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Qualified Candidates with Exceptional Experience - 4 Tips for Resume Writing

Today's executive and managerial job candidates describe a multitude of experience and qualifications on their resumes. The typical highly qualified senior level candidate often holds multiple degrees, software proficiencies or industry certifications, and anywhere from 15 to 25 years of relevant work experience. In many cases, their resumes demonstrate a career progression originating at entry level roles and progressing up through supervisory and senior positions.

However, even the most knowledgeable candidates presenting extensive qualifications can usually benefit from a few simple reminders. Perhaps you haven't revised your resume recently or perhaps you haven't searched the open job market in several years. Now, you've accumulated a formidable series of abilities and accomplishments and wish to make certain you communicate the pertinent information with clarity and brevity to whomever will initially review your resume and schedule an interview.

4 Tips on Resume Writing for Your Audience

Heeding a few simple recommendations often translates to making the interview short-list, as opposed to being passed for consideration altogether.

1. Avoid Jargon: Most industries and disciplines use technical terms and abbreviations commonplace to those in that particular line of work. When describing your accomplishments and proficiencies, steer clear of industry jargon and acronyms. This is particularly applicable to candidates with IT backgrounds. For ‘key word’ purposes, when a resume is downloaded into an applicant tracking system database, the exception to this rule involves demonstrating proficiencies that match up directly with the job description. Suppose the position you're applying for calls for experience as a scrum master or proficiency with HTML, you'll want to include those terms in your experience and qualifications. Otherwise, keep the language more in line with layman’s terms so that a Human Resources specialist without specific industry experience can still understand the general concepts.

2. Keep it Relevant: Carefully scrutinize the job description and make sure your experience and qualifications match up, verbatim, wherever possible. This could mean developing multiple versions of the same resume in order to fit the requirements of each position for which you’re applying. Executive level applicants tend to possess a great deal of experience, so keep your resume concise by only emphasizing experience and accomplishments relevant to the job posting. For example, exceeding goals as a Sales Manager 7 years ago might not be relevant if you're now applying for an Operations Director position. Instead, place greater emphasis on any accomplishments within recent years, particularly those in line with the minimum and preferred requirements of the job description.

3. Define your Job Titles: Be sure your functions and accomplishments precisely depict your role in each of your previous positions. Depending on the organizational structure and size, positions such as General Manager, Sales Manager, or Program Manager can vary considerably by actual duties performed. Again, closely evaluate the job description and exercise brevity by using simple terms to convey how the duties of your former or current position match up with the requirements of the job to which you are applying. Be relevant and specific, but keep it direct and concise.

4. Incorporate Appropriate Keywords: Deciphering how and where to use the right keywords is not limited to SEO website searches; keywords can play a vital role in the structure and verbiage of your resume. You should identify words that will resonate with the individual (HR Manager, Executive Recruiter, etc.) to whom you are submitting your resume. Gather this information by visiting the company's website in addition to conducting ample research through social media platforms such as LinkedIn. If possible, research the organization's leadership team to gain insight into their vision and the keywords that may help you to not only get noticed, but to stand out in a manner that your potential employer will truly appreciate.

The key is to use intelligent, yet plain and concise language in your resume. The first person to review your resume is often a Human Resources representative or corporate recruiter with little knowledge of the specifics of your industry experience. Keep the language direct so as to convey how your experience and proficiency parallels every item contained in the job description. When in doubt, avoid technical detail and opt for general descriptions. If you have some additional details or experience highlights to share, save it as a discussion item for the face-to-face interview.

If you are still unsure about what you should and should not include on your resume, consider working with an executive search firm. An experienced executive search consultant can help you effectively apply these tips to your resume in order to best match the requirements of your desired opportunity.

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Resources

Kokott, Wood & Associates provide a collection of proprietary articles sharing facts and suggestions modeled around industry trends, corporate cultures, changing markets, as well as tips for interviewing and improving resumes.

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Why Kokott, Wood & Associates

Kokott, Wood & Associates specializes in placements of executives, management, IT, and other professionals in the C- Store and Petroleum Industry. With over 75 years of actual industry experience, our executive search professionals have the knowledge and insight to identify the right candidate to excel within your organization.

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  • Testimonials

    “Now that everyone is settled in, I have a few minutes to say thank you for your assistance in helping me land this position. Prior to my job search, I had never worked with recruiters and didn’t think I would ever need to. As you know, I had my resume with several other companies, but I’m glad your posting worked out for me. For starters, your description of the company, the hiring manager (now my VP), the pay plan and the area were so correct. This really helped us in deciding to pursue this opportunity and was especially helpful when we moved here. It was as we expected (hoped) it to be.

    Thank you so much!

    Wholesale Fuel Manager, Midwest Fuel Wholesaler / Distributor

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    "Klaus carefully orchestrated an action plan geared to differentiating my unique talents from the rest of the crowd. He readily made himself available to offer guidance and conduct thorough mock interviews designed to bring out my personal strengths and value to the hiring company. His focused approach not only helped prepare me for the interview process, but gave me the confidence that I was the right person for the job. Klaus is a top notch recruiter committed to strategically preparing clients for positions he has deemed are a strong fit. He truly cares about the success of his clients and the contributions they will make to the organization."

    Category Manager, Southwest US Retail Company

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    "I wasn't sure of the value of your Retained Search process when you first proposed the concept to me. I can now tell you (and others), it is the only way we'll ever conduct another search. You told me it would save me time, eliminate frustration, and provide me with a selection of 3-5 very qualified Candidates. I was truly impressed with the detail of Candidate information and your qualifying process; it was as if I knew the Candidate before I ever interviewed them. The time you spent with us, learning about our business, our culture and what this key position would be responsible for was time well spent. The most difficult task for us was that of making the final selection... "

    Fred - President/CEO - Retailer - East Coast

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    Having been a part of the recruitment process on both sides of the table I can definitely say that my experience with Kokott, Wood & Associates was a privilege. From the initial stage of describing the role & the company to the final negotiation stage - Kokott, Wood & Associates made sure all parties were well aware of the situation at hand. There wasn't one point in the process where I wondered where things stood and what next step(s) needed to take place. Their ability to communicate their client's expectations, company culture, and need(s) for the role could not have been better. It was a pleasure working with Kokott, Wood, & Associates, and I would highly recommend working with their professional team. I look forward to the next time I deal with them as a client.

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