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Is your 2019 New Year’s Resolution to find a new and challenging executive role? If so, you will need to make sure your search strategy is effective, your resume meets best practices, and your LinkedIn presence conveys the appropriate message to your intended community.

Often, resumes will try to cover too many job targets on one document. It confuses recruiters who will quickly lose their interest. If you don’t write to a specific target audience, your resume won’t connect recruiters to the job they are trying to fill. A modern resume is a well-branded resume. The first and most important step is to define your brand and key differentiators.

Is it time to pivot out of the functional area or industry you’ve been working within?

There is no doubt that expanding your horizons in terms of functional expertise or industry can amplify your career prospects and make you a more attractive hire for the broader perspective you’ll bring. But getting over the first hurdle of convincing a recruiter to consider you can be challenging.

It’s no surprise—it can even be challenging to develop a compelling career story when you are not making a major transition. Throw in the need to completely reposition yourself, and the task can quickly become overwhelming.

Here are a few tips to consider as you craft your career documents to reposition yourself for a new area or sector.

Recent U.K. employment figures show, despite economy uncertainties, wages are still rapidly growing and unemployment rates are almost at their lowest levels in 44 years. These conditions allow for a strong job market for leadership-level job seekers looking to advance their careers, with hiring organizations and executive recruiters having to vie for candidates.

It is critical to use social media (LinkedIn for most in the world of medical sales) to connect with your network and tap into opportunities. However, as an executive resume writer, I can attest that your resume remains THE DOCUMENT that forms the foundation of a well-planned and executed job search.

Here’s are three things you can do to give your resume or CV a competitive advantage:

#1 Articulate Your Value From the Top – Concisely

Recruiters usually have a lot on their plates. This makes for skim rather than in-depth reads…especially during the first few rounds. Your summary or branding statement at the top must quickly inform the reader:

A friend of mine reached out recently, asking for advice on how best to write her resume. I then delved into my dossier, containing a compendium on do’s and don’ts handed out over the years, and figured out at one glance that my advice is a departure from the standard by-the-book norm – instead, it shares tips from the point of view of the reviewer, who has barely 60 seconds to flick through your “autobiography” and form an impression of you! 

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:

 

Most people who are engaged in an executive job search understand the need for a solid resume to help them attract attention for right-fit opportunities. By solid, I mean one that stands out visually, communicates one’s unique value proposition, is rich in achievements, and is conducive to skimming.

But there is a lesser-known positive side-effect of having a stellar resume. Believe it or not, an exceptional executive resume can actually help you to interview better.

The reason?

Is your resume not achieving you the results you want in the executive job market? If you’re not getting traction from executive recruiters, you could be succumbing to one of these 20 common executive resume pitfalls. Take a fresh look at your resume and see if you can spot any of these recruiter faux-pas.

 

1. Offering Up Personal Details

Executives face unique challenges and obstacles when attempting to make a career transition to a new role or industry, but there are steps you can take to get your foot in the door. Preparing yourself to change executive jobs requires in-depth research, thoughtful insight into your skills, expertise and value/unique differentiators.

Once the foundation is set, you need to develop a strategic job search plan that combines rebranding yourself with proactive networking in your target market for information, as well as insight that may help you get your foot in the door ultimately leading to opportunities.

There’s nothing that will derail an otherwise stellar career trajectory than a new job that isn’t the right fit. Suddenly, the choice becomes whether to accept unhappiness and continue down what you know is a dead-end road, or deal with having a short stint to explain to your network, on your resume, and during interviews.

One way to avoid accepting a wrong-fit opportunity is to avoid being offered one to begin with.

That’s right.

It may sound great to have a slew of job offers to turn down, but this amounts to, at best, a waste of time (both yours and the prospective employers) and at worst, extreme temptation to make the wrong move.