Are you a frustrated executive job seeker who knows that your background is exceptional and yet your resume is failing to muster any interest for appropriate positions?
You’re not alone.
On a daily basis I hear the same complaints and desperation. A dead-end job search can catch anyone off guard, but it can be particularly puzzling and ego damaging for someone who has enjoyed years of recognition and upward mobility.
If you are like most of the executive job seekers I speak to, your resume’s inability to generate interest can be explained—nine times out of ten—by one or a combination of the following:
1. You have not communicated your fit for your ideal role with arresting clarity and brevity
If you are a C-level Healthcare Operations Executive who is an expert at revitalizing unprofitable health systems, your resume should clearly say so. Don’t describe yourself as a “highly motivated, results-oriented professional with success in strategic planning, leadership, and transformation”. Your reader will see nothing but a cookie-cutter executive. They will not see that you are the perfect fit for that senior leadership role for a healthcare-turnaround scenario.
To correct the cookie-cutter syndrome, ensure that your resume communicates the role(s) that you are ideally suited for and the industry (if possible). Try to summarize your unique value in a one-line branding statement so that the reader can quickly identify the business challenges for which you are a great fit.
2. You have not argued your business value
If you have generated double-digit growth, saved millions in CAPEX, created new, innovative lines of business, delivered dividends while competitors folded—by all means, say so! Don’t simply list off tasks, responsibilities, and committees you served on that will interest no one and do nothing to differentiate you from your competitors.
Hiring an executive is risky business. The only thing that will convince a prospective employer that you are worth that risk is by arguing the bottom-line value delivered in each of your previous roles.
3. Your job search strategy has no strategy
Even with a stellar resume—if your search efforts are focused solely on responding to job ads and reaching out to a few recruiters, you may be waiting a long time for the phone to ring. According to a study conducted by ExecuNet, only 3.6% of hiring happens via Internet ads, and only 3.9% via recruiters. A whopping 75% of hiring happens via networking.
Therefore, with your refreshed resume ready—describing your fit and business value—grab your virtual Rolodex and start making calls to get that stellar resume in the right hands, and you’ll begin to get the attention that your exceptional profile warrants.