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.
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