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The Executive Resume - Moving Beyond Accomplishments

There is a major difference between conventional resumes and executive resumes. Accomplishments are usually the center point of a conventional resume (i.e., indicating how much money was saved, how sales increased, what processes were proposed, planned, initiated, implemented, or streamlined). The executive resume, on the other hand, has more than one focus. It alludes to the executive's ability to drive profits (accomplishments) and the capacity to lead (that is, to blend various "soft" skills) an organization.

Successes are easier to hone in on. The result is clear, often quantifiable. After all, either you penetrated a market or you didn't, or either you were a top-performer or you weren't. It is harder to capture emotional competencies on paper, to indicate who you are, what you stand for, how you relate to others, how you affect change within an organization.

On an executive resume, a list of Accomplishments does not suffice. Employers expect more, and since your resume is an introduction to your full qualifications, you must incorporate what you have done as well as provide a notion of how you influence others. This information must be presented in a concise and compelling manner given that your resume is your most important marketing tool.

Moving beyond accomplishments

Coupled with a track record of financial success, good leadership is the single most important factor in the survival of an organization. Because of this, executives who point out the following "soft" needed skills on their resume are usually the ones invited to an interview. They show that they have the intangible qualities that promote the growth of the organization. These are the elements in question:

Since there isn't much room at the top, opportunities at the executive-level stage are limited, your resume should move beyond the entry-level approach, and focus on who you are professionally and personally. This is why it is crucial that as an executive you present yourself as a complete package - a product a company will want to acquire.

-Linda Matias
Recognized as a career expert, Linda Matias brings a wealth of experience to the career services field. She has been sought out for her knowledge of the employment market, outplacement, job search strategies, interview preparation, and resume writing, quoted a number of times in The Wall Street Journal, New York Newsday, Newsweek, and HR-esource.com. She is President of CareerStrides and The National Resume Writers' Association. Visit her website at www.careerstrides.com or email her at careerstrides@bigfoot.com.