It’s that recruiter again; why you should answer the phone


Look, we get it: you get lots of calls from recruiters, and they call at inconvenient times, and they keep calling, and you hope if you don’t answer, they’ll eventually give up.

And some do.

And with them, possibly an opportunity that could have changed your life.

Luckily, I work for a company that has a great reputation in our industry, and we’re very niched, so professionals are usually happy to hear from us, or at least willing to answer the phone when we call.

But occasionally, there’s that candidate who is irritated that they received a call from me, especially at work, and slams down the phone angrily before I finish my introduction.

And here’s what that person missed:

  •  A chance to learn about a specific opportunity I was calling about;
  •  A discussion about career goals and the options to achieve them;
  •  The opportunity to sell your own company’s brand and brag on its culture to someone who has conversations with hundreds of people every week;
  •  The ability to network with a very connected person in their industry;
  •  A discussion about what’s happening in the market, including compensation and upcoming trends;
  •  The potential to refer other professionals to someone in the industry who can help them achieve their career goals;
  •  A chance to seek help filling a tough position in their own company.

I get calls and emails from recruiters, too, and I respond to them all. Not because I’m unhappy where I am, but I realize all the chances I miss if I don’t. One persistent recruiter reached out again last week after contacting me several months ago. I promptly replied to her that things were amazing in my world, and I listed all of the reasons, but I invited a conversation to see how I could help her connect with professionals who might be interested in her role. I was able to refer some great folks to her, and, more than that, I think her takeaway was that I love my job, and I love my company, and I love working for clients in the real estate development and construction industry. Should anything come down the pipeline that’s not in her wheelhouse, but is in mine, maybe she’ll remember that happy recruiter she talked to at Joseph Chris Partners and refer me some business.

You really never know where a conversation with a good recruiter will lead you.

It might not lead anywhere at the time, but down the road, that recruiter may remember you, and may call you back about something amazing. And when that call comes, you’ll be really glad you answered the phone.

Written By: Angie Truitt, J.D., Senior Partner

The Talent Struggles of Residential Home Builders Today Are Real


In 2006, the economic downturn that started for Home Building in 2006 and most other industries in 2008, greatly impacted production home builders in many ways, but the impact on hiring remains even today. Between 2006 and 2012, new talent did not enter the field of home building because companies were cutting back on employees, not adding them. At the same time, many employees in preconstruction and purchasing, construction and construction management, and land acquisition and development who were caught in the early rounds of layoffs left home building for other industries and never came back.

This lapse in people entering the field combined with the layoffs that forced talent into other sectors of the industry created real problems for home builders that are hiring in today’s market. The market is robust, the demand is real, but unfortunately, so is the shortage of professionals in certain skill sets.

Obviously, we know from our high school economics class that increased demand drives costs higher, and in this case, it has resulted in new compensation structures for many home building professions. For example, purchasing professionals are consistently receiving up to 30-40% more in base pay across the experience spectrum, from purchasing agents with very little experience, all the way up to professionals with responsibilities at the corporate level.

Another area of shortage are construction management professionals, including superintendents and project managers. There were so few entering the field for so long, so there is a pronounced gap in those who have 15-25 years in the industry, and those who have less than 5 years under their respective tool belts.

The industry is in a good place right now and growing steadily. Per the National Association of Home Builders, 2016 was the best year for home building in 12 years.

What the industry needs right now requires something from both employees and employers: It requires more people willing to join this wonderful industry of home building BUT it also requires the home builders themselves to come to the realization that because we went through such a lengthy and pronounced downturn, they must step up to the plate and adjust their compensation paradigm to get the desired talent they want and need.

We at Joseph Chris Partners understand both sides of this challenging issue and are here for both our clients and candidates to help educate and further the growth of this wonderful, much needed industry.

Written By: Claire Spence, Executive Partner

Five keys to identifying committed partnerships in recruiting


So, why should we work with your company?

Well maybe you can’t be that direct with a client, but you should be thinking it.  The companies you represent in the market are your brand, and as marketing experts will tell you, your brand is your most valuable asset.  So, if you are known in the industry for working with any client for any fee, your brand becomes devalued.  Here at Joseph Chris Partners, we have 40 years of industry knowledge and experience under our proverbial belt. Clients come to us for hiring solutions, and that has allowed us to be very selective when choosing our partners.

Early in my sales career I was told that the only thing worse than no contract is a bad contract.  That applies to clients as well.  If you don’t vet your client and negotiate a fair contract, then you open yourself up to recurring disappointment and failure.  Good recruiters are like any other professional in any type of business:  you must respect yourself, your company and your profession.  If you suspect the client does not share that view, then move on.  We spend too much time and effort on a search not to be respected and treated like a business partner.

So how should you handle yourself when you have the prospective client on the phone or sitting in front of you?

1.)   Go into the meeting or make the call with a positive, open minded attitude, but be prepared to say no thanks to a bad deal.

2.)   Do your research and show interest in their company history and business model.

3.)   Who is the hiring manager, and can I contact that person directly? If you don’t have a direct line to the hiring manager or a senior human resources professional, it’s best to move on.

4.)   Find out if the vacant position is a source of pain for the business. Is it a replacement search or is it a new position?  I once had a prospective client tell me they were just sticking their toe in water.  They wanted to see what kind of talent was out there. Yes, that was a no!

5.)   Are they using other recruiters? Do they have their own talent acquisition team?  I usually say no if they are using more third-party recruiters.  To me that is a signal that they have trust issues with recruiters and are probably putting me in the same category.  I usually tell them that my time is too valuable to compete with other search firms and to re-plow the same ground.  

These are just a few of the questions you can ask.  The point is that you need to negotiate a fair contract with a client that sees you as a valuable service provider/problem solver, not as a necessary evil.  Be fair, honest and straight forward in your communication and actions. You may gain a valuable client and business partner.  And the potential loss by not taking every client?  Protecting your personal brand and that of your company, and not wasting your time and resources.

Written By: Mark Hall, Executive Partner


Should I Stay or Should I Go?

stay or go blog pic
A valid question asked at one point in time in our professional or personal lives. Or in some cases, just singing along in the car with The Clash on the way to office will suffice, no air guitar performances though, please! Safety first!

I enjoy music. All kinds of music. I grew up studying classical piano so naturally it is engrained in my DNA. Music and lyrics speak volumes and I find situations in my daily life end up with a lyrical reference to a song. Most of my staff conference calls include a song reference, it is just how I roll. Life is a song, so sing it, right?

So, should I stay or should I go? This is a daily discussion that I have with industry professionals at all experience levels. While the market continues to be robust, it brings about many career opportunities especially to those who are not actively looking to make a change. Common questions or concerns arise such as:

Why leave a position where you are happy and enjoy the company and culture?

“I still haven’t found what I’m looking for” – As only U2 can eloquently say this, it can be a poignant question or reflection for a professional posed with a career opportunity. Most people truly are happy with the company and the people with whom they work and that is a wonderful thing. When a truthfully amazing opportunity is presented it is a good time for a gut check. Have you found what you are looking for? Is it available in your current role or company? Check your career goal progress and know what you have available and how far out that may be if you stayed in your current role. What, if anything, is holding you back?

Is the position a lateral move or does it offer additional responsibilities? What is the title?

“The Times They Are A Changin” – Thanks to Bob Dylan for that reminder. Everything changes: organizational structures, divisional and regional layers added/removed, company ownership, to name a few. The changes occur due to company merger or acquisition, becoming a publicly traded organization, or succession planning within private companies. When considering another career option, it is wise to not focus alone on title but rather overall responsibilities and reporting structures and the type of organization. While a VP of Sales and Marketing title says a lot, the same position with a seemingly lesser title can be just as expansive and more. Does the position report to a divisional department head or directly to the President/CEO? One can often have more direct impact working side by side with the leader of an organization. Likewise, a lateral position move isn’t always a bad option especially with a company of much larger size where many opportunities for promotion and leadership experiences potentially exist. The key is to find out about the company, it’s culture and what the growth opportunities are within without making a blanket assumption that the roll is not of interest. You never know until you explore!

Counter offer? Sure, I’d consider that!

This one is a ringer for The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” or better yet, Chicago’s “If You Leave Me Now” could be even more ideal. In my nearly 19 years’ experience of executive search, one thing I do know is that Counter Offers can be a very bad gift wrapped up like a ring box from Tiffany’s. Sure it is pretty and it must be amazing inside, right?

When a company is faced with the resignation of a key employee it is almost a given some sort of counter offer to stay is presented. These offers typically provide a bump in base salary, additional bonus opportunities, or even a promise of promotion. Unfortunately, the acceptance of a counter offer can often lead to a less than positive outcome by lack of further career advancement or worse, termination – but on the company’s terms, not the candidate’s.

If someone would consider going all the way through the process and receive an offer, only to remain in their current role, the question really comes back full circle to those above.

Have you found what you are looking for? Are you where you want to be in your professional career trajectory? If not, consider confidentially speaking with an executive search specialist who can provide on target consulting and insight. You’ll never know until you pick up the phone and say – “Hello.” (Thanks, Adele.)

Written By: Erica Lockwood, Equity Partner


Changes in Hiring Operations


Changes in Hiring Operations:

We here at Joseph Chris Partners are consultants and recruiters for builders and developers working with human resource departments as well as hiring managers and corporate leaders. Through our work, we have noticed many changes to our clients’ hiring operations over the past few years.

Medium to large builders and developers have added to their internal recruiting departments for organization, professional processes, non-confidential positions and getting the word out through social media. Human resources departments want to protect the brand and reputation of the company by making sure that every professional has a good experience in the interview process so those professionals, in turn, will share positive information about the company, improving its brand. Companies of all sizes partner with respected and industry-tenured recruiters to attract talent for hard-to-fill or confidential positions. They all recognize that a bad hire really negatively affects the synergy of their company and is very costly on many fronts.

Acquisitions, organizational restructuring, and lack of communication from corporate and bonus structure revisions have all contributed to the lack of trust between employer and employee currently permeating the industry. That fear has made hiring challenging for some companies. To overcome the lack of trust, companies have turned to internal employee connections and referrals as well as third party sources like recruiters who all serve as intermediaries the candidates feel they can trust to give them the “real story” about the position, the real bonus opportunity, company culture, personality and ethics of who they report to, land positioning and financial health of the company.

To avoid making a bad hire, companies are making the hiring process more robust by increasing the number of team members involved in interviews, adding personality and aptitude testing, and including spouses and family members in the process. Hiring managers are also becoming brutally honest during conversations with final candidates to ensure there are no surprises and the potential for fall-out is minimal. Honesty in communications helps the candidates gain trust in the company, its leaders and the specific opportunity.

Thankfully, our industry has recovered nicely from the downturn. Yet, the recent rapid growth has created hiring challenges for builders and developers. Certain skill sets have become much harder to find, so companies are more open to relocating from other cities, hiring those who left the industry during the downturn to either work in a completely different field or start their own companies.

5. Companies today are more accepting of resumes that do not show tenure with companies from 2007 through 2014 due to the downturn and acquisition changes. They recognize that there were a lot of good people in uncontrollable situations.

6. Companies are attracted to leaders with recent pre-downturn experience because they know how to handle challenges, disruptions and the uncertain situations that are a part of the building and development business. They are looking for candidates who have pre-downturn experience, but those candidates must be open to new technologies, different processes, continuous learning, creativity and collaborating with other leaders in the division or company. Hiring managers are attracted to candidates who are open to learning from others, have intellectual bandwidth, curiosity, confidence to share their point of view, fit within the company’s culture, have a strong drive and work ethic, and willing to pay a price to earn credibility.

While some of the hiring processes have changed, the goal of companies in our space is the same: to find dedicated, skilled, creative, intelligent professionals who will add value and be great brand ambassadors. Even though technology has improved, allowing companies to access more candidate resumes than ever before, nothing replaces the ability to connect with people, learn what drives them, understand their career goals, and find them the right place to reach their potential. That’s what we do, and our 40 years of success in this industry prove that we do it very well. We are happy to support companies with their hiring strategies to ensure they are on the forefront of trends and changes, not left behind with outdated methods trying to catch up to their competition.

Written by: Veronica Ramirez, CEO

Integrity and Recruiting


I practiced law for 13 years, and in that time, I heard a lot of lawyer jokes. And I get why: you only need them when something is wrong, and they usually cost you money you would rather spend on anything else. They rank just barely above politicians and debt collectors on the Top 10 Most Hated Professions list. Most politicians are lawyers, though, so I’m guessing we can safely call them tied and not be misleading anyone.

Still, there are a lot of great lawyers out there. Amazing lawyers. Lawyers helped create the foundation upon which our democracy was built, and lawyers safeguard our freedoms every single day. But it’s the bad eggs, the ambulance chasers, the slick, sly, lying lawyers that make it tough for the good ones.

It’s the same in recruiting.

At Joseph Chris Partners, integrity is at the top of our list of core values, and I’m thankful to be working for a company full of consultants, not used car salesmen.

When I was a young recruiter, I was ordered by the owner of the company I worked for at the time to do something that I believed was wrong. I refused. She called me insubordinate and told me I didn’t have what it took to be a good recruiter.

I’m the only daughter of a military lawyer father. I couldn’t be insubordinate if I tried. It’s literally not in my D.N.A. But my parents taught me the importance of honesty, and to be sworn in to the State Bar of Texas, I had to pass an Ethics exam and take an oath that I will conduct myself with integrity. So I will never hesitate to stand up for what is ethical and honest, like I did that day.

I knew I was a good recruiter. I just wasn’t recruiting for the right company. I am now.

I talk to a lot of people each week, and it’s interesting what they have to say about recruiters. Some have had wonderful experiences. Others, not so much. Usually the complaints fall into one category: overpromising.

“I want to talk to you about this amazing opportunity with this incredible company that’s offering a salary twice what other companies are offering. You interested?” Uh, who wouldn’t be? Unfortunately, that’s a hook used by some executive recruiters to get the best talent to share a resume, and the opportunities rarely live up to the initial hype. The old “bait and switch” tactic gives the candidate a bad taste for recruiters, and the rest of us suffer for the used-car-salesman types.

It also affects how potential clients view our services and whether they will work with outside recruiters. Some recruiters promise the sun, moon, and stars just to get a contract signed, and when reality sets in that the firm can’t deliver the company’s biggest competitor’s CEO in just two days and under the company’s hiring budget, the hiring manager’s frustration with recruiters typically lasts longer than that one interaction.

There is no upside to not being truthful and authentic with your candidates and clients. Our goal here at Joseph Chris Partners is creating career-long connections with professionals in the real estate development and construction industries. We listen because we really can’t do our job otherwise. We want to understand what both candidates and clients are looking for so we can make the best match.

Managing expectations on both sides is a critical piece to getting to that match. A candidate may believe their skill set is so in demand that they deserve a 100% increase in their base salary, and other recruiters may have even fed into that belief by telling them they are worth that just to get a resume to add to their database. A client may believe they can find their next CEO for a bargain, and a recruiter focused only on bringing in new clients may agree.

We don’t do that.

We share the industry knowledge we gained over our 40 years in the business and through conversations with professionals in the real estate development and construction world every day with both candidates and clients so their expectations are grounded in reality. We continuously share feedback during the search process so there are no surprises for either side because the last thing we want to do is get a great candidate an offer just to discover he thinks he’s worth $50,000 more than the company will pay, or that the company’s budget is $50,000 less than the candidate will accept.

That requires diligence on our part from the very first conversation. We must know everything candidates and clients know to do our jobs effectively. And we must share our expertise openly from the very first conversation. There is no benefit to talking a candidate into something that isn’t a fit, or pushing a candidate on a client for a sake of a sale. When your goal is to make meaningful connections with both candidate and client, trust is required, and without honesty and integrity, trust will never be earned.

Certainly, trust and integrity go both ways, and when we discover candidates are being less than truthful, or clients are hiding significant information from us, we have no problem ending those relationships. Because a successful partnership must have trust from both partners, and that’s how we like to view our connections in the industry: as career-long partnerships.

Just like there are a lot of great lawyers out there, there are a lot of great recruiters as well. A few shady “Wolf of Wall Street” types have given the industry a bad reputation. If you find yourself needing help from a recruiter, either to find a job or fill a job, just make sure that recruiter is open and honest with you. Ask lots of questions, and really listen to their responses. If you aren’t comfortable, feel you’re being “sold” rather than understood, feel pushed rather than consulted, and you don’t feel like your recruiter really cares about you and your success, you probably need to keep looking.

If you’re in our industry, we’d love to talk to you. If you’re in another, we can probably refer you to someone we trust. Either way, don’t settle for one of the shady ones because there are far too many good ones out there.

Despite what a Google search for “Recruiters are…” may tell you.

Written by: Angie Truitt, Senior Partner

Best Way to Write Core Competencies in a Resume

The University of Victoria describes professional competencies as the skills, attributes and knowledge that “are specifically valued by the professional associations and bodies connected to your future profession”. Others also define it as your expertise and knowledge in a given area, which, in this case, refers to your job duties and responsibilities. Adding a list […]

List Of Good Buzzwords For Resume

Did you know that there are words recruiters hate to see on a resume? Words, phrases and jargons that are considered overused and abused would make your CV less desirable, resulting to your chances of getting the job being shot.

Some of the words that are best avoided include go-getter, go-to person, strategic thinker, detail-oriented, hard worker, team player, results-driven, and think outside the box.

Employers don’t want to know if you are a team player, but they do want to know how you saved company resources, money and time on a team project, or while collaborating with other members.

It’s not enough that you tell them you are results-driven, but they would prefer a list of what you have actually accomplished during your tenure.

Should you use the opposite of these words, then? Not quite. Apparently, there are buzzwords suitable to a particular career, and there are power words and phrases to go with them.

Experts suggest that you focus on transferrable skills, and then present it using action verbs.

For example, when applying for a job in communication, you should highlight the following transferable skills:
Editing, Explaining, Speaking, Listening, Writing, Promoting, Mediating, Interpreting, Influencing

When presenting these skills in your resume, use the appropriate power words. These include:
Achieved, Convinced, Developed, Enhanced, Facilitated, Handled, Performed, Resolved, Negotiated

Why Do You Need To Use These Words?

To catch an employer’s or recruiter’s attention. They too have their own buzzword, such as problem-solving, communicating clearly, showing leadership, listening, conceptualizing and negotiating.

But you can’t guess them all, right? Well, you should know that the main skills employers are looking for fall into four categories.

1. Effective Communication
Employers are looking for candidates who listen to instructions and act on them with as minimal guidance as possible. Someone who understands the first time is a real bonus. But they also want an employee who can effectively communicate both written and verbally, and who can organize their thoughts in order to present them clearly and logically.

2. Organization
Organized thoughts mean that your mental folders are neatly filed and properly labelled. This translates to clearer focus and better thought processing. In the working world, prioritizing and organizing are essential, and failure to achieve both can prove disastrous, not only to the employee, but also the employer.

3. Problem-Solving
The ability to find resolution to most job challenges, no matter how small, can be quite impressive. Employers want assurance that you would be able to overcome any challenge thrown your way, this is why problem-solving skills is on top of their list. The same skill would also help you process data, formulate a vision, make transactions and reach a resolution.

4. Leadership
Leadership is about having a strong self-confidence, accompanied by a comprehensive knowledge of the goals of an organization. With these qualities, an employee can inspire and motivate other people, providing a good foundation for teamwork. Employers aren’t just looking for staff, but future leaders as well. So you must highlight your leadership qualities.

How to Use the Buzzwords on Your Resume

Start by making a list of skills and transferrable skills that fall under any of the four categories listed above. Then, choose the appropriate power words to go along with it. Below is a list of words that you can use.

Transferrable Skills

Bookkeeping, Computing, Classifying, Collecting, Recording, Compiling, Examining, Organizing, Filing

Designing, Visualizing, Developing, Illustrating, Establishing, Inventing, Performing, Improvising, Revitalizing

Accounting, Projecting, Administering, Auditing, Allocating, Balancing, Calculating, Forecasting, Investing

Human Relations
Advising, Representing, Assisting, Listening, Counseling, Empathizing, Motivating, Guiding, Serving

Consulting, Communicating, Coordinating, Directing, Delegating, Leading, Evaluating, Planning, Negotiating, Persuading

Public Relations
Conducting, Writing, Consulting, Planning, Informing, Presenting, Representing, Promoting, Researching, Responding

Problem Solving
Analyzing, Examining, Planning, Appraising, Diagnosing, Reasoning, Executing, Validating, Proving, Recognizing

Assessing, Investigating, Evaluating, Calculating, Examining, Collecting, Diagnosing, Interviewing, Extrapolating

Adjusting, Repairing, Drafting, Aligning, Assembling, Observing, Engineering, Installing, Operating

Buzzwords / Power Words / Action Verbs

Achieved, Accomplished, Acted, Advised, Adapted, Advanced, Appointed, Altered, Arranged, Assigned, Authored, Assembled, Acquired, Addressed, Allocated, Analyzed, Applied, Appraised, Approved, Arbitrated, Assessed, Assumed, Assured, Audited, Awarded, Administered

Built, Broadened, Briefed, Budgeted

Coached, Chaired, Controlled, Conceptualized, Converted, Communicated, Convinced, Counseled, Cut, Cultivated

Debugged, Decided, Decreased, Defined, Dispatched, Delegated, Delivered, Detected, Demonstrated, Designated, Distributed, Designed, Determined, Developed, Devised, Diagnosed, Directed, Discovered, Doubled, Drafted

Edited, Earned, Encouraged, Eliminated, Enhanced, Ensured, Exceeded, Evaluated, Effected, Expanded, Empowered, Expressed, Explored, Established, Engineered, Executed

Filed, Facilitated, Filled, Fostered, Financed, Fulfilled, Flagged, Forecasted, Formulated, Focused, Founded

Gathered, Gained, Generated, Grew, Granted, Guided

Halved, helped, handled, hired, headed

Identified, Integrated, Ignited, Improved, Implemented, Incorporated, Increased, Influenced, Indexed, Initiated, Inspected, Issued, Innovated, Installed, Instructed, Instituted, Insured, Interviewed, Interpreted, Introduced, Inventoried, Invented, Invested, Investigated

Justified, Joined


Launched, Liaised, Learned, Logged, Leased, Licensed, Lectured, Led, Lobbied

Maintained, Marketed, Managed, Mentored, Manufactured, Migrated, Matched, Measured, Met, Modified, Mediated, Monitored, Moved, Motivated

Named, Negotiated, Navigated

Obtained, Operated, Opened, Ordered, Overhauled, Organized, Oversaw

Participated, Prescribed, Patented, Pursued, Perceived, Purchased, Performed, Persuaded, Placed, Published, Planned, Posted, Presented, Presided, Processed, Procured, Proposed, Produced, Proficient, Programmed, Prohibited, Projected, Promoted, Provided, Prepared

Qualified, Questioned, Quantified

Raised, Revised, Ranked, Restored, Rated, Received, Recognized, Replaced, Recommended, Reconciled, Recorded, Redesigned, Reduced, Regulated, Rehabilitated, Reorganized, Repaired, Replied, Reported, Represented, Rescued, Researched, Resolved, Responded, Revamped, Recruited, Reviewed, Referred

Saved, Supported, Scheduled, Strategized, Screened, Selected, Systematized, Served, Serviced, Started, Shaped, Shared, Showed, Sold, Solved, Sorted, Sought, Sparked, Spoke, Staffed, Steered, Streamlined, Strengthened, Stressed, Stretched, Structured, Studied, Submitted, Succeeded, Suggested, Summarized, Simplified, Superseded, Supervised, Supplied, Surveyed, Substituted

Tackled, Troubleshot, Targeted, Taught, Transferred, Terminated, Tested, Toured, Traced, Tracked, Traded, Tutored, Trained, Transcribed, Transformed, Trimmed, Translated, Transported, Traveled, Treated, Tripled, Turned

Unified, Uncovered, Understood, Unraveled, Updated, Understudied, Upgraded, Utilized

Verbalized, Vended, Visited, Verified

Waged, Wrote, Weighed, Won, Widened, Worked

There is no magical formula for writing the perfect resume, but with the use of the right words, you can better highlight your skills and convey your abilities that would prove useful for the job vacancy that need to be filled.

Best Resume Format For Executives

A good executive resume has what it takes to answer your employer’s key question that is—“What is in it for me?” As it will be reviewed by top-level recruiters, such as the CEO, COO, CFO or any member of the board, make sure that it will let them know how you will be able to help them solve issues in their business. This is what each of them wants to know!

With this in mind, you should work on your resume to convey your value to the company, and what better way to this than using the best format for this very important document? Here are some tips you can pick up:

Details to Include

A role of an executive is to have the foresight and innovation to lead a department or the entire organization to success, which means that you should illustrate such ability by providing examples. However, simply touting the accomplishments and results of your previous employers would not be enough to land the position, and you should let your next employer know what specific insights and guidance you contributed, along with the following:

  • The role you played in formulating plans and strategies.
  • Processes and tasks you completed, especially on employee coordination and management.
  • Tangible measures of executive duties you performed, including efficiency improvements, profits from specific projects and the number of employees managed.
  • Significant and relevant executive decisions you made and their impact on projects and processes.


One-inch margins can make your resume look amateur, while anything less than 0.5 inch will make it look like having too much text on the page/s or even cut it short for print quality. This means that the appropriate margins would be anything between 0.5 to 0.7 inches. By using these measurements, there will be not so much of white space and they will be enough to ensure information does not look crammed and your document looking well-balanced all throughout. Also, it will make your resume aesthetically appealing and looking professional to the one who will review it.


As fonts can have a significant effect on the beauty of a resume, you should focus on choosing among those that will subtly impress, rather than detract. Here are the best font faces for an executive resume:

Though it is not particularly sophisticated, this is a sans serif font that people are familiar with. It may border on banal, but it is surely a safe bet.

You might be used to using Times New Roman (TNR), as it is the one highly accepted for papers, but like Arial, it might be commonplace. Instead, you can opt for Times, which appears less awkward and condensed, especially at smaller sizes, making it suitable for digital use.

This font was particularly designed for reading on computer screens, so it should be both easy and pleasant to read.

This has a simple elegance that looks polished both on print and on screen.


As times changed, so as the criteria for resume length. Though some experts strongly suggest to make it short (one page if possible), write your resume to be long enough to entice your employer to invite you for a job interview. Basically, there is no hard-and-fast rule for this, but you should include the most important elements in your resume, such as your career objective, occupation, years of experience, previous employers, scope of accomplishments and training and education. Keep it concise and focused on your key selling points.

Writing Guidelines

When re-working on your resume when applying for an executive position, check if you are missing some of the following elements:

Focus – To create a good executive resume, you need it to be able to deliver a clear and succinct message about the value you will bring, focusing on the target position and company. By doing so, you can clearly demonstrate your value by emphasizing the aspects of your experience and expertise that will match the employer’s needs and minimizing those that do not. Also, your focus should be consistent throughout, so if you state in the beginning that your ability to effectively utilize opportunities in new markets is your key strength, then make sure to give concrete examples of success in this area throughout the document.

Value – Keep in mind that describing your achievements is as equally powerful as citing your essential job responsibilities to make a resume effective. But as job responsibilities are simply the things that you are supposed to do, achievements show what you actually did and how your abilities can make a difference for your prospective company. However, make sure that you will be very specific when writing about accomplishments. For example, avoid saying “increased sales” without stating how much you had increased them and avoid mentioning that a workflow design you made has boosted productivity without saying what the improvement was.

Context – In order for the hiring manager to truly appreciate your achievements, he or she should be able to get valuable context. If you state that you were able to increase sales by 10%, for example, he or she might be impressed, but if you state that you were able to reverse a 4-year sales decline and increase it by 10% in the first year, then he or she will certainly appreciate your accomplishment. Simply put, try to provide context in each description of the responsibilities on your resume, rather than just merely describing it.

Good Design – True, employers would judge your resume at first glance, so make sure it is visually appealing. Its design should be clean, easy-to-read and has the quality to draw attention to key information. For example, if you want the person who will check it to focus on the top brands you have marketed, then you can highlight them on your resume.

Writing a Strong Executive Resume Really Does Make a Difference

Writing a resume might be a tedious work for you, but rushing things to complete it as quickly as possible would rob you of the opportunities that you supposedly deserve. By following the formatting and writing tips mentioned in this article, you will be able to see an improvement in the response rate to your application process.

Best Margins For Resume

When formatting your resume, it is important to use standard resume margin guidelines, as this will make your resume properly laid out on the page/s and look professional. Basically, the shape of a resume pertains to its look’s overall impact on the reader, without him or her taking into account the significance or meaning of the content. It is the very first thing that would make an impression on the reviewer and to be processed by his or her brain before he or she reads the text, recognizes your name and appreciates the paper.

One of the best tools to make your resume look good is the margins. With this in mind, here are some resume margin tips that you can pick up:

Margin Measurements

The standard margins on your resume should be about 1 inch on all sides, but you can reduce them if you need extra space. However, make sure you do not make them smaller than 0.5 inch, as this will make your resume look too busy.

Page Proportion

One of the first aspects to consider when analyzing the shape of your resume is the proportion of the page margins. The safest choice for 95% of resume writers is the 1-inch standardized margins, and it is especially useful to job applicants who do not have much experience, helping them make the typed text to seem a bit lengthier. Though margins would still be acceptable when varied by tenths of a point, it might be difficult for an amateur resume writer to truly understand what is acceptable in the industry, thus it is recommended for him or her to stick to the standard.

However, it is also possible that the standard will not always ensure a resume will stand out over the rest. As for expert resume writers, they are using precise .63-inch margins, as they feel that such a measurement brings about the perfect harmonious balance between making the text appear broader and is fuller than the larger 1-inch margins that create too much white space. You should remember that too much white space on a page can make your resume seem lacking, but too little white space would also make it feel cramped or too busy.

Typically, you should make sure that the texts of your resume are visually balanced on the page, with the top, bottom, left and right margins equal. You should follow the same format throughout your resume.

Text Alignment

Aligning a resumes is a pretty straightforward process, as it is usually left-aligned and is how most people would read text. Typically, the left side of your resume should contain the most important information, such as your job title, previous employers, achievements and responsibilities. However, there are also additional details that are appropriate to be put on the right side of the page, such as the date and job location, creating a visually balanced resume. As for the contact details and your name, they are mostly center-aligned, though you can opt to follow special styles that place contact information on the left side.

Manipulating Margins to Create Bigger Page

Changing your resume’s margins to values that are slightly less than the default settings will enlarge presentation space without crowding the page/s or compromising readability. So how can you do it?

Place the cursor at the top of the page, and from the Page Layout menu tab, select Margins, Custom Margins, and then type in the new values for all margins. You can also perform this through a shortcut by place the cursor at the top of the page, double-clicking the blue space to the left of the ruler and then typing in the new values.


The length of your resume is a vital formatting factor that will make a huge impact on the overall aesthetic of the document. Like margins, the appropriate length is a contested subject within the industry, but there are some general rules you can follow to determine what the perfect length for your resume is.

Fitting Your Resume onto a Single Page

Experts generally recommend that you should limit your resume to a single page because it will make the impression that you are confident and will tell the hiring manager that your resume is strong that you do not need several pages to clearly show why he or she should pick you as the best candidate for the position. Here are some tips and tweaks to make a one-page resume without making it look too crammed:

1. Reduce margins.
One way to go about this is reducing all margins universally to drastically decrease your line count, but as the text expands towards the page’s edges, your resume will tend to sprawl. A more subtle adjustment is to decrease the right margin, as readers will not likely notice that the ragged edge of the text has been extended. You can also reduce the top margin to put your letterhead in a more typical position above your resume’s main body.

2. Get rid of unnecessary indentations by hanging bullets.
This method would work best if the texts from the bullet points are wrapping onto multiple lines. You can save lines and make your resume look extra sharp by moving the left edge of the bulleted text flush with the rest of the page and hanging the bullets out into the margin.

3. Remove extraneous line breaks by using commas, tabs and columns.
This strategy helps when you are having sections with many lines with little text on each, such as bullet points or lists. If you have these sections on your resume, you can place them adjacent to each other in a 2-column format. If this solution does not appeal to you, then you can separate list items by commas or tabs instead of line breaks.

4. Decrease the height of existing line breaks.
This one is just easy to do, where just have to move your cursor to the empty line and reduce font size. This will allow you to compress your sections together and reduce the distance between them by several points, while still maintaining the visual break that makes them look separate.

It is equally important to make your resume easy to read, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is using the right margins.