When working with executives on their career portfolio, I always ask for their target company. At the C level (or equivalent), resumes are typically submitted only by request, or through a thought leader’s savvy negotiation. Therefore catering the document to reflect the organizational style will not only ensure a great fit, but a strong understanding of the target company’s culture, vision and mission.
The executive resume should begin with a study of corporate culture, the style standards and goals set forth by the targeted organization. Is there a trend to the design, mechanics, formatting, and voice of the annual report, president’s letter, and marketing materials? What are the corporate mission and value statements? And finally, what do you know about the existing leadership and their philosophies?
The portfolio’s style and content should then align with these parameters, yet still be authentic to your personal brand. By melding the two, you can physically demonstrate your ability to smoothly integrate into the company culture, while still making a focused impact on its growth. This foresight is often missed by many applicants (at all levels) and even during the interview.
Promoting yourself as a hot commodity is important, but if you don’t convince the buyer that you’re the solution then you’ve missed the mark by a mile. Your ultimate goal is to illustrate that by hiring you, a company will be investing wisely toward their growth. This takes research, planning and some strong penmanship. In other words, don’t assume one career portfolio style fits all. Keep in mind the employer’s objectives and the level at which you are negotiating. Then craft solid C-level documents that not only capture your talent, but reflect your target.
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