How to create an executive resume?

Intelligence, imagination, and knowledge are essential resources common to man. It is effectiveness that converts them into results.

You might know that you are an adept executive annd that you understand the industry. Leadership must be in your DNA. But the recruiters and the senior executives do not know that yet.

So what is your chance from those 10 mails out of the 10,000 emails? Let's make them close to absolute. We also recommend Hiration's online resume builder for a guided resume making experience.

Here are the topics we will learn from the blog:

What is an executive resume?

[Back to Table of Content]

Executive resumes answer the employer’s key question: what is in it for me?

Executive resumes are usually read by high-level recruiters, CEOs, COOs, CFOs, or Board Members. They want to know how you will help them solve their future business problems.

The CIO candidate could help solve ERP problems, the GM candidate the struggling division, the CFO candidate help raise money in a tough climate.

Every recruiter and every executive wants to know what is in the candidate that would help. Yet almost more than 90% of executive resumes do not answer the question.

If you are able to revise your executiveresume, however, to quickly and clearly convey your value, you will be one in the elites who immediately get an opportunity for an interview.

Read on to find what is missing from the significant elements in an executive resume. You may also find free executive resume samples 2021 on our website. To save time, try out our online resume builder today.

Why do you need an executive resume?

[Back to Table of Content]

Your brand and value proposition must be together before you plan on moving them further. This sends a clear consistent message across your executive resume. Be it social media profiles, your LinkedIn profile, a website, or a resume, targeting and research work before doing the initial branding is a mistake.

You need a resume at some point in the hiring process as a standard, recognized job search currency. Defining your personal brand and developing content for your resume forms the foundation for all your personal marketing materials. It also:

  • Helps you in developing messages designed to resonate with your target audience
  • Differentiates your unique value premises from your competitors
  • Prepares you to have knowledge and accept confidently the values you can offer
  • Prepares you to network and interview well

Before you can write a great executive resume, you should lay the groundwork with these critical steps first:

  1. targeting
  2. researching
  3. personal branding

Now let's get started. Before that, we have attached a sample executive resume to help you understand the process better. You may also try our online resume builder for further clarity on making a smooth functioning executive resume.

Executive Resume Sample

How do you write an executive resume?

[Back to Table of Content]

Choosing the format

[Back to Table of Content]

Resumes generally follow three standard formats. However, since an executive is considered to have good experience and universal skills, a chronological resume best shows your career progression.

It makes the reader understand your values in context as your achievements are included within your career timeline. To check out the best resume format 2021 check out our templates or visit our online resume builder.

Getting started

Identify the employer's needs

[Back to Table of Content]

Your executive resume should be tailored to the job for which you are applying. So should your executive summary. In fact, it is most crucial to tailor your summary to the job description, since that is first part the recruiters read and decide on the reading the later.

Read the job description to determine what is most important.

  • If it’s a research execuutive role, what lab techniques are they looking for?
  • If it’s a marketing executive role, what kind of campaigns are they looking for? If it’s an engineering executive role, are they looking for entrepreneurial experiences?
  • If it is a customer service executive role, do you express your experience managing others or should you emphasize your communications skills?

After identifying the required skills, go through your executive resume to identify which of those skills you have. List the most relevant experiences that pertain to each skill set.

Know that it is Your Story

[Back to Table of Content]

While tailoring your summary to the jobs you apply for, ensure that your summary and your profile is tailored to you. Generic sentences like:

“Motivated and detail-oriented executive with strong problem-solving skills and work ethics.”

almost anyone with a degree in engineering who applies to any technical job. You may however, start with a statement that is personal. For example,

"30+ years experienced & goal-oriented global Supply Chain Specialist with a proven track record in leading cross-functional teams for end-to-end supply chain management."

Across your executive summary and you executive resume, emphasize skills, experiences and attributes which are unique to you.

The above example determines that you are a Supply Chain Specialist with more than 30 years of experience and that you have a track record of handling teams and delivering targets. This adds value to your executive resume.

Understanding Personal Branding and Value Proposition

[Back to Table of Content]

Branding is not an optional habit. It links your passions, your personal attributes and your strengths with your value proposition.

It therefore produces a crystal clear message that differentiates you from your competition and resonates with your target audience.

The things that differentiate your unique promise of value from your job seeking competitors is what will sell you.

Companies look for vitality and personal chemistry in executive candidates. Branding generates chemistry and makes your profile come alive on the paper.

To learn how to bring it all together, you may go through Hiration's free resume examples.

Create your brand positioning statement to lead your executive resume along with the executive resume title.

Brand yourself above the fold

[Back to Table of Content]

As much as possible, make that section stand on its own as your calling card. Some suggestions for above the fold branding:

  • Lead with your personal brand statement which should generate chemistry by balancing your personality with your hard skills, or relevant keywords.
  • Add a powerful quote from a recent performance review or someone you work with.
  • Include 3 or 4 value-driven statements with metrics.
  • Put together your relevant keyword list, or areas of expertise, in an attractive graphic box.

Executive Resume Key Sections

[Back to Table of Content ]

Writing the executive resume summary on an Executive Resume

[Back to Table of Content]

The Executive Resume Summary does the following things:

Quickly articulates your value

[Back to Table of Content]

The elevator pitch. If you were in an elevator for 30 seconds with the hiring manager, what would you say to convince him/her to hire you? Your executive summary does the same.

Recruiters enjoy reading executive resume summary. The 3-5 shows your qualification for the post and therefore saves time and effort.

The candidate can control his/her story and get to promote himself/herself as a great candidate, instead of relying on the recruiter's interpretation of the history of experiences.

As the recruiters check what is up-front and center, it is crucial to put the most important information in an executive summary.

List the most important information to demonstrate your unique qualifications for the job. This will hook the hiring manager and make them want to read more about you.

Consider the two executive resume examples. In both of the resume executive summary examples, we followed the steps.

  1. Summarized applicant's background as an accomplished Supply Chain Specialist with a proven track record in leading cross-functional teams for end-to-end supply chain management.
  2. Expressed applicant's skills in managing multiple stakeholders & talks about his accomplishment in the field of process enhancements and that it resulted in effective cost management.
  3. Further enhanced his proficiency in optimizing performance & conducting due diligence which has driven revenue growth and achieved profitability goals.

Makes you stand out from the crowd

[Back to Table of Content]

Your executive resume summary emphasizes strengths and highlights transferable skills.

Your executive resume will likely be one of a long stack under review, which is why it is essential to stand out from others. To make the recruiter's job easier make your relevant skills and experiences transparent in an executive summary.

An executive summary persuades a recruiter that you are worth considering as an experiences professional and not a fresher.

You should also get a few lines to emphasize your transferable skills to convince the hiring manager why you are an exception.

Along with highlighting your skills, an executive summary should manage to convey to the recruiters that you are a strong communicator. Recruiters look for simple, synthesized takeaways of complex concepts.

But to communicate them clearly and concisely, you should crystallize your experiences into a few strong points. At the end of the day, if you can sell yourself, you can sell your product.

Summarizes all the important points

[Back to Table of Content]

You might be a "detail oriented go-getter" with a proven track record of success who values people. But we all are in our resumes. A hard-hitting executive summary positions you to fit the role you are pursuing.

For our executive resume clients, we typically showcase four to five lines to highlight the the applicant's overarching value proposition specific to the target job. This is derived from the So-What analysis.

Make the most of your executive summary as this is your most valuable resume real estate. Check out the following executive resume examples for clarification. You may visit our blog on resume summaries to have a better approach to beginning your executive resume.

C-Level Supply Chain Executive

30+ years experienced & goal-oriented global Supply Chain Specialist with a proven track record in leading cross-functional teams for end-to-end supply chain management. Highly skilled in managing multiple stakeholders & accomplishing process enhancements to ensure effective cost management. Proficient in optimizing performance & conducting due diligence and armed with an extensive knowledge of procurement, export-import procedures and compliance specifications. Adept at formulating strategies to accelerate revenue growth, effectively deliver projects and successfully achieve profitability goals.

C-level Banking Executive Resume Summary

37+ years experienced & a dynamic, result-oriented C-Level Banking Professional with expertise in Corporate Credit Management. Possesses a stellar track record across a diverse range of profiles in one of India’s largest public-sector banks. Delivers fiscal, strategic & operational leadership to achieve revenue, profit, and business growth objectives in rapidly changing environments. Adept at managing teams to implement best practices & drive process enhancements for optimizing performance. Recognized for seizing control of critical areas & fulfilling customer commitments.

Check out the executive resume samples on our website or the sample below to have an idea of the summary section.

Executive Resume Sample

Put Skills on an Executive Resume

[Back to Table of Content]

If you are an executive, you probably should not be spending much time applying for jobs blindly via online applications. You should ideally be networking.

In such cases, despite, keywords not being an imperative from the standpoint of the ATS, you probably still need them to showcase core proficiencies that speak "executive".

Your strengths in MS Office and staff supervision may be important. But these are non-executive areas of expertise.

Instead, highlight your skills of employee development, change management, P & L, mergers and acquisitions, process engineering/re-engineering, global strategy, etc. Include them in your "Skills" section right under your executive summary.

If you have technical skills that are vital to your future role, divide your section into "Key Skills" and "Technical Skills".

Soft Skills Hard Skills
Confidence Strategic Planning
Interpersonal Skills New Business Development
Perseverance Budgeting & Finance
Math Skills Presentation Delivery
Leadership Performance Review
Communication KPI Management
Creativity Contract Negotiation
Listening IT Skills
Problem Solving Relationship Building
Critical Thinking Scheduling

You shall find more skills in our executive resume templates and our executive resume examples on our website. To find executive resume templates pre-filled with your skills, visit Hiration's online resume builder.

Describing Your Experience on an Executive Resume

[Back to Table of Content]

Your executive resume should signify the skills that you bring to the table. For instance, if you’re a sales manager with years of experience in upselling that should be evident in every section of your executive resume.

  • Write about your experience in optimizing production/upscaling a former methodolgy in your work history.
  • List leadership skills needed in optimizing processes, improving relationships and managing workflow.
  • Include the savings in manpower and production costs achieved.

While you should definitely include qualitative results to certainly help the recruiter understand what kind of person you are, you must deliver impact through your points too.

Only being a responsible person would probably not land you an executive role. You are going to be hired for making money, driving growth, reducing costs, streamlining operations, optimizing staff performance, etc.

The best way to make it instantly clear that you know how to do this? Show the results. Show the numbers.

One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is by creating a sub-section within each job you’ve held called “Key Accomplishments” or “Key Highlights.”

Bold the most impressive quantitative stuff, so that it’s beyond easy for people to find this information quickly.

Sales Executive
Mainstream Microsystems Mar '15 - Arpil '17

  • Directed organization's financial and budgetary activities for 100% accurate activities
  • Delivered 100% to 2014 sales target by developing a new strategy to target the underdeveloped Gen Y market
  • Saved USD 4M in operational costs and improved commercial decision by consolidating regional accounting teams to redirect savings into a future-proofing system upgrade
  • Increased ROI 30% by facilitating real-time communication of all sales goals and initiatives to all stakeholders
  • Boosted monthly advertising revenues by 7% by dedicating up to one page of the bi-weekly Arts & Lifestyle section to advertorial content
  • Ensured continued competitiveness by partnering with the CEO & CFO of 5 corporate development committees to shape and secure approval for a 6-year revenue diversification strategy
  • Enhanced pipeline activities by 40% to boost revenue company wide
  • Surfaced new revenue opportunities to increase total sales by 30% across 10 regional territories
  • Implemented lean sales initiative, cutting costs by 35%

Value Your Education Section

[Back to Table of Content]

Start with the basics:

College Name and Location.
Years in School.

Allign your College Name to the left with your Location and Time Period to the right in the same line. Add you degree and any relevant co-curricular to extra curricular activities that you took care of.

Training & Certification section

[Back to Table of Content]

There are certain programs designed to familiarize Executives to drive major changes within companies to transformation, to innovate, to meet future challenges and to build a strategic vision for each sector.

A few of these common Cerifications which benefit a director resume or an executive assistant resume/executive resume are:

  • Strategic Business Unit Management
  • CSE Certified Sales Executive
  • Strategic Sales Management
  • Innovation & Social Business
  • Executive Leadership Certification
  • Advanced General Management
  • SME Director

Other sections in an Executive Resume

[Back to Table of Content]

As an executive you must have many significant executive resume points which you must mention. These build your personality along with your profile which is important for the hiring of an executive.

A few important activities or additional information might allow you to build your credentials as an executive. An example is:

Additional Activities

  • Received 5M views in article published on data transmission in Forbes
  • Headed the team that won the "Best in the West" contest
  • Active member, Sales and Marketing Executive Association
  • Attained 5,000 subscribers in online youtube channel "How We Sell"

Highlight words that align with your Target Role

[Back to Table of Content]

By the time you are an executive, you have many experiences and accomplishments to be proud of and to share. However, it is important to refrain from stuffing your executive resume.

You must remember that this is not an autobiography. Rather, it is a marketing document which you are using for a specific audience. Always remember that it should be on the professional end.

Share career highlights that align with the specific requirements of your target job profile. Leave off the fluff and refrain from highlighting points that would likely not matter for your next job.

Key Takeaways

[Back to Table of Content]

People with similar interests in particular sets of criteria would be reading your executive resume. Put yourself in their shoes and find out the information they could be looking for in a document.

Information must be easily readable and simple. To make sure your information is readable always refer to the current and best resume format 2021. Always remember to do the following:

  • Customize your executive resume to the role by reading the job description and researching the company.
  • Focus on the skills the board of directors wants and has mentioned in the job description. List those in bullets in your sales executive resume.
  • Try including an "Additional Information" sections that creates your personality through your competence.

Check out our executive resume writing services by visiting Hiration Resume Builder tool.

The five golden rules of making an executive resume

[Back to Table of Content]

Be specific

[Back to Table of Content]

Include what they want to know. Add a powerful summary to showcase the values you can add to potential employers. Demonstrate a clear match between your skills and their needs.


[Back to Table of Content]

An executive resume needs a clear, succinct message about the value you bring. Target that message to your target position. Demonstrate your value by emphasizing the aspects of your expertise and experience that match the employer's needs.

Showcase Profit

[Back to Table of Content]

You must present evidence that you add value. Mostly executive resumes focus on job responsibilities. However, describing achievements is much more powerful. Job responsibilities are simply those things we are supposed to do. Achievements are reliable because they prove that you did what you could. They are a powerful way to show your ability and make a difference. Achievements show that you have increased revenue or boosted productivity.

Provide Context

[Back to Table of Content]

Compliment your achievements by providing context. If you "increased sales by 10%", compliment it by saying "reversed 5-year sales decline by increasing sales 10% in the first year". Now your recruiter will truly appreciate your accomplishment. Provide context in all positions you can.

Design Matters

[Back to Table of Content]

Your executive resume should be clean, readable and simple while drawing attention to key information. If you want readers to focus on something, bold them to highlight those names or methodologies in a prominent place. Highlight numbers, techniques and key skills.

To check out more resume samples 2021 you may visit our valuable reference tool.

Additionally, you may visit our online resume builder to have a hassle free and professional executive resume building experience.

Executive Resume Sample