If They’d Only Look at My Resume!

Jason was an SVP Manufacturing for a company you’d recognize if I could name it. Things happen as we all know, and for one reason or another, James found himself on the outside looking in…a.k.a. unemployed and lost and alone as he tried to figure out, “What now?”

job-search-on-laptop2-213907775He updated his resume…yes, that same one he had for years, and started submitting it to good options he saw posted online. After a few months of this Jason started tweaking his resume for each job he applied to, thinking he wasn’t including the right keywords to get noticed. A few more months of silence and he started to worry.

“How can I not hear anything?” he wondered. “I mean, come on! Look at my resume!” Jason said he actually shouted at his computer one night.

“Look at my resume.”

Yeah. Well, that’s part of the problem. Job search at the executive level is different than at the managerial level. You just can’t keep updating the resume you’ve had for 20 or more years and expect to get attention. Listing titles and duties isn’t what happens on an executive-level resume…not the good ones.

Compounding the issue of using a below standard resume, Jason was changing his resume based on the job posting. That works at the lower levels. Executives need to attract attention through their value story and the results they bring. This doesn’t change based on a particular job. As ExecuNet career strategist Saundra Botts said in a recent panel discussion, “Don’t customize your resume. Instead, spend more time being who you are in your value proposition communication. If that’s what they are looking for, you’ll be a hit. Yes, it’s hard, but that’s why we have coaches.” When you customize your resume, you’re not selling your value; you are hoping to get lucky. Lucky is not a strategy.

Jason learned this when he listened to a former colleague and sought ExecuNet’s help in giving his job search strategy a makeover.

One of the first things Jason learned was that an executive’s resume is much more than a list of impressive titles. All the applicants have an impressive list of titles, but only you have your value story…and you want them to hire only you.

We’ve been working with Jason to shape his value story and to stop following strategies that are best left at the managerial level, so that we can weave his value story throughout his resume, LinkedIn profile, cover letters, and networking ValuGraphic. Once that’s perfected, he’ll get coached up on how to articulate his value story. At that point, he’ll be ready to target specific opportunities.

If you’d like to explore what an executive-level job search will look like for you, reach out to us. We have former recruiters and CEOs who help people at the top of the org chart find their paths, brand themselves, and land new opportunities at companies that are just right for them.



Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is ExecuNet's president and chief economist. An Arjay Miller Scholar, Mark received his MBA from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Yale University. He joined ExecuNet in 1993, with extensive marketing and new product and business development experience, having served as president and founder of A&M Associates, an investment management firm. Mark's corporate leadership experience includes several senior marketing and financial positions with RCA Global Communications (a GE subsidiary) and American Can Company.

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