Executive Resumes

Part of the resume and cover letter center collection of articles.

Executive résumé formats generally have:

  1. A more conservative appearance.
  2. A separate area showcasing Career Accomplishments.
  3. A finished length of two or more pages.

That said, Executive formats can be used by any job seeker, especially those who have career or academic accomplishments and seek a more comprehensive approach to employment history—if that comprehensive approach is relevant and enhances their candidacy.

Conservative Appearance

Executive Résumé format generally employs the Times New Roman font, which is universal on PCs, easy to read, yet elegant in appearance. Designer fonts, which include BlackAdder II, Castellar, and Broadway, are best left for graphic designers, artists, and those in nontraditional industries. The ample use of white space and underscored section headings are aesthetically pleasing and provide visual cues about where one data area ends and another begins.

Career Accomplishments

This is the hallmark of the Executive résumé and what hiring managers most want to see. In this economy, when dozens or even hundreds of applicants with essentially the same backgrounds vie for each opening, the only characteristic that will separate a candidate from all the others is what they accomplished in previous positions. In an Executive résumé, these achievements are showcased near the top of the first page. What’s more, these accomplishments are generally quantified in terms of percentages, dollar figures, and time periods to specifically indicate what was done.

Finished Length

Executive résumés are usually two or more pages because of the sheer breadth of a candidate’s experience. However, a modern résumé should be only as long as it needs to be to contain the data relevant to the current job search. It’s unwise to expand a one-page résumé to two pages to meet an arbitrary page length, just as it is to cram a two-page document onto one page, reducing white space and font size to such an extent that the finalized document is hard to read and not aesthetically pleasing.


Continue to the ‘Curriculum Vitae’ article

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