Tips to Write a Good Resume for an Executive Position

FT Contributor  | 

It’s common for entry-level workers to strive for executive-level positions with prestigious companies. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, top executives can earn an average salary of $104,980. However, top executives earn this high salary because they have many important responsibilities within the company.

It’s not easy to obtain a position as an executive and developing a great resume is the key to snagging a job in this role. When you create an impressive resume that highlights the skills and experience you possess, it’s more likely you’ll get the attention of potential employers. Use these tips to learn how your resume can help you show off your personality traits and skills so you can get a job as an executive.

How to Organize an Executive Resume

The way you organize your resume relies heavily on the position you’re applying to obtain. Since no two jobs are identical, it’s important to analyze the skills needed for a specific role and to include the ones you possess on your resume.

This will ensure you make it through the applicant tracking systems many employers utilize in the hiring process. While it needs to be unique to the position, there is a certain way to format your resume so that it includes pertinent information for a potential employer.

Header

Your resume must start with a header so you can provide the reader with your contact information. This section must include your:

  • Full name.
  • Address and location.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address.

It’s important to use a professional email address and a font and style that’s easy to read.

Introduction

In your introduction, you may choose to provide a qualifications summary, professional profile, or career objective. If you’re applying for an executive position, you more than likely already have professional experience. Therefore, you may want to stick with a professional profile that outlines your experience and how it relates to the specific position. However, if you feel you have strong qualifications that relate directly to the role, consider using your introduction to summarize these qualifications.

Skills

The skills you may list in this section of your resume depend on the experience you have and how it relates to the position. Some of the most important skills that executives are expected to have include the following:

  • Leadership skills.
  • Strategic and critical thinking skills.
  • Technology skills.
  • Relationship and interpersonal skills.
  • Time management skills.
  • Communication skills.

It’s also important to be able to communicate your organizational and management skills in this section of the resume. By providing both hard and soft skills, you can show how your personality traits, knowledge, and experience make you a good fit for the role.

Education

Educational requirements for an executive depend on the specific position you’re applying for. Generally, executives are expected to possess college degrees. Most executives have earned their business degrees before pursuing a C-level role. In the education section of your resume, include:

  • The school’s name.
  • The degree you earned.
  • The year you graduated.
  • Any relevant coursework related to the position.

Experience

Your experience section provides information on the jobs you held in the past and the experience you gained from these past positions. If you’ve held executive positions before, provide details on the departments and workers you were responsible for managing and other duties you were assigned.

If you’ve never held an executive role before, use this section to provide information on your past jobs. List the duties and responsibilities you held in these previous positions as they relate to the job you’re applying to obtain.

For example, if you led a small team of co-workers when planning a company picnic, include this duty in your experience section. Engaging in leadership opportunities is important to an executive role.

References

It’s also important to include references with your resume, or people you know who can provide information on your character, work ethic, or skill level. Professional references are people you know on a professional level, such as past supervisors or co-workers. Personal references are people who you haven’t necessarily worked with but who you know personally, such as family friends or neighbors.

Read through the job application to see if the potential employer asked for a specific number of references. If not, it’s common to include three professional or personal references. When listing your references, be sure to include:

  • Their full name.
  • The company they work for and their position.
  • How they know you, if they’re personal references.
  • Contact information.

Unless otherwise specified, you should provide your references separately from your resume.

Executive Resume Writing Tips

When creating your executive resume, it’s important to:

  • Avoid excessive jargon: While it’s important to show you understand industry terms, only use these industry-related words when necessary to avoid cluttering your resume.
  • Highlight your value: Include any achievements you’ve accomplished in your past roles to show you’re driven by goals and results.
  • Cater to the job description: Consider the job description when creating your resume and include the skills and experience you have as it relates to that specific role.
  • Be unique: Use your own words to describe your duties and responsibilities in the past and to explain how it shaped you into the perfect fit for the position.

Sample Executive Resume

Sam Reed
123 Village Court
Indianapolis, IN 23566
454.676.2325
Sam.Reed123@yahoo.com

Professional Profile

My experience as a top-level executive at a leading cereal company has sharpened my leadership and communication skills, so I can implement a strategy to lead a team in exceeding company sales goals.

Skills

  • Communication.
  • Leadership.
  • Organization.
  • Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Adobe Suite.
  • Salesforce.

Experience

Wheats and Wheys, Executive Sales Leader, 2015 – 2019.

  • Managing a team of 12 sales professionals.
  • Creating sales strategies to meet $18 million sales goal.
  • Meeting quarterly with staff and large clients.

Wheats and Wheys, Sales Team Member, 2010 – 2015.

  • Prospecting sales leads through Salesforce.
  • Traveling to meet with top clients.
  • Delivering monthly sales goal information at team meetings.

Education

Tipper College, Bachelor’s in Sales Management, 2009.
Relevant coursework: Finance, Sales Software, and Marketing Strategies.

References

Linda Collette, Sales Supervisor at Wheats and Wheys.
345.678.2345
LCollette@cerealsales.com

Jason Worth, CEO at Wheats and Wheys.
345.678.6899
JWorth@cerealsales.com

Dr. Finn Henry, Professor at Tipper College.
676.134.7889
DrHenry@tipper.edu.

As a high-level position, it’s important to present an impressive resume when applying for an executive position. By including important skills and education as it relates to the role you desire, you can ensure you stand out amongst other job candidates.


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