Writing Your Executive Resume For The New Normal

Coffee BreakJuly 2020 Issue

Job landing hasn’t ceased. It has simply changed.  We will most likely end the year with more layoffs than hires, but that doesn’t mean hiring is zero.  Hiring still happens in recessions, as we saw occur in the market crashes of 2001 and 2008, and it will continue today.

 We are (not will be) living in a new normal. And because of that, your executive resume must shift to accommodate the unforeseen needs at prospective employers for hiring managers to want to interview you.  The new normal is outlined by this article in Bain’s April 2020 Insights Newsletter (https://www.bain.com/insights/covid-19-protect-recover-and-retool/).

In the article it states, “For an entire generation of business leaders, the actions they take now and in the weeks ahead will define them and their companies. And while the impact of this crisis varies across industries and regions, it’s no exaggeration to recognize that this time around, the burden of destiny is real. CEOs working urgently to balance dozens of critical priorities each day are starting to focus on two leading questions: ‘How can we ride out the crisis to emerge stronger than others in our industry?” and “How can the organization learn through this experience to win in a new world?’”

 So with the new normal there are certainly different hoops to jump though—but once you know where the hoops are and how big they are, you adjust accordingly to get through. That’s why executives need to emphasize in their resumes and career searches how they are going to be the answer companies need today.

 Here are four topics that need to be included when writing your executive resume for “the new normal:

 

  1. Start with your target company’s goal in mind. Demonstrate how you can create new and maintain existing revenue streams. Companies want to see leadership anticipate revenue flows and take the steps to preserve revenues or devise new opportunities as some revenue streams cannot be resurrected.  Spell out where you have done this in measurable accomplishments that are relevant to the job target as proof that you can do what the prospective employer needs. Realize many have taken financial hits and the quicker they can recover the better. That’s just one way they can emerge stronger than others.

 

  1. Leverage technology for scaled, automated and remote business functions.  Outline how you have streamlined costs and timelines using automation and remote tools. Not only being familiar, but showing how you succeeded in exceeding goals using these tools will put you ahead of the pack of senior-level applicants. That can help demonstrate how they can ride out the crisis and get through this experience.

 

  1. Show that you have had success, not just experience, hiring, training and managing remote teams to achieve goals and milestones.  This is definitely the future of work for many companies and expertise here helps considerably.  Using project management systems and online workflow communication tools to exceed companies’ goals are what you want to show in today’s virtual work climate.

 

  1. Showcase your track record of thriving in ambiguity and uncertainty.  I call this the “ability to make something out of nothing.”  Most people can make sound decisions based on past precedent or previous experience. But what about highlighting your experience where you pioneered through something that is unprecedented?  When you call attention to your ability to create revenues, forge profitable relationships, and minimize expenses without a road map of how it was done before, that is a desirable trait in leaders during these times.  Flaunt it. 

 

The bottom line is the only people who definitely don’t get hired in a pandemic are those who believe hiring has halted so they stop looking.  Don’t be that person. Instead, pivot to be ready and bring out the traits employers want to see in your executive resume in this new normal time. 

 Lisa Rangel is the founder and managing director of Chameleon Resumes LLC (https://chameleonresumes.com/), a resume writing and job landing consulting firm named a Forbes Top 100 Career Website.  

 

 

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