While most executives have a multi-page resume, the one-page resume is a valuable tool to include in your executive portfolio. You’ll most likely be using your resume in a multitude of ways.
While an executive search firm may not mind reading your two- or three-page resume, you most likely should have a one-page resume for the various types of networking activities and events in which you will be participating. For example, you may want to update your closely knit contacts about your current status. These are people you’ve known for many years and who may be assisting you in your search. They may already be familiar with your qualifications, and you want them to have an updated resume so they’re clear about what type of position you are currently pursuing. You may also want to share your one-page resume at networking events, tradeshows, conferences, or the like. Or you may want to share your one-page resume during an information gathering or business meeting.
While creating a one-page resume is often a daunting task, here are a few pointers:
- Get clear on “exactly” what type of position you will be pursuing. Consider your brand, your passions, your unique and innate talents, and your value proposition. Then focus the entire resume on those qualities.
- Your executive profile should include your branded value proposition. Recruiters want to know what can you do for their client/company.
- Eliminate soft skills. Go for one-line zingers that will grab their interest, such as: “Launched 7 business units, integrated 4 acquisitions, and led 3 turnarounds.” Or, “Drive 4 businesses to rank among the most profitable units in their industry.”
- Include three or four of your strongest core competencies.
Education and credentials
- In a one-page resume, this section is generally positioned immediately following your Executive Profile.
- Include one line that describes the company (public, private, global, VC funded), major product(s) or service(s), and industry.
- Create one line that includes your title, the size of budget you manage, number of direct reports you manage, and other key information that will fit on that line.
- Add one line that describes your challenge(s). Were you brought in to turn the business around, or where you brought in to launch a new division or product, or to penetrate new markets? In just a few words, describe why you were brought in to the company.
- Accomplishments — In 25 words or less, describe what you have contributed to the company during your tenure. Articulate what value you created or delivered for each company. If you’ve worked for one company for many years, you may need to do this for several divisions or business units.
- Only include the companies you have worked for in the last 10-15 years.
- Leadership roles, such as Board positions, may be listed.
Associations / Affiliations
- Only list associations or affiliations if they are extremely relevant.
On a one-page resume, it’s okay to abbreviate more than usual. You’ll also want to condense your contact information to one line following your name. It’s also okay to reduce the size of your margins.
Creating a one-page resume will take some time. You will struggle with eliminating all the great details of your accomplishments. But, remember, you have your traditional resume to give to appropriate decision makers.
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