One of the things I hear most often from executive leaders is: I am bored.
They love what they do creating and driving change; yet they are stagnated or suffocated.
At some point, their career went into autopilot. They stopped being able to do what they do best and love.
This is when the decision is made that it is time to find that next position that will give them juice again, a reason to get excited in the morning and make positive changes.
With resolve, they start sending out resumes and get radio silence. But why, they have an incredible track record, it is all there in black and white!
Because they are presenting themselves as they are- at this moment – not who they are as a leader:
Career objective – boring
Career history – boring
Format, bullet points, descriptions… – boring
Why would a company looking for a leader to make a positive impact want to talk to a boring, bored executive?
Unless you want to be stuck in that monotony, we need to make changes – now.
Change 1 – Mindset
Your mindset is the single most important element in career transition. What you think is what you believe; what you believe is how you behave. If you can only see the dreariness that surrounds you, it becomes a part of you and what you broadcast.
Stop looking at the mud you are stuck in and view your entire career. What gets you jazzed, what did you enjoy most, what do you want to be doing again? Reconnect with your passion, talents and value. Find that spark again and light it up.
Change 2 – Direction
One key to a resume is to write to where you want to go, not where you are at the moment. Too often resumes are written from the perspective of where you are, not what you want to do or where you are going.
What does that next move look like? What do you want to be doing? How do you want to make an impact? Imagine that next role and own it. Now think about what it takes to be there. What is important to that role?
That is what you write to – take the fire and point it right there.
Review your career history and describe the value you contributed in a manner that aligns with these defined key criteria.
Change 3 – Visual
You are an executive leader. Why does your resume look like every other resume?
You are unique, you are accomplished, you have value and can add immediate impact – where is that?
An executive resume should subtly demand attention because it has the stuff to support the attention. This does not mean add a flurry of colors, tables, fonts and “prettiness”. It should be subtle yet strong. A consistent font style with larger size, bold, italics, shading and lines will add subtle distinction while creating an overall presence.
Shake it up a little.
It is fine to use a title; however, titles can be confined to the definition given by the reader rather than the true extent of your experience. If you want to align with the position by using a title, use it in a short statement that gives an impactful, immediate synopsis of who you are as a leader.
Change 4 – The Why
Are you answering their why – why do I want to read your resume? If you are using a standard objective statement you are not. You are boring them.
A typical objective statement is something to the effect of, “wanting to use my talents and skills with a track record of success looking for a rewarding opportunity blah, blah, blah.”
This is telling them what you want, not how you benefit them. What is most important to that next organization is what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.
If someone asked you to cut to the chase and tell them what you bring to the table – what would you tell them? Start with that, but take it a step further.
Demonstrate it. It is not enough to claim to be an executive leader, you have to prove you walk the walk and talk the talk. If you are aligned with specific industries, target markets, business situations – this is the place to tell them. What you do, how you do it and your success.
They will not believe you just because you say so, you have to prove it.
Change 5 – Support
After your opening executive summary, support the magnitude of your value by giving a list of proficiencies or expertise that aligns with an executive leadership role. This list should bring impact, not simply fill space, and should be tailored to each position.
Remember, this is about what is important to them and demonstrating symmetry with your expertise and experience. Think beyond common terms to ones that align with the position and bring impact, for example, Global Strategy rather than Strategy.
Change 6 – Impact
When describing your current and past roles, position them from a value perspective rather than a list of job duties. This will distinguish you from what you were hired to do to how you made an impact.
Present your qualifications demonstrating how and where you made an impact. The how is describing the strategy and execution for your successes, the where is in various arenas – financial, human resources, culture or business. Speak to the role when highlighting your accomplishments, value and impact.
Change 7 – Spotlight
I have found one thing to be true of all the amazing executives that I have worked with, no matter the industry or title – they all stink at talking about themselves. Great leaders bring out excellence, propel others and lead by example and with their teams. This means they are not egocentric, it is about their people.
That is great, except one thing – your resume is about you. Get comfortable putting yourself out there. This does not mean that you describe what you did in a way that suggests you were the be-all-end-all. This means you must describe it in a way that demonstrates how you made an impact.
You are a leader -you lead – describe how you lead.
Making these seven changes will transform your resume into a true reflection of who you are as a leader and what you can do for them.
As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about Career Polish and how we can help you.