For executive level managers, one rule is fundamental: Design and write a resume focusing on the indented audience. This includes information and a lay-out supportive to the needs of the particular recipient.
Third party recruiters (executive search firms) have usually other needs for information as well as other screening habits than hiring companies and HR departments. Take this fact into consideration or face the risk of being “round filed” or (if email) deleted.
Following some pointers (in no particular order):
• To open attachments is tedious and time consuming, more so if you receive hundreds resumes by email every day: Past a copy of the attachment text into the email cover for a quick preview
• Functional resumes (versus chronological resumes) are hard to read and – so will be the assumption by the recruiter – are probably used to cover up a gap in the employment history: Make it easy on the reader and actively address any time gap up front (you will be asked anyhow)
• Meaningless introductions, unrelated personal information or the listing of generic objectives: Such issues should only be addressed for a specific project, after an initial contact by the recruiter (in a separate cover sheet)
• The most important information is in which industries and for which companies (location, size, products) you worked in what capacity (accurate title, which will actually be confirmed during reference checks), and for how long. Make it easy for the reader to understand if your background could be a good fit for a particular project he/she is working on
• Pictures, graphics or links to personal web sites, etc.: Nobody has the time or interest to go through the exercise to analyze such information – at least not as part of the initial contact; there is plenty of time to exchange such information during the possible follow up discussions
• Your education level, professional background, and income level ‘is what it is’ – it is part of who you are: Don’t misrepresent yourself, you don’t need that
• Present yourself as what you are: Spelling errors, missing or inaccurate dates, poor formatting, missing contact information or unprofessional email addresses may indeed be “you”, but will not be too helpful in your job search.
Egon L. Lacher, Managing Partner/Miami