Show Pride and Humility in Your Executive Resume
Updated February 2017
I am constantly amazed at the level of success of the executive job seekers with whom I work on a daily basis. They run companies. They drive sales. They lead international teams. They are among the smartest I have met with respect to technology. They are rightfully proud of what they have done. Yet, down to a person, they are among the most humble people I have ever met. By infusing their executive resumes with this pride and humility, they prove they are true leaders in their industries without coming across as boastful and overblown.
Here are three statements I hear all the time from my executive resume clients. By elaborating on these into compelling accomplishment stories, you can demonstrate both your pride in your leadership and your knowledge that you are only as good as the amazing team you develop and lead into the fray:
- “It was my great team who really did it; we all worked together.” Executive leaders rarely deliver at the individual contributor level. They do understand, however, that the team cannot succeed without their unifying leadership. Therefore, rather than going on about their individual tactical role, they rightfully focus on how they guided the team to larger goals.
- “I have an uncanny ability to hire the right people and place them throughout the company where they can do the most good.” By demonstrating your insight into which people are right for your organization, you achieve two goals. You show that you are wise to the larger industry, and you demonstrate that you can read people very well. Include details in your executive resume about your hiring strategy and the way you assess future team member.
- “I always hire people who are smarter than I am.”In truth, this is my favorite one. Nobody likes to work for a paranoid organization, and when an executive leader state outright that they are willing to hire team members who have particular expertise or savvy that they don’t, it demonstrates a healthy mix of fearlessness and pride.
In short, you should not afraid to recognize the fact that you are the team leader but not always the smartest guy in the room. It’s a big leap to embrace this mindset, especially when, in your early career, you were always hungry for the next win. Now, as a wiser, more tempered executive leader, if you’re smart, your executive resume will show that much of the credit also goes to a rock star team. In doing so, your ability to guide a group to a successful outcome shows you honor your company and each individual on the team. Effectively communicating your talents and value with humility and pride on your executive resume is bound to win the attention of like-minded hiring leaders in your target companies.
How do you struggle to communicate or market your executive value?