By Laura Smith-Proulx
Spent your leadership career building a successful operation or team, only to find that you’re now in the job market due to unforeseen circumstances?
If your executive reputation has always carried you from job to job, it can be difficult to explain your stature to those outside your circle of influence. In these unprecedented times, you may never have expected to even need a resume, much less spend extra time conveying the magnitude of your accomplishments.
If you’re at a loss for words, try these 3 strategies to ensure that your executive resume reflects the well-established reputation that you’ve earned:
1. Pull in accolades from your letters of reference.
Been commended through a letter of reference or with a company award? Be sure to weave this information throughout your career marketing documents.
Many executives pull a snippet of an endorsement or accolade and reference it on a leadership resume, allowing them to display performance feedback as proof of their achievements.
This can be in the form of a direct quote, or a more subtle reference to the brand message already stated on your resume.
Either way, doing so reinforces your overall promise of value and shows that others can verify the revenue you’ve generated, costs saved, infrastructures built, and so on.
2. Gather—and capitalize on—numerous LinkedIn endorsements.
If you have yet to request or receive LinkedIn testimonials from others in your network, now’s the time to ramp these up. Even if you don’t personally believe these endorsements can add value, they will be looked over—in detail—by recruiters and your networking contacts.
One way to get the ball rolling with endorsements is to recommend others, as LinkedIn will prompt other to return the favor after you’ve recommended them.
Once you’ve started to gather this feedback, be sure to sprinkle it throughout your resume and executive biography, as described above, either through a direct quote or by using the positive feedback to describe your value proposition.
3. Use feedback from performance reviews or private commendations.
One of the easiest ways to speak to your reputation on your resume is to request (and use) casual endorsements, especially from others that might not otherwise be able to write you a public testimonial.
Often, even job-hunting colleagues or other executives on the verge of leaving their employers will provide a confidential testimonial in the form of an email, letter, or reference – making it difficult for you to use this information “publicly.”
In this case, it’s best to analyze the feedback that you gain from others, looking for patterns in what they say about your work.
Then, note the highlights and pull in this information into either descriptive phrases (such as “motivational leader”) or note the actual impact that you’ve had on a project (“Brought in $10M SAP initiative under budget”). Doing so allows you to benefit from these more private commendations, while still keeping the source confidential.
In summary, there ARE great ways to capitalize on the reputation you’ve earned in an executive career, by taking a few moments to gather and incorporate feedback from others. The result can be a much more powerful—relevant—executive resume.
About the Author
Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume is an executive resume writer and former recruiter who partners with CEO, CIO, COO, CFO, CTO, SVP, and Director candidates to win interviews at major corporations. A certified Professional Resume Writer, Online Professional Networking Strategist, Career Management Coach, Interview Coach, and Microblogging Career Strategist, she is a multiple award-winning resume writer and author of How to Get Hired Faster: 60+ Proven Tips & Resources to Access the Hidden Job Market.
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