Common and equally important key things to remember for every type of executive resume consists of having a modern layout and design, including your current contact information, and listing a job target heading above the summary section.
However, there are critical profession-specific considerations to keep in mind, depending on your specialty. Here are the top three executive resume types to give you a picture of how you should differentiate yourself accordingly.
1. Information Technology resume
The key difference in creating an effective Technology Leadership or Chief Information Officer (CIO) executive resume is to integrate human capital management skills and fiscal acumen abilities alongside with technical hardware, software and cloud solutions throughout the resume. As an IT executive, you need to demonstrate how you can utilize human and technological resources to improve corporate profitability. Period. Here are 3 things to keep in mind as you tailor your resume for IT leadership opportunities:
Practice what you preach: Make sure to include a website or social media links on your resume. IT executives who have little or no presence on the internet, or worse, a poor presence on the web, demonstrate that either they are not a lover of technology or that they are a poor promoter of themselves. Either one is bad!
Gravitate from tactical implementation to strategic perspective: Be sure to showcase your corporate contributions to top-line, expense line items, workflow productivity and the bottom line. Outline initiatives where you have added value and projects that you have led that achieved results. Include the long-range effects of your work in addition to the short-term results and show how you can strategize on the big picture and cause movement with what is directly in front of you.
Use the right language, as appropriate: You may be most comfortable speaking in technical acronyms or vernacular, but not all CEOs and executive hiring teams are aware of techspeak. Speak about technology in approachable terms to be understood by many types of executive management to demonstrate your ability to work with non-technical types in a subliminal manner. You can save your technical verbiage for your core competency section, where you can highlight skills such as Cloud Computing Integration, SIP-Based Architectures, Integration & Optimization, Risk Assessments, etc.
2. Financial Executive resume
Successful Finance Executives and Chief Financial Officers (CFO) use their resumes as marketing collateral to position themselves as engaging leaders that are ahead of the pack. Making your resume visually standout is the best way to make a strong initial first impression as an effective CFO. Harnessing the impact of visual impression, effective language and concrete fiscal achievements into a streamlined story told on a dynamic branded resume can increase the opportunities to land that coveted position. Here are 3 key points to create an effective branded CFO resume:
Focus on context: Talking about your biggest achievement is not always best. For example, if you saved $15M on one initiative within a $200M employer, but now you are applying to a $20M firm, you may be perceived as being overqualified. Choose achievements that are within the fiscal scope of the prospective company, or consider using percentages to outline your accomplishments. Another tactic is to focus on downplaying or highlighting the size of regional budgets, global budgets, business lines, or other business entity sizes to match the prospects.
Downplay financial jargon: Outline your financial and human capital achievements in universal language and not just financial jargon. Appeal to the many types of audiences by whom your resume will be read. You may be comfortable speaking in acronyms (such as ROI or DSOs), but not all CEOs and executive hiring teams are comprised of finance people. While they may understand the jargon, you want to speak about finance in approachable terms to be understood by many types of executive management. For example, consider changing phrases like reduced DSOs by 9 days to reduced accounts receivable by 14% and improved positive cash flow with tighter payment terms.
Showcase soft skills: It’s easy for finance executives to bury soft skills in strong financial achievements…. but be careful about creating a resume with a high volume of numbers that readers will get lost in. We know you have impressive credentials and achievements, but don’t let the metrics overshadow your human capital accomplishments. Make sure to include ways your leadership of human capital drove workflow productivity or improved company culture to also create revenue and profit for the business.
3. Marketing Executive resume
As a Chief Marketing Officer or Senior Marketing Executive, you need to show you are a market share acquisition strategist for new and existing products and services. Demonstrate how you gain and sustain new client relationships. Prove you can expand and nurture existing key client relationships. Attract the high caliber talent that you can train and develop to do the same activities. Companies want marketers who are not only creative, but who emulate they understand the business of their marketing craft! Here are 3 ways to show this on your resume:
Use a contemporary layout: It’s important to show that you understand the power of visual marketing. For example: Are you saying you are a leading marketer but your resume layout is as current as a pair of neon green Madonna gloves? (Ok, those might be back in style for 14-year-olds, but should your resume be of that retro-caliber? Absolutely not!) Walk your talk by having your own personal marketing documents and marketing executive resume be as current as the ideas and tools you will bring to your new employer. You would wear a current styled suit for your interview, right? Make sure your resume reflects the same type of upkeep to land you the interview in the first place.
Show success with blending traditional and progressive strategies: Successful marketing executives have a grip on how to use traditional and progressive marketing strategies and tactics to reach niche audiences in a multitude of ways. They know they cannot do things as they once did only to generate great results. Today’s marketing campaigns employ online, new media, and old-school tactics to generate new prospects and close new clients. While you do not have to be an expert at all types of marketing strategies and tools, you should write bullets that demonstrate how you implemented the precise resource at a moment’s notice to produce the desired results.
Ability to attract talent and manage high-potential leaders: Demonstrate in your resume how you have attracted top-tier talent and moved them up through the ranks of the organization or with expanded responsibility. Have you mentored high-potentials to their next leadership role? Explain how and what you do to attract, manage, mentor and cultivate new and retained talent with your organization. Your next employer will want to see how you will do it for their firm.
To close, remember … to create an effective executive resume, you’ll not only show how you’ve been able to make money, save money, or improve company processes and its position within its marketplace — which is true across industries, but you also want to make sure content on your resume, social media profiles, and communications are congruent with your personality, beliefs and work style, as well as appropriately tailored to your industry. Good luck!
Lisa Rangel of Chameleon Resumes® LLC, www.chameleonresumes.com, a Forbes Top 100 Career Website, is a 10-time Certified Resume Writer, Job Search Consultant & Former Recruiter.