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Category: Executive Resumes & Cover Letters (page 1 of 7)

CEO Resume Samples: 3 Things to Look For in a Results-Producing CEO Resume

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.

5 Things You Should Know Before Hiring an Executive Resume Writer

Five Things To Consider Before Hiring An Executive Resume Writer

Thinking about hiring and executive resume writer? In my article, Five Things To Consider Before Hiring An Executive Resume Writer, I walk you through five important factors you should take time to assess before making your decision.

See the other articles I’ve written for Forbes  as a member of the Forbes Coaches Council.

ATS Scam Notice

There is a scam currently circulating on the internet.

Clients, please be cautious if you are approached by a “recruiting” firm and told you are being considered for an executive job. Here is what they will do:

  1. They will ask you to send your resume (and most likely, sign a non-disclosure agreement).
  1. You’ll get back an email stating that although they were able to open your resume, it could not be loaded properly into their ATS.
  1. They will send you a link to “score” your resume (or straight to a site to “fix” your resume for a fee).
  1. You’ll load your resume (with NO job announcement) to be scored. It will fail.
  1. You are sent to a website that will “fix” your resume for a fee.

This company changes names often to evade authorities.

Executive Resume Writer Mary Elizabeth Bradford Appointed as Judge for 2018 TORI Resume Writing Competition

Mary Elizabeth Bradford to Judge TORI Resume Writing CompetitionFor the second year in a row, Mary Elizabeth Bradford has been appointed to serve as a Top Tier Finalist Judge for Career Director International’s 2018 TORI Awards.

The CDI Toast of the Resume Industry Awards are regarded as the gold standard for best content/visual resume representation the industry has to offer. Top resume writers from all over the world compete for first, second or third place in their respective categories ranging from Executive to Healthcare, Finance, Sales, and Entry-Level.

According to CDI President, Laura DeCarlo, “The Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) award winners represent the epitome of excellence for job seekers to stand out from the competition for the 60-80% of all jobs that are found through networking and the hidden job market.”  TORI award winners are considered to be the top resume writers in the resume writing/careers industry.

Check out past TORI winners here.

3 CEO Resume Samples that Show Strengths that WORK

20+ years of expertise summarized in a 2- or 3-page document is not an easy feat. This explains why developing a Chief Executive Officer resume can be tricky. Often, CEOs will come to me with original 5- pages resumes, simply as a result of not knowing what strengths to emphasize and which to minimize or exclude.

However, here are three Executive CEO Resume samples that demonstrate universal selling points that are generally applicable across all C-Level resumes.

Executive Resume Sample #1

Give your audience a clear table of contents at the top of Page 1.

CEO Resume Samples: Executive Resume Sample #1

Click to view full resume.

In this first resume, you see how the CEO spelled out who he is, and where he wants to go—very clearly. For example, just the keywords at the top give you the following information:

  • Industry of Preference and Expertise: Tech Companies in Growth Mode
  • Title: CEO / Advisor
  • Organizational Structure Preferred: Private Equity
  • Special Area of Expertise: M&A’s, Growth

As the eye draws to the document’s other supporting areas, what this CEO specializes in is very clear:

Risk Controls / Executive Board Partnerships / Strategic Exits

With this context – now the reader not only knows the CEO’s primary skills, strengths, and industry preferences, he/she also has enough context to read deeper into the document and digest it. In other words, without a table of contents or summary overview, it’s difficult to digest the details.

View the full CEO executive resume sample #1 here.

Executive Resume Sample #2

Speak from a position of leadership and metrics to set the perception as a results-driven leader in the minds of your readers.

CEO Resume Samples: Executive Resume Sample #2

Click to view full resume.

Leaders are expected to garner results. It is anticipated that their vision and personality will inspire and motivate their teams. By clearly focusing on the results you deliver, you inspire the trust of your readers.

This second executive resume example demonstrates the results the CEO garners. It spans revenue growth, expansions, major transactions, major awards (industry thought leadership), and high-visibility projects.

IMPORTANT: Note that the bullets begin with the CEO’s result…not the activity and THEN the metric result at the end.

View the full CEO executive resume sample #2 here.

Executive Resume Sample #3

Set up your storyline to make it easy for your reader to understand your value.

CEO Resume Samples: Executive Resume Sample #3

Click to view full resume.

This particular resume has some special components. First, it’s a one-page version of a three- page resume. One-page resumes are often preferred by banks, boards, and private equity firms. This resume is also color-branded to the CEO’s industry of choice. It clearly demonstrates her thought leadership and industry expertise. It gives scale and scope at the cursory glance. It is visually very attractive.

Even though it’s only one page, this resume clearly outlines this CEO’s career narrative. It starts with her title and provides a summary of why she was hired. Then, it crisply delivers her primary accomplishments, which are supported with just enough detail in the few bullets below the summary accomplishment. This respects the reader and sets up the storyline so that the reader WANTS to digest, read, and understand this CEO’s career narrative.

IMPORTANT: Note that each bullet begins with her quantifiable result…NOT the activity and then, the result at the end. Beginning with the result shows more energy and power. It translates that this CEO understands it’s the RESULT—not the activity—that is of primary importance.

View the full CEO executive resume sample #3 here.

In summary, the majority of CEOs hire a resume writing firm to develop their marketing documents —but even if you don’t write your own resume, these tips will help you know what to look for in a top executive resume writer or executive resume writing firm!

If you would like to chat about executive resume services, you can request a confidential, complimentary call here.

Quick Tip for Top Executives on Executive Resumes

The best executive resume writing tips in one quick, 3-minute video. Mary Elizabeth Bradford, The Career Artisan, addresses the top issue executives encounter when writing their own resume and shares the resume tips she uses in her practice.

quick-tips https://youtu.be/aG55kWqNFbc

Want more information on DIY resumes? Visit Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s Success Store at:  http://www.maryelizabethbradford.com/success-store.php

Interested in having Mary Elizabeth create your resume for you? Visit http://maryelizabethbradford.com to schedule a 15-minute introductory call.

Selected as a Top Career Website

Excited to announce we have been selected as a Top Career Website on Career Igniter!

http://www.careerigniter.com/career-websites/

How Savvy CXO’s Tweak Their Resumes for Different Career Opportunities

One of the main challenges my CXO clients have is knowing WHAT to put in their resumes. This is why they will often have 5-page resumes that are crammed with everything they have ever done. When top achievers try to share all of their accomplishments, this is what happens!

The solution to this dilemma is to clearly identify what the end game is and then work backwards so that your resume is written to the industry and general position you want. For example: You are interested in COO or VP of Operations roles in mid-market growth companies that range in size from $500M and $1B in the technology services industry. This is a good scale that is not too broad and not too narrow.

Identifying your sweet spot generally ensures you will get what you want, are clear and direct from the beginning (this energy will radiate confidently out to all those you come in contact with during your transition) and will generally make your entire transition easier to manage and your results quicker.

Good executive resumes have keywords and snapshots at the top ½ of the first page that help the reader quickly understand your scope of abilities and your career focus. You can look at the resume samples page on my website for examples of this principle in action.

When you are targeting positions with slight variations in title and scope, first detail everything you know about the opportunity you want to tailor your resume to. A powerful but simple exercise is to highlight the keywords that are the main aspects of the position, then go back through and ascertain which of those keywords are a “match” for you. It could be all of them – in which case you could simply embed those new keywords, using them to accentuate the points about the opportunity that you are perfectly aligned with. Here is an example:

Original Example:

Chief Operating Officer, Vice President Global Operations | Technology Services

P&L to $1B | Teams to 500 | Fast Growth Mid-Market Companies

Augmented for a Specific Opportunity:

Chief Operating Officer | PE Backed, Rapid Growth Technology Services Companies | SAAS

P&L from $100M to $1B | Teams to 500 | M&A | Turnarounds

This is generally quick and easy to do and allows you to match your skills to mirror specific opportunities. Although this doesn’t require much effort on your part, it has a strong resonance with the reader because you reflect the qualities they are looking for – which creates more interest and intrigue.

There are times when you may feel it necessary to dig into the body of your resume to accentuate various strengths and achievements more clearly to align with your position of choice. However, I have found that the more clarity you have from the start regarding your driving motivators and what kinds of career opportunities you are looking for, the less you will encounter this issue because you will be naturally in alignment with what best suits you from the beginning.

60+ Most Popular Job Search Articles of 2015

JobMobJobMob has thoughtfully compiled a list of the best job search advice for 2015! You’ll find my article, “Executive Job Interviews and Money: The Secret to Landing Bigger Job Offers” listed among those of some of the top career professionals in the industry such as Jason Alba (JibberJobber.com), Marc Miller (CareerPivot), J.T. O’Donnell (CareerHMO), Martin Yate (Knock ’em Dead book series), and Undercover Recruiter. Enjoy!

The Top Job Search Articles of 2015

The Executive Resume: 3 Advanced Tips to Help You Create a Powerful Marketing Document

resumeWhen creating your resume you need to write TO what you want versus FROM where you have been. Here are some secret tips from the vault that will help you to create a compelling executive resume:

Tip #1: Keywords and Summary Statements

One of the most important things to remember is that the keywords at the top of your resume create the reader’s initial perception of you by defining alignment and scale. You need to help the reader understand and appreciate your capabilities and career focus during a cursory glance.

For example, you could say:

Transformational Leader | Team Builder | Government Projects

But what do the keywords above really tell someone who does not know you? If you said, “Very little,” I agree! You have just used prime real estate to make a rather subtle ripple vs. a big splash.

Much more effective:

General Manager | Aviation and Aeronautics | Global Government Projects to $1 Billion | Transformational Technologies

Key points after that may include elements such as:

MBA, 9 Advanced Aeronautical Certifications | NASA Award Winner | Teams to 60 | 20+ Years’ Experience with World Class, Global Aerospace Companies

The second bunch of keywords supports your alignment and scale—and they “make your argument.”

Tip #2: Your Resume is Two Resumes in One

Your resume has to be effective during a cursory glance and also the deeper read—essentially, two resumes in one.

The first resume is the most important—it’s the snapshot … and YOU control where the eyes go. Your cursory-glance resume is laid over the entire resume—everything you color, bold, underline, or put in a call-out box is what the eyes are drawn to first—and thus it needs to include the following information for your reader to be “satisfied” at the end of 10 or 15 seconds. These little nuances are extremely powerful:

  • Scale: Include things such as P&L to $600M or budgets to / industry or industries / company sizes / locations: global or national or regional or select: North and South America and Asia Pacific / Teams to 350 / Degrees | Board Positions / Certifications etc.
  • Career Focus and Alignment: The bullets must support the direction you want to go in—not just the successes you have had.If you want to do turnaround work for large corporate divisions you will focus on all the turnarounds, reorganizations and transformations, and re-engineering of processes, setting a company up for sale, etc. Amplify your successes in the direction you want to go. Connect the dots for your reader.
  • Front Load $$%% Metrics: It says to the reader, “Hey, I understand what you want to read because I am a leader.” It sets perception and builds confidence (in you). It also makes the conversation more fluid, creates excitement during the interview, and, at the first read, helps the reader picture you achieving similar results for them.

Tip #3: Design

The reason top executive resume writers pay so much attention to the balance and visual design of a client’s executive resume is because when the resume looks a little different, a little better, at the first glance the reader thinks, “Wow, this looks good … and a little different. So the content must be different too.” And thus, they stay on the page a little longer.

Well-organized information parsed out in sections and given enough white space between bullets, etc. has a similar effect. It makes the document easier to read and assimilate—thereby having a pleasing (not irritating) effect on the reader.

Bonus Tip

Most seasoned, credentialed resume writers “get” these points. Just like any other business investment in graphic design, professional photos, websites etc. “pays off,” investing in a professionally designed resume has the same effect—and usually pays for itself … though it often yields a return on investment many times over!

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