Resume Writing Tips for Management

Resume Tips for Managers
by Kim Isaacs, Monster Resume Expert

Think of your resume as a profit generator: The better the document, the more likely you’ll get interviews and higher salary offers. You might be more accustomed to reading resumes than perfecting your own, but you’ll maximize your return on investment if you make sure yours is a winner. Here’s how.

State Your Value Proposition

Your resume should prove you have the skills and experience to excel in a management position. Make that message clear from the beginning by incorporating your value proposition into a qualifications summary. Hiring managers should readily understand your industry specialty, level of past responsibility and relevant skills so that they mentally start placing you within their organizations.

Steve Anthony, executive recruiter at The Landstone Group, believes in the power of a summary statement. “They [summary statements] should be very specific regarding core competencies, where you have been and what you have done,” he says. “Basically, give me your 30-second, trapped-in-an-elevator-with-the-hiring-manager speech.”

Compare the following summary statements:

  • Before: “A growth-oriented position where communication, team building and managerial skills are valued and applied.”
  • After: “Entrepreneurial food services manager accustomed to high levels of responsibility. Have led teams of 150 personnel; supervised multiunit, multistate operations with combined sales volume in excess of $12.5 million; demonstrated agility leading startup, turnaround and expansion initiatives.”

The first example reflects that the candidate is looking for a management position, but the second presents a compelling value proposition.

Target Your Audience

Just as effective corporate marketing campaigns are targeted to their audience, your resume will be more effective if you tailor it to the needs of your readers. Anthony recommends that managers with multiple career goals or industry targets create different resume versions: “If you have to have three or four resume versions, then do so. Make yourself as open as possible in the field in which you are trying to be successful.”

Showcase and Quantify Your Accomplishments

Dave Wardwell, executive recruiter at Management Recruiters of Portland, advises managers to include a combination of job responsibilities and accomplishments. “A candidate should list features for each position to explain what he or she was responsible for, followed by a list of accomplishments that show the benefits to the company,” he says. “I cannot stress it enough: List accomplishments from each position.”

Anthony agrees. “Regardless of your career level, show how you impacted the business. Examples could be that you increased revenue by $X or cut annual costs $Y. Also, don’t just say how much you saved the company. Show how you were able to do it and then the savings impact it had on the company.”

According to Janelle Finamore, executive recruiter at MRI, you should also demonstrate progression in your leadership responsibilities. “Show how each career move you made was to a higher or more accomplished position,” she says. This is especially important for candidates with long tenure, as hiring managers are drawn to managers who have demonstrated longevity with their recent employers, Finamore adds.

Be Concise and Correct

You might have enough management accomplishments to fill a book, but your resume must be a concise form of communication. Finamore stresses brevity is key, especially for resumes geared to management recruiters. “Three pages is too long for a resume,” she says. “Most recruiters don’t have the time to devote to a three-page resume.” You can probably present your qualifications effectively on two pages.

Anthony suggests using bullets to highlight important information. “Recruiters and employers sometimes see hundreds of resumes a day, so you must get to the point quickly,” he says.

Finamore cautions managers to carefully proofread their resumes, as nothing will get resumes tossed faster than errors. “Your resume represents you; it should be grammatically correct and free of typos,” she says.

This article was written by Kim Isaacs, director of and author of The Career Change Resume book. Visit to learn more about resume services to jump-start your career.

Copyright 2014 – Monster Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy, reproduce or distribute this article without the prior written permission of Monster Worldwide. This article first appeared on Monster, the leading online global network for careers. To see other career-related articles visit

Executives: Resume Tips to DownPlay Your Age

Executives: Downplay Your Age in Your Resume
by Kim Isaacs, Nationally Certified Resume Writer

You’re back in the job market again, but this time you find yourself competing with job seekers much younger than yourself.

Will you be turned down for jobs because of your age? Possibly. Age discrimination is illegal, but it still exists. Keep in mind that many employers prefer older workers, especially at the executive level, because of experience, maturity, leadership skills, and positive work ethic. If you are able to sell potential employers on the value that you bring to the table, your job search will be a success.

Preparing a resume that emphasizes your value and de-emphasizes your age is a good first step. Here’s how:

  • Don’t provide your complete work history. This is the number one mistake executive job seekers make. Hiring managers are most interested in what you did recently, so concentrate on your recent career — the last 10-15 years or so. You can easily sum up your earlier experiences in an “Early Career” section, providing highlights of your early experience without mentioning employment dates.
  • Watch your language. Avoid age-revealing statements such as “35 years of experience” or age-defining cliches such as “seasoned professional.”
  • Stick to a “combination” resume style, leading with a strong “Executive Summary” section. You may have been advised to mask your years of experience with a functional resume format. But employers do not like to see functional resumes because they are often used by people who are trying to hide something. You don’t want employers reading your resume and searching for a possible problem. So unless your work history is extremely spotty or you are completely changing careers, stick to a “combination” resume format.
  • Show that you’re current with technology and industry trends. Are you proficient with Wang or an expert at BASIC programming? While these programs were once cutting-edge, they have been replaced with new technology. Show that you’ve kept up with the times by removing antiquated equipment, programs, and tools, and highlight your knowledge of modern technology.
  • Consider dropping dates of education. This is a tough call, because hiring managers who want to know a person’s age will go right to the “Education” section and do the math. If your education occurred in the 1970s or earlier, it might be in your best interest to eliminate graduation dates.
  • Keep your school names updated. If you graduated from a school that has since changed its name, include the new name. If you are concerned about discrepancies in case an employer asks to see a transcript, write the former name of the school in parentheses.
  • Show that you’ve been continually learning or taking on new roles. The key is to demonstrate that your skills are fresh and in demand. It is important that you show that you are flexible and willing to adapt to organizational changes.
  • Quantify and expand on your achievements. As an executive with an established track record, this is your chance to accentuate the positive. You have what younger workers may lack — years of practical experience. Provide examples of how your performance contributed to your employers’ goals, mission, and bottom-line results.

Executive Resume Writing: Powerful Summaries

The Executive Summary: Key to Selling You
By Kim Isaacs and Karen Hofferber, Certified Professional Resume Writers

The “Executive Summary” (AKA “Executive Profile”) is typically placed below the resume’s headline or title. This brief section consists of one or two short paragraphs or several bulleted statements condensing for employers your breadth of experience, major areas of strength, relevant highlights from your background. The summary should project your brand message, and is the perfect place to really “sell” yourself. If done well, this section should convince an employer to contact you for an interview.

Here’s an example of an executive summary:

Executive Resume Writing: Example Summary

Your summary should explain how an employer would benefit by hiring you. It should encapsulate the key strengths you bring to the table and convincingly address why you should be called for an interview vs. your competition. Keep your summary concise. You’re not telling your life story here. Just hit on whatever elements from your background are most compelling in terms of your new career target. You will expound on these strengths later in the resume. Summarize your most marketable traits, experience, and credentials.

Before you begin your executive summary section, make sure you have a solid grasp of what employers are looking for in your targeted field. Research job ads on the web or in the newspaper similar to what you are looking for to identify the key skills and credentials you offer that match employers’ needs. Compare the job ads you find and take note of similarities between your background and frequently requested/required skills mentioned in these ads.

Draw up a list of your top five to ten marketable skills and accomplishments, and use this as the basis for your executive summary. Keep in mind that employers particularly value executives who can prove they have helped to generate revenue, enhance shareholder value, improve morale, save time, cut costs, improve service, solve problems, or further company goals. These traits are universally valued, regardless of the industry or field you are pursuing, so detail your most standout accomplishments in these areas in your Executive Summary.

Reprinted with permission from The McGraw-Hill Companies, excerpted from The Career Change Resume by Kim Isaacs and Karen Hofferber. All rights reserved.