Three Do’s and Three Don’ts for Executive Resumes

Written by: Samantha Higgins

For those of you applying for an executive position, your application materials will be under a great bit of scrutiny. You are under consideration for a leadership role.

When a job in leadership is on the line and you want to be chosen, you cannot afford to have mistakes. All of your materials must be top-notch, and that includes your resume.

To make sure you have the best resume possible, you should apply these three do’s and three don’ts for executive resumes.

The Do’s

1. Pay Attention to Layout

You need to make sure that your resume has the proper layout. If you plan to be an executive, you must be certain to highlight your eye for details. As an executive, you will have a lot of oversight.

When creating your resume, you need to make sure to not use more than two fonts. You also should consider a 12 point font size. While you can go up a little higher for your name or headlines, the rest of your resume should not have text larger than 12 points.

2. Highlight Leadership Accomplishments

Accomplishments that have occurred on your part must be presented. You need to showcase how you have transformed companies, and you need to explain the direct impact of your decisions and leadership.

And while you need to show off your accomplishments, you need to make certain that you acknowledge others you worked with to achieve goals or to create new ideas and solutions. You will look even more impressive if your resume points out how you have motivated others.

3. Be Specific as Possible

Make sure that your resume has specific details. For example, do not just say you increased sales. Instead, say to what percentage or to an exact amount. Use numbers where you can, but you must be sure that your resume is not just numbers and data.

When you can do this, you should always include specifics that can be found about you and your work through online searches and through your LinkedIn account. Specifics about your career need to be highlighted with consistency. You need to also ask your references to highlight specifics, too.

The Don’ts

1. Refrain from Being Wordy

If your resume is wordy and you have long, run-on sentences your resume will not be impressive. You must avoid fluff language, and you need to refrain from passive voice. Your resume should showcase precise actions and specific results. A wordy resume will not accomplish this for you.

For an executive resume that is not too wordy, you might want to get professional help. You could benefit from having experts on these matters involved with your resume creation. They could have some great insight and feedback. You could have an easier time getting that executive position.

2. Avoid Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

Any executive employee is expected to have an eye for spelling and grammar, and you must, too. You will be overseeing a lot of important information as an executive. If your resume contains spelling and grammar mistakes, your potential employer might think you don’t have enough attention for details.

To help mitigate spelling and grammar issues, you should always utilize spellchecker. However, spellchecker is not always 100 percent accurate for you. You might want to go one step further and download software that automatically flags any errors with the documents you create.

3. Don’t Include Personal Interests

While you do want to demonstrate that you have a likable personality and that you’re well-rounded, use your interview to open up about more personal interests. Your potential boss wants to know details about your work history and training that will help you excel under their leadership.

Now if you are a member of a nonprofit board or community group that would help catch an employer’s attention, you could make a brief mention in your cover letter. And you can always be sure to make this information prominent on your social media profiles.

Your Best Executive Resume Possible

The tips presented above are proven strategies that can help you have the best executive resume possible. While there are other suggestions you can consider, these three do’s and three don’ts are guaranteed ways to increase your chances of getting hired.



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