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On Your Resume, Distinguish Yourself with Accomplishments


Here’s the second of three strategies our colleague, Laura Smith-Proulx discusses in her excellent article on Careerealism entitled 3 Strategies for Writing a Bold, Branded Executive Resume. Merely mentioning the scope of your duties isn’t enough.

So you’ve managed the P&L and helped create revenue growth. You’ll be up against numerous leaders with similar achievements–making it harder for you to stand out.

Distinguishing yourself on an executive resume requires that you specify the setting behind each of your accomplishments. To mine your background for this context, answer the following questions:

  • Did you take on challenges within the company, such as frequent turnover, negative PR, or market volatility?
  • Were your roles broader than what was typically required? In other words, did you take on the role of CFO and CIO simultaneously, or step into a Manager-level position to help out subordinates?
  • Was the company experiencing rapid growth – putting pressure on you to hire or standardize procedures?
  • Were you required to turn around a challenging situation or address looming obstacles that threatened profits?

This example of a CFO resume achievement demonstrates the candidate’s ability to take on a wider level of authority:

“Served as CFO and COO administering $23M annual revenue and sustaining operations during restructuring, with 18% drop in facilities costs from newly renegotiated vendor contracts.”

If any of these situations apply to your career, be sure to describe background detail when noting the scope of your achievements. The ability to gain results in these scenarios is highly sought after within the executive suite.