Indubitably, a well-made executive resume will make a positive impression on a recruiter. For you, it means that the chance to get access to the next stage of recruiting (e.g., a technical interview) is secured. That alone is a sufficient reason to pay attention to the best practices of resume writing: your total job search time will be much shorter, and you will land on a dream job much faster if recruiters notice how the resume demonstrates your diligence.
The Contents of an Executive Resume
The logical arrangement of contents matters as much as the contents themselves.
You certainly wouldn’t enjoy reading a poorly structured resume that mixes up personal contact data with the list of previous jobs and irrelevant life stories.
When you know exactly which information fits into a specific part of your resume, it is much easier to finish it up faster. On the other hand, it turns up a lot more readable to an HR manager and to a senior executive who will review your resume eventually.
Perhaps, a recruiter or an executive will offer you some other position with better opportunities or a higher salary if they find your experience relevant.
An executive resume sample would be most helpful here.
Executive Resume Sample Structure: Options to Consider
Here’s an invaluable piece of advice upfront: in the future, always tailor your resume to the requirements that an employer sets before you. Some of them want you to follow a certain structure, and some just ask to include a line that reads, “I have carefully read the job requirements top to bottom.”
Submitting the same resume executive item to every potential job without adjustments will result in more rejections.
Although the executive resume formats vary, the following list usually stays the same throughout many industries:
- name and titles;
- career objectives or summary;
- core skills;
- selected achievements;
- professional experience, starting with the most recent employment, each including duties and measurable achievements. Only the recent 15 years of work experience should be included with an additional career note if it exceeds 15 years;
Executive Resume Sample: What Do You Need to Exclude?
In the competitive job market, recruiters are sometimes too picky and pay attention to the slightest details. It is something that can ruin the chance to get work in the desired career field. Here is what the reviewer may find unappealing:
- wordy and cliche career summary;
- copy-and-paste content from CEO executive resume samples online;
- age or date of birth;
- high school diploma details.
The “don’ts” imply what the “dos” should be. So, your executive resume format must enable a reader to scan the document fast and get as much information as possible. It should exhaustively showcase your skills without overloading the reader.
How do you write a respective resume? Follow the typical executive resume format, optimally use the free space on a page (without making the resume too flashy), and back up the achievements with numbers. Using executive resume templates online is fine as long as you customize them, removing unnecessary sections and adding the ones you need.
2021 Executive Resume Trends
The COVID-19 pandemic has heavily influenced the job market, and it won’t recover any time soon. Every resume must now be changed accordingly: remote management experience, for example, has grown in demand and thus must be mentioned at the top of the resume as a core skill (if you indeed possess it).
The executive resume formatting itself cannot be impacted by the pandemic. However, the skillset you describe there should obviously center around remote activities.
The data gathered by market research analysts distinctly shows that most industries, in general, have suffered employment cuts. On the other hand, more job opportunities have appeared in certain other niches, so keep an eye on them to exercise your abilities in full.
Executive Resume Sample: Tips for CEO
Sample CEO resumes should comply with the general advice we have provided so far, and below is a shortened example of how a respective resume may look like.
Some companies provide a form (an applicant profile, in other words) to fill in the achievements and personal data rather than accepting regular CEO resumes. In this case, it is important to follow the guidelines and diligently fill in all the requested data.
John Smith, MBA
firstname.lastname@example.org ■ (123) 456-77-88 ■ linkedin.com/in/johnsmith ■ Chicago, IL 60176
Guide and inspire a team of dedicated Internet marketing professionals on the path of personal and collective growth, serving the community at large.
Internet Marketing ■ Team Mentoring ■ Project Management ■ Scrum Methodology
INTERNET MARKETING SERVICE, Wallace, CA
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Autumn 2018 - Present
Assigned to optimize staff productivity, as well as ensure the growth, technological development, and process automation company-wide.
- Initiated and spearheaded the implementation of best security and KYC practices; helped recruit the team leaders of respective departments.
- Oversaw the implementation of Agile development practices on the organizational scale.
- Restructured the Customer Support department, ensuring 30% higher customer satisfaction; improved department scalability and cooperation with other departments (KYC, Security, and Content).
Master of Business Administration (2014); GPA 4.0
Rice University, Houston, TX
Mind that this example is extremely generalized, like in a CEO resume template, and recruiters would like to see the experiences that apply to their particular career field and the respective success metrics.
All links must be clickable and lead to actual pages. A 404 error may spoil the first impression, so no mistake is allowed.
Executive Resume Creation: Section Description and Extra Advice
Now is the time to explain our executive resume template.
Your job application gives employers an idea of how good as an employee you would be, so we have saved a couple of nice little tips for you.
As you will see, slight changes can apply to the order of sections in the resume, and there are different ways of how exactly to position and fill them.
Executive Resume Sample: Header
The header includes the Name and Contacts sections. Make the Name stand out with a slightly larger font size.
As for the Contacts, always include a link to your social media work profile. In our case, it is LinkedIn. It could be anything else depending on the niche, but it should always give an employer a single place where they can see your full portfolio, connections, testimonials, affiliations, and other work-related data should they want to.
Depending on the chosen executive resume formatting and employer demands, the looks of the section may vary. E.g., a photo may be required.
Executive Resume Sample: Summary
The Summary or Career Objectives in executive resume samples are sometimes separated from the header with a line.
You give an employer the idea of your goals and motivations. How do you describe all your professional experience and passion in one sentence? What are you looking for at this job position, specifically? Why do you believe your qualification is sufficient and you are the one to pick among dozens of other job seekers?
This is the introductory section. Do not overburden it with facts or make it longer than three to four lines.
What to Include in the Experience Section
According to the standard executive resume format, a brief section of Selected Achievements may precede the Experience section or be omitted. In our case, we omit Selected Achievements because the Experience section contains the list of workplaces with corresponding Duties and prominent Achievements.
Chief-level executives certainly have accumulated an impressive list of achievements, so it is crucial to arrange and format them for better readability. Use bullet lists, highlight key takeaways in bold, support sharp language with factual percentages and numbers.
Mention the most significant achievement first. Close up the list with the second-best achievement. This is called a sandwich technique. Put the ones you deem the least remarkable in the middle.
We have only included a single Master’s degree in our example for the sake of brevity. There can be more in your executive resume sample, of course.
Include only the certifications that are relevant to the given career. Self-education counts, too, if you haven’t already mentioned the respective skill in one of the previous sections.
The best executive resumes include stories of how a person managed to apply their skill outside of the job environment. Seminars sold, social media following, likes, and views - all of it proves that you are a recognized and respected professional. So, where do you put achievements like these?
Think of a rarely used “Other” or “Additional Activities” section.
Say, John Smith’s video about top customer retention techniques got 3M views on YouTube. Why would he keep silent about this impressive accomplishment?
The Core Skills section, which follows the Summary, is sometimes broken into two parts in different executive resume formats. It is not about detailed work experience (there is a separate section for that); it’s rather a general list that can be arranged vertically, like this:
- Internet Marketing;
- Team Mentoring.
Or put it horizontally, like this, to save space:
Internet Marketing ■ Team Mentoring
By the way, the same arrangement variants are valid for the contact information.
In any case, the Skills (Core Qualifications, Core Skills) section should not draw too much attention with its size, saving the details for the interview.
You would skip Core Skills if the skills were already covered in the Summary or if the objective is to jump right to the Selected Achievements and Experience.
As weird as it sounds, being a top professional is not a sure way to land a dream job on its own. One also has to be a nice person.
Soft skills stand for human interaction, personal character, or mind traits. These include
- work ethic;
- time management;
Including soft skills in your executive resume samples will make recruiters choose you rather than a candidate who has a reputation of being reclusive or aggressive.
As opposed to soft skills, hard skills relate to a particular domain of knowledge and require learning to obtain them.
Being chatty and easy-going is a soft skill. Professional interviewing is a hard skill.
Hard skills involve mastering a specific tool or competence:
- Adobe Photoshop;
- Microsoft Word.
- Project management;
- Calendar management.
Sample of executive resumes used to include exclusively hard skills, but the situation changes as business owners recognize the importance of soft skills for the general well-being of their teams.
To Sum Up
Evidently, regardless of the career field, a clean, readable executive resume sample is always highly valued. Here are some final tips for the best executive resumes.
- Submit your resume file in PDF format. It will keep all the formatting, pictures, and other objects without the risk of corrupting data as ODT or DOC files do when opened on another operating system.
- A CEO resume template would come in handy, but only if you reshape it according to potential employer’s demands and your own aesthetic vision. After all, you’re an individual, not just another asset on the job market.
- It is preferable that the resume fits on one page, but it’s not at all obligatory. For longer resumes, include pagination and a notice at the end of each page like this: “...continuing...”
Choose a format that fits your experience and recruiters’ expectations best. A dream job won’t take long to find!
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