This month, Tu Youyou was the first Chinese woman to win the Nobel Prize. In her country she’s called the woman with the “three no’s.” No PhD, no medical degree, and no time working overseas.
Are there people or voices in your head telling you you’re not qualified to do thing thing you’re called to? Make a list of all the reasons you’re not and imagine a story like this one about your future self. Are you “Woman With Five No’s Builds Multimilliondollar Tech Company”? How about “Man With Six No’s Brings Life-Changing Technology to Underserved Market”?
One of my no’s is that I’m a fulltime mother of three small children. I shouldn’t be able to be a great mom and a dedicated business woman, but here I am. If you listen closely, you’ll hear my little one in the background contributing to the video!
What format should your resume be in? Between online networking, going to interviews, and applying to web portals on company websites, it can be confusing to work that one out.
As a rule, you should have Word (.doc or .docx), PDF (.pdf), and ASCII/plain text (.txt) versions of your resume. See the graphic for when to use what. Happy resume sending!
As a healthcare executive, you’ve dedicated your career to caring for others, either directly or through leadership. Deliberately crafting your healthcare resume is your chance to take care of yourself and capture the role and compensation you’ve earned.
Story and context are key. Stand-alone bullet points won’t cut it in an industry where maintaining the status quo, let alone making modest gains in quality and profitability, can mean moving heaven and earth. The three frameworks below should help you clarify your value.
Perspective 1: Structure and Innovation
Because the healthcare and medical industry is so highly regulated, your story should include your ability to innovate within that sometimes rigid structure. Have you developed a program that helps clients better navigate the healthcare system? Enabled your organization to better meet the conflicting needs of regulatory officials, patients and families? Contributed to a healthier bottom line without compromising care? Encouraged a culture that gives staff, patients, administrators and regulators confidence in your organization?
Perspective 2: Wealth of Experience and Specific Career Goals
The US Department of Labor has identified healthcare as an industry in which the number and types of jobs will continue to grow. Your career may have taken you in seemingly disparate directions—or you may have found yourself working for the same company for many years, trying to tell a story of broad experience as you face a career transition. Get clear on your current goal and look back to connect the dots for yourself. How have your work and life experience prepared you perfectly to contribute in your ideal role? Once you’re clear, connect those dots for your reader with descriptive headlines and narrative job descriptions that go beyond “duties.”
Perspective 3: Vision and Visuals
In the context of a healthcare resume, go beyond the basics (significant keywords, chronological history, lists of education and skills) to include a tag line, testimonials, and graphics that illustrate your philosophy as well as your contributions to financial and operational performance. Testimonials are especially effective in a field that places so much value on soft skills. They prove your ability to relate to and inspire individuals, as well as giving objective confirmation of your value to healthcare organizations.
You executive healthcare resume should highlight your organizational, financial, medical and soft skills and create a story that any recruiter or hiring committee can easily follow. It should strategically align your past career with your future goals, and it should set you apart from your competitors in the healthcare and medical industries.
Need help? I’m just a phone call away.
The story of your career in corporate finance is bound to be unique, with its own combination of industries, geographic areas and reach into nearly every aspect of a company, from employee compensation to strategic vision. Few other careers offer as much diversity as corporate finance.
How do you make sure that all of your regulatory and financial expertise, licensing, certifications and achievements fit into one resume for a CFO or other senior financial position? I recommend three essential steps when writing corporate finance resumes.
STEP ONE: DON’T FORGET THE OBVIOUS
Cite your credentials in the top third of the resume. While you would naturally cover the following information throughout your corporate finance resume, the top third is where recruiters, board members and hiring committees look first. Therefore, the top third should mention your CPA; your regulatory experience (GAAP accounting, Sarbanes-Oxley and so on); your strategic leadership; your ability to handle the ramifications, from financial to morale, of divestitures, acquisitions, hostile takeovers, headcount reductions and other sensitive issues; and your monetary responsibilities and accomplishments, including the precise revenue of companies where you have worked in the past and the precise income you have helped to grow.
STEP TWO: FRAME THE STORY OF THE FUTURE—NOT THE PAST
Frame your resume story around the corporate finance position you want (CFO, Senior VP of Finance), not the position you’re leaving, in the industry and location that most appeals to you. In a field where your skills may be equally applicable to a chain of retail stores in Idaho and the Hong Kong office of a financial services firm, your corporate finance story emphasizes what you bring to the table and why you would be a valuable asset in the position you want. It creates a narrative around your skills, accomplishments and experience that demonstrates your ability to resolve crises, anticipate problems and drive organizations into a positive future. Through your story, your target companies will recognize your fit with their culture and goals, whether that involves improving cash flow in new divisions or working with the COO to lower operations overhead. Your story sets you apart.
STEP THREE: BE VISUAL
The eye of a reader is drawn immediately to graphs, charts, bolding, italic and color, with an impact that cannot be matched (but should always be bolstered) by words. In fact, the human brain processes images up to sixty times faster than it processes words. More than many other fields, corporate finance lends itself to resumes with strong visuals.
As a CFO or senior finance executive, you have the potential to bring value to a range of industries and locations. But, your own goal is to seize your moment: the position you want, in the industry and location that most appeal to you, at the best possible compensation. Through strategic organization, strong narrative and compelling visuals, your corporate finance resume achieves that goal. I’m here to help.
In this video, legendary filmmaker Ken Burns shares his thoughts on storytelling.
Of note as it relates to business storytelling are two concepts in particular:
Sometimes 1+1 = 3
For a recent resume client whose job was to measure and interpret big data, we put this concept to use by revealing that it’s not entirely about the data. Her tag line was, “What gets measured gets managed. But what about the things you can’t measure?”
What are the unexpected messages in your work? Capitalize on them, and you’ll have a story worth telling, one that hasn’t been heard before.
Great Stories Manipulate, and That’s Okay
When you tell a compelling story, you’re evoking emotions. In the case of business communications, you’re ultimately evoking decisions. We’ve been taught that manipulation is disingenuous and wrong. But what could be more genuine than communicating passionately about something you believe in.
For a small mortgage brokerage, we put together a hiring story that made potential loan agents feel a sense of trust and stability about the client. In a volatile industry, this company had grown every year and compensated their people well above industry average–even during the recession. They’d done this thanks to the ability of the founder to find opportunity in any market, so we recounted the tale of his success through repeatedly figuring out who needed mortgages and reaching them with innovative marketing strategies.
It seems like more of an ethical violation not to share that story than to shy away from it for fear of being manipulative. The client and their future employees deserved to have a story of trust and opportunity underpinning the beginning of their relationship.
While the business applications of these ideas are fascinating, you’ll find that Ken Burns has a very personal force driving his own storytelling. Enjoy!
I’m honored to have been included in the book, Tell Stories, Get Hired by Daisy Wright. I had a virtual “sit down” with Daisy, fellow contributor Audrey Prenzel, and Mark Anthony Dyson on Mark’s podcast, The Voice of the Job Seeker.
Have a listen for some great tips on how to incorporate stories into your job search: