The beginning of a new year inspires reflection on the year past which often results in setting new goals.  These goals range from getting in shape, starting new creative projects, to changing career paths.

The platform for expressing interest in a new job has evolved significantly over the past 30-40 years. Most businesses have adjusted their search for qualified professionals to various online platforms. From scanning qualifications and past job history on LinkedIn to posting a formal request on executive job boards, the single element of the applications process which remains the most necessary is providing a concise, appropriately detailed resume.

Regardless of how you found the position in which you are interested, the employer considering your application will request your executive resume at some point during the hiring process. In this article, you will have the opportunity to review the current trends for writing an executive resume in 2018 and learn important guidelines for the writing process.


Preparing your executive resume: Direct, customized content is still required. 

The advice of writing a brief, but, appropriately detailed resume still stands. Employers actively seeking qualified candidates for executive, C-suite positions are likely to quickly scan for their priorities which you must represent on the page as keywords. Whether your resume is read by a person or a machine (more on automated scans of your resume later in this article), ensuring you have customized the words in your resume to reflect the specific job for which you’re applying is still sound advice.


2018 Executive resume trends: The hiring process has begun before any person or scanner reads your executive resume.

Among the most significant changes over the past few decades when it comes to applying for work is social media. In the executive job sector in particular, numerous employers are scanning for how you, essentially, brand yourself and your accomplishments long before they request your resume.

Social recruitment through sites like LinkedIn starts with scanning your page and learning not only how you present your work and qualifications; however, your professional personality is also on display. There is a great deal to learn regarding the refinement of a LinkedIn profile that stands out and gets attention, but, merely updating your profile and slapping together some article posts or a web portfolio won’t help demonstrate why an employer should hire you.

Leaving a “brand-specific” footprint online, rich with information supporting the value you bring to the workplace, is vital. Applicants who have taken the time to demonstrate their worth over a period of time are more likely to catch the interest of executive and senior executive job recruiters.


If employers are looking for me online, do I really need to have an executive resume at all?

The short answer: YES.

Having an executive resume is still considered job search currency and will be requested to either consider or verify your professional demonstration online. As such, your executive resume still needs to be polished, concise, and crystal clear about what makes you the right person for the job

When it comes to developing your “online personal brand” to demonstrate who you are and what you do, a well-thought-out executive resume is the foundation of preparing your personal marketing strategy. You are essentially writing the outline for the best “ads” that sell You to your target audience (the company’s employers) as well as display how your personality is leadership material.

Sticking with the theme of marketing yourself, it’s important to know what differentiates you from the competition. What do You bring to the table that other applicants might not? This level of forethought helps you to speak confidently in all your other marketing materials from your online posts leading all the way to your presentation at the interview.


How to begin establishing your personal brand on your executive resume in 2018

The first step to creating your personal brand is to review your accomplishments over the course of your career. Study the items on your list to find the common thread in your results. Perhaps you found solutions to major company obstacles or, you could have an excellent sense for delegation and placing the right team in place for the right mission. It would be wise to consult some of your trusted colleagues to and ask how they would describe the way your work style/ethic impacts the company. For example, do they find you approachable and encouraging?

Next, consider not only what sets you apart from the competition and how you can improve the company of interest, but, also contemplate what problems the employer will have if they do not hire you. If you’re an excellent delegator with an approachable personality, you might be able to reduce turnover in a high pressure work environment or help the company waste less time on placing the wrong employees on jobs which do not properly utilize their true strengths.

Now you’re ready to write your own personal mission statement. This statement will guide your online branding efforts as well as the tone and content sourcing for your resume. Your statement should reflect the target audience you help by solving a specific problem and may deserve a space right below your contact information on your executive resume.


Executive resume 2018 trends for formatting

You’ve likely seen countless examples of the chronological resume and perhaps you’ve used or heard of the functional and hybrid resume formats. Which one is ideal for an executive resume?

The problem with chronological formatting is, though you have an easier time outlining the progression of your career, an employer must work harder to appreciate the scope of your accomplishments which are folded into your timeline. In the case of the functional resume format, this style of showcasing your achievements fails to relay progressive details such as the number of years in between promotions or accomplishments leading to career progression.

The hybrid format takes the best information from both the chronological and functional resume formats. This format is the best balance of the highlights an employer will want to know while seeking a qualified candidate for a c-suite position. The hybrid format includes your contact information, executive summary (we’ll talk about that in the next section), achievements/expertise, employment history, and education in that order.


Executive resume writing in 2018: The objective sentence is a thing of the past – create an Executive Summary

Employers are not grading you on your best sentence for what you want as an executive. They’re much more interested in “what’s in it for them.” Considering how limited space is on an executive resume, you don’t want to waste precious real estate on something employers don’t want to read.

Your executive summary can be a simple bulleted section on 4 – 5 items which best demonstrate your value and how this employer cannot afford missing the opportunity to hire you. Bear in mind, the average amount of time an employer takes to scan a resume is approximately 10 – 15 seconds and the top third of your resume must pack a concise, hard-hitting punch to get their attention to move your executive resume to the top of the list of worthy applicants.


Adapt your executive resume for ATS

If you’re applying to an executive position online, the chances of a machine scanning your executive resume for keywords increase

This method of reviewing resumes is known as the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and it has the potential to throw a wrench into your streamlined system of choosing your accomplishments on your well-formatted executive resume. When you hear “keywords,” you are likely thinking of the way Google crawls the web to produce search results when you’re looking for a particular type of restaurant or a place to repair shoes.

ATS is similar to looking for something on Google – employers are searching for which candidate fits the bill of their job listing. The trickiest aspect of applying through ATS is no two systems are alike and you will have no sure way of knowing the weight placed upon what certain keywords in your executive resume.

This is why it’s still important to customize your content to each employer and do your homework. Follow the instructions laid out for applying to the position and use a simple Word Doc (some ATS cannot read pdf files). Avoid the overuse of designs or charts as any individual ATS does not see pictures or graphics; only the right words. Of course, the words need to make sense, so, it’s not advisable to just throw in keywords everywhere without the proper context. Looking at the company website and paying close attention to the word choice in the job posting are the best places to start when researching keywords to use in your executive resume.


When working on an executive resume, get to the point by leading with impact.

If you’ve made your way into the executive circle, you already know business only continues to grow and provide work if the company makes money. Demonstrating how personable you are on social media won’t be enough to get you a C-suite position. Those who are hired for executive positions are expected to make a financial impact for the company through higher efficiencies, employee optimization, encouragement of improved staff performances, etc.

Employers want to see the numbers. One of the many ways you can demonstrate your past contributions for the companies in your job history is to include your “key accomplishment” alongside your previous jobs (in bold. Remember, you’ve got 10 – 15 seconds to make an impression).


Final tips on writing an executive resume in 2018

The quality of writing on an executive resume is critical. Passive language, grammar errors, and a lack of proficient readability beg an employer to toss your resume in the rejection pile. Your ability to demonstrate you are “boss” material must be made clear with your professional presentation on your executive resume.

Avoid the overuse of descriptions for your past work history. Reviewers can only read “responsible for” so many times before they decide to move on to the next applicant who, if he or she has a more varied vocabulary than you, might steal the position from underneath you through having a higher consideration for the employer.

Keep in mind – after all the work you put into your personal branding, make sure you use it in your executive resume. Write in your own voice to both distinguish yourself and to display your uniqueness.


Executive resume and personal online branding professionals are here to do the heavy lifting.

If you’ve already spent time and energy on deciding you need a change, this information might seem a little overwhelming. As you can see, writing an executive resume in 2018 is not at all the simple Word Document of listing accomplishments as it once was. At, we specialize in refining your personal branding and executive resume for the entire job search process. If you need help updating your LinkedIn profile to grab the attention of your top choice companies or customized executive resumes to speak to more than one job opportunity, we have the experience and current trend knowledge to guide you and rewrite your professional branding materials. We’re in the business of helping you land the job you really want. Contact us through our website to review our services for executive resume and LinkedIn profile updates at