6 Most Effective Ways to Customize Your Executive Resume – Part 1

In this two-part series, you will learn the six most effective ways to customize your executive resume and get the attention of any hiring manager. The first three steps are reviewed below.  

1. Identify the Right Keywords

Your resume needs to pass through an online application system before it will ever be seen by the recruiter or hiring manager. Online applications use specific searches to find applicable keywords to determine if you are a worthy candidate for the position you applied to. In order to make the first pass, your executive resume needs to have the right keywords for the position in the right places. You will likely already have industry-specific keywords on your resume, but you also need to incorporate position-specific keywords throughout your summary and employment sections. To find the additional keywords to include, you can use wordle.net to evaluate the important competencies for each position and tweak your resume to reflect the optimized words. The key here is to not only include keywords, but also that you are being smart about the words you choose and the way you incorporate them. Just like other search engines, online application systems are able to detect keyword “dumps,” where your document is so keyword-rich, that it doesn’t tell a cohesive story – and your resume will be rejected. Use the right keywords, in the appropriate places and frequency, to customize your resume to be picked-up.  

2. Show Proof of Your Expertise

Too often resumes default to summarizing your past job descriptions, instead of showing how you accomplished various milestones. One of the easiest ways to incorporate the right keywords into your resume is to use them to show recruiters what you are an expert in. Using the guidelines above to find the right keywords, deliver key accomplishments and metrics emphasizing your expertise. It will help tell the right story about your experience and candidacy while keeping an SEO (search engine optimization) friendly resume. Start crafting your content with the keyword you want to emphasize, and then create your story around the word. Remember that showing the recruiter what you can do will always be more relevant than simply telling them that you are an expert in that area.  

3. Tailor Your Heading Title

Your resume has only 6.25 seconds to make an impression on the recruiter or hiring manager. The very first thing they are going to look at, is your title heading – the bold statement at the top that indicates what you are an expert in and why the recruiter should continue to review your resume. Your heading title is a great place for you to strongly correlate your experience with the position you are applying for. Make it as easy for the recruiter as possible by showing them that you are already qualified for their position. For example, if you typically use a heading title of Digital Marketing Executive but are applying for a Digital Marketing Manager position, update your heading to: Digital Marketing Manager. There is no guessing left for the recruiter and you will have piqued the recruiter’s interest from the very beginning. One important note: if you are not applying for a specific position, but are seeking general opportunities or an exploratory interview, use your broad title – in the example above Digital Marketing Executive, to be considered for various roles. Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series: 6 Most Effective Ways to Customize Your Executive Resume, where we will review steps four through six. For more tips on how to write your executive resume sign up for our free Webinar.  

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