Use This Resume That VPs Read
December 28, 2014

Use This Resume That VPs Read

by Brian de Haaff

A few weeks ago I wrote about Cover Letters That CEOs Read. Nearly 500,000 people read that article and I even connected with a few terrific candidates who used the template to grab my attention. Unfortunately, most resumes are never read, because companies are inundated with too many of them.

I know a little about resumes, because even our highly responsive and rapidly growing software company, Aha!, receives hundreds a month and can not respond to each person.

So what kind of resume breaks through and gets read by hiring managers and VPs?

Resumes are still important to many companies in this modern age, even if they are read in under a minute. And studies suggest that many HR managers receive more than 50 resumes a week. But you need to get through those gatekeepers to connect with the person who really wants to meet and hire you.

Take the time to concisely share what you have done and how it is relevant to the job you are applying for. If you do, you will get more interviews and more interviews will lead to your dream job.

The key is to:

  • Keep it to one page and send it as a PDF

  • Focus on your quantifiable accomplishments

  • Use language that you find in the job descriptions that you are responding to

  • Clearly define your objective

  • Eliminate superfluous details

Here is a template that I suggest you use. I used this straightforward approach for years and it worked. I also recommend that you follow the example list of bullet points to describe your accomplishments on your LinkedIn profile as well.


Brian de Haaff Mobile phone # Personal email

My objective is to join a high growth B2B SaaS company as the VP of Product Management. I have led product and strategy in five successful software companies.

EXPERIENCE VP, Product Line Management @ Citrix (Menlo Park, Ca) Jan 2010–March 2013 * Led product management team for GoToAssist * Integrated three products onto the platform and grew revenue by 30% * Key spokesperson with industry media and analysts * Spearheaded the M&A process to expand into Service Desk and acquire Beetil

VP, Product Management @ Paglo (Menlo Park, Ca) June 2008–Jan 2010 * Defined and launched V1 product * Led cross functional product team and built out sales and support processes * Go-to-product resource who helped close the first 100 customers * Represented product vision during Citrix due diligence and acquisition

Previous role(s)……

EDUCATION M.S. Marketing @ Northwestern University Graduated with honors

B.A. Philosophy @ University of California, Berkeley Graduated cum laude

ADDITIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS * Awarded multiple patents * Gartner Magic Quadrant — visionary * Red Herring Top 100 * NetworkWorld — service of the year


If you are thinking about using the improved economy and a New Year’s resolution to motivate you to find a new job — consider using this template to get the job you want.

Remember to keep your resume simple and relate the words you use to describe your accomplishments to the jobs that you are applying for. And if what you have done and what a company is looking for does not match — you probably would be better off to focus elsewhere.

What resume templates have worked best for you?

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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