Pitfalls of Copying Content from Online Executive Resume Samples


The Internet is replete with sample executive resumes and format examples. All you have to do is perform a Google search for “executive resumes” or “executive resume sample” and you’ll see what I mean. 

There are a number of organizations whose business it is to provide plug-and-play templates for resumes, many of which provide boilerplate text designed for different industries and occupations. Many executive resume services also provide example resumes on their websites, in an effort to provide reassurance to their prospective clients of the quality of their work. (My executive resume service, Creative Keystrokes, does this as well.)

So, the next question might be: Why not just copy and paste content from executive resume samples found on the Web to create your own resume? 

The answer is that anyone who does this deceives him or herself if they think they have successfully “cheated the system” by using someone else’s work. Rather the executive has inevitably shortchanged him or herself.

Why is this so? The important fact to bear in mind is that no two executives’ backgrounds are the same, and no two executives possess the identical set of experiences, business/interpersonal skills, industry-specific knowledge, or functional area subject matter expertise. Each person’s UVP (Unique Value Proposition) and brand are different from all others, and thus treatment for each person’s career needs to be unique as well. The format and content of sample executive resumes and other career documents–no matter how impressive–will without exception NOT represent a blueprint for your resume, even if your job title and general background are similar.

So, whether you decide to research how to write an executive resume and attempt to develop it yourself, or opt to engage the assistance of a qualified executive resume writer, the last thing you want to do is copy and paste from another individual’s resume. You will be doing yourself a great disservice, as that resume content was written for a specific individual and cannot possibly do you justice.

Lastly, would you really want to be faced at an interview with embarrassing questions about why the content of your resume duplicates that found in another candidate’s resume? I think not.