How eloquent is your resume?


My bet is... not very eloquent


The Eloquent Resume

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first.

Resumes are like cars – they all follow more-or-less the same pattern. They all have four wheels, a method of steering and a place to sit. They all suffer from the same points-of-failure and, yet there are enormous differences in desire-ability depending on the unique requirements of the buyer.

A two- or three-page in-depth review of positions, responsibilities, accomplishments, education, professional development, professional affiliations and community service. 

What makes your qualifiers leap off the page is an intense focus on key accomplishments, accompanied by results. Quantify the results wherever possible. At the very least, provide good qualitative results.

Most importantly, where possible include visuals. Yes, that’s right—you should include graphs, tables or charts and even diagrams of processes you’ve authored to illustrate how you think your way through a business challenge. 

People are visually motivated. Powerful visuals are used to stimulate the buying mood for every product or service in the world. Why shouldn’t you do the same thing to generate an interview?

Accomplishment Summaries

The next most important part of your Executive Portfolio are the focused (usually, one-page) summaries of key accomplishments you have achieved throughout your career. These summaries should include a powerful descriptive title, a brief description of the problem or situation, a bulleted list of the actions or approach that you took. Finally, finish it off with a quantitative or qualitative summary of the results you obtained for your employer.

Think one summary per page and really drill down on the main points. You should develop at least ten of these summaries for use in different situations, but you will typically include three to five summaries in each portfolio you send to a hiring organization.

Project Inventories

This option is perfect for engineers, programmers, consultants or anyone whose active periods of employment are organized around projects. Take inventory of all the major projects in which you played a key role. The list should not be longer than a page. Each item typically will be limited to one or two sentences, and note your role, area of responsibility or key contribution to the project.

Field Research

This potent addition to any executive portfolio demonstrates your intense interest in the brand to which you are applying or the industry in which you work. Your research will focus around a key area of concern for the business and may include a summary of interviews with customers, distributors, association executives, or employees. For business development people, a short-form review of the competitive landscape is very effective. This document may also contain data from field surveys you conduct. If you really want to cinch this position, the extra work will pay off for years.

Independent Studies

This is an excellent document for people staging dramatic career transitions. Where anecdotal responses are sufficient for Field Research, an independent study provides a more quantitative analysis along with the results. Your summary of results and conclusions will demonstrate your knowledge and insight into key industry issues, emerging technologies, and products—even if you do not have experience in the industry. Generally, this document will contain a summary of the information plus a bibliography supporting your conclusions about the research.

Intellectual Property & Authored Works

Include a visual synopsis of Patented, Copyrighted and Authored Works. Examples include:

  • A one-page review of a patent, including application and benefit.
  • A summary of a software program you designed including application and benefit.
  • A synopsis of a book or article you published (if the article is not too long, include a copy if the information is relevant to the position for which you are applying).

This document will go a long way to convince the reader to view you as a long-term asset to their organization from the stand-point of intellectual capital.

Key Insights Summaries

This can be the most important document you create. In one page, using a bulleted or narrative form, present the key issues relevant to the position or industry for which you are applying, and that you would address if you were in that position.

This document demonstrates your insight, industry intelligence, initiative, and proactive thinking–moreover will get the hiring person nodding “yes” as you impress them with your subject matter expertise.

It is rare that any individual will take the time and effort to create this document, but when properly used, it typically results in the highly sought after "request for interview."

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the content that belongs in your Executive Portfolio, you're halfway to becoming a qualified consultant for us! 

To wrap up your training, let’s discuss the different options for presenting your portfolio infomation, boldly and distinctively.