Seeking A Change After Spending Your Entire Career With One Employer? What Resume Guidelines Should You Keep In Mind?

If you've been at a single employer since graduating from college or business school, you may have formed friendships and relationships over the years that you can't imagine leaving behind. Unfortunately, for many fields, particularly at the highest levels, the best -- and sometimes only -- way to move up or increase one's salary is to switch employers. If you've found that your career or income has become stagnant at your current place of employment, you may finally be ready to make a major change, but unsure where to begin. Read on to learn more about constructing an executive resume after working your way from the ground up at a single employer over your career.

Where should you begin when constructing your resume?

Even if you once spent some time constructing a quick resume during a period of layoffs or other uncertainty at your job, it may have been some time since you've taken a hard look at your listed experience. When you've spent your entire career at the same workplace, the years can begin to meld together, so you may find it easiest to work your way backward chronologically when coming up with skills and certifications that should be highlighted on your final resume. This can help you avoid highlighting earlier lower-level positions and giving short shrift to the more important decision-making and management skills you've been exercising over the past several years.

You may also want to consider whether skills and certifications that may have lapsed will make you more or less marketable for the job(s) you're seeking, and include (or exclude) them accordingly. For example, if you were originally hired to work in your employer's accounting department and passed your CPA exam but were whisked to the C-suite before you ever helped reconcile a ledger, you may wonder whether it's worth including your CPA license on your resume -- but if you're hoping to land a top-level job at a bank or financial institution, your CPA license (even an old one) could take you to the next level when you're up against others who don't have your financial background.

In many cases, you may want to enlist the help of an executive resume drafting service like Jackson Stevens Resumes before beginning your job search in earnest. Although templates are widely available at no cost online, professional services can work with you to draw out additional skills and abilities you may not know you have, as well as construct your resume in a way that will appeal to potential employers in today's market. Those entering the job search after a lengthy period of time with a single employer can be at a disadvantage, as the job searching process changes so rapidly that it can be difficult for all but those who are deliberately in the know to navigate. 

What should you keep in mind during the resume drafting process? 

Crafting a resume that will stand out among the competition can be difficult for employees at any level. However, resume advice for those seeking jobs at entry or even middle-management level is usually targeted toward making sure a resume includes enough keywords or buzzwords to pass through the automated screening tools used by many companies that permit online applications. On the other hand, executive-level employees are more likely to be working with an individual headhunter to find the best fit, which means your resume will need to convey accurate and technical information quickly and to a narrower audience.

A generic resume that has been designed to make its way through various software filters often won't provide a headhunter with the level of detail he or she needs to match you up with the perfect position, wasting your time on job leads that aren't right for your background and experience and potentially frustrating the headhunter in the process. You'll want your resume to highlight your technical skills as well as the type of company or position you're seeking. This can ensure you're sent only the most promising job leads, and will prevent you from winding up in a situation where you're in over your head.