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What transferable skills are managers looking for in senior leadership or executive-level resumes?

Are you an executive looking for a new challenge? Have you been in your current job and need a sea change? or exhausted all your learning opportunities and are currently seeking new ones? This article introduces you to the concept of highlighting transferable skills in an executive-level resume. 

Transferable skills in executive-level resumes

Regardless of WHY you are looking for a new job, the question you should be asking is, "WHAT is my next manager looking for in a candidate?" so you can be the stand-out competitor in the huge pile of interview shortlists!

Employers know, or should know, that it is their people that make a difference to an organisation’s culture, market position, and future direction. People are the business’ greatest asset when it comes to helping their business grow, and the most significant liability if they hire the wrong person!

Recruiting costs a business 1.4x the staff member’s annual wage in training, loss of income, sales momentum etc. It can cost even more if the staff member doesn’t remain in the company for more than five years. So, what transferable skills is your prospective employer looking for in an executive-level resume?

People Management

The most challenging part of any managers job is people management. Your next employer will want to know you are across human resource functions, including hiring, firing and professionally developing your direct, and indirect reports.

WHY? Because people are unique, and they offer the organisation's level of diversity that is needed today to stay ahead of trends. From the indigenous Eskimo in the circumpolar region to the Chilean individual who lives in the closest continent to the Antarctic, your next employer will want to trust that you can not only hire the right person for the job but offer them a mentoring role to retain staff engagement. WHY? Because, recruiting good people is a very time consuming and daunting task. 

Provided you have experience recruiting staff, you then need to highlight how to provide ongoing support and direction to benefit the organisation at hand.  How will you support your direct report to lead, motivate, train, inspire, encourage and influence your indirect reports? They may be responsible for hiring, firing, conducting performance management, and evaluating their work duties in addition to others, managing business functions and people’s behaviours simultaneously. As a senior leader, what is your strategy to ensure all these functions are consistently embedded into the organisation’s core structure?   

How can you, the job seeker looking for a senior position while also ensuring you adequately meet the need of your future employer, and their business?

We have the answer! The Perfect Resume team is a unique group of individuals who have come together to provide you with the knowledge, understanding and expertise to equip you with the transferable skills that managers are looking for in senior leaders and executives.

Leadership styles

According to research, there are leadership skills that will land you your dream job. Fresh out of university, teamwork might have seemed like a great skill to include on your resume.  At a senior executive level, teamwork skills are taken for granted. You need to consider your role in managing a team and your leadership style. These combined are essential executive skills.  

Autocratic, democratic, transformational and laissez-faire; leadership styles that interchange as the tasks or accomplishments come to fruition. However, leadership skills can influence and articulate an audience. Today, a more modern type of leader, is a visionary leader.

Visionary Leadership

In recent years, visionary leadership has popped up more and more as organisations are pushing the boundaries like never before, adopting technology advances, artificial intelligence, innovative sales and marketing campaigns etc. If you are a visionary leader, you can help your business partners to see the future vividly, in all its glory, the partnerships, the marketing strategies, the celebrations and the challenges. Creating an image in people’s minds that allow someone’s imagination to take over. Visionary leaders have a knack for inspiring others to act, creating a better future and solving problems in new, innovative ways. If you are a visionary leader, you create excitement, positive change momentum and longevity in an organisation. 

People enjoy working for visionary leaders who genuinely want them to reach their full potential and find meaning in their work. Visionaries wear many hats with ease and live with character and conviction that results are real and have explosions of positive change for the organisation. 

Nelson Mandela is known to be a visionary leader.

Mandela stood up for what he believed was right despite imprisonment. He inspired a vision for a better South Africa. He engaged and encouraged people to partner with him over an idea, in which they believed, would be a better future for South Africa. He achieved historical success as a “visionary leader”. 

Are you a visionary leader?

Today, a visionary leader is looked upon favourably in senior leadership roles. 

Let your mind find ways to bring this quality to life in your behaviour and mindset right now. Visualise yourself embodying this visionary leadership trait. Notice how it feels within yourself. In your mind’s eye, see how those around you, respond to you. Hold this feeling and gently smile. Acknowledge the presence of this attribute within yourself. You are on your way, an asset to your organisation and up the ladder, you will climb.

Transferable hard and soft skills

Transferable skills are all well and good, but your resume also needs to reflect how good you are as a member of an executive management team!  You should aim to include keywords relating to job-specific skills.  These are also known as hard skills and demonstrate that you have the background knowledge and experience to carry out the demands of the role to a high company asset standard.

It's always lovely to be known among your colleagues as an asset to an organisation. This human affiliation gives individuals many work ethics. However, how does your prospective employer know this? How can your prospective manager trust that you will protect a company's tangible and intangible assets?

You will be judged!

Your skills will be scrutinised. If you have a spelling error, you will be rejected. If you don't capture their attention within six seconds, you're gone. If your resume is not application tracking system compliant, it will be like you never existed!

Highlighting you proficiency makes the difference between a mediocre and a stellar performance at both the individual and corporate levels. Don't miss out by using a low-performing resume!

Financial Acumen

If you are ultimately aiming for a role as a CFO or CEO, you will need to demonstrate a strong background in finance. Your specialist skills need to sit alongside your transferable skills on your resume, to ensure that a recruiter can see that you have the right knowledge, at the right level. Financial acumen and risk mitigation dance together. One foot wrong and the whole organisation can break a leg or fall. How do your skills measure up? 

Risk Mitigation

Risk mitigation measures can be directed towards reducing the severity of risk consequences, reducing the probability of the risk materialising, or reducing the organisation’s exposure to the risk. Maintaining a solid foundation and understanding a keenness and quickness in dealing with an organisation's financial awareness is likely to lead to a good outcome.  It is with no doubt that economic and business insights have emerged as a vehicle for improving financial performance and leadership development. Hence knowing how to drive this vehicle allows you with the understanding of financial management principles. Your next employee will need to trust that your decision making process is sound, that you are aware of your compliance standards, guidelines and act and are accountable. You can highlight this by abiding by the rules, regulations and organisational guidelines that govern how business and organisations are run.

Customer journey

In an entry-level resume, they want to see customer service skills. In a management resume, your prospective employees want you to foster a customer-focused culture, while balancing fiscal responsibility. Have you participated in a customer journey projct? Ever created a roadmap detailing how a customer becomes aware of your organisation's brand? What were their interactions with the brand and as a senior leader, what would you set as the bigger picture?

The customer roadmap is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company. Let’s get inside the customer mindset and ping them every time they have an opportunity to explore, understand, and improve their experience. Boom! We now have a strategic sales approach leaning more towards understanding the customer needs and building a relationship that goes beyond the initial purchase. Is this a skill you can confidently leverage? If not, how can you incorporate this important skill in your portfolio? 

Getting to know the customer journey is about nurturing the customer experience, their emotions and feelings regarding an organisation and its provided services.  The same can be said for your resume, as a job seeker, you are offering the prospective employer aka your customer services, would your personal road map meet the employer’s needs? 

In a resume, your strategic contributions need to tell a story of success. Other considerations are strategic communication and analytic thinking while inherently describing your knowledge and experience across various multidisciplinary sub fields, including public relations, marketing, advertising, and governance. Your entry-level resume may have celebrated your communication and interpersonal skills, but your executive-resume needs to show clearly how you have developed beyond this basic description, using proven and concrete examples of how you can negotiate, influence, present articulately to an audience and engage stakeholders.

If you demonstrate that you can formulate, analyse and implement new strategies while aligning them with the overarching strategic goals of the organisation, you will no doubt impress your prospective boss while also adding credibility to your claim that you can contribute as a valued employee to their new projects.

You want your executive-level resume to tell a story. A plot-line that suggests that you can help the organisation to reach new and exciting levels, broaden their knowledge and perspective around the tasks at hand. There is an increasing body of literature and evidence which suggests that the ways in which people are managed can have organisational benefits that go beyond cost reduction and efficiency. Organisations must seek competitive advantage by creating value in ways that are rare and difficult for competitors to imitate. Hence, effective management of people may offer the competitive edge they need to position them in the market as an industry leader. What other unique ways can you help?

How can you convey this on your resume? The use of transferable skills through thorough knowledge of financial acumen, strategic communication, analytic thinking then breaking down complex problems into single and manageable components, coupled with project management will help you to achieve ultimate and visionary results. When words escape you, The Perfect Resume team is here to help you on your journey to success with resume and LinkedIn profile writing, selection criteria and career counselling. If you would like to know more, please send us an email info@theperfectresume.com.au.