Update Your Executive Resume or Start Over from a Blank Page? 3 Questions to Ask Yourself


If you’re like me, you can’t help feeling like the coming of the fall season is a new beginning. Those many years of school conditioned me to have that association. It’s a time for refocusing on our goals and to determine where we want to be before the year’s end.  Perhaps you’ve enjoyed some summer vacation time, which has allowed you to slow down and reflect on the bigger picture of your career.

For many executives, it is a time to examine their career trajectory and take necessary steps to keep the momentum going, such as refreshing an outdated resume and beginning to explore “what’s out there”.

Depending on how long it has been, you may need more than a mere resume update. Ask yourself:


1. Does my executive resume position me for my new leadership aim? executive resume

In order to be effective, a resume must be written with your career objective in mind. If your career objective has changed since your last update—and in particular, if you are now aspiring to a higher level of leadership—your resume must be completely reframed to reflect your new target. Your older experience must be filtered, retaining only what is relevant to the new goal.


2. Does my executive resume speak to what companies in my industry need today?

To prepare your resume for a job search, you’ll also need to carefully examine the intersection between your marketable skills and the business pain that the companies in your industry are feeling TODAY—and create a compelling argument about how you plan to alleviate them. The exponential change that is being experienced across all industries will necessarily mean that if you in fact addressed these issues on a resume you were using five-plus years ago, it might be obsolete.


3. Is my executive resume design and layout fresh and modern, or is it a tired template from years ago?

You’ll want to consider the changing nature of reader attention spans in recent years—perhaps a smartphone effect. Unlike the resumes that were effective a decade or so ago, today’s resume must be highly skimmable: the lengthy paragraphs and long lists of bullets of yesterday fail to cater to today’s modern readers, so you’ll want to keep this in mind as you create your new layout. Steer clear of templates as these will only make you look like a cookie-cutter executive rather than send the message that you are unique.

If it has been years since you have brushed up your executive resume, you will likely need more than a quick update to put your best foot forward for a 2018-and-beyond executive job search. Seek the help of an executive resume writer if you have doubts about how to make your leadership experience shine in today’s market.


About the author

Tiffany Hardy's picture

Tiffany Hardy, MA, ACRW, CPRW, is an executive resume writer and LinkedIn strategist with BlueSteps Executive Career Services and Top1Resumes. Hardy, a dual Spanish–American citizen based in the U.S., is dedicated to making a difference in global executive job searches by helping each one of her clients to communicate his or her unique value proposition to potential employers. She crafts high-impact career literature—resumes, LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, E-notes, executive bios, and more—approaching each project not only as a twice-certified resume writer but as an international business insider with 10+ years’ experience working closely with top-brass international businesses in Spain, as a former hiring agent, and as a former editor for the European Commission.

Learn more about the BlueSteps team of career advisors and the services they provide to help you improve your career trajectory here.

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Good post Tiffany. I have struggled and juggled with "Resume" and "CV" formats. Considering the location and at times the industry or company, resume/CV needs a tweak as well. With the advent of styling, video CV's as well, my conundrum has only increased:) What CV or resume format I should be using for a recruiters eyes or even algorithms which parse a resume?
Any thoughts? Many thanks
Warm Regards,

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