As a professional, you have established a reputation for accomplishments, innovations, and concepts you’ve developed and implemented at your company. You know the positive impact you’ve had on your organization. Then – why is it so hard to get it on paper when its time to update your resume? We asked Shantel Branch, Certified Professional Resume Writer, for her top tips honed after writing executive resumes for five years.
Tell a Story – Begin your resume using concise language and impactful words to build your executive summary. Your summary statement is not an objective, its a couple of sentences to give your audience a sense of who you are as a professional and what results you have delivered.
Brag a Bit – The ”Areas of Expertise” section is a very impactful way to tell your audience what you know straightforwardly. Your expertise should be delivered as a list or bullet points, make sure you use standard terms (ex: Strategic Planning, Process Improvement, Financial Analysis). Adding this to your resume will also help your document perform better in ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) where most recruiters source resumes, look at this list as a bit of SEO for your resume
Careful of redundancy – When describing your professional experience remember that most job titles mean the same things across the board, so there is no need to over-explain, use this time to explain what is different about your role.
Avoid Death by Bullets – Once you have interesting, concise and impactful descriptions of your position its time to utilize bullets to point out key results/actions. Select 3-5 very impactful points you wish to feature.
Remember the CAR Model – When telling your professional story be sure to leverage the “CAR” model; Challenges – Action – Results. Describe a challenge, the actions you took or directed and the results you delivered.
Make room – You want to be concise, but you also must honor your accomplishments and tell the story so if it takes more than one page it is perfectly acceptable, a third page is ok for C-Level professionals.
Make no mistakes – Grammar errors are a no-no, have someone else read over your document, triple check, utilize a digital service like Grammarly to review your spelling, grammar, and tone.