Executive Resume Examples and Writing Tips

Need a professional executive resume? Use our executive resume examples and writing tips to land your next leadership position.

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By Ho Lin 5 minute read

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Tips for a better executive resume

Every position inside a company has to be filled via job search, including top-level executive positions. If you’re looking to become a senior executive, then you need to know how to make the most of a resume just like everyone else. Here’s how you can create a professional resume for this high-level position.

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Positions that can use executive resumes

Understanding who uses an executive resume can help you understand what you should emphasize in your own resume. Here are a few of the jobs in the “C-suite” that would utilize an executive resume.

These jobs require different competencies and certifications, but they all tend to be part of a board of directors and have a huge impact on how a company functions on a day-to-day basis.

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How to write an executive resume

Your executive resume structure will depend partially on what resume format you use. Most executive resume examples utilize the chronological format, which emphasizes work history, but you may also use the functional format, which emphasizes skills, or the combination format, which emphasizes both. Regardless of the format, you’ll be using the same sections, just with different structures.

Header

Your header goes at the top of the resume and includes your full name, contact information including phone number and email address, and any related links such as your LinkedIn profile URL.

Resume Summary

A resume summary is an encapsulation of your skills and work history. For an executive job, this typically means detailing some top metrics you’ve achieved, how many years of experience you have, and what you’ve done in the past.

Skills

Your resume skills section should feature significant management skills. After all, as a member of the so-called “C-suite,” you’re essentially going to be managing people. Executive recruiters want to know that you have these skills and that you can transfer them to a new position and a new company. In this section, highlight skills and qualifications that show you have the know-how to direct your company’s development, which could include high-level skills like budgeting, business development and conflict resolution.

Work History

Every executive should display an extensive work experience
section. Although you might not have a history that’s exclusively in the executive field, you should include work experience revolving around project and product management, and initiatives you’ve taken in previous jobs that resulted in success. Make sure you feature experiences that connect with the needs of the company you’re applying to.

Education

Not every executive position needs an extensive education section, but don’t forget to include your college information (name, location, major) and any related certifications and credentials.

Do's and don'ts for an executive resume

Do's
  • Use bullet points and concise phrases to list your skills and work history. Bullet points make it easier for a hiring manager to scan through your resume and find information that fit their needs.
  • Look over your resume before you submit it. A review by a trusted colleague or even a professional resume writing service can ensure your resume is error-free and looks as professional as possible.
  • Include your LinkedIn profile on your resume. This way, a hiring manager can look into your LinkedIn online presence to learn more about you.
Don'ts
  • Include every job you’ve ever had. As an executive job seeker, you probably have decades of experience, and you don’t need all of it – just the more recent, most relevant jobs that apply to your job search.
  • Use resume templates that don’t fit the company you’re applying for. Research the company and get a feel for its culture, then use a resume template that reflects that. For example, an innovative company will probably favor a resume that has a bit more color and flair.
  • Be overly dry in your resume presentation. Your resume should reflect your personal brand, and while it should be professional, it should also reflect who you are.

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FAQ: Executive resumes

Have questions? We’re here to help.

You should include a cover letter alongside your executive resume. Most of the time, for a position of this importance, a cover letter will be required. However, even if it isn’t required, a cover letter gives you a chance to showcase your personality and further discuss how you fit the job.

Although you need a lot of experience for an executive position, it’s not restricted solely to executive experience. If this is the first C-suite job you’re applying for, then make sure you showcase how the skills and experience you built up in previous jobs make you the right candidate for the job. Highlight your experience and achievements in jobs that align with the executive job you want, even if they’re not a perfect match.

Resume keywords will help you apply to different jobs while getting past applicant tracking systems (ATS) that employers use to screen out applicants that don’t meet certain criteria. Read the job description to learn what skills and requirements are most important for the specific application. Then apply this knowledge to your resume. You can also use the ResumeHelp resume builder, which then makes it easier for you to update your resume and save different versions of it for different jobs.

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WRITTEN BY Ho Lin

Ho Lin is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and editor with two decades of experience in content strategy, creation, and development. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and his background includes experience aiding military veterans as they transition to civilian careers.

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