Is Your Executive Resume Missing These 5 “Must Haves”?

Are you dusting off your VP or CXO resume for an active or passive job search? Making sure your executive level resume is a powerful marketing document is a wise investment in your career. It can set you apart from your competition, maximize the amount of interviews you land and ultimately play into how much a company offers you.

After all, you are negotiating with potential employers from the moment you connect with them to the time the offer is made. So everything that happens in that window of time plays into your offer … including how well targeted, well designed and compelling your resume is.

Here are five elements you will want to make sure your resume has:

#1: Targeted Format

Your resume must be compelling for the type of position you are focusing on. If you are a sales executive and you have a VP of Business Development resume or Senior Global Sales Executive resume for example, you are going to want to quantify your sales skills in terms of territory development, revenue generation, and types of skills associated with sales, plus secondary support skills such as client management customer service, public relations and marketing. The best way to match up your skills and create a magnetic attachment to your next position is to simply find a few representative positions and highlight all the keywords that match and resonate with you. Many of my clients successfully up-level their position titles using this method, which is simply writing TO where you want to go, not FROM where you have been.

#2: Value Proposition Statement

Under the heading of your resume you should have a value proposition statement, which is a 3 to 4 sentence overview of your focus and your strengths. Here’s an example of a value proposition statement for a technology executive:

Innovative & highly competent business and technology leader with 15+ years experience developing creative technology solutions that enhance performance, effect change, drive profits and growth. Proven reputation to…

Note: A value proposition statement is different from a personal objective statement because a personal objective is about what YOU want. A value proposition tells your potential employer what skills and strengths you have to offer THEM.

#3: Quantifiable Achievements

This is one of the most important components to your executive level resume. You need to communicate in your resume not just what you do, but what HAPPENS when you do it! This technique also helps employers envision you working with them and helping them with similar challenges and issues.

#4: Keyword Rich Content

Keywords, organized into a group called “core competencies” or something similar, will do two things for you:

  1. Influence the Scanner: It serves to potentially qualify you for more interviews, assuming those companies you are submitting your resume to use keyword scanning technology.
  2. Influence the Reader: Keywords are strengths that stand alone and therefore allow the reader to view your competencies independent of any past company associated with them. This has a positive psychological affect because it enhances the reader’s ability to picture YOU in the position they are working to fill.

#5: Two Executive Resume Versions

You will always want to have two versions of your executive resume:

  • Clean Word Format: Your word version can be both printed out as a hard copy or attached as a Word document in an e-mail.
  • ASCII Text Format: This will be used for all of your electronic submissions. Plain text retains its formatting and thus looks much cleaner on the receiving end. When saving a copy of your resume in this format, you will need to go in and clean up all of the symbols and spacing.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of and and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

If you are a Director, VP, CxO, or Board Member interested in an executive resume package or working directly with Mary Elizabeth, click to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call.