Executive Resume Example

Hey, executive! Leadership is already stamped into your DNA. Let your resume show that off, too. Our executive resume-building guide with examples can help.

Flor Ana Mireles
Written by Flor Ana Mireles • Last updated on May 25, 2021
Executive Resume Example
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You're an executive. This means you work in nearly any industry and plan strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals.

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, top executive positions are experiencing a 4% growth rate and there are currently over 2,774,300 jobs available. In addition, some top executives are even making up to $51.77 per hour.

Now, if you're still climbing the industry ladder, there are some prerequisites to become a top executive:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor's degree
  • At least 5 years of experience in the field

You've got the skills and experience, now it's time to organize them on your resume.

In this article, we are going to be covering 7 steps to assure your resume is C-level suite ready.

Here's what we're going to cover:

  1. Formatting your resume like a professional
  2. Writing a resume summary
  3. Listing your key skills
  4. Describing your work experience
  5. Adding your education
  6. Listing your languages
  7. Adding certifications

1. Format your resume like a C-level suite professional

There's a lot of competition in the business world, and when it comes to applying to jobs and actually getting hired, there's just as much.

To truly impress hiring executives, it is crucial to correctly format your resume.

Be sure to include the following sections in your resume:

  • Resume summary
  • Contact information
  • Skills
  • Work experience
  • Education
  • Languages
  • Certifications
Tip: If you're part of an organization relevant to the field or have any relevant hobbies, if you've got the space, feel free to create sections for them in your resume.

There are three ways to choose from to correctly format your resume:

  1. Reverse-chronological, which emphasizes your previous work experience
  2. Functional, which highlights your key skills
  3. Hybrid, which combines the previous formats

As an executive, you can take your pick at which of these formats you want to follow.

If you already have experience as an executive, then format your resume in reverse-chronological format to highlight the work you've done.

If you're a new executive still trying to go up the industrial ladder and have more skills to offer than actual experience, considering selecting the functional format.

If you've got both the skills and the experience and really want to impress hiring executives, then go with the hybrid format.

Tip: Since the field is growing, hiring executives may be receiving tons of resumes and applications for the job. Look over the job listing and implement some details and keywords listed to your resume to ensure it at least gets looked over.

Take a look at our guide on how to format your resume if you want to learn more.

2. Write an impressive and professional resume summary

We live in a busy world, and executives are busy, too. Oftentimes, resumes are only looked at for only 6-7 seconds. Therefore, you can make your resume C-level suite ready by providing hiring executives a resume summary.

A resume summary is a 1-2 sentence blurb that summarizes the important stuff on your resume. Including a resume summary shows hiring executives that you don't want to waste their time. It also makes your resume look more professional, which can help you land the job.

Tip: Sometimes, it's easier to write your resume summary after you have already written your resume. That way, you can pick and choose what you want to include.

Here's an example of what your resume summary can look like as an executive:

Respected chief executive officer and director with 7 years of experience and exceptional knowledge supporting cross-functional teams to increase customer satisfaction and developing strategic plans to provide customers with excellent service.

Here's what your resume summary should not look like:

Executive with leadership skills who has worked with big companies like Habitat for Humanity.

The difference is pretty noticeable.

Need more help writing a professional resume summary? Our guide on writing resume summaries has tons of examples.

3. List your key skills

As an executive, it is crucial for you to have certain skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Management skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Time-management skills

On top of that, there are other key skills you can include on your resume that will show hiring executives you're qualified for the position.

Here are some examples:

  • Operations management
  • Strategic planning
  • Staff management
  • Process improvement
  • Business planning
Tip: You can also include languages as key skills if you don't have the space to make them their own section or simply don't want to.

Having trouble identifying your skills? We have a guide with 100+ key skills you can include in your resume.

4. Describe your professional work experience

To become an executive, you need at least 5 years of experience working with executives. This could be on an assistant level or through coaching and training.

With that said, it's finally time to go over what you should be putting in the work experience section of your resume.

When listing your work experience, it is important to go in reverse-chronological order. This shows hiring executives your most recent job experience and what you learned or mastered in that job.

When listing your work experience, it's also important to highlight the specifics you did on the job and use good verbs.

Now, executives can do different things on the job. Overall, however, they plan strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals.

Here are some job descriptions you can include in your resume under work experience as a chief executive officer (CEO):

  • Assisted clients as needed with leadership, turnarounds, taking them to the next level
  • Assisted executive coaching and effective team building
  • Employed training and coaching to expand business networks, build great business relationships, follow-up and help to close leads for new clients
  • Interacted with CEOs and business owners at a peer level and listened, learned, and asked the relevant questions to determine the core issues in an organization
  • Assembled a team of individuals from within the client as needed to bring the best solutions to your client
  • Interacted with other C-Suite-experienced individuals who have backgrounds as CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CMOs, CHROs, CIOs, CTOs, etc. who also have the same mission to bring about the best solutions for clients

If you've worked as an executive director, we've got some job description examples, too:

  • Provided leadership for fundraising, marketing and partner relations
  • Established and implemented a fundraising strategy to meet ED/board defined objectives, marketing, and partner relations
  • Established and implemented development strategies including appropriate donor and volunteer appreciation and events
  • Developed volunteer, community and donor database for communication and donor management
  • Developed and supported mutual expectations with board and committee chairs through annual retreats and monthly meetings and reports
  • Employed, supervised and evaluated paid staff members
  • Oversaw orientation, training, evaluation and nurturance of board members, volunteers and staff, to help ensure that they are making worthwhile and fulfilling contributions to the work of the affiliate
  • Managed the business of the affiliate
  • Ensured affiliate policies are faithfully maintained by the board, committees and staff
  • Assisted Board of Directors in developing, maintaining, and amending proposed annual budget
  • Communicated with Treasurer and bookkeeper about accounts payable; deposits; signing checks, and internal financial controls

Want more tips and tricks on how to write your work experience description? Check out our guide on describing your work experience.

5. Add your education to your resume

As we mentioned earlier, you need a minimum of a Bachelor's degree to land an executive role within a company. Even then, an MBA is oftentimes preferred.

To assure you have a chance at getting hired, it is crucial to add your education to your resume.

With that said, here is how you should be listing your education in your resume:

University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT • 2005 — 2011

MBA in Business Management
GPA: 3.88/4.0

Tip: If you're low on resume space and got your MBA at the same university you got your Bachelor's degree in, just list your MBA and make sure to add up the years it took you to get both degrees.

Need more helping listing your education? Don't know if to include your GPA? We have a guide that will help you list your education in 2021 with examples and tips.

6. Add languages to your resume

Executives work in nearly any industry. This means, more likely than not, you are going to run into foreign businesses and/or workers. Therefore, if space allows, it is important to list languages in your resume in their own section.

Tip: If you don't have the space to highlight your known languages on their own, as we mentioned earlier, be sure to add them to your key skills.

Knowing more than one language helps to improve your verbal communication and makes you more precise and logical in your problem-solving. Not to mention, it also makes you a more attractive candidate.

Here are some languages you can include on your resume if you know them:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Russian
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Romanian
Tip: Next to the languages you know on your resume, add if you're fluent, intermediate or a beginner in the language to show hiring executives just how well you know the specific language.

Need more help writing the perfect resume? We have a guide that can help you do just that.

7. Add executive certifications to your resume

While certifications are not a requirement to land an executive position within a company, they can definitely help.

Oftentimes, you can get executive and leadership certifications directly through your university, but if this is not an option, there are online programs you can complete as well.

Here are some certifications that you can get and include in your resume:

  • Women in Leadership Certificate
  • Executive Leadership Certificate
  • Leadership and Management Certificate
  • Strategic Organizational Management and Change Certificate

If you're looking for more certifications to include in your resume or want to know how to correctly list them, check out our guide.

Key Takeaways

We know we've covered a lot, but as an executive, we know you can handle it. With our guide, your resume is sure to go from entry-level executive to C-level suite.

Here's a summary of everything we've covered:

  • Format your resume like a professional
  • Write an impressive resume summary
  • List your key skills
  • Describe your work experience
  • Add your education
  • List your languages
  • Add certifications

Good luck, executive!

Flor Ana Mireles
Flor Ana Mireles is a writer and editor with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Journalism) and a background in English literature, music, marketing, and business. She is also the self-published author of two poetry collections and the lead singer of South Florida rock band Leather and Lace. Flor has experience in social media and getting crafty and artsy. When she is not writing, she's spending time in nature, reading, or listening to music.
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