Executive Resume Writing Guide + Downloadable Templates

Do you know why writing an executive resume takes time and thought? To stand out from other candidates, your executive resume must be well designed and you need to summarize your professional background in it. Through your resume, in a structural way, the recruiter must see the skills sought for the corporate executive position.
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It is projected that general and operations managers will increase by 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. This group of workers will continue to play an important role in helping organizations function effectively.

In the 10-year period from 2019 to 2029, chief executive jobs are projected to decline by around 10 percent. By enhancing office technology and changing organizational structures, these workers are able to perform tasks previously handled by multiple CEOs. A number of large, established companies have also become increasingly dominant in economic activity and employment, which may reduce the availability of new jobs for these workers.

Find below, our writing guide to help you in your efforts as well as a wide choice of professional resume templates downloadable in one click!

To know everything about how to write a perfect executive resume, it’s here!

Additional information on the executive job

A company executive is an employee who has a special status on his or her employment contract. Combining technical skills and versatility, the job of a company executive is a position of great responsibility. Its role is mainly to ensure the success of the company’s projects.

There are 2 ways to reach the status of executive, experienced executive, senior executive:

  • The level of education: you can qualify for executive status if you have completed the required level of education (Master’s degree / Bachelor’s Degree etc)
  • Professional experience: after having demonstrated your qualities and skills to your employer, you can reach the status of executive through an internal promotion (longer).
During the recruitment process, the candidate will have to show the recruiter that he/she has the necessary skills for the position of executive, experienced executive, senior executive:
  • Mastery of computer tools: The digitalization of services pushes company executives to remain operational in new communication and management modes.
  • Knowledge of regulations: Regulations are ever so important in the life of a company. As a risk manager, the executive must be aware of the rules that govern his or her activity.
  • The international dimension: The executive must be able to travel abroad and speak at least one foreign language (required level: C1, C2).
  • Project management: Organized and punctual, the salaried executive must be able to manage several projects at the same time and anticipate possible problems that could jeopardize the project.
  • Innovative/creative spirit: A good executive is able to rely on his or her technical skills but also on his or her creative sense to overcome the challenges on the way.
  • Interpersonal skills: The team leader must be a good listener, establish a climate of trust and adapt to the personalities of the employees. As a leader, he or she must ensure that the team works well together to achieve the best possible results.
There are currently around an estimated 309,000 chief executives in the United States. The chief executive job market is expected to shrink by -3.9% between 2016 and 2026.

In order to help you in your job search, discover the list of sectors of activity that recruit executives:

  • Business, Marketing
  • Communication
  • Company management
  • Management, finance, administration
  • Computer Science
  • Industrial production, works and construction
  • Studies, research, and development
  • Health, social, culture
  • Human resources

Sample resume for a marketing executive

James S. Jones

Marketing Executive

Oakland, CA

+1-555-506-1681

[email protected]

Marketing Manager

Profile

Passionate about new technologies and new digital jobs, I specialized in digital marketing. Methodical and attentive to my team, I know how to take my responsibilities to complete a specific project.

Professional Summary

2019 – 2021

Marketing Project Manager, ACME Marketing, Las Vegas

  •       Elaboration of the web marketing strategy
  •       Design, implementation, and follow-up of marketing actions
  •       Animation of working groups

2016 – 2019

Digital communication manager, MATTE, Seattle

  •       Management in content creation strategy
  •       Increased online brand visibility
  •       Traffic analysis and competitive intelligence

Training

2014 – 2015

Master 2 Marketing and Commercial Practice, University of Seattle

2012- 2013

Licence pro e-commerce and digital marketing, PEC College

Skills

  • Solve complex problems
  • Creativity and initiative.
  • Organization and adaptability
  • Respect of the processes

Languages

English: Mother tongue

Spanish: Fluent (C1)

Computer Science 

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console
  • Office Pack

Areas of interest

New technologies (connected objects, drones), sports (rugby, climbing), travel

Executive Resume

How to create an executive resume

The perfect executive resume is one that reflects your qualities, skills, and professional expertise, and again, in a structural and synthetic manner. You have to find the perfect balance between a modern (but sober) layout and an airy structure. The objective is to have a resume that is pleasant to read and that will capture the recruiter.

If creating a resume template seems difficult, rest assured there is our sample list of customizable online executive resumes.

Let’s see together the essential rules to respect when writing a resume.

The layout of the executive resume

💡Good to know: On first read, a recruiter spends less than 30 seconds reading your resume. If you don’t follow a specific layout, you won’t get past the first step.

Basic rules:

  • An executive’s resume should be no longer than 1 page
  • Do not use more than 2 colors (ex: blue & white)
  • Use official fonts (Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman)
  • The font size should be between 10 and 12 (a little more for titles)
Nowadays, an executive resume should not exceed 1 page. Indeed, the candidate is judged from the start on his or her ability to synthesize and present his or her background in a limited time and space. For executive resume types, recruiters are definitely more observant of this rule.
💡 Good to know: A professional resume and cover letter are usually sent in MS Word or PDF format.

The structure of the executive resume

Did you know that a recruiter receives up to 1,000 applications per day? To facilitate the recruiter’s work, an executive’s resume must be structured and well organized. This reflects the competencies of the business executive.

Remember, you are applying for a job with responsibilities. You must be concise and methodical in order not to waste time! Recruiters will appreciate your efforts.

Regardless of the model of the executive resume, it must respect the following framework:

  • Header
  • Hook
  • Professional experience
  • Training
  • Skills
  • Languages
  • Computer Science
  • Area of interest

How to write the header of an executive resume

The header of an executive resume allows recruiters to have an overview of the candidate’s profile. Located at the top of the page, the header is broken down as follows:

  • Full name
  • Job title
  • Contact details
  • Photo
  • Hook
You are free to position your header on the left or on the right, depending on your taste.

Header template: Example of good and bad headers for an executive resume

CORRECT
Thomas K. Calderon

Marketing Manager

Charleston, WV 25301

+1-555-055-4886

[email protected]

INCORRECT
Marketing Manager

[email protected]

308 Randolph Street

Worcester, MA 01609

Steven M. Prentice

606 134 8652

Do I need a photo in the executive resume?

The advantage of a resume without a photo is to avoid all forms of discrimination in hiring. In fact most US companies reject applications that include a photo so they can avoid being accused of discriminating against anyone. Therefore, we recommend you do not include a photo in your resume⛔.

How to write the title of an executive resume

Opt for a simple, clear and precise title: use the job title that appears on the job offer. A personalized title on the resume shows that the candidate has a purpose. This also makes the first reading of the resume easier for the recruiter.

Examples:

  • Executive
  • Sales executive
  • Engineering executive
  • Senior Manager (experienced manager)
⚠️Remember: a successful executive resume is one that makes it easy for the recruiter to read!

How to value professional experience in an executive resume

The “professional experience” section is the most important part of the executive resume. You must make the recruiter want to meet you. Be sure to list your professional experiences in chronological order, from the most recent to the oldest. This part must be optimized so that it is pleasant to read for the recruiter.

Reminder: Fill in only work experience related to the position desired. Synthesizing your background is the best way to get an interview.

How to integrate your professional experiences on your executive resume

At the structure level, you must indicate in the following order:

  • Start and end dates (month, year)
  • The position held
  • The name of the company (specifying the location)
  • Achievements (skills developed)
Take care of the visual with paragraphs, bullets, lines to separate the different parts.

Example of professional experience for entry-level executives

Professional experience

April 2019 – March 2021 – Sales Manager – Louissa – Washington

  • Management of a team of 6 employees
  • Study and compliance of client files
  • Litigation management

May 2016 – April 2019 Sales Advisor – Groupon – New York

  • Management of a portfolio of 120 clients
  • Development of turnover through the flow of incoming calls
  • Promotion of the Groupon offer (prospecting)

Example of professional experience for senior executives

2016 – Present – Key Account Manager – Acca
  • Development of the key account sales strategy
  • Negotiation of offers and sales spaces
  • Production of monthly reports for the General Management
  • Ensures that the company’s processes are respected

2010 – 2016 – Store Manager – Walmart

  • Mastery of the management tools of the company
  • Facilitation of monthly meetings
  • Listen to your staff.

How can you add value to your education and training in your executive resume?

The second key point for a perfect executive resume is, of course, the “training” part. As for the “professional experience” part, there is also a page layout to respect.

💡Tip: For people who have taken many courses, be sure to fill in only the studies related to the desired position.

Should we start with the education section or with the professional experiences in an executive resume?

As a rule, you should always start with the “professional experience” section. If you are a young graduate with no experience, don’t worry, highlight your training.

The executive resume allows you to trace your career path chronologically. It is therefore normal that a young worker does not have much experience: the recruiter was also a young graduate without experience!

How to list your studies in an executive resume?

Valuing your education in an executive resume template is very easy. Simply indicate the date of your graduation, the name of the course, the name of the institution and the location.

Example of the Education section of an executive resume

Training

2015 – 2017 Master’s degree in Management and International Trade, University of New Jersey

 2012 – 2015 DUT Techniques de Commercialisation, Marlon College, Texas

2009 – 2012 Bachelors in Economic and Social Studies Udem College, Seattle

The essential skills to include in an executive resume

During your various professional experiences, you have developed specific skills related to the missions you have been entrusted with. Identify at least 4 skills that you have mastered that are related to the future tasks of the new position. Find below the list of key competencies for the position of corporate executive.

What are the main skills sought for an executive?

When a recruiter is interviewing for an executive position, find out what key skills they will be looking for first:

  • Knowing how to analyze, find solutions and solve problems
  • Making decisions
  • Taking responsibility
  • Being autonomous
  • Listening
  • Knowing how to lead a team
  • Knowing how to question yourself
  • Being creative
  • Knowing how to communicate well
  • Knowing how to anticipate

What skills should be included in a entry level executive resume?

It doesn’t matter if you are a recent graduate or if you don’t have much experience yet! Below is a list of essential skills to include when writing a beginner’s resume:

  • Sense of teamwork
  • Respect for the company’s processes
  • Sense of observation
  • Mastery of computer tools

What skills should be included in a senior executive resume?

Conversely, a senior person automatically has more experience. Don’t hesitate to put forward your skills, they are essential assets that will tip the balance in your favor! Here is a list of skills to include in your senior resume template:

  • Management of a team of 6 employees
  • Reporting on the company’s activity
  • Operational risk and compliance management
  • Data analysis and processing

Executive Resume Writing Guide

How to write a catchphrase for an executive resume?

A catchphrase in an executive-type resume indirectly establishes a first contact with the recruiter. Be diligent in writing this section: it will catch the eye of recruiters. This is a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates. Generally located at the top of the page, it should not exceed 2 sentences.

Example of a catchphrase for a junior

“As a recent marketing graduate, I am looking for a collaboration to expand my skills. With excellent interpersonal skills, I am able to manage a team and meet the challenges associated with this position.”

Example of a teaser for a senior citizen

“With a 10-year career as a Sales Manager, I have been able to develop the cross-functional skills necessary to perform senior management functions.”

How to include the additional headings for an executive resume

Depending on your background, you are free to add additional headings to your executive resume. Don’t hesitate to choose unique resume templates.

However, you should not overload your resume either. Remember, it must fit on 1 page! It is very likely that by sending an overloaded resume, the recruiter will not want to read it.

IT skills and certifications for an executive

More than certifications, the candidate must be computer literate. He is expected to master office tools such as Excel or PowerPoint as well as the company’s various internal software.

Areas of interest for an executive

Interests are part of the classic headings that make up an executive resume.

Do you know why this category is relevant to your job search?

Beyond your professional or academic background, the recruiter wants to learn more about your candidate profile. Whether in sports, music or culture, each activity conveys values. The recruiter wants to see if you are capable of understanding, representing, and transmitting the company’s common values.

Languages mastered

💡Good to know: if the mastery of different foreign languages is an asset for your application, when you apply for an executive position, it will therefore be mandatory. You are aiming for an executive position in a multinational company.

If you are fluent in another language, feel free to include it in your resume.

Language certifications at a glance:

  • French: Delf, Dalf, …
  • Spanish: SIELE, …
  • German: Goethe Zertifikat, TestDaF, DSH, …
If you do not have certifications, honestly assess your language level as follows:

Concepts: A1 – A2

Intermediate: B1 – B2

Current: C1 – C2

Examples:

“I’m bilingual in French and have some understanding of Spanish.”

Languages

English: mother tongue

Spanish: notions (A1) [/su_note]

Summary: the key points for writing the perfect executive resume

 To summarize, the perfect executive resume should:

  • Be structured and spacious
  • Reflect the candidate’s technical skills
  • Be design (prefer a sober format)
  • Include only highly relevant information that is valuable to the hiring manager

Write a cover letter to complement your executive resume

Before sending your executive resume in MS Word or PDF format, be sure to attach a cover letter as well. It must be personalized and adapted to the targeted position. In this letter, you should talk about your reasons for joining the company. Describe your background, your career plans and why you think you are the best candidate for this position. It’s possible to get the job of your dreams!

Check out our personalized cover letters guide to accompany your resume.

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