THE IMPACT OF AN EXECUTIVE RESUME ON SALARY
It is a simple fact that the best executive resumes usually lead to the types of positions that generate the most lucrative compensation packages. But as obvious as this appears, it would seem that many senior-level job hunters really fail to appreciate just how much impact their executive resumes and other written marketing materials have on future earnings. Because if they do understand this relationship, it then becomes extremely difficult to explain why so many of these people continue to send out low-impact marketing materials that do little or nothing to differentiate their experience, skills and successes from other potential candidates all seeking the same positions.
Obviously, factors such as level of position, functional area, and size of the company automatically conveys important information about potential salary demands. For example, the Senior Vice President of Manufacturing for an $80 billion global giant will certainly command a much higher salary than the Vice President of Manufacturing for a $15 million firm with regional sales. In fact, the difference in base salary for these two positions could easily be $500,000 (or more) per year, and this does not take into consideration the amount of their annual bonuses or value of their perquisite packages that together could add another seven digits to the disparity between the two positions.
But when comparing two job candidates with similar backgrounds in smaller to medium-size companies, the impact of an executive resume can easily make a five-digit difference in the perception an employer develops as to your salary expectations. And while the same situation exists among executives with similar backgrounds in large companies, the money differential is likely to be much greater. In other words, the better the selling power of your executive resume, the more likely it is that employers will assume you have higher salary expectations before they even call you.
If you can differentiate yourself from the pack, you have taken the first essential step in improving the probability that you will have a shortened and more lucrative job search. People with high-impact executive resumes almost always find jobs faster than those who have neglected this aspect of their search preparation, even in labor markets characterized by high unemployment and a glut of available candidates. And the jobs they find usually have higher salaries than those who are less purposeful in preparing their materials, since they know how to write the type of executive resumes that sell value based on their previous experiences and successes with other employers.
LET YOUR EXECUTIVE RESUME SPEAK FOR YOU
An employer who runs an ad to recruit a new executive is likely to receive hundreds of responses from interested applicants, but will often conclude that “There are only a couple qualified people in the whole pile.” This doesn’t mean that no other applicants are qualified to fill the position. What it does mean is that only a few people were able to properly convey their qualifications in order to even be considered. (NOTE: Jobs that are advertised, posted, or given to recruiters are referred to as the published job market, which in total represents approximately 20% of all executives hired.)
Conversely, an executive resume’s ability to influence an employer is amazing when you consider that 80% of all executive positions filled are never published. This is called the hidden job market and it may be tapped in two ways (excluding jobs found through networking which by itself accounts for about 50% of all executive hires). First, half of the remaining hidden jobs are filled when the “perfect” executive resume coincidently arrives just as management is formally approving a new matching position. In the second case, no job opening exists when the executive resume arrives, but after being impressed by the applicant’s credentials and conducting several interviews, management may create a new position just for that person based on the results they feel he or she can deliver.
When you target positions in the published job market you will almost assuredly be going head-to-head against a considerable number of competitors seeking the same positions. And when you focus on the hidden job market you are typically facing very little competition, but since luck and timing play such critical roles in finding a potential fit, you must be prepared to play a rather large numbers game. Either way, astute job hunters think in terms of developing high-impact marketing materials, and are constantly seeking ways to get their credentials into the hands of the right decision makers.
Not only is your executive resume the pivotal factor in getting an initial face-to-face meeting, but it also serves as your most powerful advocate throughout the entire interviewing process. Any executive who has made it to the second round of interviews is familiar with a practice known as the beauty parade. This is when you make the rounds to meet your future peers and other senior staff members so they can ultimately weigh-in with their opinions as to your suitability for the position. Obviously, all of these people will review your executive resume before they meet you, and are very likely to take another look at your credentials prior to submitting their final hiring recommendations.