Executive Resumes – Show Your Leadership

I have written many executive resumes for diverse industries and environments. When the client initially sends me their existing resume, one of the first things I look for is examples of leadership. I check whether they show the challenges they have faced in each position or if they simply describe their position responsibilities. Most do the latter and fail to demonstrate their leadership. This is unfortunate because without showcasing success, the resume can’t effectively compete.

 Here are three statements that might be found on an executive resume and then I will analyze them.

1. Led and trained team of employees, managed a budget, and met company objectives.

2. Drove a team of 25 and improved productivity and revenue growth to meet ambitious objectives while managing a budget of $2 million.

3. Transformed stagnant organization, reversing substantial revenue losses to produce a net gain of $1.3 million during a severe economic downturn.

The first example is very basic and doesn’t show any depth in terms of what this executive managed. The second provides more detail than the first example and also includes a general statement of accomplishment, but no actual results. The third example reflects a hard hitting accomplishment with actual measurable results. Who would you rather bring in for an interview when seeking an outstanding leader?

Some people view leadership strictly through their position title. They feel that is all they need to show to prove they are a leader. But the real value of a leader is shown by stating the challenges they faced and successfully handled.

There are different levels of leaders and executives. Every one understands there are supervisors, managers, directors, VPs, and C-level, etc. Within each level, various challenges are faced.

Is the leader someone who comes in and maintains the status quo? Are they someone who takes a  good team. department, division or organization and makes it better. Are they someone who takes a bottom ranking organization and turn them into top performers? Are they a leader who overcame the impact of a turbulent economy?

Do you see how each of these shows a different level of leadership skills? So, if you want to separate yourself from other qualified candidates, think of what type of leadership describes you and see how you showcase the accomplishments achieved.

So the most important advice I can give an executive is: SHOW YOUR EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP when writing a resume.

Check out a sample of an executive resume at:

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