What credentials should your executive resume writer hold?
Choosing the right resume writer for creating your new executive marketing materials can be challenging and confusing. There is not “the one” qualification or credential.
Many factors come obviously into play when assessing a potential match between you and your writer:
- professional background of your potential resume writer (e.g. real corporate world and board experience?)
- college education and degrees, and
- their resume writing credentials.
In this report, I am going to throw some light on the later and assume that we agree that your resume writer should have demonstrated their industry commitment by at least completing and holding one resume writing credential.
I. An overview
So, let’s look at some resume writer associations and organizations that you’ll most likely come across the most. We could call them the Big 4 of Resume Writing if you like.
1) THE NATIONAL RÉSUMÉ WRITERS' ASSOCIATION (NRWA)
The NRWA with its 600+ members is the only nonprofit, member driven résumé writers’ organization in the world. I am actually currently on the board of this association, so, yes, I might be a bit biased here.
Passing the NRWA’s “Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW)” designation is quite a rigorous process and there currently are only about 60 writers in the nation who have passed this examination.
Taking the NCRW requires submitting a resume sample package and documenting 10 CE before being admitted to a two-part examination consisting of a proofreading as well as a resume and cover letter writing part.
2) CAREER DIRECTORS INTERNATIONAL (CDI)
Career Directors International LLC is a privately-run membership based business that offers various resume writing and career coaching certifications. Pre-requirements and specific testing depend on the specific level of certification.
There are several resume certifications offered by CDI include:
3) Resume Writing Academy (RWA)
Offered via the Career Thought Leaders Consortium (CTL), a think tank of career industry leaders run my Marie Zimenoff, the Resume Writing Academy offers an “Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW)” certification as well as a specialized social media profile writing designation called “Academy Certified Profile Writer (ACPW) certification.”
Both certifications offered require 3-months intensive coursework training. One aspect to note is that the ACRW certification does not require membership, renewal, or continued education.
4) The Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches (PARW/CC)
The PARW/CC was the pioneer in resume writing and career coaching’s industry early days and was established in the early 90s. With 1,500+ members including independent business owners and nonprofit career centers the PARW/CC is certainly an impressive organization. PARW/CC back in its early days developed a standard for testing resume writers and, since then, awards successful candidates with the Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW) credential.
II. So which one is the “must have” for your resume writer?
Reviewing the different organizations makes it obvious that there are many ways to becoming a certified and credentialed resume writer. Choices of your resume writer for one certification and bypassing another one might come down to personal preference in learning styles (e.g. autonomous self vs. intense course environment) or desired client specialization fields.
In my opinion, you can therefore not fairly pick the one “must have” certification to look for when choosing your resume writer.
One thing I can say, however, is that I frequently see writers on the top of their game holding various resume certifications.
So, this might not be a bad thing to look for in a qualified resume writer. You can check out some of my credentials here.
#Top 15 Benefits for Leaders Working with an Executive Resume Writer & Career Coach
Are you still on the fence about working with a resume writer and career to make your next career move? Not sure if doing so will have a solid ROI for you? How could this be helpful for you as a seasoned and accomplished executive?
Obviously the outcome largely depends on the individuals concerned: client and coach as well as how well they work together. I have nevertheless analyzed and distilled some common outcomes and benefits my clients have experienced over the years.
Here are the top 15 benefits of working with an executive resume writer and career coach:
1) Greatly improved and optimized resumes
2) Keyword enhanced and branded LinkedIn profiles
3) Easy-to-digest and on-brand executive bios
4) No nonsense cover letters that get read
5) Understanding and knowledge of their top career stories
6) Clear and consistently communicated personal brand
7) Career marketing collateral ready to go any time needed
8) Time saved in document preparation and overall search time
9) Enhanced market competitiveness
10) Executable job search strategy
11) Increased networking ability & networking with a plan
12) Higher overall market value & confidence
13) Sound knowledge of the hidden job market
14) Readiness for all common executive interview scenarios
15) Ability to negotiate high-end compensation at the maximum of the salary range
So there you have it. If you ask me, I feel very confident that those 15 points will be beneficial to empower your search for your next executive opportunity.
Did I forget something or do you disagree with certain points? Either way, send me an email:
Good News: The New Privacy Guidelines for Your Resume Projects Are in Place
You have probably noticed a large amount of privacy notice update emails you received over the last couple of weeks. This is due to an extensive new data protection law by the European Union which came into effective today, May 25th, 2018.
Data and confidentiality is obviously a very sensitive topic when it comes to your executive career and your career marketing documents.
In your resume, bio and cover letter, you are pretty much “forced” to reveal a full name, a phone number and an email address at a minimum.
And who knows where this personal data of yours ends-up once you upload your resume to job boards or on global company websites that may be operating data centers and services across the globe?
So while the new privacy law seems like an administrative monster, it is certainly an initiative in the interest of all job seekers whether actively or not-actively looking.
Your Resume, Bios, and Personal Data when working with me
You can read the full policy here.
Any questions about how I can help to take your executive career to the next level? Not sure if your current resume presents you in the best possible way?
Just sent me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Assessing the Time it Takes to Find your New Executive Job
Obviously, no one can tell you reliably how long the specific search for your next executive opportunity will be. Nevertheless, the question is pretty much on everybody’s mind.
Particularly if you are in transition, you will want to know if your severance package will carry you long enough.
Your specific search time will be impacted by external economical as well as candidate internal factors.
I like to break this down into 3 categories: 1) factors you can’t really influence, 2) factors that you can influence to a certain degree, and 3) factors that are totally up to your efforts.
Now, let’s look at some core bullets of each category.
1) Economic and Industry Outlook
- Type of industry: declining, stagnating, or booming?
- Global climate impacting the industry
- Hiring and talent situation in your market
2) Reputation and Flexibility
- Your market reputation and relevant business network including leading executive recruiters
- Your industry and leadership longevity (general management background? Niche experience?)
- Flexibility in terms of target titles (e.g., CEO vs SVP) or location (available for relocation?)
- Educational background (e.g., Ivy League degree, Executive MBA, etc.)
3) Job Search Collateral, Commitment, & Effort
- Your job search and hidden job market strategy and game plan
- Quality of your career marketing documents (executive resume, cover letter, bios, etc.)
- Personal branding efforts (are you consistently marketing your core value?)
- Informal and formal interview performance
- Your tenacity and commitment in executing your job search game plan
Additional points to factor in are lengthy background checks, screenings, several rounds of interviews, and possibly, board approval.
Outlook and Takeaway
Going through these bullets and comparing these points to your specific situation should give a pretty good idea on identifying factors that could either shorten or prolong your search process.
While I am generally a strong optimistic thinking proponent, I recommend not coming up with an unrealistically short time as that will only put unnecessary pressure and stress on you; particularly if you are in between jobs.
Need help with the factors that you can influence?
Just send me an email: email@example.com
Demystified: The CV and Resume Confusion between the US and Europe
Frequently, when communicating across the Atlantic between the US and Europe, confusion arises about what document is required to apply for a certain opportunity: a CV or a resume.
The general difference between CV and resume – in the US
When solely dealing with US application scenarios, the CV vs resume topic does not usually cause too much confusion.
CV is short for the Latin Curriculum Vitae, “Course of Life,” and is an extensive and complete record of your career evolution. No tweaking, summarizing, or rearranging. A full account of what you have done professionally; easily 10-pages long for a seasoned academic or medical professional. A full-blown CV is usually specifically requested in official job postings, e.g. from research hospitals, universities, and scientific institutions.
Corporate America, on the other hand, does not have time to sift through long and extensive career obituaries. Corporate America wants something “summarized.” And that’s where “résumé” the French word for summary, comes into play. A short, concise, and branded document that highlights a candidate’s value-add capabilities and achievements. Typically, 1 to 2 pages; possibly 3 pages for senior executives with more than 25+ years of executive leadership experience.
What about the Europeans?
One thing most cross-cultural leaders will notice when sourcing for talent is that Europeans seem to always refer to a CV. Hardly ever do I hear them use the term “resume.”
This regularly throws US leaders, candidates, and recruiters off.
Are there European counterparts really talking about an extensive, academic style, laundry list about all they have ever done for corporate executive leadership positions?
Of course not. Corporate Europe doesn’t have time to sift through extensive academic CV’s either. They also need a straight to the point and value-add document that allows them to quickly “scan” for a match potential.
The only catch here when communicating in English: Europeans tend to use the term CV interchangeably for an extensive academic long version as well as for the shorter and tweaked corporate version.
You will typically know from the context which one is required or sometimes an “academic CV” will be explicitly requested.
Europeans targeting the US for opportunities can follow the simple guideline CV = long and extensive, resume = short and concise. US candidates targeting European opportunities should, if in doubt, double-check before submitting their application.
One word of caution: Obviously, standards differ across Europe and there might be regions where people might actually refer to a resume rather than a CV.
If so, I have simply not come across this yet and would be grateful if you would let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Report: Board of Director Resumes
Why Your Executive Resume does not automatically work for Board of Director Positions
You have climbed the corporate ladder all the way to the top and held C-level positions for the last 20+ years. Now it is time for something new, and you want to shift more towards fulfilling and quite lucrative Board of Director positions.
For making this transition, you need to pay attention to the specific requirements for conquering the highly competitive Board of Directors market.
Besides your targeted networking efforts, you will want to use the special board practices websites that the majority of the big executive search firms run.
And that is where your current executive resumes, no matter how well it has served you over the years, it will need refocusing. In other words, an employment history focused document will not cut it.
Your Executive Resume
Your executive resume is, ideally, full of laser-focused and specific achievements and branding elements that highlight your capabilities to turn around struggling companies and optimize day-to-day business challenges, etc.
It might contain a lot of subject matters specific leadership bullets, and your value-add signature skills are geared towards marketing your C-level competencies.
This special C-level focus will however not position you in the best possible way for targeting board opportunities.
It is simply a given that you are outstanding in your everyday leadership business and the skillset the board will be looking for is quite different. So, contrary to your corporate resume, you will have to “zoom out” to showcase big picture director thinking abilities.
As an experienced executive with decades of experience, you will most likely have this skillset as well. It is usually just not stressed in your executive resume.
The Board of Director Resume – Prior Board Experience
If you do have prior board experience, it will usually already be listed at the very bottom of your executive resume. For your “everyday” executive resume, you will not have dedicated too much whitespace to this section.
Obviously, you will want to move this section to a more prominent position on your resume. I typically include it after the Core Competency section before your “bread and butter” Career Experience section.
You could use a simple headline, e.g., “BOARD LEADERSHIP & ORGANIZATIONS.”
Now it is time to add some meat to this section. Some aspects you might want to elaborate and outline:
- How many people were on each board you served?
- Did you serve as a chair of a committee?
- Were you a member of the audit, compensation, or committee?
- Were you involved in selecting, appointing, and reviewing a Chief Executive Officer?
- Did you approve budgets and formulate policies?
- What mutually beneficial relationships were you able to bring to the board?
- Did you bring any special expertise to the board: social media, cybersecurity, diversity, or strategy and risk oversight?
If you don’t have prior Board of Directors Experience
If you don’t have prior profit or non-profit Board of Director experience, your task will be inevitably harder but not impossible. In this case, address some of the following points in your Career Experience section:
- Prior exposure to dealing with company boards?
- Were you appointed to any special committees (JVs, negotiation task forces, etc.)?
- Highlight any governance experience.
- Focus on achievements that were true team efforts (vs. focusing on your individual contribution in your corporate executive resume).
- Highlight interpersonal skills, particularly consensus building ability to stress your boardroom fit. Are you a coalition builder?
- Any special skills that the current board might be lacking (e.g., current hot-button topics social media and cybersecurity, and technology in general where a lot of boards lack expertise).
- Any experience in determining compensation for top management?
- Community leadership and awards? (this is another section that you simply had no whitespace for on your corporate executive resume, but this can be valuable for your board of director resume to demonstrate cultural fit).
Last, but not least, address any expertise in the following: strategy review, sourcing of capital, M&A and merger integration, and evaluating strategic alliances.
Additional Points for Getting Your Resume Board Ready
Additional points and aspects that can boost your board of director resumes are board relevant memberships, affiliations, and training.
List if you are a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors or have completed a special board of directors training (e.g., the OnBoard Bootcamp).
Implementing the measures mentioned above will help to transform your corporate executive resume into a true contender for board opportunities.
Any questions about creating your board resume? Feel free to call me today: 740-417-9438