Executive Gateway to $100,000 to $1 Million+ Careers
Articles by Wendy Enelow

Executive Resume Strategies to Win!

By Wendy Enelow, CCM, MRW, JCTC, CPRW

This article is not about the ABC’s of resume writing. Rather, it’s about creating the “right” perception of who you are to support your current search objectives. If you’re an EVP of Sales looking for another sales management position, the resume writing process is reasonably straightforward. However, if you’re that same EVP of Sales who is now looking to transition into a general management role, your resume will be entirely different. Although you’ll continue to highlight your strong revenue performance, you’ll want equal emphasis on your management achievements, roles, and responsibilities. You must create a resume strategy and structure that “paints the picture” as you wish someone to “see” you and understand your value.

Following are four common resume strategies that might help you overcome specific issues or challenges you may be facing.

CHALLENGE: To create a picture of cohesive employment despite the fact that your company has changed ownership 4 times in the last 10 years.

SOLUTION: Use the recommended format below. Note that it communicates long-term employee with the same organization and not a job hopper with 4 employers over the past 10 years.

VERIZON, Albany, New York – 1991 to Present
(Originally recruited to NYNEX Telephone System in 1991. Company was acquired by Bell Systems in 1994; then by Alltel in 1998; and most recently, by Verizon in 2001.)

Managing Director – US Cellular Division (2004 to Present)
Director – US Cellular Division (2003 to 2004)
Manager – Cellular Site Provisioning (2000 to 2003)
Manager – Purchasing & Outsourcing Contracts (1998 to 2000)
Purchasing Agent – Government Division (1996 to 1998)

CHALLENGE: To create a resume that you can use for BOTH general management positions as well as “specialized” management positions (e.g., CFO, CIO, Sales Director, VP of Logistics).

SOLUTION: Use the recommended format below. Note that this candidate wants to remain in the Financial Services & Banking industry, but is considering both general management and financial management positions.

US & International Markets
MBA Degree – NYU Stern School of Business
Leadership & Organizational Expertise

  • Strategic Planning & Profit/Loss Management
  • New Business Development & Marketing
  • Cross-Border Trade & Finance Transactions
  • Information Systems & Technology
Financial & Investment Expertise

  • Foreign Exchange & Treasury Operations
  • Corporate Credit Analysis & Risk Management
  • Debt & Equity Financings
  • Mergers, Acquisitions & Divestitures

CHALLENGE: To position yourself for a career change into the technology industry when your entire experience has been in other industries.

SOLUTION: “Connect” yourself to the technology industry with a format similar to the one below that was written for an executive whose entire career had been in the plastics manufacturing industry. Note the description of his company.


Vice President & General Manager – 1999 to Present
($40 million manufacturer with state-of-the-art technology & automation center)

Job description is an equal blend of general management AND technology development/management functions, including such buzz words as e-commerce, networking and advanced automation.

CHALLENGE: To create the perception that you are a “big” company executive when the reality is that you’ve worked for small consulting firms throughout your entire career.

SOLUTION: Include a listing of your major corporate clients in the very first section of your resume. This clearly communicates that you’ve “played with the big boys” and immediately positions you as an “insider.”

Armour, Chevron, Citibank, Coors, Frito-Lay, Nabisco, Pepsico, Wells Fargo
US & Global Business Markets

WARNING: There are no absolutes in resume writing. These recommendations are simply examples of alternative strategies that may or may not be applicable to your executive career track. Use them to help you rethink your resume writing strategy to be sure that you are writing to support your specific search objectives.

Remember, the single most important consideration in resume writing is to create an accurate picture of how you want to be perceived NOW (not in the past). Using your objective as the overall framework for your resume, how can you integrate your experiences to support that objective? You’ll find that the answer may not be the traditional chronological resume format, but perhaps a more unique strategy.

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