Want Stronger Results? Try a Networking Resume
By Laura Smith-Proulx | March 9, 2011 6:23 AM EST
Trying to engage high-level decision-makers in your job search? Planning to contact recruiters or network during business meetings?
You might find these audiences quickly become overwhelmed with reading your full executive resume-or a multi-page document is simply too much to handle in a busy networking situation.
The solution? A Networking Resume - a powerful sound bite that encapsulates your career in a single page and gets more traction in your search by supplying a quick picture of your bottom-line brand value.
Also called a Marketing Brief or Networking Biography, this single-page document allows you to zero in on what you want, while hitting the high points of your career. It's especially useful for job hunters in the midst of person-to-person contact who want to avoid the hassle of tracking multiple sheets of paper.
Best of all, a Networking Resume is fairly simple to construct, especially after you've invested significant branding effort into writing your full-fledged executive resume. (See this example of a Networking Resume for a CEO & CEO candidate.)
Here are 5 easy steps to take when condensing your leadership expertise down into a potent, single-page marketing tool:
1 . Skip the job descriptions.
There's no room for lengthy explanations of teams led, budgets managed, and so forth. Instead, you'll want to pull out some results-focused stories from your work history or a bullet-point executive accomplishment list that reflects the high points of your career.
2. Distill your career into just titles, dates, and companies.
A Work History section on your Networking Resume will present just the facts of each job in your career, and believe it or not, this can be very effective.
Often, recruiters will be skimming for progression in your background, and writing a short summary of your job titles can quickly demonstrate promotions and the increasing level of responsibility required for a leadership position.
3. Give your success stories a label and some context.
The best part about writing a Networking Resume or Biography? Giving more detail on highlights of your work, using full sentences that pack in metrics and tell a well-rounded story.
While these items should be featured on a full resume, they rarely will be allowed the same breathing room. Consider fleshing out each Challenge-Action-Result story, highlighting up to 3 achievements.
4. Write a branding tagline that speaks to results.
If you've been able to make significant impact as an executive, here's the place to show it. Break your brand message down into a straightforward and condensed headline that describes how you get results (as shown here).
Struggling with this step? Keep condensing it, taking out words and refining the tagline until you have a powerful sentence that conveys impact. Here are some ideas:
Turning Around Challenged IT Organizations by Building Loyal, Productive Teams
Generating 650%+ Revenue Increase Through Competitive Market Strategies
5. Sum up your education and board affiliations.
Boil your educational background down into just a few lines, using common abbreviations for degrees, states, universities, etc.
You'll also want to cut to the chase on professional associations, speaking engagements, and volunteer affiliations; use the organization's initials to conserve space; list keynotes with the word "Speaker," followed by the name of the organization.
Now, you're prepared to give a snapshot of your professional background and executive abilities to recruiters and hiring authorities, without worrying about information overload or excess paper.
You'll still need a full resume for interviews, of course, but your new Networking Resume can serve as a value-packed, concise introduction to decision-makers.
Laura Smith-Proulx is a resume expert & former recruiter who wins interviews for C-Suite leaders using powerful personal branding and resume strategies.
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