Resumes and Cover Letters

Targeting a Fall Job Hunt? The Latest in Resume Techniques

resume has a competitive edge

Generally speaking, Fall is second only to January and February as the best time of year for executives and aspiring execs to job hunt. Below are my 3 predications, as well as 3 steps you can take, to make sure your resume has a competitive edge.

My 3 Predictions

💡 #1 With unemployment at record lows and worker pay at its highest level in years, I suspect this Fall will be a hiring frenzy (touch lightly on wood).

💡 #2 You WILL Be asked for a resume.

💡 #3 Competition will be steep.

While it’s critical to use social media (LinkedIn for most execs) to connect with your network and tap into opportunities, your resume still remains the foundational document in a well-planned and executed job search.

Also read: Everyone Has a “Proven Track Record” – How to Make Yours Stand Out

Here’s are 3 things you can do to ensure your resume has a competitive edge.

#1 Articulate Your Value from the Top – and make it Quick

It’s been said before. Resume reading (especially the first rounds) are skim reads. It is rare that someone will take a deep dive until much later in the interview process. Your summary statement at the top must QUICKLY convey to the reader:

  • The role you are targeting
  • Why you are ideally suited for it

Furthermore, it must include just enough details so that your statement does not get confused with those of 100s of others describing themselves using the same adjective-rich language.

See the difference and decide for yourself if worth it.


resume has a competitive edge


resume has a competitive edge

#2 Brochure Not Blueprint

I’ve said this before it but it absolutely bears repeating. People in a rush have a tough time reading and digesting dense text – whether your resume contains five 1-line bullets crammed together or a 5-line paragraph.

Unfortunately, because resume readers are generally always in a rush, if something is tough to read, there’s a good chance they will skip over it.

Here’s another before and after…


resume has a competitive edge


resume has a competitive edge

See what I mean? Which one do you think is easier to read, and conveys a story of turnaround and growth?

Also read: 3 Resume “Power Moves” Only Older Executives Can Make

#3 Charts and Graphic Elements Can Tell Your Story Louder Than Words

While graphics and pictures can’t be read by Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) systems, they absolutely can be read by human beings.

While you’ll always come across some folks that are more old school and who love your standard black and white resume, the majority of readers in my experience welcome points illustrated graphically.

Here’s what I mean:

resume has a competitive edge

Still worried about ATS? Just make sure that whatever you insert in the graph, chart or image is also embedded elsewhere in your document.

Fresh Techniques for a Winning Advantage

Executives and aspiring execs looking to take advantage of this exciting but competitive job market will benefit from a resume with a that tells their story in a succinct yet compelling and engaging manner.

Make sure your resume has a competitive edge by embracing graphics (and color!) and articulating value with brevity starting at the top!

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About the Author

Virginia Franco, NCRW, CPRW is the founder of Virginia Franco Resumes which offers customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker.