Is it time to dust off your CEO resume? If you are being recruited or ready to vet a new CEO position or wishing to step into your first CEO role – your executive resume is the foundation for your audiences first perception of you. You know how first perceptions are – once they are “set” it’s very hard to move the needle – so your executive resume has a tremendous amount of power to create the impression you want.

But not all CEO resumes are the same. A resume should be and can be so much more than a historical narrative of where you have been. The spirit of this same approach is one where you think, “if I just list all the amazing responsibilities I have had, I just KNOW someone is going to read them and find the perfect role for me.” This thought process puts the power in the hands of the reader. A much better approach is the value-driven approach. A CEO resume that says “I know who I am and where I am going” serves to engender the trust of strangers MUCH faster than the former approach.

This article here shows a few CEO resume samples that really work to translate leadership and value – in a matter of seconds – because at the cursory glance that is all you have.

There are three running themes you will see in the CEO Resume Samples article above. The first is a clear definition of what the executive is going for in terms of title, company size and industry, or some other key indicator such as PE-Backed Companies or Fortune 500 Companies. The reason this is so important has to do with the way people absorb information at the glance. If you are respectful enough to your reader to give them the “table of contents” before “chapter one” then you have effectively given your reader the key points they need to know foundationally before they can adequately dive in – either details of your abilities, accomplishments, or soft skills.

The second running theme in a CEO Resume that is both effective and produces results is a focus on the metrics. People can only care how or what you do after they have been given the opportunity to understand what happens when you do it. So, we begin the conversation by focusing on your metric-driven results FIRST and then explain briefly how, what, or why. Bullets that begin with results and summary statements that showcase your core accomplishments in a professional narrative show you understand what the emphasis has to be on first to establish trust, respect, and credibility; and it does indeed most quickly engender trust with your audience. If there is any one area where we need to communicate results fluently and clearly, it’s in your executive resume!

The third running theme is a visually well put together resume. As your audience’s eye draws down through the document, what you have bolded or put in another color captures first look, so use these differentiators wisely so that your core bits of information (where, when, over what geography, company size, P&L, how many employees, and core accomplishments) are looked at first. Additionally, graphs and charts used with moderation appeal to the visual executive and keep the reader on the page longer. Many studies have been done that demonstrate a visually appealing document commands a longer look and leaves a more favorable first impression – critical when expressing in written form your CEO executive candidacy.

If the thought of writing your resume yourself as distasteful and you wish to hire an executive resume writer to do it for you, this article covers some tips to vet top CEO Resume Writers. Additionally, this article here can help you with CEO job search strategies you may not know about.


Mary Elizabeth Bradford, CARW, MCDMary Elizabeth Bradford and her elite team of award-winning, top certified executive resume writers and former top executive recruiters and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier CxO’s and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. Would you like to discuss your executive level transition and explore your options? Book a complimentary, confidential discovery call now.