While rising to a leadership position is itself an achievement, it comes with its own set of problems. For instance, how your resume, being a VP or director of the company should differ from a CV of a mid-level manager or that of a fresher? There are a number of differences to consider, and that’s what this post talks about.
We know that rapidly changing times call for a constant evolution in skills and strategies if you want to keep leading from the front. When it comes to giving the career the much needed boost through a job switch, it is necessary to give utmost attention while choosing companies, functions and the roles according to your skills. Similarly, you must be able to identify the skills that are in demand, and also be able to see how C-level jobs will evolve in the future. Your resume should change accordingly, including all the necessary elements that are essential to reach the next level.
Show leadership ability more than anything else
You will be surprised to know this; but the primary concern for companies hiring for C-suite is neither technical nor functional expertise. More than both of these qualities, hiring managers look for strong leadership skills and a solid understanding of business fundamentals. Chief Executive Officers should know how a business works, while a chief information officer should know how to create business models.
Similarly if you are applying for a position of chief human resource officer, your experience should include strategies to devise a succession plan and built a talent structure that will provide the company with a competitive edge. Thus, instead of listing all your skills that helped you reach to the top in the resume you should include leadership experiences, projects where you had to show your grasp of the businesses’ micro and macro economics.
Focus on your personal brand
Gone are the times when the clients and customers trusted their money on the brand name of the company. These days, the leadership at a company is given the same importance as the company itself. There are some cases where the personal brand of a C-suite executive outgrows that of the company. Thus, branding is not an option anymore.
In the sluggish job market, your personal brand will hold critical importance for being hired. The personal brand includes details like passions, strengths, and personal attributes, qualities that make you unique and what appeal you hold for the target audience. Even a pleasant personality, a jovial mood and vitality are an important part of the personal brand. A tagline that encapsulates all these points will be good to start the resume with. You can also use the same as a professional headline on your LinkedIn profile.
List your achievements
This is the most important part of your CV as most recruiters spend the largest part of their time going through the accomplishments of the candidates. Thus, if you want to be successful at getting an interview call, the easiest way is to tell the recruiter about the achievements that helped you reach in the upper management level. The biggest career success stories of your career are typically what the recruiter is looking forward to read in this section.
Explain how you made things happen at your previous organization and helped increase the bottom line while keeping in context the target audience of their organization. While writing, you will have to be convincing enough so that they believe you will be able to achieve the same things for them. The world is increasingly becoming dependant on data and therefore your success stories should be backed by reasonable data; numbers that clearly show the extent of your achievements and validate your claims.
Finally, do not forget the basics
Even if you are applying for CEO position, some CV writing do’s and don’ts never change. Rules like judicious use of the available real estate, impeccable grammar and a typo-free read apply to executive resumes too. A small recap of these rules that you might already know include:
- Target your CV for the company you are applying instead of sending a generic resume
- Do not use redundant words. Replace them with synonyms
- Provide a professional email address. Anything fancy and you stand to hurt your credibility
- Do not include irrelevant info. Cut to the chase
- Keep formatting attractive yet simple
- An objective is now a thing of the past, but if you must include make sure its not generic and vague like “Achieve growth utilizing my skills and expertise”
One thing that all experts agree upon is that all C-level jobs are now more about leadership skills and business acumen. Technical expertise is required to give you a solid base, but to gain a defining edge over others; an individual should have excellent communication skills, be good at collaboration and should be a strategic thinker.