An executive recruiter looking for the next MBA hire is really waiting for a resume that articulates and markets the value the prospective candidate can bring to an organization. So if you’ve just graduated with your MBA or EMBA, how can you make that next leap upward in your career? Chances are your old resume won’t get you there.
Senior level resumes, the effective ones, are a different breed than a run of the mill resume.
Career advice about fancy formatting, bells and whistles, or fabulous fonts are much less important than a strong story that speaks to the executive recruiter or hiring manager’s specific needs, the measurable support you provide for your conclusions about your ability to provide solutions, and how well you present that information.
In order to position you for a 6-figure job in a key strategic role at the helm of an organization, a senior-level resume not only needs to meet all of the requirements of a good resume, but has to do so at a much greater level and to the higher and more critical standards of an executive recruiter.
The readers of your resume need to see, in no uncertain terms, that you are an accomplished and successful leader with the strategic and tactical capabilities to drive a business forward.
Your resume has to be strong enough to compete against (and beat) other executive resumes.
You need to make the case for your unique promise of value. With these four tips, your resume will blow away the MBA competition and put you in the ideal position to further your career. Remember, read your resume as the recruiter who is doing the hiring and seeing your resume for the first time. Then determine whether or not your resume meets the following criteria.
- Page 1 is where you grab them, from the beginning. Make certain that you highlight your best on page 1. Don’t bury that MBA or those amazing accomplishments on page 2. Find a way to get them onto the first page.
- Open your resume with a powerful profile that clearly articulates the breadth and depth of your expertise and experience, and that quickly positions you as an above-average candidate. Highlight your results and showcase your best on page 1, using the right industry “keywords” to position you as an expert.
- If you only had a 3×5 index card, how would market yourself? What combination of qualities, experience, results, track record, and/or education makes you the ideal candidate? When I’m writing a client’s resume, I aim to get them an interview by halfway down page 1. Go for that kind of impact in your Profile.
- Use a headline – instead of using the word “Profile” of “Executive Summary” at the top of your Profile, put in a headline that quickly markets you, bolded and right smack in the middle. Something like this:
Fortune 500 Experience — MBA
- Show your leadership qualities in your style. Employ a powerful sales and marketing style that effectively merchandises your skills and value that clearly positions you as a leader.
- Make sure that your resume focuses on showcasing the high points of your career, those achievements that best define the VALUE you can offer (more often than not, these are achievements that impact the bottom line.)
- You must spend less time discussing duties (i.e. what you were supposed to do) and more time highlighting RESULTS (i.e. how well you did it), so an executive recruiter can read a high-impact selling of your career track record, not a lengthy narrative of your work history and job descriptions.
- Despite extensive experience, you need to highlight only your “relevant” education, certification, accreditation, and professional development. Don’t think of an executive-level resume as everything but the kitchen sink. Keep it to the point, easily digestible, and data driven. Short punchy lines, no great big paragraphs, and packed with results.
- Stand out from the competition by using highlights and an upscale presentation.
- If you have great numbers, impressive results throughout your resume, you can bold or underline them to make them leap off the page. But be careful, because it can be overdone and look unprofessional if you go too far, and you don’t want to turn off executive recruiters because of a garish style.
- Your presentation style needs to be sharp and extremely professional; after all, you are gunning for a senior level position. Your resume will need to stand out to recruiters among other executive resumes in its presentation, style, and impact. It is essential that it answers the question, “Why should I interview this person over another executives with similar experience?”
Following these four tips will take you far in the heavy MBA competition for senior positions. Your resume will top the competition by being dynamic, distinctive, and hard-hitting, positioning you not as just another executive candidate, but as the best and most imminently qualified candidate.
Remember, your resume is all about marketing and so it needs to promote you in a way that really impacts the recruiter.
P.T. Barnum said it best, “Without promotion something terrible happens… nothing”. So, if your resume doesn’t effectively promote your value, guess what happens?
Companies are looking for the best in their executive team, and your resume needs to position you as such. If your resume meets the above criteria, then you are well on your way to getting the attention you deserve and your job search will be that much more successful.
What do you think is the best way to get your resume noticed in a highly competitive landscape? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below!