Best for resumes with multiple roles
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As the chief executive officer, you’re someone who can capture the big picture while caring about the details that make operations run seamlessly. A company’s path forward, including profits, rests on your shoulders, so this means you’re a skilled communicator and leader who’s able to delegate, challenge, and guide others toward accomplishing the company’s mission.
For such a tall order, build your CEO resume and create a cover letter with your competency to direct a company in mind. We’re here to help.
With our seven CEO resume samples and guide, you’ll be equipped to write an award-winning resume quickly, so you can land your next job in 2024 and get back to what matters most—caring about the operations and people that move a business forward.
Why this resume works
- It’s critical that your CEO resume demonstrates career progression, so we suggest formatting your resume in reverse-chronological order.
- With this structure, you’ll place your most recent CEO position at the top of your resume where the board of directors can see it right away. Older, less relevant positions can follow.
- Using the reverse-chronological format is an easy way to show you’ve enhanced your management and leadership skills as you’ve climbed the ladder.
- Because your resume is often the first “image” a company will have of you, it’s not enough to haphazardly update an old file and hope for the best. You might be the most qualified candidate, but if your resume is spotted with mistakes, disorganized, or unclear, it’ll likely be thrown into the scrap paper pile.
- Our tools can help you avoid submitting an unpolished document. Take advantage of our free resume checker, and at the very least, have someone proofread your work before submitting it to the whole world.
Founder & CEO Resume
Why this resume works
- As a founder and CEO, your background makes you ripe for just about any career path you’d like to take on.
- Remedy this roadblock by discussing your responsibilities in your experience bullet points
- Craft each point in a way that highlights the skills needed for the position you’re seeking.
- Don’t be caught off guard. Be ready to discuss in an interview why your founder and CEO experience makes you the perfect candidate.
- Depending on the role you’re seeking, be aware that employers may be concerned that you’re overqualified. What a problem to have, right?
- Your resume skills section should reflect your abilities and strengths as well as the keyword skills found in the job description.
- A quick look through the company’s job description will help you tailor your founder and CEO resume to the position at hand.
Modern CEO Resume
Why this resume works
- Your modern CEO resume should reflect forward-thinking experience. Use your work history bullet points to demonstrate how you’ve promoted respect, equity, and the sharing of many perspectives.
- When including a summary on your resume, be sure to match keywords to the particular company you’re applying to, so long as they accurately describe you.
- This will mean that if you apply to 15 companies, you’ll need to tailor your summary 15 times to reflect the specificity of each role.
- Before you sigh with discouragement—remember: this is an opportunity to reflect on what you can offer to each position. Writing resume summaries can be tricky, so we recommend writing this part last, so you have a full resume to reflect on before tackling this short paragraph.
- A key takeaway for including a summary is that it’s exclusive to those who can boast at least 10+ years in a given field and who have a specialty or two to showcase. Otherwise, you might consider using a resume objective instead.
Hospital CEO Resume
Why this resume works
- To prove yourself as an accomplished healthcare leader, your hospital CEO resume should show a proven record of elevating healthcare organizations to exceptional heights. In this case, the applicant’s adept leadership spans influential roles in three notable institutions, leveraging her mastery of Epic, Tableau, and other innovative tools.
- Mia consistently achieved operational excellence and patient-centered care. The track record of implementing advanced technologies showcases the ability to drive efficiency, foster growth, and improve patient outcomes effectively.
Startup CEO Resume
Why this resume works
- Any CEO would tell you that driving business growth and improving customer satisfaction are the best achievements you can have under your belt. So, your startup CEO resume would impress recruiters more if you show how you ensure sustainable market growth while, at the same, ensuring customers are happy.
- For instance, detail how you elevated customer satisfaction and, in return, drove up sales to boost profit margins.
Non-Profit CEO Resume
Why this resume works
- As the CEO of a non-profit, two things ought to be visible throughout your non-profit CEO resume—a community spirit and a heart of compassion.
- Fundraisers are a critical part of nonprofits, so be sure to discuss your efforts and accomplishments surrounding community initiatives to rally support.
- In that same vein, you’ll have a lot more success finding donors when you’re a compassionate and empathetic leader who guides the rest of the staff to operate in the same fashion.
- While your content is king in the resume-building world, your presentation also holds weight.
- Choose a resume template that offers a professional, yet stylish vibe, and hey, don’t be afraid to use a tasteful touch of color!
Real Estate CEO Resume
Why this resume works
- Metrics should be included in any resume, but they’re a game-changer for your real estate CEO resume.
- ROIs, budgets, profits, KPIs, clients, and more provide natural opportunities to talk up your measurable impact across your work.
- Keep your resume organized with clear section headers, and be sure to cinch it to exactly one page. That’s right. Just one!
- Find a template that will allow you to rearrange, remove, or add sections like our free Word resume templates or our handy Google Docs resume examples.
- Adjust margins, vertical spacing, font, and font size but keep margins close to the standard one inch, and avoid overly playful fonts that can’t be read by the automated tracking systems (ATS) most employers use.
- As a real estate CEO, you’ve gotta be quick to discern and take action. Demonstrate this by starting each bullet point with action words like, “directed,” “evaluated,” “tracked,” and “managed.”
4 Expert Tips to Polish Your CEO Resume
As the CEO of an organization, you already know you’re humble brag kind of a big deal. You’re the big picture person, the one everyone seeks out to create a vision and a path forward for success. But, acting as the highest-ranking exec doesn’t mean you’re hanging around to bask in the glory. You became a CEO because you know how to put in the hard work, and you’re held to a high standard. Your resume is, too. Let’s walk through each of these essential ways you should build your resume to showcase your strengths and attract the attention of any hiring manager:
- CEO skills
- Formatting your CEO resume
- Quantifying your previous impact
- Customizing your resume for each job
Tip 1: Highlight your CEO skills
As a current or hopeful CEO, you understand that competition in the job market is stiff. In fact, when you submit your application for a job posting, there may be upwards of 100 other candidates applying. More and more, hiring managers are turning to Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software to filter out candidates whose resumes don’t have enough of the keywords desired.
Including a skills section on your resume can be the difference between Applicant Tracking System software being your best friend or your worst nightmare. That’s because, without a skills section, you’re unlikely to include the keywords ATS is searching for.
It turns out you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what the right skills are for the CEO position you’re interested in. Just check out the job description. Easy!
The example below shows keyword skills the candidate likely mined from a company’s job description:
Tip 2: Make sure your CEO resume format works
A 1.15-page resume is enough of a formatting error to disturb some hiring managers. We don’t make the rules, but one of the most important formatting “DOs” is to ensure your resume is exactly one page. Though most people know this rule, some of the other important resume formatting ones go under the radar.
Resume formatting tips for ensuring ATS and hiring managers are happy:
- The One-page Rule: As we already mentioned, this rule is important. Hiring managers want the highlight reel, not your whole life history.
- Bullet Points: Bullet points break up chunks of text in your work experience, making them easier to read and more visually appealing.
- Say No to Icons/Images: Pictures, as lovely as they may be, don’t work for ATS, and they should be avoided.
- Title of the Job: List the job title you want at the top of your resume and not the one you currently have.
- Decide: Should you add a resume objective or summary?
- This a highlight reel of your work experience and relevant skills. A summary could benefit you if:
- You have many years of experience (preferably more than a decade)
- You have specific, relevant accomplishments that effectively highlight your work contributions
This summary example gives you a good idea of how detailed and tailored yours should be:
On some specific occasions, you might want to consider adding a resume objective or summary statement to your CEO resume. They’re both short, two to four-sentence paragraphs, but the objective works best for individuals with limited work experience or those switching careers (possibly applicable to you!).
The summary, on the other hand, is for seasoned pros who have 10+ years of experience in the field. They offer you an opportunity to open up about your career history, your successes, and the skills you’ve honed.
Weak and strong objectives
- Weak Resume Objective: Executive with experience in leading people. Looking to continue climbing the corporate ladder and making decisions for an organization.
- Why’s it weak: Unspecific, doesn’t mention specific skills, a job title, metrics, or ways in which the applicant would benefit the organization.
- Strong Resume Objective: CFO for 3+ years with Pearsons Co. Seeking a change of career as the CEO at CoreOps, where my background in financial analysis and strategic decision-making would strengthen the company’s long-term fiscal trajectory and develop a greater sense of accountability from within the organization.
- Why it’s strong: Specific, with a target company and position explicitly mentioned. The skill set of the applicant is highlighted, as well as how those skills make them a valuable candidate.
Weak and strong summaries
- Weak Resume Summary: CEO who’s been in the industry for years, many of which resulted in growth for companies. Motivated to become the CEO of your company and help it grow.
- Why it’s weak: Non-specific, vague, lacks metrics, and a general waste of valuable resume space.
- Strong Resume Summary: Seasoned CEO with 15+ years of executive experience. Specialized in improving long-term financial outlooks, enabling InkStaple to maintain 2020 performance despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Managed companies with over 1.5K employees, strengthening brand buy-in and work output from the ground up. Motivated to lead strategic vision changes for Fisco Supplies to improve public and staff perception and support.
- Why it’s strong: It’s specific, mentioning job titles, number of years of expertise, relevant skills, and how they’ve benefited companies over the course of their career.
Tip 3: Quantify your achievements as a CEO
You’re a CEO. You know everything always comes back to those pesky numbers. As much as it may pain you to crunch more numbers to put on your resume, trust us when we say it’s worth it. Not only do numbers prove your performance but also catch the eyes of hiring managers and encourage them to keep reading.
Take advantage of metrics, as in the example below, to show the following:
- How hiring policies and training improved under your lead
- Improvements in long-term company projections and ROI
Tip 4: Customize your resume for each CEO job
Let’s face it—would you rather hire the person who’s passionate about the company and has been interested in working with you for years or the person who’s probably blasting out their resume to your company and 50 other ones just to see who they can barter with to get the highest salary?
As much as it can be annoying to customize your CEO resume, we suggest you do it.
So, how do you customize your resume?
- The objective/summary: If you include one of these sections on your resume, make sure to mention a specific job title, company name, and skills that are particularly relevant to the role (hint: read the job description).
- Skills: Read the job description to create a fully-customized skills section according to the keywords found.
- Work experience bullet points: Is the company hoping you’ll make its name more relevant in the eyes of consumers? Then you should highlight times you’ve worked as the public face of the business or approved funding for popular campaigns on social media. If they need stronger internal leadership, reshape your bullet points to highlight your related experience.
Key Takeaways for Your CEO Resume
We know that updating your resume may be a task that comes with plenty of groanings, furious keyboard typing, and sighs. But, you’ve already taken a major step in the right direction by preparing. You now know the resume secret sauce: good formatting, customization, key skills, and quantification.
Take the next step and see how your resume stands up to the ATS with our free resume checker, or if you’d rather start from scratch and use AI-powered tips to build your resume from the ground up, you can try using our fan-favorite resume builder.