Executive Resume Trends for 2017
Executive Resume Trends for 2017
February 21, 2017
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Laura Smith-Proulx
Laura Smith-Proulx
Executive Director, Executive Resume Writer, An Expert Resume
If 2017 is anything like 2016, we’ll be bombarded with sound bites, powerful memes, and intense communications messages.

And by incorporating these concepts into your resume (even in a conservative field), you can use the same methods to make a powerful impression on employers.
No matter your industry or position, employers and recruiters will be performing a fast scan of your executive resume to get a feel for your credentials, career history, and social media presence.

Make their job easier by following 2017 resume trends, ensuring you’re making your mark and taking the best opportunity to shine among your job-searching competition: 

2017 Resume Trend #1: Create an Eye-Catching Document.

It happens every year: executive candidates go to bat with a worn-out, bland format representing their entire career purpose and successes! Your earning power depends on a fresh and cutting-edge presentation.

It might help to realize that your competition has upped their game, too: more job seekers are interested in adding graphs, color, and other formatting elements to the classic resume format. There’s no reason your executive resume must mirror the nondescript, black-and-white documents of yesteryear. You’ll also fare better by avoiding that generic resume template from Microsoft Word.

Stuck for ideas? Browse executive resume samples online or check out the Modernize Your Resume series. You’ll come away with ideas for freshening the look and feel of your executive resume – bringing it up to 2017 standards.

2017 Resume Trend #2: Go Virtual.

More employers and recruiters will now check you out online before even requesting your executive resume! Therefore, it’s not enough to merely update your executive resume alone; your LinkedIn Profile and other online information must align with your leadership brand.

If you’ve struggled to keep your online presence updated, it’s best to add current job information steadily (even when you’re not job hunting). Not only will this ensure a current representation of your executive skills, but it will also help you avoid the panic of being found out by the Board or your management team if you’re suddenly updating LinkedIn.

By maintaining an up-to-date LinkedIn Profile, you can regularly transfer key information to your executive resume, ensuring consistency across your online and offline presence. Keywords and achievements are particularly important pieces of data in both cases, as these details can help hiring authorities seek out your skills and distinguish you from other candidates.

In 2017, keeping your online identity current is no longer an option; it’s a necessity.

2017 Resume Trend #3: Choose Your Words Carefully.

While your executive resume needn’t be limited to a single page, the first page MUST be a crisp, clear snapshot of qualifications, skills, accomplishments, and kudos. Otherwise, employers won’t know how where to look for your bottom-line value proposition.

If you’re searching for ideas on how to condense your qualifications for a quick read, take a look at this CEO resume (honored with a global award in late 2016). Even with decades of experience, strategic and relevant wording encapsulated this CEO’s message of value – rapidly connecting the dots for employers seeking a profit-focused and operationally driven leader.

Recruiters and employers don’t have the time to absorb your message if it’s buried under tedious, lengthy paragraphs. In other words, make it short and sweet – but relevant.

2017 Resume Trend #4: Improve Keyword Density.

Keywords are not only here to stay, they’re old news in the world of executive resume writing. Still, many leadership candidates write their resumes without a thought as to how they’ll be parsed within an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), which is the software used by employers to screen incoming resumes.

If you’re confused as to what keywords look like or how they’re used, browse a job posting and look for the major skill sets noted in the job requirements. Often, these will be terms that describe your expertise, such as Solution Selling, Account Management, Software Development, P&L, Agile, Mergers, Capital Raising, or Market Strategy.

To raise your chances of getting past an ATS scan, take unnecessary phrases (such as Responsible For or Results-Driven) out of your executive resume, then focus in on the desirable skills sought by employers at your level.

Sprinkle keywords throughout your document, mentioning them both in a competencies list and within your achievements (as shown in this CFO sample resume). By maintaining a keyword-focused strategy in your resume, you’ll earn a higher ATS rank among your executive competition.

2017 Resume Trend #5: Update Carefully.

Still adding your latest job title and description, then calling it good enough? Stop and consider why the most successful executive candidates revamp their resumes top to bottom.

When taking stock of your career trajectory, your most recent achievements and stature will help “color” the tone of your story. By starting from your current role and working your way back, your entire message will be based on an executive-level brand. This exercise is much different than starting with early career experience and tacking on new positions.

Consider this: it’s also possible that the presentation, tone, keywords, and format of yesterday may have barely gotten you in the door in your last job search. Therefore, an overhaul can be your best ally in the 2017 war for top executive jobs.

2017 Resume Trend #6: Remember Your Audience.

Every effective marketing message tells the audience what’s in it for them, rather than touting the product’s features. Your executive resume should be no different.

When written from an employer’s point of view, your resume should demonstrate how and why you’ve made a difference, backing up claims with quantifiable figures and metrics to illustrate your impact. In this CEO resume, the scope of his work across international markets and in business growth is shown. Both visually appealing charts and detailed examples are provided, weaving a compelling story of effectiveness and executive leadership.

When recruiters and employers are able to see the bottom-line value of your work, they’re more likely to approach you for leadership opportunities… and the easier your interview process will flow.

In summary, taking a close look at fresh trends in executive resumes will serve you well in 2017 – and help you formulate a clear and engaging portrait of your abilities that transforms your resume into a powerful calling card.