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Career Advice

Five Proven Résumé Tweaks for C-level Executives

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

December 1, 2010

If you have been fortunate enough to climb the corporate ladder, you know that the trek can be long and arduous; as a C-level professional, you realize the importance (hopefully) of maintaining your image and continuing to brand yourself as a top notch leader.

Naturally you want to make the most meaningful impact as you seek new opportunities; who doesn’t?  Listed below are some vital elements to consider when tweaking your résumé at the executive level.

  • You must provide a powerful branding statement. Your personal brand is critical to create a demand for YOU. The idea is to present yourself in a way that engages others and encourages them to pursue you with enthusiasm.

Here are a couple of examples to give you an idea of how to set the tone of your résumé and your brand before you meet with anyone:

C-Level Leader with a Record of Revitalizing Underperforming Companies & Restoring Profitability



Executive Leader Driving Business Transformation Initiatives Across Multi-Site Operations

  • Choose a résumé style and format that showcases your skills, abilities, and competencies as a high level executive. You can’t take a plane ride for the price of a train ticket! The visual presentation and content of your résumé work in tandem to deliver an overall impact and impression. As an executive you are setting an example within your organization – your résumé is your personal example for external eyes.
  • If your résumé is over two pages, consider developing an executive biography that summarizes your history in an abbreviated format. A bio can provide a 20,000 ft. view for the reader, highlighting your overarching background. This document can serve as a critical supplement to your résumé.
  • Consider a hybrid style résumé, a format that will allow you to capitalize on your significant career highlights in the area of the résumé that is “prime real estate.” The top third of the first page is where you will grab and hold the reader’s attention to keep going.  Establish your value early on to make the greatest impact.
  • Consider having your résumé and executive biography professionally written by a certified professional résumé writer with strong experience preparing C-level documents. At the C-level, it makes dollars and sense to work with an industry expert.

C-level executives are judged by a different yardstick than most other candidates. Your résumé may be scrutinized by an entire Board of Directors. Content needs to be sharply written and to the point without overwhelming the reader. This is not an easy task when there is a great deal of information to be conveyed.

Achievements should be quantified and articulated in a compelling way to drive interest, avoiding redundancy or verbosity. The accompanying cover letter must provide additional branding value and articulate the unsurpassed level of experience you bring to the table.

The competition is steep and being as prepared as possible is critical to attaining your career goals.  There is no room for mediocrity at the top!