Many seasoned professionals write their resumes and cover letters with as many skills and buzz words as possible, and list every area they ever worked in no matter how small or how long ago. While that may be helpful for computerized keyword selection, it is not an effective approach for executive level job search. Hiring managers rarely look for someone who can “do it all”. Instead they look for evidence of leadership and accomplishments.
Rather than trying to appear as if you can handle all tasks equally well, we recommend leveraging your strengths and accomplishments to differentiate yourself. Every study by major consulting firms shows most corporations lack the depth of leadership they need to reach their strategic goals. What are your strengths? Is leadership a major strength of yours?
Here are ten skill areas that are nearly universally in demand for executive level roles. Start by rating yourself in each area, low to high in these (for a strengths rating form that will give you a more detailed assessment in these areas, please email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org):
1. Fundamental skills and experience for your discipline (accounting, HR, etc.).
2. Strategy formation and execution.
3. Technology use and implementation.
4. Leadership of people and projects.
5. Communication skills.
6. Decision making.
7. Change management.
8. Customer focus and interaction.
9. Industry connections.
10. Global awareness.
Another, even more objective method of determining your strengths is to use the assessment tool that is part of the book Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.
Once you are confident about your true strengths, the next step is to tie those strengths to objective, quantifiable and significant career accomplishments. Then you have the building blocks for a resume, cover letter, elevator speech and interview content that are uniquely yours and will differentiate you in a very positive way.
Leverage your strengths in your job search and you are much more likely to find opportunities where you can truly make a difference.
To learn how to leverage your strengths, please contact us.