Article, 5 Hot Résumé Strategies to Infiltrate the Higher Bracket by Sharon Graham :

5 Hot Résumé Strategies to Infiltrate the Higher Bracket
Sharon Graham, CPRW, CEIP, CRS, CIS

First-rate professionals, who advance in the ranks, quickly find that the career ladder narrows as they near the top. With an ever-increasing number of highly educated and experienced boomers clambering for the most sought after roles, each step of the rung becomes tighter. There is no doubt that the competition at the top level is tough. Here are five hot résumé strategies that you can implement to infiltrate the Higher Bracket.


A Higher Bracket professional does not appear needy or desperate. As a leader, you are not a pawn in the job search. You are a top-level professional offering expertise that is far above the rest. You need to be choosy about what industry, job, and employer you will accept.

Challenge yourself to target only the best. Target employers that, not only see the significance of what you are bringing to the table, but also value it enough to compensate you adequately. By being selective, you will find that you will create a better match between yourself and the employer. The better the match, the more likely that you will receive the position and compensation that you deserve.


Senior-level candidates often miss the point by telling their story rather than selling themselves to the employer. Every industry, employer, and job has specific requirements. The only part of your career history that is relevant is the part that matches the employers’ needs. Accomplishments are valuable, but only if they are directly applicable to the employer’s buying motivators. Every time you list an accomplishment on your résumé that is in conflict with what the employer needs, you weaken the document.

Challenge yourself to meet their needs. Rather than rushing forward and haphazardly incorporating content on your résumé, take a step back. Look at your résumé from a different perspective – the employer’s perspective. Focus on expressing your primary offerings, achievements, and strategies that meet your ideal employers’ needs.


Most job seekers know that the internet is overflowing with résumé samples. They think that copying a few lines here and there won’t hurt. They believe that if they just cut and paste trendy pieces of text, they are going to have the very best résumé out there. This assumption is the primary reason that these job seekers fail. Just imagine how many experienced professionals do this and end up with the very same results!

Challenge yourself to stand apart. Hiring authorities have seen the same wording come across their desk repeatedly. Spark their interest with a document that shows your uniqueness. Never copy text from another person’s résumé. Rather than blending in with others, stand apart from the conventional job seeker by creating distinctive wording that shows you to be far superior.


Many senior-level professionals think that more is better. They think that by listing all the positions they have ever held, all the responsibilities they ever had, all the tasks they completed, and all the classes that they ever took, they will be showing their very best. This strategy is exactly what not to do if you want to position yourself at the Higher Bracket.

Challenge yourself to raise your value. Do not develop a general résumé that reflects anything and everything that you have done. Present only your broad, future-focused achievements rather than responsibilities and tasks. A few of your foremost achievements are far more valuable than a large number of task-oriented accomplishments. List employment history and educational credentials that are reflective of the level that you are targeting. If you have junior positions and low-level education on your roster, minimize or eliminate them. This strategy will raise your profile and value by emphasizing your marketability at the most senior levels.


The market is saturated with résumés that look alike. Outplacement firms commonly use cookie-cutter résumé outlines for every executive that comes through their organization. The same formats show up all over the internet. The same styles appear in some résumé books. These templates can even be purchased!

Challenge yourself to create a “best in class” image. With the proliferation of the “same old look,” it is mandatory for you to stand apart. Create an upscale document with a unique brand image that you have not seen before. By differentiating yourself as “best in class,” you will gain an enormous advantage over most résumés in the market.

If you feel that you are ready to infiltrate the Higher Bracket, take advantage of these hot tips. If you are unable to strategise, write, and package a unique and compelling marketing document, consider retaining a professional résumé writer. The best-of-the best reach the top rungs of the ladder by leveraging professionals who can develop a strategic, targeted résumé that surpasses the competition.

Sharon Graham is Higher Bracket's principal résumé expert and author of Best Canadian Résumés. Sharon has elevated procedures and practices within the industry. With multiple certifications in résumé, interview, and career strategy, Sharon has delivered cutting-edge innovations to employment practitioners across Canada . She assists Higher Bracket job seekers though her consulting firm Graham Management Group, and is executive director of Career Professionals of Canada . You can reach Sharon by e-mailing

REMINDER: If you have not already taken advantage of Higher Bracket’s free résumé assessment offer, don’t wait any longer. If you are a Free Basic subscriber upgrade now to gain access to your free résumé critique. Then, take advantage of this program: e-mail your résumé to Résumé and you will receive valuable input directly from Sharon Graham.


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