Items That Should NOT Appear in Your Professional Resume
You’ve probably read volumes of words, advice and recommendations on the design and information you should include in your professional resume. However, even experienced C-level executives are often unaware of the data that should not appear in an effective summary of expertise and experience. Here are some executive resume “don’ts” for your consideration.
You should know and understand your “target audience” to create an effective resume. With ten seconds or less to motivate a reader to finish evaluating a resume, you should eliminate all irrelevant information that means little to your audience.
Highlight the qualities and expertise your audience wants. You should design your C-level resume to address exactly what they want. Other expertise, regardless of its level and value, may be skills in which your audience is not interested. You should probably avoid wonderful achievements from over ten years ago, since their current relevance may be deemed useless to your audience for their specific needs.
Too Much Contact Information
This suggestion may at first appear to be counter productive. When you’re considering an employer change, you want to make it as easy as possible for interested parties to contact you. However, the emergence of electronic communications for both employers and employees seeking a match make contact information overload a potential problem for both parties.
For example, submitting an electronic resume should eliminate the need for stating your complete physical address. You can simply state a general area, e.g., Boston, MA, while protecting your exact address, for security reasons. In those situations requiring snail mail communications, you can divulge your specific physical address when required.
Further, don’t include your office number, home number, cell number, sister’s number and mother’s number to give prospective employers multiple options to call you. Display just one number, probably your cell phone for ease of contact.
Finally, don’t display your five favorite email addresses, including your work address. With current security and monitoring levels, you might invite difficult questions should you receive email communications from potential new employers. Why not create a separate email location just for your job search prospects? Consider using just your first and last name as the address, making it easy and simple for employers to respond.
Effective “Objective” Statements
Many, from new employees to experienced C-level executives, make major mistakes with this common resume component. Never state what you want in this statement. Only display how you will help and contribute to your employer. Further, use pertinent keywords to increase the volume of search “hits” for your resume.
A good choice: Use your executive brand statement, showing your strengths, values, expertise and vision. Since this component appears at the top of your resume, make it hard hitting, interesting and targeted at your audience. This helps attract the reader in the under-ten second time frame available to you. Entice the reader to finish evaluating your resume with interest and a desire to learn more.
Remember, the only purpose of a professional resume is to help generate a request for an interview. There has never been a resume, however wonderful, that generated an executive offer of employment.
Avoid All Tired, Boring Phrases
A common complaint of H.R. managers and hiring professionals is the frequent use of worn out, static phrasing in resumes from all levels of candidates. If you’re an experienced C-level executive, you’ve also read too many “exciting” resume phrases like “responsible for”, “managed”, etc.
Follow the first basic rule for any hopeful writer: “show, don’t tell.” Use high-activity, action words. Consider the words “innovated”, “directed”, “achieved”, “synergized”, “generated” and other action verbs that serve to reinforce your brand focus.
C-level executives should project an image of success, professionalism, action, vision, motivation, dedication, and value. Boring, worn out, tired and clichéd phrases only detract from your objective.
Save your words and use them wisely. Focus on motivating the reader to email or phone you—at your one address or number—to have a meaningful chat, hopefully leading to an interview invitation. Eliminate all unnecessary and counter productive words, phrases, and statements. Target your audience with a sense of purpose with a strong focus. Get the interview.
Eliminating irrelevant information, excessive contact data, and tired phrases while including definitive statements displaying your expertise and value to the employer, will help generate that email or phone call that could enhance your career. Create the best opportunity to achieve this objective.