Nikki L. Lowry has spent her career in marketing and communications.

"I like the fact that you started your resume with an introduction that provides an overview of your experience as this is a key element of success, but I would like to see a much stronger sales message here," said Louise Fletcher of Blue Sky Resumes, a Bronxville, N.Y., resume-writing service. That introductory section needs a headline that communicates the job Lowry is seeking and what she offers. Fletcher suggested a heading such as "Senior Marketing/

Communications Executive," with a subheading, "15-plus years of success in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors." Follow that with the main selling points.

In Lowry's career history, Fletcher said, "I'd like to see more information about achievements," including context and impact. For instance, in one job, Lowry says she increased ticket revenue by 200 percent. "As a reader, I want to know more about that. . . . How exactly did you do it? What changes did you make? What challenges did you face?"

Design is an important but oft-neglected part of an executive resume, Fletcher said. "Just as with an advertisement, design can either reinforce your sales message or work against it." Here, there's too much bold type and not enough white space, as well as a font and layout that don't reflect her seniority; a more classic look would work better.

Fletcher advised, "Many executives overlook the importance of resume appearance because they tend to be very action- and result-oriented, but it's important to pay attention to this aspect of your resume because it really does make a difference in how you are perceived."

-- Maryann Haggerty