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Is Your Resume Advantaging You at the 90th Percentile? Here's the Easy Fix.

One's reporting structure is a topic best deferred until you speak live with a search consultant or the hiring leadership of a prospective employer, right? Wrong - and if you're among the overwhelming majority of executives whose resumes make little mention of your current (and prior roles') reporting relationships upwards, below, and laterally...then you're at a disadvantage versus those who have represented it upfront.

Why is that? A resume that lists a title plus accomplishments offers readers no context for the management structure and setting under which you executed your role's responsibilities and authorities. No level of outsider experience can fully predict one's positioning, but it's particularly diminished among junior consultants in large search firms, and inhouse recruiters in corporations, who cannot reliably estimate where you fit; nor should their modest career experiences expect it to. Moreover, senior executives as the hiring managers cannot be expected to estimate the internal structures of your current employer.

A capable search consultant's first questions upon discussing one's resume should be, "Where do you fit in the organization chart? Give me a verbal org chart - a 360 degree picture - of who you report to, whom your peers are, and your subordinates." From that alone are accomplishments and responsibilities understood.

We recommend that executives use the first two sentences under a title/date to supply their text-based org chart. For instance, "Reporting to the CEO, and managing a team of five Vice Presidents of Finance, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, and Human Resources, overall responsibilities are the leadership of this $500 million subsidiary."

Projecting one's leadership setting upfront is the detailed early-stage qualification necessary to be preferentially-pursued on a search firm's assignment. To leave it out may cause oneself to be left the outset.


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