Why the Top Third of Your Resume Counts

Make sure your resume is smartphone friendly.

Tablet, smartphone, laptop — you name it – it’s hard to imagine functioning in today’s world without having access to on-the-go technology. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that technology continues to play a big part in how job seekers and recruiters find each other.

Imagine for a second that you have spent hours crafting a standout resume and e-mailed it to a recruiter or hiring manager. Guess what? You can never be sure how she’ll end up viewing it. The recruiter could view it on an iPhone, a desktop computer or as a hard copy. Picture what your executive resume looks like when viewed on a hand-held device — it simply does not have the same effect.

If only the top third of your resume is displayed on a mini screen, can your resume still effectively sell you? The answer is yes, if you have strategically placed a strong, branded profile on the top portion of your executive resume. Generally your resume profile would contain a combination of a few key bits of information. This can include a title header, personal branding statement, unique selling proposition, areas of expertise, industry preferences, job targets, top career achievements, degree from a top university and/or much more.

In order to create a resume profile that communicates your immediate value and prompts the reader to contact you, it’s vital that you determine the following:

1. How do you want to be perceived?

Keep in mind that your executive resume is not a career obituary, so only the key career highlights that are most relevant to your target position will count. Consequently you want to maximize your professional reputation and position yourself as a solution for the company. Are you a turnaround strategist, finance and investment guru, technology innovator or marketing specialist? Determine what you want your reader’s key take-away to be and keep this in mind as you prepare the top third of your resume.

2. What title header best represents you?

A title header on your executive resume should be like a handshake. It should confidently say, “I am a senior marketing executive,” or “My areas of expertise lie in human resources management and global technology.” It is generally placed immediately following your personal contact information on the resume. For example, an operations executive with extensive experience in global markets could have a title header that simply says:


Without meeting this individual, you can immediately get an idea of his background. It also sets expectations for the type of achievements you’re capable of.

3. How would you summarize top career achievements?

Once you know how you want to be perceived, you must support your title header with evidence of top performance and achievements. Looking over your entire career, what is the consistent trend of achievements and contributions that stand out? Have you repeatedly grown startup companies into industry leaders, are you highly competent at spearheading cost-cutting initiatives or do you maximize emerging technologies to power internal operations?

For example, a marketing executive who excels at building companies through market share expansion could have a title header and unique selling proposition that says:


Senior Vice President / Vice President

“I deliver growth for companies every time.” Accurately forecasting industry trends and consumer interests that allow companies to exceed revenue projections, maximize ROI performance, achieve strong profitability and realize significant market growth

Because the body of the resume will provide detailed content about specific position and industry-related achievements, you could opt to use an executive summary instead of a unique selling proposition. This approach showcases performance trends overall:


Nonprofits & Philanthropic Organizations with Focus on Mental Health, Children and Education

Visionary Strategy…Innovative Thought Leadership…Collaborative Management Style…

Another good approach for those with many focuses is to follow the title header with an area of expertise. Going back to the Ops executive, here’s an example of how one could lay this out:


Supply Chain Management • Planning & Inventory Management • Logistics • Systems Implementation

Startup, Turnaround & High-Growth Companies — High-Tech & Manufacturing Industries

Domestic & International Markets

It takes extra effort and careful planning to achieve a technology-friendly layout, but it is certainly worth the time in the end!