If you’re a C-suite executive, you may have thought at some point about hiring an executive resume writer to help you. When you search for “top executive resume writers” or “executive resume writers for CEOs” and so forth, typically the same five or ten firms present themselves.
So what makes these firms the best, and what do they all have in common?
They’re probably all doing a combination of the following to get their executive clients full market leverage:
1. They offer more than just executive resumes. Additional offerings may include other pieces of marketing collateral such as online portfolios, one-page networking resumes, addendums, cover letters or value-proposition letters and executive biographies. These firms may also offer services like LinkedIn profile design, advisory or coaching services and executive recruiter distributions, as well as do-it-yourself information on job search strategies and other C-level job transition tips.
2. They have clout. Many of these firms may have a combination of advanced certifications, awards and media exposure. They may specialize in helping specific executives (e.g., chief information officers and chief technology officers), or they may specialize in an industry (e.g., hospitality). And they are likely to be accessible online and work globally.
3. They understand search engine optimization and resume formatting. Many of the top executive resume writing firms provide their clients with finished, proofread executive resumes in three formats: Word document, PDF and ASCII text. The latter is symbol-free and used to apply for executive job opportunities through online recruiter databases. For LinkedIn profile designs, top firms should be well able to strategically position the keywords in your summary and tagline to align with recruiter and key decision maker searches and help you be found on LinkedIn.
4. They design award-winning executive resumes. Top executive resume writing services often win awards for their work. Many of them deliver visually appealing executive resumes that use both color and illustrations — including charts or graphs — to showcase their clients’ achievements and alignment for their desired roles. Many firms have easy-to-find executive resume examples and templates right on their websites.
5. They have more than 10 years of experience. It takes quite a few years, in most cases, for executive resume writers to develop and fine-tune their expertise in their niche. Working with hundreds of C-level clients over many years gives them the seasoned insight to properly and successfully advise executives on their confidential C-suite transitions. Their knowledge of executive experiences, recruiter relationships, compensation packages, top search strategies and resume strategies was earned over the time they’ve spent in their field.
6. They have a compelling marketing message. Many top executive resume writers have a shared background in executive recruiting, marketing or both. At the end of the day, executive resumes are not a historical narrative but rather a strategically aligned piece of marketing collateral that is built and designed for your next position. If you like how the service you’re considering has crafted its online marketing message through its website or LinkedIn profile, chances are you’ll like how it creates your resume since the same marketing efforts will most likely be applied.
The foregoing are things that many of the top executive resume writing firms have in common. If you’re an executive who’s vetting potential executive resume writers to help you, these are the things to look for.