Here at Mogul, we see a lot of executive resumes.
We scour our database of 430MM profiles to deliver a fully diversified slate of candidates for our partner companies. So when we say we see a lot of resumes, we mean a lot.
The best executive resumes are attention-grabbing. They tell a story that perfectly highlights your skills, captures the passion for your work, and aligns you as the logical match for the role.
The bad resumes, however, are bland and generic. Many executive resumes opine on accolades and use cliche language rather than showcase clear and measurable achievements.
So in this article, we're going to share the tried and true resume formula we're seeing that's landing executives the interviews for their dream jobs.
This article is not about how to structure your executive resume. There's plenty of information on the web that covers that. So instead, we're sharing the secret sauce that we see from the best executive resumes.
Consult with a pro and personalize
Getting your executive resume right is crucial. Recruiters and hiring managers spend an average of six to seven seconds reviewing an individual resume, so you have to align yourself with their needs immediately.
Your resume must be polished and reflect your overall skills, abilities, leadership style, what you've done to lead an organization through growth and change.
We suggest working with a resume professional to ensure you illustrate every aspect of your expertise.
They will look at what you bring to the table and help personalize your resume for the role you want. And personalization is key.
When we see a candidate with a personalized executive resume, the candidate usually receives a more thorough review.
The best approach to personalization is to learn everything you can about the organization before applying.
- Understand their product or service.
- Learn about the competitive landscape.
- Find their pain points.
Then work with the resume professional to personalize your resume so you can address the company’s needs directly.
A personalized resume will undoubtedly take a bit more time than floating a more general resume. But it's well worth the investment if it lands you the perfect role.
Show and don't tell
We'll let you in on a little secret:
The best way to make your executive resume stand out is by leveraging storytelling to emphasize your career accomplishments and decision-making abilities.
Humans are narrative-driven creatures. The power of storytelling is deeply ingrained in our history.
In your career highlights section, skip the boring bullet points and bland job responsibility descriptions. Instead, elect to use a paragraph format and follow the C.A.R. framework: C.A.R. stands for challenges, actions, and results.
For example, in your first few sentences, explain a challenge your organization faced. Next, show the actions you took and illustrate why you made the decisions you did. Finally, explain the results and positive implications of your actions.
Make your resume concise
You have accomplished a lot to get to where you are in your career, and you've earned the right to be proud of your accomplishments. But recruiters are busy people, so brevity is greatly appreciated.
Executive resume lengths will vary. We've seen some as long as five pages (which is a bit excessive if you ask us).
We get it. If your career spans multiple decades, it initially makes sense to want to highlight every accomplishment.
But try to keep your executive resume at two pages, max. The only exception to this is when you have enough career highlights that line up with their business needs to justify an entire third page.
Also, don't go over two pages if your third page is only an extra paragraph or two. In that situation, do a strict edit to see if you can get it back down to two pages.
Have professional profile down
Your professional profile now goes hand in hand with your executive resume in the age of social media.
If a recruiter likes your resume, before moving you to the next round they will often go to relevant social media sites to see if they can get a better read on the person behind the resume.
This means it's now essential to make sure your professional profiles amplify your personal brand and unique value proposition.
We created the Mogul community to amplify diverse executives and help grow their personal brands.
On your free Mogul profile, you can add your title, industry, skills, professional experience, and how you can help fellow members unlock their greatest potential.
Becoming a member will put you into the pool of talent that we source from. You will also gain access to exclusive community discussions and world-class virtual events so you can connect with top, diverse professionals. Level up your career now.