resume needs to be hard-hitting, fresh and original. Hiring managers have a tough job sifting through hundreds of similar resumes and cover letters, all using the same generic words and phrases. One great way to make your resume stand out is to add testimonials. Glowing reviews and recommendations from the professional connections you've made throughout your executive career go a long way toward impressing potential employers. Testimonials also give greater insight into your personality than your resume can, providing a more complete picture of who you are as a candidate.
It's Not Making it Past Applicant Tracking Software
Applicant tracking software is a double-edged sword: while it helps employers tremendously by whittling down the candidate pool to only those with the most relevant experience, it can also inadvertently disqualify perfectly qualified candidates if they failed to optimize their resumes in the right way. Avoid this conundrum by utilizing keywords and phrases from the company's website and job description within your executive resume where applicable and appropriate. The closer your language is to the language used by the employer, the more likely your resume is to make it past applicant tracking software and into the hands of a hiring manager.
It's Not Posted in the Right Places
Another way to avoid the applicant tracking software dilemma is to advertise your resume the right way. An executive resume really doesn't belong in a database alongside hundreds of applicants; it belongs in the hands of key players within your targeted organization. In fact, only 10 to 20 percent of executive jobs are landed through online job boards. The tried and true way to get real results is through good old-fashioned networking. Whether via networking sites like LinkedIn or networking or industry events, do everything in your power to make connections with the higher-ups at companies you're interested in; then, if you still have to submit a resume along with everyone else, at least your name will ring a bell.
Your executive resume is the doorway to a new and exciting career, so make sure it makes a strong impression. Target your content to each specific employer, add testimonials to add interest and uniqueness, use the right keywords and make sure you're networking the right way.
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