Q. If I am currently holding a manager title, but want to become a director or VP, how can I effectively convey this on my résumé? I work for a mid-size firm and many of my responsibilities are quite senior level. Unfortunately my title has stayed the same. – TJ, Texas
A. I hope you have asked for a title change if your responsibilities have increased and you are performing director/VP level work. If not, march immediately into your boss’s office. Of course, if his title is director when he should really be titled as a VP, I can understand why that might not fly. Assuming you are unable to get a change of title, positioning your résumé to take your career to the next level can be accomplished using a number of techniques depending upon your unique situation:
- Create a branding statement beneath your headline that includes the various titles you are aiming towards. For example: VP of Technology / IT Director / Senior Technology Manager. Use titles that would commonly be seen in a job posting.
- As you generate your summary statement, be sure to include the action verb directed when describing what you did. Mention executive level duties and downplay tasks that are traditionally left to subordinates.
- Within the professional experience section of your résumé, use powerful wording. You could say something like, “Provide director-level leadership to strategically position finance department for future corporate growth.” You might also include a line about your increased responsibilities as the firm expanded. Be sure to quantify the specifics surrounding the growth level and what you did to add value.
- Your cover letter is another place to really expand on the depth and breadth of your expertise. You can discuss your desire to advance your career and apply those skills that you have honed in your current position.
Clients are often amazed once they see the difference that good positioning can make towards taking their career to the next level. A résumé is a marketing piece at its heart. With a little finesse, you can show yourself to be a strong and capable executive worthy of hiring into a more senior-level role. Be sure to provide an honest picture of your background while highlighting the elements that make you worthy of promotion.