Whether you’re gunning for your first job after graduation or a highly coveted executive position, the task of putting together an impressive resume is a daunting one.
In many ways, writing a senior-level resume can be more challenging than writing an entry-level resume. A good resume should feel like a “greatest hits” package from your career, and with a long work history and a wide range of skills, it can be hard to know what to include and what to leave out.
If you’re looking to compose a senior-level resume, consider the following tips.
List Relevant and Impressive Credentials
If you’ve worked hard to earn an MBA degree, there’s no sense in keeping it a secret. An MBA degree and other credentials should be listed at the top of your resume, just underneath your name.
Just be sure that degrees and other credentials will be familiar to your readers. There isn’t much point in listing a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) certification just below your name if you’re applying for a position in the construction industry.
Impress in Your Summary Section
If you’re qualified to apply for a senior-level position, you should have an impressive set of experience and credentials. Your Summary section, positioned at the top of the page just below your name and contact information, is where you should impress your readers with the most impressive aspects of your background.
In a sentence or two, outline your essential, relevant competencies, the job you’re currently in (or your last job if unemployed), how long you have been (or were in) that position and your most impressive accomplishment related to business leadership.
Just below that, add a bulleted list of your other major achievements. You should be capable of clearly describing your accomplishments, using dollar amounts, timeframes and other hard numbers.
In your Work History section, you can expand on the information you included in your Summary Section. As with the previous section, you should list only the most relevant information and quantify wherever possible.
If your Work History Section starts to extend to a full page or more, simply list any jobs you held 15 years ago or more in a bullet point list titled, ‘Early Career.’
Use Two Pages
It’s a popular myth that resumes ought to be limited to one page. Two pages is a better guideline, and one that senior-level resumes should follow. If your achievements and work history can’t fill up at least a page and a half, you might struggle to impress your reader.
Try to have your earliest, least-relevant jobs on the second page. Also, don’t include irrelevant early jobs, unless it would create a gap in your work history.
When you’ve had a lengthy career, a two-page limit should push you to include only the most essential details on your resume. An effective approach is to put yourself in the shoes of those making the hiring decision and scour your resume for unnecessary details.
We Can Connect You to Senior-Level Opportunities
At Jarvi Group, we often help experienced professionals connect to our clients’ open senior-level positions. If you are currently looking for such a position, please contact us today.