One of our esteemed recruiters, Sarah Quaiatto, recently staffed a senior level position for a client. What she found is that good, mid to senior level candidates typically did not have their resume readily updated and hadn’t thought about personal or professional priorities for a few years. After some research, we figured out why; according to the US Bureau of Labor and statistics, professionals in mid-to-senior level positions are an average age of 47.3 years old, average 6 to 10 years at their current company. They probably have a house, may be married, may have children, car payments, college tuition to pay for themselves and/or save for their children, and, in general, have deep roots (with some fun on the side!). Although you may have worked at your company for some time, being prepared for professional opportunities is always a positive.

Having an up to date resume is the easiest way for recruiters or potential employers to see your track record and pass along information; but a resume for a mid-to-senior level worker is a bit different than an entry level worker. Here are some tips on how you should prepare for and format your resume, just in case a recruiter gives you a call:

Personal Profile
Make a personal priorities list for yourself. Write out, in order, which aspects of your life are most important. Are your children in high school? Do you love your city? Then location may be on your “no budge” list. Are your children young? Are your children in college? The amount of travel you do in another position may be a make-or-break point.  Decide these factors first, and even talk to your family so you know what is in your family’s best interest.

Professional Profile
As you know, you have dependants and financial responsibilities to think about, so a stable move is very important, but professional priorities may come into play as well. Like making a dating profile, you need to write out what you would be looking for in a potential employer that are make-or-break qualities such as:

  • Will the new job challenge me?
  • What sort of position would make me happy?
  • Am I looking for continued growth?
  • 401k
  • Salary
  • Benefits
  • Life insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Stock options

Highlight what actually matters.
Most hiring managers/recruiters only need 10-20 seconds to see if you are a fit for a job.  Are you currently a Senior Vice President? You do not need to highlight your stint as a stock boy at the local grocery store when you were in high school. To make your relevant skills stand out, we suggest the following:

1. Have a summary section at the top highlighting all relevant skills, even if some of the skills were learned at a position 15 years ago. If you have a specific job that you are submitting your resume to, then highlight skills that are directly related to the job description at the top. Write a few sentences about yourself, then bullet point skill sets.

2. Highlight the two or three most recent employers, as they are usually the most relevant. If that is not the case then list the employers and dates worked, but expand upon the specific employers where you gained the most relevant experience.

We wish you the best of luck whether or not you choose to switch jobs, as the decision is never easy. However, if you do decide to start pursuing new opportunities, stay tuned for next week’s blog about finding a new job for the first time in 15 years.