Top 10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Executive Resumes

Top 10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Executive Resumes


When you spend a lot of time looking at executive resumes, you can get well-versed in the art of identifying which resume has it all and which one is full of errors that can cost them the job. Many executive candidates make mistakes on their resumes leaving a bad impression on recruiters, inadvertently causing them to lose out on great opportunities. Our experts have boiled down their experience into the following things that an executive must avoid at all costs when they are making their resume

1)      Absence of a Title

An executive resume should always begin with a short and concise heading, one which is short and self-explanatory about what they do. Titles such as sales leader and an advertising executive are good example. If you don’t provide a clear title for your resume, the recruiter won’t know which roles you might be suitable for.

2)      An Uninteresting and Dense Summary

Many executives think that it is a good idea to use big words and technical jargon related to their field. However, in order to communicate your seniority and experience, there is really no need to put a communication barrier between you and the reader. Use simple language with short, interesting and punchy lines.

3)      Lengthy Resume Introductions

If you try to fit too much in your introduction, it may seem overwhelming to the reader who might think that you are trying too hard.  As a successful executive, you might have some great selling points and skills but that doesn’t mean that you compose a dense introduction that the recruiter will end up skipping. Instead, highlight 2-3 skills or selling points and make them a centerpiece of your resume.

4)      No Keywords

Many companies are now employing software to filter through thousands of resumes to pick the relevant one. If you don’t use relevant keywords, the computer software will end up rejecting your resume and it will not even reach a human at the end. If you want to stand out from thousands of candidates in a company’s database, use phrases, keywords and important words relevant to your industry or field.

5)      Abundance of Information

You might think that listing down each and every milestone of your career will be an interesting read to the recruiter but too much detail can put them off. Convey your executive responsibilities and skills without losing the element of power and impact. Don’t list down responsibilities that are usually apparent for a designation and other topics that can be covered in an interview.

6)      Focusing On Job Descriptions

Writing a whole novella on your responsibilities and not talking enough about what they accomplished during their experience is the biggest mistake that executives make. An expert recommendation is to give twice as much space to accomplishments as you give to your job description.

7)      Not Mentioning Accomplishments

Most people don’t know that when it comes to executive resumes, bragging might be good. Explain how you turned a business around and what improvements or impacts you made on the last organization you worked with. Use percentages (preferably) and definite timelines.

8)      No Customization

Most executive have a one-size-fits-all resume that they intend to use for every job they apply for. This is counterproductive to getting a job that will value their skills. Edit your resume according to the job and scour the valuable information about the job description that will make your resume appeal to your potential employer.

9)      Improper Formatting

If your resume is unreadable, has mistakes, is created in PDF or any other fancy format, it will not open easily on the recruiter’s end, rendering it useless. Use a MS Word format for easy readability.

10)  Lack of LinkedIn Profile URL

This is the age of technology and if you are not including your LinkedIn profile URL, it can be particularly damaging for your career prospects, especially if the employer is looking someone who is tech-savvy.

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