Dedicated to helping job seekers find work during the pandemic. Click here to read more

How to Craft a Killer Opening for Your Executive Resume: Part 1


Guest post by Don Goodman

This post is part of our new Executive Resume Writing and Job Search Techniques section of Quintessential Careers.

Call it branding, positioning or a value proposition, the opening of your executive resume must grab the reader’s attention and quickly tell them why they should consider you. This is the most important real estate in the executive resume and the area where most people have trouble. Your opening must be hard-hitting, compelling and not filled with “fluff” statements. Anyone can state “Dynamic visionary with a sterling track record of leading staff to peak levels of performance,” but these words do nothing to differentiate you. Here are some effective techniques you can use to craft your executive resume opening. Start by putting yourself in the mind of the employer and consider what the perfect candidate would offer. Write down the 3-4 selling points that are most important to the employer. For example, for a sales leader you might list:
  • Consistent track record of dramatically beating sales goals.
  • Building a high-performance sales team by mentoring and training in account strategies and sales best practices.
  • Earning customer loyalty and driving greater account penetration.
For a CFO you could list:
  • Record of driving improvements by providing information transparency into core performance areas.
  • Increasing cash flow and working capital.
  • Improving forecasting and budgeting accuracy.
  • Ability to partner with executives and line managers to improve performance and compliance.
Finally, a CIO might list:
  • Leading technical initiatives that deliver a strong ROI and reduce TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).
  • Proactively identifying technical solutions that improve performance.
  • Introducing technology delivery methods that shorten cycle times and costs.
  • Earning a high level of internal and external customer satisfaction.
Now that you have clarified what an employer wants in the perfect candidate, your job is to show that you possess these attributes. So your opening can be as simple as telling them that you can deliver exactly what they want.
~ More than 15 years of IT leadership experience delivering technical solutions that produce a strong ROI ~
You start deploying this technique right in the opening Profile section. Summarize your unique experience and provide a snapshot. For example:
  • Career marked by executive leadership roles at Accenture leading dozens of high-profile initiatives at Fortune 500 firms.
  • Track record of dramatically exceeding profit goals at Motorola, Panasonic, AT&T, MCI, and Sony.
Final Thoughts
Pretty simple, but highly effective. Now you have created a theme that you carry out throughout the rest of the resume, providing supportive proof that you can execute what you just stated.


Go to our Executive Resume Writing and Job Search Techniques section of Quintessential Careers.



Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.


Expert resume writer and career coach Don Goodman offers 15+ years of experience writing executive resumes and guiding executive job searches to show you how to secure your next position. Read more about Don Goodman’s expertise here. See him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter at @JobExpert.


Click here to inquire about Don’s resume-writing services, or call him at 800-909-0109.