The five biggest resume mistakes that financial executives make

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The lists of Do’s and Don’ts for writing your executive resume, whether you are a chief financial officer, senior portfolio analyst, or a credit risk executive are well published. You have seen many lists that tell you the obvious points not to do in your executive resume: no spelling mistakes, no grammar errors, no abbreviations, no color paper and not too lengthy to name just a few. As a former recruiter and hiring manager, I outline these five additional ways you can ensure that your executive resume will end up in the trash:

1. Include the phrase “…. with over 25 years of experience…” in the beginning of your resume: When I read this statement, I picture a pigeon-chested, over-inflated executive resting on their laurels and looking backwards. Companies want to hire leaders, soaring eagles, that are looking forward, view their most recent accomplishments as a mere memory and are hot to move on to the next huge accomplishment. Don’t be the pigeon.

2. Call yourself a “seasoned executive”: I only like my French fries seasoned. Enough said here. Don’t do it.

3.Use an old resume format that reminds me of an over-padded suit jacket worn by Miami Vice’s Don Johnson or 90210’s Dylan McKay: aka using a dated format for your resume. You know the resume format you had when you graduated college in 1988 or 1998 that you keep adding on your most recent experience to? It is time to retire that format and utilize a contemporary format. Would you hire a financial planner today that still wore a skinny tie and his suit jacket collar up a-la-1980s? No, you wouldn’t. Does an applicant sporting Dylan’s hairstyle scream the “right choice” to you? No, it does not. Well, your resume will be thrown in the trash if it looks like it is not from this era. Include action driven achievements in your resume in a concise writing style.

4. Fail to include your email address: In today’s job marketplace, I dare to say that your email address is more important to have your resume than your home address. By excluding your email address, you might as well be screaming to the recruiter, “I just don’t get it.” You will get passed over.

5. Place an objective at the top of your resume: Resume objectives are the kiss of death. They speak of what you want and need. Frankly, most hiring managers really do not care of what you want and need—they want to know how your skills and experience add value and fix issues within their organization. If you are not employer-focused in your resume, your resume will be ignored.

Financial professionals that avoid these five errors will see their resume float to the top of the ‘yes, call this person’ pile and generate more interviews.

About the Author:

Lisa Rangel, the Managing Director of Chameleon Resumes, is,a former search firm recruiter, certified professional resume writer and holder of six additional job search certifications. She has been featured on, Investors Business Daily,, BBC,, LinkedIn, Monster, US News & World Report, Fox Business News and Good Morning America. She has authored six niche resume and job search ebooks, including 99 Free Job Search Tips from An Executive Recruiter.

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