If we learned anything in 2019 about resume trends, it was the importance of building a career narrative. Resumes are an opportunity to introduce your career narrative, where you can showcase key achievements and position yourself for the future.
With 2020 on the horizon, here are several big-picture executive resume strategies that both stand the test of time and encourage the evolution of this critical career file.
Test of Time: Get Assistance to Get Ahead
The job market moves fast, and positions at the top are harder to come by, which means you always need to be prepared.
Just like the big business strategies that you spend countless hours refining and assessing to ensure no detail is overlooked, and maximum potential is achieved, your resume needs a similar amount of proactive time and attention before it is shared.
Update your resume every 6-12 months to reflect career progress and leadership accomplishments. Continuously add to your career management file to ensure you can move quickly, producing a strong resume when opportunity strikes.
Even better, outsource resume writing if you don’t consider yourself an expert in this area. Savvy leaders capitalize on opportunities to employ assistance in order to get ahead.
A recent study demonstrated that individuals who received professional resume assistance found a job faster and progressed in their career more quickly:
- 32% higher rate of finding a job than those who wrote their resumes themselves
- 68% of them secured a job within 90 days of having their resume professionally written
- 42% of them moved on to a higher-lever position
It’s not just a matter of being prepared for unexpected offers. It’s a matter of ensuring your career story is documented in the most impactful way, which brings us to the first trend of 2020.
2020 Executive Resume Trend: Tell a Powerful Story
Today’s executive resume has to tell a leadership story. It summarizes key content in just a few brief pages and is sharp in both appearance and content.
The picture that the resume paints is a strategic story that spotlights key achievements and positions you as the coveted resolution needed for key business problems.
Over the years, the executive resume has advanced from a chronological document to a leadership marketing tool. Decision-makers expect to read a file that is meticulously tailored, chock-full of value, and storytelling in nature.
Three quick tips for devising your executive story:
- Prove your claims with a heavy emphasis on big business wins, major career achievements, and specific metrics.
- Lead with results by front-loading your statements with tangible and quantifiable data
- Focus on a snapshot, not the whole story; understand what pieces will resonate with each unique audience and zero in on that information.
Weave leadership abilities and capabilities throughout the file, focusing on value delivery and results demonstration.
2020 Executive Resume Trend: Showcase Coveted Leadership Qualities
Big companies want smart leaders who possess a mixture of hard and soft skills. The marriage of technology with emotional intelligence is a coveted leadership combination.
While executives are not expected to be experts in various technology, they are expected to have attitudes and perspectives that can embrace technology improvements and optimizations for greater business success.
Your executive resume needs to demonstrate agility along with the ability to ‘move with the times’ (think: introduction and application of new technologies to drive business forward) along with results generated:
- Initiated expansion of time management software to optimize labour scheduling. Shrunk costs by initial $20M, which is expected to double upon business-wide implementation.
Also, top executives need to sell EQ, not just IQ.
Strong leaders must demonstrate an ability to perceive the emotions of themselves and others accurately, and the masterful ability to improve performance, foster teamwork, and make strong business decisions.
In your executive resume, this means sharing specific examples of how you mastered relationships and emotions to drive up productivity and bottom-line results. Just don’t forget to share the results of efforts. Again, results demonstrate true level of ability and success:
Instead of: Introduced communication strategies to improve team engagement.
Try: Expanded team engagement scores from 68% to 83% in 1 year while decreasing voluntary turnover 88%. Introduced communication tools that improved field team visibility 68% and enabled best practice sharing.
2020 Executive Resume Trend: Share Financial and Business Impacts with SMART Statements
Forget about buzzwords and industry jargon; focus on value delivered.
A trending style that has cropped up is the SMART statement, as this format allows individuals to easily focus on financial and business impacts – which make up the foundation of great business leaders.
SMART statements are meaningful statements that provide a clear snapshot of individual value and potential impact. Just like a SMART goal, a SMART statement is Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Results-Oriented, and Time-Bound.
Let’s compare a task-based statement with a SMART statement:
Task-based statement: Responsible for implementation of new operational improvement plan.
SMART statement: Directed 8-month global operational improvement plan, overseeing design, development, and implementation across 6 countries with 3,000+ staff. Increased staff efficiency 51% and generated over $800K in annual cost-savings within 5 months of execution.
Using SMART statements in your executive resume allows you to quantify accomplishments in a way that amplifies results while addressing the needs and desires of the employer. An executive resume should contain a variety of accomplishment statements; in 2020 be sure to include SMART ones.
Ultimately, the executive resume continues to play an important role in the executive hiring process (although not always the heaviest of hands) as it evolves from a basic file of facts to a narrative of coveted leadership skills and SMART statements.
Watch for Part 2 of Executive Resume Trends 2020, where you can read insights from top executive resume writers who share strategies for writing the resume with purpose and intent – and designing the file for the modern age.