A report by ExecuNet, Overcoming Today’s Toughest Résumé Challenges, by Marji McClure, notes that executives sometimes uncover a job posting that fits their expertise with the exception of one or two requirements; one of the most common is the employer’s desire for a candidate to possess an MBA. Most résumé experts agree that while some recruiters and hiring managers will only consider candidates who match a job description perfectly, executives should still apply for positions that ask for an MBA if they don’t have one. “Whether it is a graduate degree or undergraduate degree that is sought, if the individual has a proven track record of experience and accomplishment spanning several decades or more, this usually trumps formal education when presented properly,” says Jan Melnik, president of career management and résumé writing firm Absolute Advantage. “An extremely well-written two-page executive résumé plus addenda pages providing leadership experience and results will almost always mitigate need for the degree in an accomplished and confident executive.” How exactly can a résumé help an executive communicate that, despite the lack of advanced degree or other desired criteria, he or she is still qualified for a particular position? “Consider what it is about that advanced degree that stands out as important to the decision-maker and then map your experiences to those traits,” says Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, owner of Missouri-based Career Trend. “For example, an MBA candidate generally is required to pass the General Management Admission Test (GMAT) based on scoring Quantitative and Qualitative sections; an MBA candidacy also requires personal qualities such as ‘leadership’ as the foundation for success, distinguishing candidates in a compelling way. An executive may wish to position his most riveting abilities as a leader to stand shoulder to shoulder with other candidates who hold an MBA.” Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, owner of Missouri-based Career Trend suggests executives use the résumé to highlight challenge-action-results statements, “as this will help differentiate them and illustrate exactly how they have the ability to meet challenges and produce results,” says Dumas. “Particularly at the senior levels, your résumé must be concise, but still have a deep and complex message that illustrates strategic impact.” “Remember that an achievement has three parts — the challenge faced, the actions you took and the results of your action (CAR). Overall, readers will be most interested in the executive’s results, and these should be the focus of the document; but all three parts are important. I always advise my clients to succinctly tell the ‘story’ behind each position, demonstrating to the reader that they have the ability to solve problems, fulfill goals and meet challenges.” You can download ExecuNet’s free publication, Overcoming Today’s Toughest Résumé Challenges, here.