Recruiters on Resumes

At the Kennedy Conference last week, our recruiter panel offered up the following thoughts on what they wanted to see in a resume:

––Results–driven contributions, not a listing of job descriptions
––Enthusiasm & passion (this is where branding becomes so important)
––Polished presentation
––Vision (strategic initiatives – start to finish)
––The ability to clearly communicate
––Reverse chronological format
––Tailored cover letter

One panelist said he loves the concept of personal branding as it "provides evidence that the candidate can get the job and do the job.”

One other speaker at the conference said this, and it speaks to the first item in the list … “candidates confuse performance with experience … without performance experience doesn’t mean much.”

Compelling Executive Summary = More $$$$

Bill Reichert, Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, joined us in the CFO–Career–Forum this week with insight and wisdom into building an executive summary that will get the attention of potential investors. As a career coach, it was interesting to hear the parallels between building a compelling executive summary and establishing a competitive and distinctive search strategy.

Bill talked about creating a clear and unique value proposition; identifying a clear target market and leveraging warm introductions rather than a shotgun blast to nameless, faceless people; and networking, networking, networking  … also solid career management strategies.

Other parallels included a very high fail rate – in excess of 90%. How is the posted position game working for you in the job search? And he made clear that the purpose of an Executive Summary is to get a face–to–face investor meeting … much the way a resume is designed to get you in the door for an interview.

Here’s my point. Unless you understand and can clearly articulate your value and marketability, competing in today’s tough market is harder than it needs to be.

If you would like to hear the full hour of Bill’s wisdom and insight, along with other speakers over the past year, join the CFO–Career–Forum today.

Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

I’ve gotten some questions and read some articles this week about whether it is preferable to write your own resume or have a professional write it. Since I’m in the resume writing business, my answer is perhaps biased. However, permit me to make my case.

One of the main arguments for self-writing is that you know what you’ve done better than anyone else. Of course you do. The question is … how well can you articulate it? Not every one has a gift or talent for writing. And very few people are savvy at marketing when they are the product.

My finance executives tend to be numbers-oriented rather than words-oriented. They can finesse and lovingly massage P&Ls, keep department budgets in line, monitor profit growth, and set strategic direction, but when it comes time to marketing themselves through the written word, there can be a serious disconnect.

There is also perspective. We always look at the things we’ve done through our own narrow viewpoint and that sometimes does not allow us to clearly see the value in the things we’ve accomplished and the ways we’ve contributed. Sometimes, it is easier to see the worth of our accomplishments if we have an objective person asking us questions that allow us to look at our contributions from a different vantage point.

I’m not crazy about the way my hair stylist styles my hair, but she cuts it exactly right. She has a different perspective than I do, and one I cannot begin to replicate by looking in a mirror with a pair of scissors in my hand.

My clients are senior-level executives who understand that if you don’t know how to do something, you partner with an expert who knows what you don’t know. If you are immersed in a frustrating and discouraging job search, seek the advice and help of a career coach who knows what you don’t know and who can help you see what you can’t see. The insight you gain regarding your marketability and value to a prospective company can give you a fresh approach … even if you do decide to write your own marketing documents.