The Govt Resume: A Barely Completely different Set of Guidelines

Rosalinda works for a US-based world firm. A number of years in the past, she took over the Canadian division, which had beforehand beforehand underperformed, and turned issues round for the higher. About six months in the past, she designated a chance to share a few of her strategic concepts and options with higher administration. They favored what she needed to say and lately opened up a brand new VP place that’s ideally suited to her, particularly since it could contain implementing the initiatives she steered. She needed to try for the promotion, so we labored collectively to overtake her outdated resume. We took it from the mid-level supervisor resume that she used when she first received employed to at least one that displays the chief she turned throughout her time with the corporate.

Rosalinda (not her actual identify, after all) is relocating her profession upward as a “new” govt, so it's no shock that she had rather a lot to study learn how to current herself in a brand new manner by means of her resume. However, I've additionally labored with many seasoned executives who don’t appear to know that for those who're an govt, it is best to comply with a barely completely different algorithm when growing your resume.

Beneath you'll discover three explicit explanation why the chief resume is so completely different from an everyday resume.

By the best way, I'm defining “govt” as govt administrators, senior managers, vice presidents, c-level officers, board members, and anybody concentrating on a strategic management place of their profession.


For the person contributor or the mid-level supervisor, we count on to see a two-page summarized resume that reveals about 10-15 years of labor historical past. Expertise previous to 10-15 years in the past could be displayed or not – it's completely elective. Nevertheless, for an govt, we need to see the profession progress in full. Besides, after all, for the minor jobs you had early on – there's no want to indicate the job you had as a pizza supply driver while you had been in class.

There's additionally a lot extra data to be included on the primary web page within the first part, which is the profile or abstract part. On an everyday resume for a non-executive position, this part could also be as quick as one or two sentences, or it might be as much as a half-page lengthy. Alternatively, for some govt resumes, particularly for c-level and vice chairman candidates, the profile or abstract part fills your entire first web page.

Due to these two components – extra years of expertise and extra data within the profile – the chief resume is normally three, typically even 4, pages in size.

Govt Profile

As I simply talked about, the profile or abstract part will, typically, take up the primary first web page of the resume, and the content material of that web page is the second main cause why the chief resume is so completely different from an everyday resume.

It doesn’t matter what degree your position – whether or not you're an govt or not – the abstract or profile part wants to inform about and present proof of your worth proposition. If you happen to're an govt, you even have so as to add in one thing about your management type, in addition to incorporate extra language referring to your strategic enterprise acumen.

The chief's profile will embody the standard: a succinct place assertion, industry-specific key phrases, and one thing about your distinctive worth proposition. However it is going to additionally embody key phrases that mirror strategic-level pondering and tasks – phrases like “P & L,” “investor relations,” and “{industry} forecasting.”

Nearly all of resumes that I develop for purchasers embody a profession highlights part. On the standard resume, it's a separate part that’s sandwiched between the profile and the expertise sections. Typically will probably be included as a part of the profile part reasonably than be inserted as a stand-alone part. Nevertheless, with the chief resume, I all the time embody it as a part of the profile.


Robin Kessler in her e-book, Competency Primarily based Interviews , defines competencies as “the important thing traits that essentially the most profitable performers have that assist them to achieve success.” She factors out that some organizations outline competencies as “underlying traits, conduct, data, and expertise required to distinguish efficiency.

Based on Signe Spenser from the Hay Group, these are the 10 most typical competencies (not listed in any explicit order) desired by corporations:

  • Achievement / Outcomes Orientation
  • Organizational
  • Initiative
  • Analytical
  • Influence and Affect
  • Conceptual Considering
  • Buyer Service
  • Info Looking for
  • Interpersonal
  • Integrity

Now, right here's a abstract of what executives want to have the ability to do in line with Loren Appelbaum and Matthew Paese, Ph.D., of their white paper “What Senior Leaders Do: The 9 Roles Of Strategic Management”:

  • Navigator
  • Strategist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Mobilizer
  • Expertise Advocate
  • Captivator
  • International Thinker
  • Change Driver
  • Enterprise Guardian

As you possibly can see by the 2 lists above, the chief resume additionally differs from an everyday resume due to competencies will likely be emphasised. To develop a stellar govt resume, you not solely want to incorporate a few of these (I normally advocate selecting your prime 3) competencies, you additionally want to supply proof of how the competencies you're trying to manifest as much as management type.

Simple “Guidelines”

Regardless that the chief resume follows a barely completely different algorithm, these “guidelines” are fairly easy and make plenty of sense. What all resumes have in frequent is that all of them want to supply greater than only a profession chronology. Everybody, together with the non-executive, wants to indicate one thing distinctive about him / herself with a view to stand out. With the chief resume, there's yet one more step, and that's to indicate what it’s about you that makes you solely efficient as a strategic-level chief of individuals and organizations.

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