Trends in CVs and Resumes for Senior Level Executives and Consultants (Keywords, Hyperlinks)
While an increasing number of recruiters seeking to fill c-suite positions are utilizing on-line resources and social media to find candidates, resumes remain the primary means of applying even among executives. Resumes need to be concise, demonstrating the candidate's experience with strong, action-oriented statements which are tailored to match the keywords associated with the position. Social media sites, and Linkedin in particular, effectively become the candidate's curriculum vitae (CV), telling their "full story" without the necessary constraints of the resume format.
Below you will find a deep dive of our findings.
GENERAL RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
A recent Forbes article notes, "Despite evolving job search tactics, the traditional resume remains one of the most important tools in the job search toolbox. In 2018, executives will be able to locate, create and apply to positions in a variety of ways, but at some point in the hiring process, a resume is likely to be requested." In fact, most of the advice for crafting a successful c-suite resume would be suitable for creating a resume for any other position.
For example, keep the resume short and sweet. Customize the content of a resume, the "details, results, facts, skills and keywords," for the position. "Readers are short on time and want to know 'what’s in it for me' -- fast... So tell them, removing anything that doesn’t directly support the case." Use bite-sized chunks of information instead of densely-packed, hard-to-read paragraphs.
As with any resume, the goal is to make the applicant's value known. This is best communicated by proving one's claimed experience and success using strong, front-loaded statements.
Forbes gives an example of a weak statement: "Employed excellent communication skills to successfully lead a team through the creation and delivery of a new marketing strategy, which produced significant revenues."
Instead, Forbes says, put the results first: "Generated $6 million in new revenues in just 18 months by directing a team of 20 to create and execute a new marketing strategy." Lead with action-oriented words like "Developed, Produced, Reduced, Yielded, Consolidated, Engineered, Executed, Spearheaded, Launched" and "Implemented."
Posted job openings and descriptions usually contain the significant keywords that the recruiter will be searching for. It is therefore vital to study the job position and use the right keywords in the resume and make sure that it will pass the filter of an automated Applicant Tracking System (ATS). There are some keywords that should appear on nearly every executive's resume. According to both Top Resume Pros and Do My Resume, these include "Revenue Growth and Profit Maximization, Organization Leadership, Corporate Administration, Budgeting & Finance, New Business Development, Performance Optimization, P&L Responsibility," and "Strategic Planning."
USING SOCIAL MEDIA
Many executives are still using "dangerously old-fashioned" resumes at a time when the majority of recruiters are using social media to recruit, from Linkedin to Twitter to simply Googling for prospective candidates. (For this reason, the more savvy executives maintain separate professional and personal social media pages.) Given the necessity of keeping a resume short and to-the-point, having a Linkedin page serves the purpose of a CV, telling the applicant's whole story. This means that it is vital to present the right image: "You need to get your brand and value proposition together before moving them online, so that you send a clear consistent message across all channels," Executive Career Brand explains. "Slapping up a LinkedIn profile, other social media profiles, a website, or web portfolio before doing the initial branding, targeting and research work is a mistake."
URLS AND HYPERLINKS
Since a majority of recruiters are finding candidates for executive positions through their social media,  it's a good idea to include the URLs to one's Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook page on the resume. While hyperlinks (for example, embedded in a PDF) can save the recruiter a lot of typing (and may be vital in the case of long URLs), they may be lost if the ATS converts the resume to a plain-text format, so the full URL should always be provided. While some sources also advise providing links to other relevant information and sources, URLs and hyperlinks should be used only in moderation.
ADDING AN ADDENDUM
Sometimes it is necessary to add an addendum to the resume, "a one page document that is added to expand upon specified skills or workplace experience in further detail," usually unique or at least highly specific areas of expertise. Most addendums are technical, which would rarely if ever come into play for an executive resume, but "certifications, professional training, professional associations, board memberships, awards and community work" can also be presented. Addendums should be used sparingly, if at all, and should never include job information or exceed one page in length.
The current best practices for applying for a c-suite position are to submit a resume which is tailored to the position. That resume should contain a URL to the applicant's Linkedin page, which can be used to present a more detailed curriculum vitae. Other social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, should also be maintained in a professional manner, as these have become major recruiting and vetting tools.