As a senior-level executive, you most likely have a LinkedIn profile, a BlueSteps membership, and a membership to your industry's association. Maybe you've published books, have your own website, often have public speaking engagements, and your name may often appear in your local, or even national, media. With all of those credentials, you may start to think that your resume is no longer so important. Maybe you've even read somewhere about some impending death of the resume. Well, it doesn't matter how accomplished you are, the resume is not dead. And you need one--a smart one.

Membership to BlueSteps provides an excellent way to become visible to top-level executive search firms and consultants and is an extremely valuable tool for anyone seeking a senior executive-level role. BlueSteps is the executive career management service of the global Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC). Over 8,000 executive search professionals belong to the AESC from around 300 retained executive search firms in 74 different countries. All AESC affiliated search consultants have free and exclusive access to the BlueSteps database which they use to source suitable candidates when hired by a client firm to fill a vacant executive position.

As recruiting season gears up, I’ve heard from consulting hounds the following question: “What makes a resume get into the “pass” pile versus the ding pile?” I’ll try to flesh it out in the following set of posts. I start here with some guiding principles…

Principle 1: Know Your Audience

The majority of candidates, executive though staff, write resumes and apply to jobs in roughly the same way…writing a cover letter to focus a static resume.

I’ve written in previous articles to “Stop Writing Cover Letters, and You’ll Get More Interviews”, and described why cover letters are an obsolete tradition in today’s job search. In the 15 seconds the average hiring manager spends making an interview/no interview decision…most hiring managers make their decision based on a resume – not a cover letter. In a recent Linkedin poll, over 80% of hiring managers stated that they read resumes first.

Yet, the majority of candidates mistakenly use a cover letter to demonstrate why they are perfect for a position.

New opportunities and challenges can be found everywhere, however, the best place for career growth in your field might no longer be on your doorstep. Cross border job search can be a huge undertaking and can present challenges on both professional and personal levels.

Phil Rosenberg makes a great point in a recent Ivy Exec blog post regarding the content of executive CVs / Resumes. He states that despite managers widely recognizing they are attracted to results-driven documents, demonstrating a proven track record of solving problems and seizing opportunities, they fail to implement the same style in their own documents.

Louise Kursmark, a highly experienced resume writer and career coach, recently asked a number of senior executive recruiters in the AESC / BlueSteps Executive Search Network on Linkedin, ‘What are your biggest candidate turn-offs?’ Following a number of responses, read on to discover the DO’s and DON'Ts when contacting executive recruiters or headhunters, then make sure you join the conversation:

1. Do not mass email

More and more executive mobility is going beyond borders, especially outside the United States, with individuals seeking a fast-track having a willingness to go where the action is in the market for top talent. This movement of course, is predicated on the industry sector or market vertical for any executive, but the globalization of the workplace provides worldwide opportunities in any sector or vertical.

Your executive resume or CV is an integral part of your career management and executive job search strategy, and often helps a search consultant, executive recruiter or hiring manager form their first impression of you. We asked researchers at AESC member executive search firms to explain the process they go through when reviewing resumes/CVs, the questions they ask executives after reviewing these documents, and what creates a red flag when sourcing candidates.

Peter Newfield, President of Career-Resumes.com, explains how to best present job change after a short tenure on your resume and during an interview.