Targeted résumé headings: How to target for your chosen job
Suggested headings for a résumé for senior positions
(Use only the headings that are relevant to your target job.)
- Career overview/summary – Start with a brief introduction of yourself. For example, “John Smith is an experience sales manager with experience across a wide…” Keep this under ten lines and focus on the needs of the new firm or agency. You could also provide an overview of your career from graduation to present with little detail but enough to show progression.
- Career goal or new direction – What sort of position do you want in your new career and what can you contribute. Remember to align it with the vision of the targeted company.
- Academic qualifications – list the qualification, institution and graduation year.
- Significant Achievements – Achievements are very important in senior résumés and are those things you did that had an impact, made a difference, to the agency; your runs on the board. You will have to edit this to focus those items relevant to the new position. Perhaps you reduced the cost by X%, saved the agency $x, introduced a new policy that is still being used and saves the agency money or makes the system more efficient. They must really stand out and should have been recognised by others.
- Competencies – List your relevant competencies and let the Duty Statement of your target position guide you as what to include. When preparing your list think about Job Specific competencies, General Competencies and IT competencies. Make a sub-heading for your IT competencies list. For senior positions management skills and values usually predominate.
- Career history – As with any résumé list only the positions you have held that are relevant to this position. If possible add one or two significant achievements you had in that position.
- Significant positions / Leadership roles – If leadership is called for list the name of the position and company and leadership responsibilities. Keep each one to two to three lines.
- Awards – List your prizes or any recognition you have been given. It might be rewards, favours, special appointments to boards or similar recognition of your ability.
- VIP clients – High profile clients or customers, contracts from high profile organisations, international clients are useful additions.
- Important projects – List your most important projects making sure you clearly indicate your role in that project. If you have a large list make a short list of only those well-known and impressive organisations, and append a longer list for those who want more information or list it in your website if you have one. Bold the names of the well-known organisations.
- Important contracts – List a number of the large and important contracts you have personally managed. Make sure you clearly indicate your role in that contract. Five or six is enough.
- Memberships of professional associations (or appointments to represent the organisation) -This includes Industry bodies, senior level committees, Inter-state working parties. If you are not a member, but are eligible to be a member, change the heading to Eligible for Membership of Professional Associations.
- High-level committees – List any high-level working parties or committees you are on.
- Publications – List any paper, journal article, published policy or book you have authored.
- Conference papers delivered
- Professional development – including conferences attended and short courses
- Thesis for Masters Degree or PhD – Give the thesis topic.
- Areas of interest or Research – list any person or private research you are doing that is relevant to the target position.
- Overseas work or positions in international companies – List only the positions that are relevant to the target position.
- Personal statement – Some people like to make a personal statement about their values or beliefs that are relevant to the work. Keep them relevant and don’t go overboard.
- Referees – At least two people who can be contacted to give a verbal assessment of your ability to do the job. Email addresses should be included.
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