Top 10 Executive Resume Writing Tips for 2019

If you’re an executive looking for trending advice on how to update your resume for maximum result, follow my executive resume writing tips below!

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Marketing Yourself

  1. Marketing 101 tends to be evergreen, so the techniques executive resume writers employ to make your executive resume POP remain the same in 2019. Strong marketing is still king. This includes summary ideas captured in a strong, single, centered or bolded sentence, bullets that begin (not end) with your metric or impact, and boxes or side columns that communicate general key points (how big/how much/how many/where etc.) to give your readers context.
  2. Your resume is not a historical narrative. It is a piece of marketing collateral – built to stimulate conversations regarding the role you want next. Here is a powerful example of a CMO resume that landed multiple interviews in just a couple weeks.

Using LinkedIn Profiles & Web Portfolios

  1. Your resume should NOT be an exact reflection of your LinkedIn profile. It should also not be linked or uploaded to your LinkedIn profile (screams “I am looking for a job”). Your resume is written in implied first person, while the generally accepted tense and tone of your LI profile is first-person informal. You can find more step-by-step details on setting up your executive LinkedIn profile here.
  2. Online websites are being asked for more and more often. In 2019, it is an excellent idea to grab, even in a couple variations (domains are the new real estate) and if you like create your own Web portfolio. It’s a layer of communication that makes it easy to communicate your value points, your photo and your contact information – without the ‘drip’ marketing. More stats on the growing importance of online executive portfolios here.

Formatting Your Executive Resume

  1. The top of your resume’s first page is prime real estate and needs to communicate your scope of interest, ideal company size, industry of interest to you, and scale of your expertise. For example: Chief Financial Officer / Global Consumer Brands / P&L to $3B.
  2. If the top 1/3 page of your resume is the king, the white space throughout your resume is the queen (campy – I know). As your eye draws down through the document, you should have plenty of white space to bring balance, organization, and a sense of clarity to your document. Here are three visual examples.
  3. One-page resumes seem to be preferred by PE firms, boards, and generally first introductions. Two- or three-page resumes are just fine for C-suite executives. My top clients have both a one-page and a full resume and tell me they use them both.

Writing to the Future

  1. What are the top 5 things you wish to do in your next role? Let’s say they include financial restructuring and M&As. Now, brainstorm on your top accomplishments with those items and showcase them in your resume. In other words, begin at the end and focus on what you want to do next…decide on your preferred title and responsibilities…then think about your accomplishments in those categories. Those are your showcase points for your new resume. Here are a few examples of well presented accomplishments.
  2. Portfolio career executives, as well as executives who wish to showcase their skills across C-suite positions, interim C-suite roles, advisory roles, board appointments, private equity / venture capital roles, and even thought leader points (keynote speaking engagements / adjunct professor roles / major media) are becoming more and more popular – more and more categories are being created in 2019 to demonstrate an executive’s leadership experience. Presenting your expertise in this way stimulates outside-the-box conversations suggesting your expertise across several areas. Examples of portfolio resumes are here and here.
  3. Your executive resume creates the initial first perception that will help evolve all future conversations. By focusing on what you want to attract and writing to those positions and industries, you will guarantee the strongest audience draw. I share executive resume samples here if you would like to learn more. Here are two articles by my colleagues Donna Svei and Lisa Rangel on how to pick a resume writing firm that cover some great points.

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.

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