Article, Is Your Executive Resume Branded to Maximize Response? :

Is Your Executive Resume Branded to Maximize Response?
by Meg Guiseppi


One of the biggest mistakes executives make when writing their résumés is failing to put themselves in the place of those who will review their résumé − recruiters, HR professionals or other hiring managers – and giving them what they want and need. It goes without saying that your résumé will probably not even be read if it contains glaring mistakes – typos, grammatical errors, sloppy formatting, too much or too little content, irrelevant information, etc.


But even if you do deliver a well-written, error-free traditional executive résumé, it probably won’t be enough to land you at the top of the list, generate quality leads, and incite unwavering interest in you.


What you don’t include in your resume can jeopardize your chance to even be considered. Several critical elements need to be incorporated into your executive résumé:


Consider the reader


Hiring decision makers want and need to see concise, easily-accessible statements of value that immediately communicate who the candidate is, what they have to offer, how they’ll improve bottom line, and whether they’ll be a good fit for the company. Make it easy for them to quickly get to what they need to know about you. When this information is supplied in a vivid, compelling way, it will capture and hold the reader’s attention.


Keep it brief and value-driven


Their need for brevity and to the point writing is driven by a number of factors, including the lack of sufficient time to fully read every résumé in front of them and the method they may be using to review documents. More and more hiring decision makers are reading résumés on hand-held, BlackBerry-type devices that have very small screens. A tedious résumé laced with repetitive lists or unnecessary information can bog them down, or worse yet, bore them.


You will gain more attention with well-crafted, brand-focused statements of ROI and promise of value, surrounded by enough white space to make each one stand out. Deeper slices of critical contributions can be supplied in a suite of accompanying or follow-up documents such as executive cover letters, achievement summaries, leadership initiatives addenda, career bios, etc.

Imprint your executive personal brand throughout your résumé


Think again about those reviewing your résumé and considering you for their organization. With possibly hundreds of flat, similar-reading documents to get through, they will immediately be drawn to one that gives them a real feel for the candidate’s personal attributes, vitality, and pivotal strengths – their personal brand.


Your brand is as unique as you are – and just as unique as the value you will bring to your next employer. The fact that you are savvy enough to write a personally branded resume signifies that you are a visionary, thought leader who embraces proven, cutting-edge approaches to doing business. Make it clear that you possess this valuable attribute.


The latest trend in executive résumé branding is to include a strong brand statement. Here is an example of part of one:

“To build business, I turn things upside down and around to create strategies that capture market share – and propel triple-digit advances in growth. I deliver spectacular results in client-facing, knowledge-based environments that embrace creative thinking.”


Whether or not your resume includes a stand-alone brand statement, your potential value will truly shine through if your brand is evident throughout your résumé.


Supply evidence of your ROI and value proposition


Replace an unnecessary “objective” statement with a hard-hitting introduction that immediately captures the reader’s attention and compels them to read the whole document:


Before: Objective: A challenging and rewarding position that will maximize my experience in sales and marketing.


After: Top-tier Account Manager driving multi-million dollar profit contributions and successful expansion efforts across vertical markets for some of the world’s strongest brands.


Remember that the top part of the first page of your résumé will be read first. Use this section to your best advantage.


Each section of your résumé represents another opportunity to communicate your unique value. Instead of simply listing your responsibilities in the “professional experience” section, supply crystal-clear evidence of how you added value in these areas:


Before: Responsible for identifying and developing new accounts.


After: Propelled advances in market share and revitalized stalled business by persistently networking andpursuing forgotten market pockets – lost sales; smaller, untapped businesses; and prospects overlooked by the competition.


Begin building your brand and value proposition


How do you begin to incorporate all of this in your executive résumé? Start by answering questions like these:


Personal Branding


• Where do your greatest talents lie and how have you used them in your role as a visionary leader?
• What do you most want prospective employers to know about you?
• What makes you better than anyone else doing the same work as you?
• What jazzes you the most about your work? What things would you relish doing, even if you weren’t paid for them?


ROI & Value Proposition


• In what critical areas did you add value? What actions did you take to accomplish this? How did the company benefit?
• What are the top things you did for past companies that wouldn’t have happened if you weren’t there?
• How well did you embrace the company’s brand and vision?


This kind of information in your executive résumé provides evidence of your value, positions you above others vying for the same job, and compels the reader to feel she already knows you. People like to hire people they think they know. Supply them with the information they are looking for and improve your shot at landing the job you deserve.


Meg Guiseppi has been writing executive career success stories for over 20 years. She has earned the careers industry’s top résumé writing credential, Master Résumé Writer (one of only 9 worldwide) and also holds the Certified Professional Résumé Writer credential. She specializes in personally branded résumés and partners one-on-one with executives and top professionals to help them propel their career searches forward. A contributor to numerous online and print career search publications, Meg stays at the forefront of cutting-edge personal marketing strategies through active membership in several top career management associations. She can be reached through her website

Copyright Meg Guiseppi. All rights reserved, reprinted with permission..