By Steve Brady
Finding executive-level employment in a difficult economy can be incredibly challenging, yet at the same time, with the endless executive and management level possibilities out there, it can also be viewed as a great adventure. It all depends on how well-equipped a job hunter is. The first tool the prospective job hunter needs in his toolbox is of course an executive resume.
All resumes need certain sections that are considered standard. The following four are found in just about every executive resume: Objective, Summary, History and Education. Exactly how each of these four sections is crafted varies, but their content is vital in crafting a quality resume.
Definition of a Resume Summary
The resume summary is the place where the job hunter lists his strongest skills and selling points, as such, it is also an excellent place to include targeted keywords. Many larger companies use automatic resume screening technology, and if a given resume does not contain the right keywords, it never sees human eyes. As one of the first items visible on a resume, the summary gives potential employers a snapshot of the candidate's skills and abilities. Luckily, with some "scaffolding," anyone can write an executive resume summary.
Creating a Compelling Executive Resume Summary
The first thing a prospective job hunter needs to do is create an extensive list of job-specific skills. Writing a top 10 list of skills that apply to executive-level managers allows for a starting point from which to personalize the resume summary. List things such as:
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills
- Accounting skills, etc.
Once a top 10 list has been written, it is time to personalize it with related experiences and training. Words help paint a picture, and while an executive resume summary should be brief and to the point, it should be written actively with expressive language. Modifiers are a writer's best friend in this instance, and as long as they are not overdone they will help paint a strong picture for hiring managers. Instead of "strong speaking skills," the phrase, "powerful motivational ability" gives a more vivid picture.
Targeted keywords are vital in the technological age where auto-scanners can eliminate a resume in 10 seconds. Luckily, the job postings themselves will often have the desired words embedded in them. Read postings and advertisements carefully and try to tease out important words and phrases that give an idea of the type of candidate the company is looking for. Once identified be sure to include these key competency terms in the resume summary.
The final step as with all writing tasks is to proofread--and then proofread again. Nothing will get a resume tossed in the junk pile faster than unnecessary typos.
Once a quality resume summary has been created using powerful wording and targeted keywords, the applicant will be one step closer to possessing an executive resume. This resume will win interviews and, eventually, employment--which is what every job hunter wants.
Steve Brady is the owner and head writer for www.Quality-Resumes.com, a full-service resume writing company. His career-based writing can be seen on Suite 101, EHow, and the Yahoo! Contributor Network.