Article, Executives Demonstrate Value With A Strategic Resume by Sharon Graham :

Executives Demonstrate Value With A Strategic Résumé
Sharon Graham, CPRW, CEIP, CRS, CIS

These days, résumé templates and formulas are widespread. Anyone can find numerous clichéd and uninspired résumé samples by doing a simple search on the Internet. As an executive résumé writer, I advise my clients that it is critical to have a strategic résumé – a unique document that strategically markets their attributes and talents.

If you are a business leader, it is essential that you articulate your distinctive value to stand apart from the rest of the pack. As an experienced professional, you have a unique blend of qualifications, expertise, and accomplishments. No other executive has exactly what you have to offer. Therefore, your résumé must be different from the rest in order to sell you effectively. So, just copying someone else's résumé format and content will not work.

A strategic résumé distinguishes you from the rest. It markets your Value Proposition to your prospective employer by representing you effectively and meeting the employer's needs.

In your strategic résumé, you must address your employer's buying motivators. These are the organization's specific reasons for opening up the position. For most leaders, this is directly related to the organization's bottom-line. So, you need to tangibly show how you can generate revenue, save costs, eliminate obstacles, increase market share, and improve profitability.

Next, you must provide your supporting qualifications – the expertise and credentials that validate your claim to resolve the employer's buying motivator. In other words, you need to show the employer proof of your value using real-life examples from your background.

Finally, your strategic résumé must incorporate your added value, which illustrates to the employer the exclusive aptitude and contribution that you have to offer. It creates an image of you that is unique and valuable to the employer. Your added value shows that you bring to the role much more than what is merely expected.

When writing your résumé, think strategically about everything. For example, you are selling your experience. It is unlikely that an objective statement that implies “I want something” will help you. Rather, put together a powerful professional profile to show the reader your Value Proposition.

Make your résumé strategically readable by speaking in the third person to present a more professional tone and create impact. Emphasise your offering with powerful, active language that caters to the reader. Use keywords that sell your Value Proposition.

To craft a one-of-a kind document, purposefully consider the inclusion and presentation of every word, phrase, sentence, and paragraph in your résumé. Deliberately compare each category in your résumé. Consider arranging each in order of importance.

In your strategic résumé, focus on accomplishments rather than responsibilities. Select achievements that directly relate to your Value Proposition. Start each a past tense verb to show that you have already attained your objective. Arrange your accomplishments in order of importance, adding impact by ensuring that your final bullet ends with a bang.

Once you have written your strategic résumé, go through the complete document. Deselect everything that does not add value. Only when you are certain of the content, should you start to format your résumé using advanced Word Processing features to create an executive look and feel.

Many executives leverage the expertise of a professional to create a strategic résumé that presents their unique Value Proposition. The competition is stiff and a résumé template just won't cut it. By producing a superb résumé that is true to yourself, you will attract appropriate employers. You will soon find that it is well worth the effort to design a unique and targeted strategic résumé that rivals your competition.


Sharon Graham is a certified professional résumé writer, employment interview strategist, and author of Best Canadian Résumés. She assists 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


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