Writing a winning resume is the key to success in our job search strategy. It is the only activity in our job search process which is under our control. This is the reason why most of the candidates spend a lot of time, money and effort in creating an engaging resume.
However, no matter how well written your resume is, recruiters are unlikely to spend more than 6-8 seconds while scanning your resume. In such a scenario, if we follow a specific resume format at all career levels, it is unlikely to make the right impact.
For instance, as a Senior Vice President of Marketing, you have much more skills and experience that you can highlight than when you were a fresh MBA Graduate. But if you still continue to apply for top- level management jobs with a typical entry-level resume format, recruiters might not consider you a worthy candidate.
Hence, it is highly crucial to choose the right approach or format when it comes to resume writing. Let us take a look at how we need to change our resumes at different career levels and impact our job search.
As an entry-level professional, our resume needs to emphasise primarily on the academic background. It is desirable to have separate sections for summary, education, interests and personal details.
Since we don’t have enough industry experience, we should capitalise on academic projects that we took up or the internships during graduation or post-graduation. Showcase in detail your responsibilities during the project and the key learnings. Explain how you dealt with an issue and the relevant solutions you delivered.
For instance, if you are targeting a Market Research Analyst job, explain a scenario where, as an intern, you helped some company to reboot their marketing strategy based on your research results.
We could also mention some extracurricular activities or leadership positions that we held in our school or college.
After you possess some relevant experience in your domain, it’s time to put forward your capabilities. Focus on the job responsibilities coupled with your accomplishments. Ensure that you highlight:
- Some new methods or changes that you have implemented across your career.
- Any instance of strong team work or team building exposure.
This could help you transition to a higher managerial post. Certifications, courses or trainings that you attended to upskill, could be a value addition to your resume. An interesting way to highlight your individual personality would be to specify any voluntary involvement in company events, workshop coordination, etc.
Senior or top management executives:
This is the trickiest, yet most interesting resume format. While you move up the managerial ladder, your strategic perspectives develop further with time. Employers are more likely to value you for top-level executive positions when they see some worth in terms of:
- Strategic vision
- Business planning
- People management qualities
- Leadership attributes
- Process turnaround or restructuring
- Change management
Quantify the changes or results that you brought in for each company. Keep the personal or educational details to a minimum. Emphasise primarily on the recent 5-6 years of expertise and shorten the previous employment details with crisp and specific inputs.
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