Useful Tips for Structuring Executive Resumes
Careful preparation, planning and attention to detail is required for structuring executive resumes, defining resume content and presenting resumes effectively. The idea is to collate information and present credentials in a most effective way likely to make an impression with employers and executive headhunters. Overall, resumes should be carefully targeted, realistic and fit for purpose as well as finding the right balance so as not to oversell credentials. The most effective resumes are well-planned and have a clearly defined strategy, so it is worthwhile investing some time and getting it right.
Structuring Executive Resumes
The first thing is to identify content likely to be included within an executive resume. Remembering key facts, employment history, major projects, achievements, responsibilities, skills / expertise, training courses and professional development. This forms the basis of the CV and proves it is necessary to always document information about job roles, career progression and recognition over time (good housekeeping).
Defining Resume Content / ‘Executive Summary’
The next stage is to define / prioritise main content and to its perceived relevance. The idea is to streamline key information likely to add value to the resume, whilst discarding less relevant information. Double-check information is relevant to target job roles and scrutinise achievements to make sure they stand out. Defining resume content should incorporate an ‘executive summary’ paragraph to bring everything together for highlighting key credentials and giving an important ‘strategic fit’ for target roles
Selecting Appropriate Headings
Once information has been consolidated, it is necessary to group together similar aspects under key headings. Headings can be tailored to specific job requirements, industry sectors and to convey a particular message throughout the CV to reinforce credentials. Choosing the right headings gives resumes logical progression, plus it enables employers and headhunters to quickly scan CVs to find relevant information.
Defining Clear Executive CV Structure
Once everything has been grouped together under bespoke headings and employment roles, the next stage is to arrange the CV into a logical order. The first thing at the top of the CV is to concentrate on including contact details and a profile summary to get recruiters interested and persuade them to read on.
Logical Progression in CV
After the summary profile, it is up to the individual as to how they choose to structure the CV, especially as some executives prefer to highlight headline achievements or key skills / expertise, whereas others go straight into employment history. Other sections will be added as executives see fit. The greatest weighting should be on the current and most recent employment role, plus anything on the top half of the first page. Everything meaningful should be conveyed on the first page at the very least, preferably in the top two-thirds of the page as recruiters quickly scan information.
Best Resume Presentation
Once everything has been structured in a logical manner, executives need to work on resume presentation, refining layouts and double-checking information for quality assurance. Spending the extra few minutes can really refine the CV and make it stand out from other candidates. Choose appropriate font and size, plus do not over-complicate formats.
Structuring Executive Resumes: Conclusion
Overall, writing an executive CV is very subjective. At ExecutiveCV.net, we see many failed efforts or resumes needing a complete overhaul. Very often executives try to over-complicate the CV layout, do not convey a meaningful message and fail to define a clear resume strategy. Keeping everything simple with clear headings and a logical progression is likely to stand out more, so spending a bit more time to get it right can pay-off, especially if it results in more interview opportunities. Following on from identifying contents of a good resume and evaluating how best to present resumes, see how to structuring executive resumes using appropriate CV headings. We also have other articles giving tips on writing executive resumes.