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Executive Resume Writing and Preparation | Writing that get’s Noticed
Before we start I would like to distinguish myself as a small business owner and not and executive, simply because one makes six figures doesn’t pigeon hole them into an executive or CEO position. This leads me to how I first came about writing executive resumes and cover letters. My father was given six months notice that the company he is working for is restructuring their work force and will be consolidating certain groups. He was given six months due to his seniority and the preparations he needed to help the company with.
My father is old school, no cell phone, very little internet and definitely no social networks (linkedin). So when it came time for him to start looking for a job his first resort as anyone would do was to inform all of his contacts to see if there are any openings, real social networking. Regardless of what opportunities were available for him he needed to update his resume which was on a 3-1/2” disk, I mean when I put it in my computer I was scared it would wipe out something it was that old. My Dad understood that for someone my age I can and have held a lot more jobs then he has and will. The familiarity of being out of work and searching for a new job is not as scary for someone who does it every five to six years rather then someone who has never done it. And time change.
So enter me, Mr. Techy. To my dad I was an authority figure of what to expect and look for in the new online market place. Which web sites are mainly full of temp services versus ones that are direct to the employer. What to have on your résumé and cover letters, so for one of the first times I could teach my dad how to source a job that was either a lateral or upward move in both responsibility and income. Since my Father was an international executive this required a bit more skill and refinement.
Do Executive Resumes need Cover Letters?
Considering that 80% of hiring managers today ask
for and actually read cover letters I would say, yes. With that many people
asking for it it’s better to be safe then sorry, that will also allow you to
warm-up the hiring manager, a pre-sell to your resume.
Your cover letter should original and not a summary of what’s already in your resume. This is where the pre-sell comes in, keep it to a few key points (selling points) you really want to get across to the person reading your resume – messages that may not be interpreted from reviewing your resume. Make it personal, your philosophies and why you “do what you do.” Most people looking for a job simply are too lazy and just restate what’s on their resume, the point of a resume is to stick out, and consensus is that 95% of cover letters are extremely boring. Since your not boring being innovative and writing “out of the box” they will nearly always contact the job seeker, especially when their resume is equally persuasive!
Using Referral Letters to your advantage
When I am working I always keep a file that says “ praise for a raise” this is a simply folder that has email of thank you letters and testimonials that I can use later when discussing price increases or raises. These referral letters can be from your former manager who may write a strong referral letter for you, to customers who were very pleased with your service. Take them to the interview. If you have the privilege to tell the person who is writing the letter what to write tell them to be original as well.
For example, when you are interviewing for a specific job, have that person tailor the referral to that specific job, there’s so much more that could be said to SELL the job seeker. So be sure to give this person some information on what they need to write! They don’t know what to say unless you tell them.