A guide to writing an executive resume in 2024

Creating a standout resume for Senior and C-Level roles is both an art and a science. Whilst it’s useful to have a current resume in your arsenal, it’s not a one-size fits all approach. Each application needs to be crafted distinctly to the role, organisation and business culture you are looking to join, highlighting your key skills of leadership, strategy and change management, relevant to the position and business. Essentially, you’re showcasing how you will help the business and prove to be an effective leader within their organisation.

Articulating your accomplishments, skills, and personal brand while adhering to the intricate requirements of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can be a daunting task. However, with planning and attention to detail, you can craft a resume that captures the interest of human reviewers and seamlessly navigates ATS software.

Here are our executive resume tips for 2024, designed to help you outshine the competition:

Visual appeal
While ATS systems serve as initial gatekeepers, ultimately, human eyes will evaluate your candidacy. Your resume should be visually appealing, easy to scan, and strategically highlight your most impressive soft and hard skills, personal brand, and quantifiable achievements. Adopt a clean, simple and professional layout that prioritises readability. The focus is on content, not design. The font should be easy to read and the adoption of bullet points attracts the reader to easily identify key skills and achievements.

Leadership journey
Executives are not born; they are forged through hard work, perseverance, and a proven ability to inspire and lead. Your resume gives a chronological overview of your career to date, but to stand out, you need to highlight the specific accomplishments that propelled your promotions and the leadership opportunities you’ve been entrusted with. Demonstrate how your decision-making and guidance have positively impacted the organisations you’ve served. When doing so, ensure you provide context to your role and remit.

Strategic structuring

  1. Personal details
    Include your full name, email address, phone number, and language proficiencies. Omit sensitive information such as date of birth, photographs, and unnecessary personal details that could awaken unconscious biases in the recruiter.
  2. Personal brand statement
    Craft a compelling statement that encapsulates your unique value proposition, cultural fit, and what sets you apart from the competition. To write this effectively you need to know who you are writing for. Researching your target audience will help tailor your personal branding statements to their needs and interest. It should be consistent and coherent with the rest of the resume consistent, serving as a summary of the document.
  3. Skills showcase
    Highlight your soft skills, hard skills, and business acumen using industry-specific keywords that align with the role and organisation. Be aware of the current challenges and business strategies relevant to companies of interest and demonstrate your experience and tangible achievements in these areas e.g. digital transformation, ESG, DE&I.
  4. Achievement highlights
    Prominently feature up to 5 quantifiable achievements to capture the reader’s attention and demonstrate your ability to drive measurable results in your business area.
  5. Professional experience
    Utilise the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) format to craft compelling narratives that showcase your problem-solving abilities, strategic thinking, and measurable impact.
  6. Education and credentials
    Emphasise your academic degrees, certifications, and relevant training, listed in reverse chronological order.

Additional sections
Depending on your background, consider including sections for volunteer or community involvement, professional memberships and affiliations, board appointments, and patents or publications. These can further differentiate you and showcase your well-rounded expertise.

Final thoughts…

As you craft or update your resume for Senior and Executive roles, use this comprehensive guide as a checklist to ensure you’ve included all the essential elements.

Remember, attention to detail is paramount – meticulously proofread your document to eliminate any spelling, grammatical, or factual errors that could undermine your credibility.

Your resume is a powerful tool that can open doors to new opportunities and propel your career to greater heights. With a well-crafted, impactful document tailored to the role and industry, you’ll be one step closer to achieving your professional aspirations.