The Ultimate 2020 Guide for Executive Resume Examples [Expert samples from over 100,000 users]

Top 7 ideas to create the best executive resume:

You need a executive resume example that will stand out to headhunters and really show what you can bring to the table. These resume writing and resume builder tips are at the core of what makes an executive resume effective:
  • Make sure it’s the right length; for executive positions a longer resume is generally fine
  • Ensure it shows you have the specific skills and attributes mentioned in the job posting
  • The general tone should match that of the company (check their website to get a feel for this)
  • Write with the headhunter and even the board in mind; they are your audience
  • Be sure to include specific metrics wherever possible
  • Try as much as possible to show and not tell about who you are and what you can do
  • Be proactive and use referrals to make sure the headhunter looking at your resume has already heard you recommended to them
Getting hired in an executive position requires serious effort and attention to detail. That needs to apply to everything from leveraging your contacts for referrals (many of the best positions aren’t posted publicly) to carefully curating every detail on your resume. Every element of your application needs to be well thought out with your audience in mind. If you’re applying to an executive position for the first time, don’t assume you can use the same resume and application techniques that have worked in the past. Ultimately, the best way to learn is from those who have already succeeded:

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How to write an executive resume that is professional, functional and will stand out from even the best resumes

Start with your professional network

For most jobs, the first step is to carefully examine the job description before crafting a resume. For executives, however, the process needs to start with networks. As mentioned above, many executive positions are never publicly posted. The board decides they need a new executive, some applicants are found through their networks, and the position is filled. Unless you’re in those networks, you never had a chance at that job.
So when you begin your job search, put the word out that you’re looking for an executive position. Let your contacts know roughly what you have in mind and see what comes your way. Of course, at the same time, don’t neglect looking for publicly posted positions as well.

Carefully study the job description

Once you have a job you’d like to apply for, it’s time to carefully examine the requirements and the company. If you have some connections, ask about the key decision makers involved in the hiring process. What are their priorities, what do they like in a candidate? Take all of this information into account as you craft your resume with a resume builder. If the board wants certain resume skills or traits, demonstrate you have them. If you know some board members are avid golfers, mention your love of the sport. The ultimate goal is for the board and headhunter to see your resume as the best resume example and a near-perfect match for what they’re looking for.

Use concrete numbers whenever possible

Headhunters don’t much care that you “managed” people or “improved” processes. For executive positions, you’re held to a higher standard. You need to show your impact in each role you’ve had using specific metrics for your resume experience. Mentioning that you designed and implemented a new sales training regime which increased revenue by 35% over two quarters has a far greater impact than simply saying you improved sales numbers and one of the best resume best practices.

Show, don’t tell

Tied in with the notion of using concrete numbers is the broader philosophy of “show, don’t tell”. Whenever possible, avoid empty resume buzzwords and demonstrate the resume qualities you claim to have (and which the headhunter and board are looking for in your resume format).

The 8 top sections headhunters are looking for in the best executive resumes

While you should always tailor the your resume format to the position you’re applying for, these are 8 sections to consider for an effective executive resume.
1. Bio
2. Strengths
3. Experience
4. My Time
5. Languages
6. Most proud of
7. Philosophy
8. Books

1. Your Bio

Besides your name, a short (a few words to a sentence) description of who you are and/or what your goal is can be very effective. The idea is that a section like this sets the stage for the rest of the resume. Even if the people reviewing your resume know you, this is a great place to establish yourself and your mission. This makes the rest of your resume that much more effective.

2. Your Strengths

This is a great way to brag a little, however, be certain that you’re backing it up. So, don’t simply state that you’re a great negotiator, put an example below it which demonstrates that fact.

3. Your Experience

Obviously this will be your main section of any executive resume. As mentioned above, be sure to focus on your impact in each role and to focus on demonstrating the skills and qualities you know the headhunter and board are looking for in your functional resume.

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4. How you spend your valuable time

The “my time” section is an Enhancv resume builder exclusive and the perfect place to start a creative resume example. You can use it to show where you’ve focused your career, how you spent a typical day, or even how you would allocate your ideal investment portfolio.

5. Your Languages

Besides the fact that speaking multiple languages increases your cognitive abilities and the likelihood you’ll get hired, it speaks to valuable cultural knowledge in a globalized world. Even if you won’t be using these languages in this exact position, they may be worth mentioning.

6. What you’re most proud of

Often the things that mean the most to us don’t fit neatly into our resumes. That’s why the “most proud of” section is a great way to demonstrate unique qualities, values, or accomplishments. You can speak about overcoming a significant hardship, learning a valuable lesson, or showing your devotion to friends and family.

7. Your philosophy

Do you have a core philosophy of business? A quote or basic idea which guides all of your decisions? Is Jack Welch your hero or are you a “move fast and break things” kind of person? This is the perfect place to mention it. This kind of information really tells a recruiter where you stand, whether you will fit into their company culture, and how you approach problems.

8. Your favorite business or leadership books

Similar to a philosophy section, including the books which have shaped your thinking is a quick way to help a recruiter understand you better. This can be an effective way to show that you can fit into a company culture and understand a company’s values.

How to get a referral on LinkedIn for the Executive role you want

Perhaps the most effective thing you can do to improve your chances of getting hired is to get referred to a position. Referred candidates are hired 60% of the time compared to everyone else who make it to an interview just 2% of the time. This is even more true in the world of executive headhunting.
So before you start applying, be sure to check your 1st and 2nd degree contacts in both LinkedIn and in any other relevant groups you may belong to. If you don’t have strong connections in the industry you’re looking to establish yourself in, start making them now!

Check out our guide on getting referrals for any job you’re applying for.

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