Posted on Leave a comment

8 Resume Success Factors to Get Noticed!

8 Resume Success Factors to Get Noticed!

Resume success factorsI get asked every day about resume best practices and resume success factors.

People want to know where to start, what to believe, and how to write a strong resume if: “I don’t have anything awesome to share”.

Trust me; everyone has plenty of awesome things to share in their resume as addressed in this post: How to Add Achievements into Your Resume.



Other common resume questions I field:

One page, two pages, or three pages❓

Graphics or no graphics❓

Which keywords to include or avoid❓

How far back do I go with my work history❓

The answer to ALL of the above is ‘it depends’. You are unique; therefore, your resume will be unique as well.

Unfortunately, I don’t have one magic resume formula that works for every job seeker, but for me, all great resumes stem from the same 8 success factors. The following points summarize the key areas I feel should be carefully considered to create a successful resume:


1. Write your resume with your audience top of mind

Yes, the resume may be all about you but it isn’t meant FOR you. Have a clearly defined target picked out so content can be shaped more specifically and speak more directly to each reader’s needs.  General resumes don’t work.

2. Keep content relevant; tailor details

Similar to the point above, the more specific the content in a resume = the better. One, single stagnant resume can not possibly address every job’s requirements and nuances.  Customize your resume content in just a few simple steps for each application.

3. Share real-life examples of success; not generalized details or superlative statements

Fluffy details like ‘excellent people-person’ or ‘strong team leader’ don’t provide enough context. Instill confidence in the reader with specific stories and concrete examples of achievement.

4. Provide proof. Back up claims with results  

Context without results is like a story without an ending. Employers need a way to measure ability and impact. Quantitative details help support your level of success, so be sure to share ‘how many, how much, and how often’. Proof of ability often lies within results. 

5. Strive for quality of content versus quantity

In a resume, more can be less. The file is not meant to act as a complete career chronology of everything you’ve ever done.  A resume is a marketing tool that must summarize your top-selling points succinctly.

6. Stay authentic

Never feel pressured to write your resume like someone else. Your skill sets are unique, your experiences are unique, and your value is all your own. You can’t box every single person’s career story into one type of resume format. Ensure your resume embraces your true self and shares details both uniquely and authentically.

7. Make the resume as long as you need to convey the above and not one word more

Depending on your career length, experiences, and job target, your resume length will vary. Average resume length is 1-3 pages – pick what works best for YOU; no need to conform to page length myths.

8. Emphasize your value

All of the above points must center around the value you bring to the table. Identify the pain points of each application/organization/employer and position yourself as their problem solver. To accomplish this, you need to first know thyself.  What do you have that your competitors do not? How can you positively impact the organization in question?


If you are struggling to write a resume on your own, incorporating these 8 resume success factors, reach out. My personal executive resume writing process is comprehensive and customized.  It is caring and collaborative.  It is also strategic and supportive.

Posted on Leave a comment

CFO Resume: Make a High-Value Impact

CFO Resume. Executive holding a chart graph

You’re a top producer –  which means you need a resume that produces results too. If you are sending out your CFO resume and not getting the desired responses, there is likely some work to be done.

A CFO resume must illustrate unique and high value, presenting the candidate as an astute business leader who is well-informed of both current financial and corporate challenges. Apply these 3 strategies to raise the value and impact of your CFO resume:


If you haven’t conducted a job search in some time you are likely behind in modern job search trends. Today’s CFO resumes involve strong strategies and polished presentations to stand out. Some significant tactics include:

  •  Keep it short. A densely packed resume can do you more harm than good. Nobody wants to read a ‘career obituary’ (everything ever done and every role ever held). Think succinct marketing tool and make every word count.
  • Keep it focused and relevant. Eliminate lengthy job descriptions and generalized overviews; these are a given. Pinpoint pertinent career content that demonstrates a solid understanding of the role requirements. Qualify content carefully and only share details and specifics that directly address the readers’ needs.
  • Keep it loaded with results. Pack in power statements with exact metrics for massive impact.  Top achievers need examples that provide the proof and front-load statements for greater punch:
  • Raised $34M in venture and corporate funding in 3 years.
  • Negotiated $21M acquisition with additional $6M equity investment.
  • Generated $40M in additional cash by identifying and eliminating underperforming assets.
  • Saved $50K in annual software maintenance and licensing fees by implementing an updated software program.



CFOs typically progress along a similar career track and share many skills and values, but no two are exactly alike. Why should YOU be chosen to lead financial decisions in this top corporate role? Spend time contemplating and calculating your ‘10% difference’. What makes you unique?

Drill down to identify what makes you an authority in your industry and flesh out examples of where you’ve risen to the challenge. You need to convince high-level recruiters, boards, committees, and executive management that you can make a positive financial impact to the business.

Provide specific profit and revenue gains, cost savings, or streamlined efficiencies to support your statements and skills.  You can’t just claim to be good at something, you must prove it.

Develop a strong value proposition to summarize high-level experiences and work to support this statement throughout the document. Targeted branding or value proposition statements include:





Expert in Venture & Corporate Funding | Revenue & Business Expansion | M&A Administration

Drives operational and financial efficiency as a trusted advisor and partner, creating over $40M in annual cost savings. Connects entrepreneurial companies with venture capital to heighten business performance.


Top executives need distinct resumes that scream polished professional. Employ savvy layouts and design components (charts, graphs, or colour) to ensure the resume impresses at first glance.

  • Chart it. Visually represent revenue increases, profit or productivity advances, or cost savings. Graphs or charts often speak louder than words.

  • Bullet it. Deliver ‘bite size’ and easily digestible points instead of heavy blocks of text. The difference can be dramatic. Here’s a comparison:


Sought out areas for revenue improvement and increases. Located and handled negotiation for an acquisition, valued at $6M, which ultimately produced a strong return on investment (approximately eight times the return over a five year time span).


  • Helmed $6M acquisition negotiation which produced 8 times the return on investment within 5 years, strengthening revenue potential.


The bulleted content above is sharper, key details jump out, and wordiness is drastically reduced.



As a leading results-generator you likely lack the time to tackle a proper resume renovation, so don’t risk being passed over for a position at the top; turn your project over to a trusted professional.

A top performer like yourself understands the return on a good investment and the cost of a bad one.  Your career is too valuable to gamble with using a resume that may never work. Partner with a pro to ensure ROI:

Posted on Leave a comment

8 Executive Resume Red Flags

8 Executive Resume Red Flags

resume red flags

People often ask me to review their resumes and note any potential red flags that they should address. Although I’m not able to review the majority of resumes that are sent to me (I simply do not have the capacity!), here are 8 executive resume red flags that I personally come across.


1. Task-Heavy Content ????

Copying and pasting job descriptions into your resume will provide zero value to the reader. Instead, share pertinent content from your career that demonstrates proof of ability in alignment with job requirements.


2. An Objective Statement ????

Hiring managers want to know WIIFM “What’s In It For Me”; NOT what your personal end-goal is. Ditch the objective and share a value-based headline/tagline that aligns offerings with needs.


3. Loooong Length ????

Extremely long resumes are rarely read in full – or appreciated. Think quality of content versus quantity. Distill details down to what matters most, letting value dictate an appropriate length while keeping content focused and succinct.



When I posted this topic on LinkedIn and asked resume writers, career experts, and recruiters to weigh in with their thoughts on executive resume red flags, responses centred around several common themes. Here is the link to the entire thread but I’ve gone ahead and captured a few of the responses below for your reading pleasure:


4. Lack of Focus at the Start ????

Kelly Gadzinski: Lacking a bold headline and opening summary that effectively showcases personal brand in a unique and eye-catching way.

Skye Berry-Burke: For me, the key is in the branding headline/ tagline. If I can’t determine your target or industry from the start, my motivation to continue reading is challenged.

Jessica Hernandez : I agree with Skye. I think the branding headline/position title at the top really sets the stage for the entire resume. If this is missing it cripples the entire resume and leaves the potential employer with a big question mark. I’m a big believer in the importance of clarity on a resume and a clear branding headline/position title is critical for that clarity.


5. Overpopulated Information ????

Kamara Toffolo: Bullet Barf. Listing every single detail with a bullet or bullets that are actually paragraphs. Max 2 lines per bullet, please.

Virginia Franco: Dense text is my biggest beef — when something is too long, too verbose, or doesn’t get to the point — you run the risk that the reader will skip it altogether.

Ana Lokotkova: If it’s a bullet, it means it needs to be short and sweet and not a 5-line long paragraph.


6. Deficient Customization ????

Omar Osmani: Lack of customization, using the same resume to apply for all positions. Take the time to review and understand the job description. Then customize your resume to help show the potential employer how you are a great fit for the role.


7. Missing Results ????

Erin Kennedy: Not backing up your value with actual accomplishments. Just saying you are a “business development rockstar” isn’t enough. Prove it. What did you actually do to give yourself that title? The reader wants to know!

Jamie Chapman: I second several of the previous comments about backing up your “brag” items with your experience… it’s not congruent to say, “I’m awesome at managing budgets,” and then never drop a single dollar figure in your resume.

Scott Leishman: Resumes should have specific numbers that show the scope of the candidate’s responsibility and achievements that relate to the position they are going after. Dollar signs are much more powerful and precise than percentages.

Tom Adam: People need to list concrete, measurable achievements, whether it’s performance against sales quotas, up-time maintained in complex IT systems, number of new customers obtained, etc. Listing your duties alone isn’t a resume — it’s a job description. Whether you were an accountant, a sales rep, or a software engineer, we know what you did. What we want to know, however, is whether you were any good at it.


8. Weak Attention to Detail ????

Jeff Lipschultz: Errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. If you cannot proof your own resume, what kind of attention-to-detail do you possess?

Javier Vinsome: Repetitive action words. Overuse of “Responsible for…”. Employment with no dates.

Sarah Johnston: I’ll add font sizes under 10! The reader should not need to squint to read your resume.

Laura Smith-Proulx: Information shown in bold for no good reason – when it’s detrimental to the candidate. If you’ve job-hopped, don’t put dates in bold or right-justify them. If your positions date back to 1979, don’t put them in bold (and of course, eliminate some of these positions).


Thank you career experts and hiring personnel for sharing your insights on these 8 executive resume red flags!

If you are an executive looking to eliminate resume red flags and elevate your resume to a modern standard, visit me at to learn how I can help.

Posted on Leave a comment

CEO Resume Strategy: 4 Important Tips

CEO Resume Strategy. Executive in Suit

A CEO career is guaranteed to be rich in detail. However, a common mistake I see CEOs make in their resume strategy is spending too much time writing about their work and not enough time emphasizing their results.

What sets a CEO apart from competitors, though, are results.

Bottom-line business impacts, organizational growth, and business expansion are big, CEO-career wins that need to be strategically packaged and positioned in a resume to generate meaningful impact.

To hook and engage readers, a CEO resume should be less ‘here’s what I did every day’ and more ‘here are some carefully curated big wins, which align well with your role requirements’.

So how can you energize your executive resume with more meaningful content? Here are 4 resume tips to help your CEO resume strategy:


Provide clear statements of value

Don’t make readers guess or hunt. Large, heavy blocks of text can bury key facts and make it difficult to decipher clear value. Also, droning on about role oversights or daily responsibilities doesn’t provide a true scale of abilities.

Instead, spoon-feed the reader the facts they want, first…and add scale (size) to details. A good place to start is the resume header – which should be distinct and defined, something like:

President and CEO: 

$45M Global Facilities Management | Teams to 450 | 300% Revenue Growth in 4 Years


Continue to provide succinct descriptions of performance throughout the resume, placing a heavier emphasis on related metrics and achievements. Remember, less work and more results.

A content-heavy, work-focused excerpt might read:

CEO of the company for the past 5 years, overseeing all aspects of company operations and reporting, including investor relations, financing, operational strategy, business development, safety, contract negotiations, change management, treasury management, capitalization for projects, safety, and budgeting.  Focused strategies on EBITDA growth and revenue expansion, increasing both dramatically during tenure. To create necessary operational cost-savings, reduced closed down operations in one city and renegotiated long-term service contracts with vendors to reduce expenses.


 A sharper, results-focused excerpt which distills job tasks and showcases impacts:

In first year, realized EBITDA growth of 250% and increased production 360%. Continue to drive all aspects of national operations, including investor relations, financing, safety, business development, contract negotiations, and capitalization of company and projects, overseeing a team of 100 and a budget of $125M.

  • Expanded revenue from $1.5M to $26M over 5 years after introducing sales optimization process.
  • Reduced employee turnover from 120% to 10% in 1 year by initiating new benefit program.
  • Generated $5M+ in cost-savings by renegotiating long-term service contracts.


Pack the file with plenty of action, and mix it up

Vary word use throughout the resume, both for keyword purposes and increased reader engagement. For example, starting every bullet point with the word “managed” does not provide depth and breadth of ability, nor will it excite the reader.

Instead of dwelling on ‘responsible for’ statements, drive action and energy into your file with easy to absorb ‘sound bites’ or bulleted statements with varying action words and bolded measurements of achievement. An example:

  • Exceeded EBITDA target 6% in 2020 and 5% in 2021, achieving best financial performance of all districts.
  • Reduced district COR $2.6M after leading most successful tuck-in acquisition in company’s history.
  • Slashed TRIR score 35% in 2020 and an additional 15% in 2021 by establishing safety committee to build an organically-grown safety-first culture.


Additional heavy-hitting, executive action words to consider:  helmed, orchestrated, spearheaded, generated, reduced, engineered, secured, raised, produced, steered. See a longer list here.


Hammer home main themes so your unique brand and offering are clear

When we share something more than once it improves the chances of the information resonating. It also increases the reader’s confidence.

Repeat and reinforce key concepts, required skill sets, keywords, and personal impacts in your CEO resume to drive home your personal value proposition and brand. The more a reader reads something, the easier it will be to remember and buy into.

If your value proposition is: “Output-Oriented Leader Who Drives Revenue and Profit Growth through Continuous Improvement and Strategic Change”……. then you need to reiterate achievements in these areas throughout the file. Give an example of revenue/profit growth in every role possible, and provide multiple examples of continuous improvement strategies or positive change.

Start the resume with strong statements in alignment with this branding statement and continue the theme to the very end. The goal is to back up your claim to fame, with proof!


Improve resume reading performance

Will your resume pass the initial 5-second scan? If you want the reader to take a second, harder look, the resume must grab attention immediately. Make it easy to navigate the file, quickly. Tighten language. Shorten statements. Clearly define sections.

Deliver important details with emphasis. Various design components such as charts, graphs, bolded words, larger font/text, and the inclusion of colour are all potential ways to make important facts pop off a page. When used appropriately, and in strategic moderation, design can help guide the reader’s eye. Just ensure the design does not distract!

Take the examples below. Here, key content is shared in unique ways, making details hard to overlook:A Group of Impacts

The ultimate CEO resume strategy is to infuse the file with content that compels a reader to engage and learn more. Details should be well aligned with position requirements and easy to spot and absorb.  Avoid work basics and deliver bold results!

Want more examples of strong, executive resumes?  See these resume samples.

Looking for a modern, professional CEO resume strategy that sets you apart from competitors? Check out my resume writing packages at: 

Posted on Leave a comment

3 Quick Ways to Update Your Executive Resume

3 quick ways to update your executive resume

Professional man cheering with his hands up while looking at a computer as he updates his executive resume

Your dream job jumped out of nowhere, and you need an updated executive resume in a pinch? If it’s been some time since you’ve dusted off your file and need it NOW, here are 3 quick ways to update your executive resume and get it noticed.

  1. Find Your Focus

Winning executive resumes have a clear focus. What is it that you do best? How do you want potential employers to see you and your career story?

Having a clear job target ensures you can position yourself as the perfect fit. It’s much easier to sell yourself to employers when you develop a personal brand that showcases specific career highlights and accomplishments.

Pinpoint what you can do for an employer – what’s the one big problem you can solve? How do your skillsets, qualifications, and experience help an organization excel? Once you know your value proposition, be sure every point on your resume supports it.

Know what they need.

To truly position yourself as the one for this role, you need to know precisely what this company needs. Spending a little time upfront to research the company gives you an area of focus, so you can highlight the specifics they are looking for. Even skimming company literature and job postings is a great place to start. Pay particular attention to the keywords and phrases you see repeatedly (and mirror their language back at them!)

Showcase your achievements.

Boring job descriptions blend in with the crowd – but hard-hitting business facts and results jump off the page and demand attention! Employers want to see what you have achieved as a top leader. The best executive resumes include proof to back up the claims.

Use action words and phrases with numbers, percentages, or comparisons to describe your positions.


  1. Make ruthless cuts.

You only have a couple of pages to make a significant impact—every word matters. Recruiters and employers will spend approximately 6-7 seconds on the first pass of a file. Be sure the essential points don’t get lost in a sea of unnecessary words.

Edit your file and delete unnecessary content, outdated phrases, and overused words.

While your resume is about you, it should focus on what you can do for a company, not what YOU like to see on the file. Keep all points relevant to the value you offer.

Typically, executive resumes only detail work history from the last 10-15 years and run 2-3 pages in length. Ensure every role has a brief overview (what you stepped into and where you took things) and bullet your accomplishment statements.

Delete any overused words that will show up on every other file (detail-oriented, team player, outstanding communication skills). Rather than SAYING these things, give examples that SHOW how you put these skills to work to achieve results.

Be sure to leave off outdated phrases such as “references available on request” (they know and will ask if they want them). And cut any unnecessary words – can you say it in 1 word instead of 3? Do it!


  1. Clean up the format.

Readability is your number one goal. Most recruiters and hiring managers prefer a clean, easy-to-read format. Simple is better, with clearly defined sections, standard fonts, and lots of white space.

  • Use a format that adds interest while highlighting the specifics you want to jump OUT.
  • Use keywords to your advantage – there may be certain words or phrases you include on your file to get better noticed as a match, but your #1 priority is to optimize for the human eye. Make sure your reader’s eye is drawn to key points.
  • Add interest to your file with colour, bold text, or italics (used sparingly and strategically).
  • Avoid lengthy paragraphs or text-heavy bullet points. Make sure details are easy to skim and scan.
  • Use titled sections to organize and make it easy for your reader to find the info they seek.
  • Use numerals instead of writing out numbers and the % or $ signs instead of the words.
  • Keep the style consistent throughout.
  • Lead with results (meaning, start the statement with the result) versus burying results far within the text. Remember that readers scan left to right, so placing results near the left side of the page will make it easier to pick them out.


While I always recommend being prepared with an updated file on hand. When time is of the essence, these 3 quick ways to update your executive resume can help get your file into interviewers’ hands!

For more tips on crafting an outstanding executive resume, check out 7 Must-Haves for an Impactful Executive Resume.

Posted on Leave a comment

Personal Brand in an Executive Resume – The Best Way to Rise Above the Rest

Personal Brand Career Impressions_ (002)

Creating a personal brand in an executive resume helps potential employers better understand your unique offering and the return on investment they would get by having you on their leadership team. Outstanding resumes (the ones that get you noticed and called for interviews!) elevate you above the competition and prominently display your value.

If you look at your executive resume as a marketing document, your personal brand is your unique value proposition. What solution do you offer that no one else provides? Why should this employer choose you over your competition?


Developing a personal brand in executive resume


  1. Lead with a unique brand statement

Your personal brand statement should grab attention and position you as the perfect fit for the role. Think of it as your hero statement – what is the overarching theme to your career success? What is the main goal you aim to achieve in an organization as a senior leader?

A unique brand statement should:

  • Grab attention
  • Solve a problem
  • Give a feel for who you are and how you’ll fit into the culture
  • Display one big idea – what do you want to be known for?
  • Demonstrate alignment between your offering and the company’s needs


Examples of personal brand statements:

Scales and grows organizations by as much as 100% YOY by building healthy and well-aligned global teams to effect change.

I help international manufacturing organizations increase profits and reduce waste by improving processes, adjusting focus, and aligning operations.


  1. Tell your brand story in your career summary

The top of your executive resume is prime real estate! This space is your opportunity to sell your unique value. Craft a career summary that highlights what makes you stand out, your big career wins, and the primary skills and talents that got you those results.


  1. Focus on accomplishments rather than a list of responsibilities

Employers know what tasks the role entails and already understand the day-to-day. They don’t want to hear how you spent your days, but how you succeeded at the job and the results you achieved.

Use storytelling in your job descriptions to highlight your big wins, that SHOW, rather than TELL how you performed in previous roles.


  1. Back up your brand statement with proof

Do you consider yourself a ‘forward-thinking leader?’ How can you prove that statement is true? Share specific instances that back up your claim.  How have you developed teams and led them to success?

Or do you see yourself as someone who can ‘create efficiencies and save money?’ What numbers do you have to demonstrate this to your reader?

Specific metrics speak louder than ‘I can’ or ‘I believe’ statements.


  1. Be personal

The tone of voice, words you choose, format and visual appeal of your resume reflect a style. Be mindful when selecting elements, so everything works together to display personality (without just listing hobbies and interests).


  1. Dig deep to get to the heart of what makes you stand out

If you’re not sure what your value proposition is, make a list of all the things you offer a company. Things like how you help, what goals you achieve, how your experience, skillsets, and personality combine to make you fantastic at your job.

Once you have a list, look for an overarching theme. Support this theme with clear challenges you faced, actions you took, and results you produced.


  1. Be as specific as you possibly can

If you work in a highly specialized field, speaking directly to your target market is particularly important. Focus on one big idea. Give answers and metrics, emphasizing the exact problems you solve and the results you can achieve.


  1. Be authentic

While you want to customize your resume to each position you apply for, your personal brand should be a genuine reflection of who you are as a person and what you have to offer a potential employer.


  1. Showcase unique and combined strengths

You, your personality, and your abilities are unique. Combine them into one comprehensive picture that accurately details why you are the perfect fit for the role.

Consider both the hard and soft skills that structure your offering.

Yes, organizations need to know how you’ll benefit the bottom line, but employers also want a leader that is potentially flexible, communicative, initiative, and innovative. Align your skills with company requirements.


  1. Keep your brand consistent across all channels

The tone you use on your social media channels, in person, during interviews, and on your executive resume should all be consistent with how you want potential employers to see you.


Creating a personal brand in an executive resume helps set you apart, and in a hot job market, it could be what makes an employer choose YOU. Determine how you want potential employers to see you and know you. And then be intentional about crafting a personal brand that reflects what you have to offer.


Visit my shop on Job Search Journey for DIY workbooks that help you define your personal brand and craft a resume that rises above the rest. 



Posted on Leave a comment

Insights from an Executive Recruiter: Q&A

Q&A with an executive recruiter

Are you working with an executive recruiter to land your dream job? Many top employers hire executive recruiters to fill their most senior positions. Developing relationships with these headhunters can ensure you will be top of mind if a role opens up in your industry.

I recently reached out to an executive recruiter and principal search consultant Arpad Szakal of Cormis Partners Executive Search. Arpad was kind enough to share his firsthand insights in an informative Q&A.


  1. Arpad, how do job seekers know if an executive recruiter is a good fit for them and their job goals?

“The key is to find an experienced recruiter who specializes in your area of expertise and has a long history of successful placements. Also, once you find the person, make sure you are comfortable partnering with them.

Do a search to find out how many relevant mandates they worked on previously. If there are a large number of current roles that match up with your skills and past experience, it is a very good sign.

You can also ask current colleagues and former co-workers with similar backgrounds as yourself who they would recommend (or worked together in the past). Is the recruiter an expert in one or two areas and have they been doing it for a reasonably long time? It is preferable to find a search consultant who specializes so that they really know an area well. If they have longevity, it is fair to say that they will have many contacts and clients that could help you in your search.”


  1. What are some tips for successfully working with a recruiter?

Share candidly what opportunities and career paths you’re considering, as well as a transparent perspective on your salary requirements, goals and what type of culture will be the best fit for you.

Take these interactions seriously, as executive recruiters have an unparalleled view into the job market and can provide valuable information on companies that can influence your search — even if you are not being considered for a current assignment.

Always think in terms of relationship-building. Provide ideas for the searches the recruiter is working on, even if he or she doesn’t currently have a role that fits you. He or she may call upon you for advice or information in relation to other searches. Try and use these conversations to develop relationships with recruiters who can be useful when you are looking to make a career move.”


  1. How do executive job seekers find recruiters?

Find search firms that serve your target industries and reach out to the search consultant who is most likely to be able to help you. Write a personalized email with your resume attached. Request an in-person meeting to introduce yourself, but do not be offended if that consultant has other priorities — as long as he or she has your resume, you will be on the radar.

Also, search consultants do share candidates with their colleagues. Try to find and develop relationships with true search consultants who can not only help you find the right role but also provide you with the tools to help you understand your leadership and working style and how well you will align with an organization’s culture.”


  1. What do job seekers need to know about executive recruiters or headhunters? What do recruiters NOT do?

“Simply put, a headhunter identifies potential candidates and approaches them about filling a particular search mandate at a client organization. They then act as a liaison between the company hiring and the target candidate to place top talent quickly and efficiently.  

Many companies turn to executive search firms to recruit senior leaders who will have a long-term impact on the business while minimizing the risk of making the wrong hiring decision. Candidates work with these firms to help find their next leadership role or board opportunity.

It’s important to remember that executive recruiters work for the client – the hiring organization – not the candidate. If a headhunter contacts you, it’s because they are considering you for a role with that client. They are not trying to find you a job.”


  1. What does a recruiter look for in an executive resume/CV?

“One of the biggest challenges of developing an executive resume (CV in Europe) is creating a document that will be as effective when someone scans it quickly as it is when they go through it carefully.

Your resume/CV should convey your career story in the most straightforward way possible. Don’t presume that the reader will fill in gaps with accurate information, and don’t assume that they will know which experiences or skills you consider to be most relevant.

Instead, make that information crystal clear and easy to find. Before tailoring your resume/CV to a particular potential employer, spend some time reading the role specification and familiarize yourself with the organization’s website, annual report, and other materials. The language and messaging that they use should be reflected in all your career marketing documents.”


  1. How to create your personal executive brand?

“You are going to need to position yourself if you want to attract the right attention. You can do this in a variety of ways. Offline, you can speak at the events, write for industry press and so on. Recruiters for executive positions regularly ask industry sources for advice and recommendations, and if you have a reputation around your sector – hopefully, a good one – you are more likely to receive these recommendations.

Don’t leave anything out in your LinkedIn profile either. Headhunters prowl LinkedIn profiles to find target candidates, each looking for specific things in your profile. Some may be looking at your recommendations while others at your qualifications and education or the groups you’ve joined. Different aspects are important to different people.

Another effective way to establish a web presence is to purchase a web domain in the style of Linking your web pages to your Twitter and LinkedIn to your website will boost your social media profiles up in Google search results, making you more visible when somebody searches your name.”


In summary, A good recruiter will:

     · Keep your search confidential

     · Have access to opportunities

     · Offer market insights on areas such as salary expectations

     · Tap into their network

     · Get feedback on job applications to help you grow

     · Give inside knowledge on what hiring managers are looking for



Successfully working with an executive recruiter: TIPS

Know your job target

Specifying your must-haves, wants, and deal-breakers will ensure the recruiter you are working with has a detailed picture of your ideal role. Be as specific as possible to avoid applying for positions that wouldn’t be a good fit.

Craft a stand-out executive resume that helps them sell you

The recruiter is the middle man looking to make a good match. You want to give them all the tools you can to be successful. Crafting a solid executive resume makes it easier for them to position you as the perfect fit.

Share your salary expectations

Your recruiter wants to find you a good match. Being open and upfront about where you want to be and what you will and won’t accept ensures they aren’t wasting your time (or theirs) on roles below your ideal range.

Be open and honest

Are there any holes in your employment history or issues that require an explanation? Be transparent about potential areas for concern in your resume so the recruiter can best represent you.

View it as a partnership

Aim for mutually beneficial success – they are helping you find a role, but you are also helping them fulfill their client’s requirements. If they mention a position that isn’t quite right for you, consider passing on the name of someone you know who might be a good fit.

Remember that the recruiter doesn’t work for you

It is the employer who pays the recruiter for filling the role. They need to be sure that you are the right fit, so consider every interaction with the recruiter as part of the interview process.

Engage regularly

Keep in contact, check in, and let them know of any opportunities you have applied for. Open and regular communication is key to developing a relationship that will lead to a mutually beneficial outcome.

Explain your rejections

If the recruiter has shown you openings that don’t seem like a good fit, explain your reasons so they can consider them for future opportunities.


Questions to ask before you work with a recruiter

     · Do you specialize in any specific industries?

     · How can I make myself more marketable to companies?

     · How often do you staff roles with my skillsets?

     · What firm do you represent?


If you are looking to make connections with recruiters, LinkedIn should be your first stop. Over 95% of recruiters report they regularly use the platform to find leads for the roles they have to fill.

Working with an executive recruiter gives you a boost during your job search. There are more than one set of eyes hunting for the next opportunity. Taking the time to invest in the relationship will ensure you stay top of mind when they need someone just like you!