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How to Add Achievements and Measurements Into Your Executive Resume

If I had a dollar for every job seeker who has told me, “I don’t have anything special to add to my resume. I don’t have any results to share.” – well! Every single one of these individuals was wrong.

Everyone has plenty to share – it’s just a matter of identifying the right content.

A modern resume needs to be loaded with value, answering every employer’s primary question of “why should I hire you over someone else?”. This means resume content must be focused on specifics and results, not basic job duties.

You have to provide proof of the skills and capabilities you claim to possess. 

Regardless of role, industry, or career length, you have value, and you’ve excelled at something. So how do you unearth strong content for your resume?


To start, one must know thyself.

This may sound implied, but it often isn’t. A good many of my clients know their work and their jobs really well, but they lack awareness of personal skill sets and unique strengths. Deep analysis and careful pondering are required to identify what sets one apart.

Questions I often use to prompt my clients on personal strengths include:

  • What distinguishes you from another applicant with the same experience?
  • What are five characteristics that best describe you when you are at work?
  • What is the biggest return on investment that an employer will get from you?
  • What have you consistently achieved during your career? What are you best known for?

These questions can help you identify the message you want to get across in your resume. A value proposition (who you are and what you are excellent at) should be formed and then supported throughout the file.


Next, conduct a deep dive into past positions to identify examples that support your value.

Carefully consider career exploration questions like the following:

  • What initiatives have you developed and implemented that helped your company increase revenue, profitability, or return on investment?
  • Did you generate new business, bring in new clients, or forge profitable affiliations?
  • Did you save your company money or increase your company’s competitive edge?
  • Have you increased safety, performance levels, productivity, or customer satisfaction?
  • What was the largest team, budget, or project value you managed?

From these questions, essentials form and strong statements take shape. To pump up the value even more, I urge the inclusion of supporting metrics. Can you address “how many, how much, how often”?


I understand that not all results are numbers based. Some job seekers feel frustrated because they can’t measure results with hard figures, percentages, or dollar amounts. This is ok.

Consider ways that your work was valuable and share results in a generalized way. Perhaps  outcomes were ‘improvements’, ‘increases’, ‘best’, ‘time-savings’, or ‘top’.

For less number-focused results, consider these additional exploration questions:

  • How do you coach, motivate and develop a winning team and develop loyalty in your staff? Have people you mentored gone on to do well?
  • How would you describe your leadership style? What was the greatest achievement of a team that you directed?
  • Have you won awards or received special recognition by superiors, peers, or customers?
  • Did you get promoted in record time?
  • Have you assumed additional responsibilities or willingly assumed tasks outside your job description?
  • Have you worked internationally, across multiple industries, or within highly recognizable organizations (Fortune 500)?
  • Did you complete specialized training or education?
  • Did you complete projects on time and within budget? How consistently?


Now, form value-enhanced statements from your answers.

Make sure each statement in your resume demonstrates specifics, even if there are no numbers or hard results attached to it. You might be surprised that you can measure results more than originally thought, and if you can’t – make a note to start capturing these quantitative details on a more regular basis for future resume development.

To demonstrate the difference between basic statements and value-enhanced statements (often with quantifiable details) compare the following:

The valued-enhanced statements above leave fewer questions unanswered and provide greater impact. These same statements can be further enhanced with the addition of a bit of unique context (the how and why). Just aim to keep all resume statements as succinct as possible.

Lastly, ensure resume content (and results) focus exclusively on details and skills that relate to the targeted job posting. For example, if you are targeting a sales job, but have loads of experience and achievements as a mechanic, don’t fill the resume with trade-specific content.

Be strategic with what you include in your resume; only your best and most related examples need to be shared in each application.


Looking for more examples of high impact resume statements? I helped the team at Job Search Secret Weapon put together a guide with over 35 examples. Check it out! 

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Does Your Executive Resume Have a Red Flag?


People often ask me to review their resume 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 some of the most common red flags that I personally come across (and how to fix them):

Task-Heavy Content

Copying and pasting job descriptions into your resume provides zero value to the reader. Emphasize results instead. Share pertinent content from your career that demonstrates proof of ability in alignment with job requirements.


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.


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 and career experts to weigh in with their thoughts on resume red flags, responses centered 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:


Lack of Focus at the Start

Kelly Gadzinski (Career Coach/Resume Writer): Lacking a bold headline and opening summary that effectively showcases personal brand in an unique and eye-catching way.

Skye Berry-Burke (Career Coach/Resume Writer): For me the key is in the branding Headline/ Tagline. If I can’t determine what your target or industry is from the start, my motivation to continue reading is challenged.

Jessica Hernandez (Executive Resume Writer): 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.


Overpopulated Information

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

Virginia Franco (Executive Career Storyteller): 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 (Career Search Advisor): If it’s a bullet, it means it needs to be short and sweet and not a 5-line long paragraph.


Deficient Customization

Omar Osmani (Recruiter): 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.


Missing Results 

Erin Kennedy (Executive Resume Writer): 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 (Career Coach / Recruiter): 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 (Assistant Director Career Services): 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 (Recruiter): 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, if is you were any good at it.


Weak Attention to Detail

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

Javier Vinsome (Career & Adversity Advisor/Resume Writer): Repetitive action words. Overuse of “Responsible for…”. Employment with no dates.Sarah Johnston (Job Search Expert): I’ll add font sizes under 10! The reader should not need to squint to read your resume.

Laura Smith-Proulx (Executive Resume Writer): 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). If your job titles don’t do you justice because you really held a higher-ranking level of authority, don’t put the job title in bold. Quit showcasing data that doesn’t do you any favors. Highlight distinguishing qualifications, keywords, and achievements that you want employers to spot!


Other Considerations

Kerri Twigg (Career Coach/Speaker): When it looks like it came from a resume book. They should look like living documents with heart. You can do this by using words you normally use (and will use at the interview) and not playing it too safe.

Michelle Precourt (Career Coach/ Recruiter): Recruiter bias happens…if we are honest, we are all biased. To mitigate this, create a gmail account with your name. It’s simple but effective. Hotmail accounts could imply an older job seeker and a university email could imply someone inexperienced.


Thank you career experts and resume writers for sharing your insights!

I’ve captured the 6 resume red flags which I feel need the most attention, by all levels of job seekers, in the infographic below:



Looking to take your resume to the next level?  Try these posts: