Even with the support of the editors at Skyhorse, revising the book was a huge project, and I’m excited to see its fruition.
Here’s some of what you’ll learn in How to Write a STELLAR Executive Resume:
1. How to create a compelling format
Format your resume professionally and cleanly to speak to an executive audience. If you’re planning to write your resume yourself, you’ll need some Word skills that you might not have picked up in your travels. The book will teach you some important basics.
Use a format appropriate to your profession. For example, if you’re a marketing or sales executive, you can be more daring with your graphic design than if you are an insurance or finance executive. Create something that “pops” without going overboard. Include plenty of white space. Too much text will turn your readers off.
You might insert a bit of smart art or a chart or graph into your executive resume. An easy way to insert graphics is to create a chart in Excel and paste that into the document.
Most important, print out your executive resume before sending to make sure everything looks okay, and run it by some colleagues in your industry for their opinion. If anyone is squinting to read your tiny print, increase your font size. A two to three-page resume is okay for executive resumes!
2. How to make powerful word choices
Smart word choices, dynamic and varied verbs, and good sentence structure are essential to a successful executive resume. Check your spelling and grammar, and have three other people check your spelling and grammar.
Many hiring managers will immediately reject an executive resume based on a single spelling or grammatical error. Remember that the past tense of “lead” is “led” – and don’t bore them by starting every bullet with the verb “Led”! Mix your language up as much as possible without sounding flowery.
3. How to deliver “power and punch”
Pack your executive resume with measurable achievements – metrics and concrete/tangible outcomes. These quantitative results are what keep your reader engaged and demonstrate your value to the organization. You need to show them that you will deliver 5x the amount they are paying you in revenue generations and/or savings.
Put your achievements in context. A $5M increase in revenue is more notable on top of $10M than it is on top of $1B. Achievements are also more impressive in the face of challenge. So share your CAR (Challenge/Action/Result), PAR (Problem/Action/Result) or STAR (Situation/Task/Action/Result) stories to demonstrate how you have tackled challenges and what results you have generated. These accomplishments will demonstrate what you’re capable of creating for your next company.
Be careful! While you want to provide a sense of the challenge you faced, you want to do that without making your company look bad. This balance requires some finesse.
4. How to convey your unique selling proposition (USP)
You absolutely must make yourself stand out amongst all the other people applying for the position. Learn how to do this in the first few lines of your resume, with the “New York, New York” principle!
5. Why it’s important to put yourself in the employee’s shoes
Imagine yourself reading your resume as your future employer. What would you be looking for? Would you hire you?
As someone reading a resume, you would of course want to see some of the keywords that are essential to the position. That’s just the basics. Once that threshold is passed, is the content of this resume enjoyable to read? Is it pleasant visually? Or are you bored? Do you really get who this person is and the difference they could make for your company? Be rigorous in asking – and answering – these questions.
6. What homework you should be doing
You’re a rare person if you can just sit down without preparation and write your resume. This is a big project and it takes doing your homework!
Take some time to think through your accomplishments. My resume questionnaire is a great tool for doing that. And choose a format you like, appropriate to your profession.
How to Write a STELLAR Executive Resume is a great place to start as you’re getting serious about writing your resume yourself.
Overall, your resume or executive resume requires high-level storytelling that knocks the reader’s socks off with both an appealing format and impressive language. If you follow the advice in How to Write a STELLAR Executive Resume, you might get feedback like some others who have followed its principles: “This is the best resume I’ve ever seen.”
Then all you have to do is back up the resume with your interview skills. This winning combo is what will get you your dream job.
Want a copy for yourself? Find How to Write a STELLAR Executive Resume at