What is the most common mistake I see in a resume from an agency VP seeking a corporate job?

Judith Cushman All Posts, Effective Resumes 0 Comments

Answer:  The mistake I see time after time is that the resume is written to qualify him (or her) for a promotion to his (agency) bosses’ job.  The EVP has the right profile, with a well-respected agency and a total of 20 years of experience, but the resume sends the wrong message.  To move to a corporate role means to embrace the values for success that apply there and explain the aspects of the agency job that are relevant in a corporate environment.

That means that an agency mindset and performance measures are the wrong aspects to emphasize.  It is completely irrelevant to a corporate leader that you grew the agency business by 300% or that you won new business for the firm and that you managed your accounts profitably.

To reorient to the corporate viewpoint, start fresh.  Ask, what does your corporate client want/need from you that s/he can’t get elsewhere?  What problems did you solve based on your creativity, insight, original thinking?  Tell that story and focus on results.  Write about working with senior corporate leaders and earning their confidence.  If there were a crisis, describe your role in leading/advising the team and the feedback you received from your efforts. The nature of the challenge should be at the level you aspire to on the corporate side.  The trick is to not overshoot and leave the impression you want the bosses’ position.

On the corporate side, my point is the emphasis is on relationship building, astute judgment to solve client problems and the ability to deliver on promises.  That’s the right story to tell to make the transition.  The key is to describe the correct set of skills to the decision-maker.



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