Blank piece of paper held up

What an Executive Résumé Looks Like

Forrest Christian Careers, Underachievers Leave a Comment

Lots of you are Mode 6 or higher and getting frustrated in your efforts to provide the right résumé / C.V. for executive positions.

“What is does an executive résumé look like?” people ask me. “Do you even know?”

Of course I do. And I will illustrate it with a story I saw on television several years ago.

Di: [brightly] Hey, Dexter!

De: [with fake Germanic accent] Go away, Didi! I am busy doing SCIENCE.

Di: I bet I know something you don’t.

De; That is impossible, Didi. I am a geeeeen-ius and you are a stupid girl.

Di: Well, do you know what an executive résumé looks like?

De: [thinking] An executive résumé? Hmmm…. well, I … ummm…. [scribbles on a piece of paper next to his test tubes] Does it look like this? [holds up piece of paper]

Di: [rolls eyes] Noooo….

De: [holds up another piece of paper] Does it look like this?

Di: [rolls eyes] Noooo….

De: Of course not. I was just testing you. [thinking hard] Aha! [writes on paper] Here! [thrusts paper in front of Didi] This is an executive résumé!

[Didi takes the paper while Dexter looks on smugly.]

Di: Boy, Dexter, you sure are stupid!

De: [sputtering] What?! Well.. I mean … [fumes — steam coming off head] Okay, smarty-pants. What DOES an executive résumé look like?

Di: Easy, Mr. Genius. It looks like this. [mimes putting a piece of paper in front of Dexter’s face]

De: [irritated] Didi, there is nothing in your hands.

Di: That’s right, Dex, because THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS AN EXECUTIVE RÉSUMÉ!!!

[Didi exit stage right, laughing, as Dexter pulls faint.]

(With apologies to Genndy.)

That’s right: the résumé is essentially a Level 3 device that has been coopted by Level 1 & 2. Sometimes it can be useful at Level 4. By Level 5, the only thing that matters is a little bit of CV — not in the European sense of being the same thing as an American résumé but something that simply lists broad employment, education and publications. It’s not a sales device.

You may have a bio along the lines of an author’s bio on the back flap of a novel. But a Level 6 résumé? There’s no such beast.

So what can you do?

You have to change the way that you are thinking about your job search.

We’ll deal more with this in the newsletter over the next few months, and in more detail in the seminars.

Because you are the killer app.

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