6 Make or Break Résumé Metrics Every Management Professional Should Cite

Studio shot of a fish in bowlI field 2-4 new business calls a day, mostly from mid-career to senior-level professionals and executives looking to quietly see what their future might hold if they nose around a bit.They’re heads of industry — movers and shakers — looking to move up, down, laterally. They’re looking to find meaning and they’re not sure how.

Related post: Why It’s Smart to Take Recruiter Calls

In nearly every instance, they express embarrassment about their out-of-date résumés. Understandable, since they’ve been busy doing the work, not nursing a résumé.

Almost to a head, they overlook six fundamentals by which they’ll be sought and measured in a job search:

1. Company size. A CEO building a startup is often cut from vastly different cloth than a CEO leading a $150B public company. By merely placing the size of companies on your résumé you quickly tell a huge part of your story.

Caveat: Don’t place company / revenue size if the data isn’t publicly known.

2. Team size. A CTO managing a team of three has a busy job, no doubt. But managing a matrixed team of 450+ engineers, developers, creatives, product managers, and marketers across five global locations is another ballgame entirely.

Tip: Showing team sizes as “up to 20” or “ranging X-Y” can help you strategically position yourself.

3. Geographic scope. A CFO managing a team and its productivity from a New York City loft is tough work, but a CFO navigating the risks and implications of international law and culture on three continents runs an entirely different ship.

Related post: Don’t hide your international experience.

4. Quantifiable outcomes. A CMO who demonstrates measured success, whether by real numbers or percentages, will sail ahead of the competition every time. Whether it’s gains in market share, revenue, clicks, eyeballs, or productivity—or cuts in overhead, time, resources, or some other measurement of success—most candidates have great metrics that they should include, but never do.

Warning: Never list proprietary information on your résumé. Additionally, be careful not to reveal publicly unflattering or potentially competitive metrics on your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is not a cut-and-paste from your résumé job.

5. Reporting relationships. It’s often hard to tell whether an organization is flat, matrixed, or somewhere in between. Listing reporting relationships on your résumé adds a layer of context for a seasoned hiring decision maker.

Aside: In cases where reporting relationships confuse or don’t boost the overall picture, leave them off. Just know that you may be asked.

6. Industry-specific metrics: Part of a CNO’s aptitude centers around the number of facilities s/he manages, and the number of beds at each location. Part of a CIOs matrix of aptitude revolves around market cap and portfolio size. Be sure to include the differentiating metrics that tie specifically to your industry.

Tip: If you’re changing industries, write your first résumé draft with industry information intact. It’ll be easier to write. When you’re done, scrub it of most industry-specific language, and write transferable skills in the language of your inbound industry. (As long as it’s not entirely opposing: development means very different things in varying industries, for examples. Do this task carefully.)

Until next time!

Jared Redick

Don’t Discount Your International Experience

International Expertise I’m always surprised when international clients, whether based in the U.S. or abroad, try to diminish their international experience on their resumes.

That’s because in many cases, international experience is a benefit.

In fact, follow the work of Heidrick & Struggles CEO L. Kevin Kelly and you’ll find that his suggestion that cultural quotient, or CQ, is as important as IQ and EQ in today’s increasingly global economy.

(Google “Davos 2013: End of the expat model and the start of the Cultural Quotient model” for an insightful article that copyright doesn’t allow me to include here. Readers of my blog would do well to follow Heidrick & Struggles on LinkedIn, Twitter, and elsewhere.)

Indeed, if you’ve lived, worked, or traveled internationally–depending on your professional seniority–that’s experience that can set you apart as international companies look at global growth.

In my practice, I often find that people with international experience, however, try to Americanize their histories. To downplay their international backgrounds.

Consider these clues from my practice. International clients routinely: Continue reading

4 Reasons You Need a Career-Only Email Address

These four realities make a great case for creating a career development only email address 

Reality #1:  

You can’t assume that you’ll always be in control of your work email address. 

Harvard attorney Shauna Bryce of BryceLegal.com and HowToGetALegalJob.com says it’s natural to feel like we’ll always be in control of our work email addresses until we relinquish them.

But it’s not always true. Continue reading

Age: Should You Mask It?

Ever considered downplaying your age during a job search? 

Yes, it’s illegal to make discriminatory hiring decisions based on age, but if I had a nickel for every time a client asked what I thought about the topic, the notion must be alive and well, if only unseen.

Libraries, bookstores, and online articles are jam-packed with career development articles dedicated to euphemizing, masking, or spinning a person’s seniority to postpone the discovery of age.

But stop the presses a minute.

Instead of masking your age, have you considered taking an active role in capitalizing on your experience for everything it represents?

So what to do? Continue reading

Missed the Memo? Don’t Put Negative Stuff in Writing

Recently, a friend — let’s call her Sue — wrote a pretty funny Facebook rant. Don't Share Negative News

Witty marketing is her gig, after all, and she’s smart-as-a-whip, so we all enjoy reading her creative take on life.

Unfortunately, the post involved blasting a sponsor, and she then proceeded to copy and paste the would-be sponsor’s rejection letter on her Facebook wall.

Yes, on her wall.

I inboxed her right away and suggested that she remove it ASAP.

While perhaps humorous behind closed doors — yes, there’s probably a time and a place to blow off steam — social media has become a bull pen of possible career-blunting blunders. For some, “trying not to step in it” has become a full-time affair.

If you’re prone to what my mother used to call, “popping off at the mouth,” consider the possible implications of my friend’s post: Continue reading

Are You Innovative? Think Twice About That Keyword

I live in a world dripping with keywords and phrases.

Actually, we all do. Think the billboard you drive by every morning isn’t precisely written? That Google search you just performed isn’t engineered within an inch of its life?

Everyone knows that advertising and marketing has been turned on its ear in little more than a decade.

Bye bye subscription rates, content is king.

Findability and click-through rates (CTR) long ago hijacked the quest for eyeballs.

The same has become true for résumés, particularly résumés that are first taken for a spin through a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS) before ever being seen by a human being.

Without the right mix of keywords, the résumé may never be seen by anyone.

And don’t forget LinkedIn. Without carefully chosen keywords and phrases, you risk being missed in a sea of 150 million users.

But in my practice, I regularly see confusion around keywords.

For example, I regularly ask my clients for the top 8-12 keywords and phrases they think we should build copy around. We use job descriptions to help make the decision, and we revisit the notion throughout the engagement. Clarity comes with revision after revision.

Oddly, no matter the client’s background — no matter his or her skill or seniority — they inevitably come back with first-round words like this:

  • innovative
  • leader
  • experienced
  • seasoned

(The funny thing about using the word “innovative” is that its use is anything but … but that’s a topic for another blog post!) Continue reading

Don’t Fall TOO In Love With Keywords

Are keywords making you a liar

Are resume keywords making you a liar?

About two years ago, an executive client looked over my desk, pointed to a job description, and asked, “Jared, what do you think of these keywords?”

I said, “Do you have those skills?” (We’d been at this a while.)

“No,” he said.

“Well, then we can’t include them,” I replied.

It seems we’ve all fallen so concerned (perhaps rightly) with building our websites, blogs, and career copy around keywords and phrases, that we might have lost our collective sensibilities!

Why would an otherwise smart professional ask such an apparently silly question?

Truth is, my client hadn’t lost his mind. When you’re in the thick of writing a really great résumé or LinkedIn summary—or any other chunk of career copy—it’s hard to strike a balance between pushing the envelope and totally losing sight of the big picture, while making sure to clear today’s technology hurdles.

Trouble is, if you’re stretching the truth—or straight up lying—you’re not representing yourself authentically. Plus, the blowback can more than chafe. Who can forget this unfortunate-ness?

The lesson? Next time you’re writing your résumé, optimize the heck out of it. Include the right keywords and phrases. Just don’t forget to take a step back every now and then to be sure you’re including keywords and phrases that are truly yours.

Until next time!

Jared Redick
Visit: The Resume Studio.com
Follow: @TheResumeStudio
Connect: LinkedIn.com/in/jaredredick
Call: 415-397-6640