CFO Resumes … More than just pretty

One of Matt Bud’s recent editorials in the FENG (Financial Executives Networking Group) newsletter was entitled, “Paint a Pretty Picture". He was primarily talking about resume aesthetics but he also said this, which is my point.

“… it breaks my heart at times when I review a resume and just know that the person behind the paper in front of me is so much better than how he/she appears.”

It is critical that who you are in person is the same person you appear to be on paper. If you meet someone at a networking event or you receive a warm lead, recommendation, and introduction to an opportunity and you follow up with an executive resume that falls short of who they believed you to be … in all likelihood, you just lost an opportunity.

Conversely, if you have a resume that is not written in your voice, with your words, and which accurately reflects who you are but instead creates a facade, meeting you in person will most certainly doom you to failure. 

Effective personal marketing documents (resume, leadership addendum, executive profile) for a Chief Financial Officer or Corporate Finance Executive are so much more than aesthetics. While I agree with Matt that “pretty” matters … no white space, grammatical and spelling errors, poor paper quality … the prettiest resume in the world won’t matter if it …

– positions you as a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none;

– is a responsibility-oriented historical novel;

– does not meet the Blackberry principle;

– doesn’t answer the question a company is asking … what do you bring to the table that makes it worth my while to pay you to join the executive team?

Pretty matters. But it is much, much more than just pretty. It’s very much about value. Yours. The clearer you are about your value, the stronger your positioning … on paper and in person!

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