“Hundreds of resume/CVs cross every recruiter’s desk each week. Yours will only stand out if it grabs the reader’s attention quickly and then effectively makes the point.” – Shawn Teed, TeedCo. Founder and President.
The further along you are in your career, the more complicated it becomes to present yourself effectively on paper. Therefore, it is important to begin this section by noting that these tips are not meant to serve as “Resume Writing 101,” but rather to provide assistance for those of you who have been in the field for many years. If you need help with the basics (which you may if it has been many years since you last wrote a resume/CV) we suggest you consult with one of the many resume/CV writing guides or websites available.
TeedCo. Tip #1: Resume/CV Writing
There is no myth or mystery to resume/CV writing Your resume/CV is not meant to get you a job, it is meant to get you an interview. Think of your resume/CV as an extension of your business card. You want to present yourself in such a way that the reader will want to call you to learn more.
TeedCo. Tip #2: Contact information
Generally, it is best to place contact information on the top of your resume/CV, including your email address if you have one as well as all appropriate contact numbers so that the employer is able to get in touch with you easily. Keep in mind that if you put a work number on your resume/CV, it indicates that it is permissible for the reader to contact you at that number. (Note: all communication with TeedCo. is strictly confidential.)
TeedCo. Tip #3: Use a Summary Section entitled “Profile,” “Specialty,” “Focus,” “Strengths,” etc.
In a brief section placed before the listing of your experience, tell the recruiter or prospective employer your strengths, and specifically what skills you can bring to the organization. This section is very effective if put in bulleted format and substantiated by verifiable claims.
TeedCo. Tip #4: Use Reverse Chronological Format in 2 to 3 Pages
If you have held numerous positions in your career thus far, we suggest that you focus most of your resume/CV on your recent and more substantial positions. Abbreviate or simply list your earlier positions. If they are truly irrelevant consider leaving them out.
TeedCo. Tip #5: Communicate the results and achievements of your former positions vs. simply listing responsibilities.
Use strong action verbs and specific numbers when possible. Cite examples such as: “achieved financial turnaround in eight months”, “decreased departmental costs by 15%”, “developed and operationalized product line to first position in market share”, “personally brought in 16 new major gifts yielding over $750K in 1999″ or ” markedly increased patient satisfaction (22%) as indicated in a follow-up survey”.
TeedCo. Tip #6: Spell checking is NOT enough!
The most common resume/CV writing mistake executives make (and the easiest one to avoid) is not thoroughly proofreading their own resume/CV. This is the first impression a recruiter and/or prospective employer has of you, and you should make the most of it. Misspelled or misused words indicate to the reader that the writer may not be thorough in their work; if you do not take the time to perfect your own image on paper, how can you expect someone to trust you to represent their organization on the executive level? Spell check, proofread it yourself, then have at least one outside party proofread it for you. You may even get some high-quality ideas for improvements from a friend/relative/colleague in the process!
TeedCo. Tip #7: General Appearance of your Resume/CV
Executive resume/CVs should:
- Be brief and read easily
- Be well-presented and well-typed
- Be printed on high-quality, conservative paper
- NOT have pictures
- NOT be “cutesy” resume/CVs (no fancy theme paper or colored ink, etc.)
TeedCo. Tip #8: Curriculum Vitae
If you are a physician or professional with a Curriculum Vitae, the most effective way to present yourself on paper is to create two documents:
1. A standard resume/CV, which allows the recruiter or prospective employer to get an idea of your qualifications and experience in a brief format of 2-3 pages.
2. A Curriculum Vitae, which includes your publications and presentations