CEO Resume & Writing Guide

CEO

When you are a CEO and scouting for a new position or on senior management level applying for a Chief Executive Officer opportunity, a well-constructed resume is imperative to improve your chances of landing an interview. CEOs are sort of like the ‘’head vision masters’’ for all business operations. They should not be confused with MD roles that align more to the overall operations and profit maximization of an organization’s long term goals and targets. 

This is the one type of resume that requires precision, on-point design, and exemplary grammatical style. We can assist you in the planning of a stellar resume with our top-notch Managing Director resume sample. 

A stand out CEO resume is informative and compelling, showcasing proof of previous successful work tenure. How you craft a resume into an interview-winning document, will be unpacked in detail below with our: How to Make a Resume Guideline for Managing Director Roles?


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CEO Resume Writing Guide

Resume Sections:

  1. Contact information
  2. Profile Summary
  3. Work History 
  4. Achievements
  5. Education 
  6. Skill Section
  7. Certification & licensing
  8. Extras: Languages/Awards/Publications/Volunteering/hobbies


What to Highlight as CEO

Irrespective of your CEO experience, there are several key characteristics that the board of directors, chief executive officers, companies, and shareholders must know to authenticate your ‘’fit’’ into their business. 

CEOs are accountable for choosing and conveying policies and implementing strategic initiatives aligning with guidelines set by the shareholders, board of directors, or similar governing bodies. Basically, a CEO is planning, directing, coordinating, and managing operational activities at the company’s highest hierarchy, reinforced by subordinates consisting of divisional directors, heads of departments, or senior managers.

  • Clarify the size and revenue of your current company. Also, specify the industry, service solutions, or product offering that forms part of the organization's core revenue-generating channels.
  • Explain concisely the range of your experience, from a technical side (your knowledge of the industry), the financial perspective (experience with cash flow, budgets, shareholder reporting, balance sheets, audits), operational perspective (logistics, sales, procurement, marketing, customer service), and the human resources perspective (organizational development, supervising people, talent management).
  • You must prove that you are capable of communicating and collaborating with others, delegating tasks, evaluating performances, and monitoring the progress of the managers assigned to you. 
  • The CEO has to be quick and adaptable, responding in time to changes happening within the company (micro) and the industry (macro) environments. Taking opportunities, reducing risk, and course correction when undesirable occurrences/ challenges occur requires the necessary delegation skills. 
  • Next is the historical data with numbers, timelines, and targets concerning company turnover, expansions, expenditure, and return on investment figures. You want to show the future employers you’re invaluable in helping the company achieve its goals. 
  • CEOs must be skilled at understanding statistical ratios, analyzing data, and doing monthly, quarterly, and annual predicting. Your knowledge of large data, macros, and spreadsheets, for example, will definitely be your advantage when applying for CEO jobs. 
  • Financial accountability is critical to a company’s growth forecasts and cash flow resources. CEOs assign financial resources to departments such as marketing, product development, human resources, quality control, and procurement. Being liable for substantial budgets inspires trust with the potential employers scanning your application.

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CEO Career Summary & Examples

Don’t let this dishearten you, but recruiters spend about 7 seconds scanning the resumes sent to them. Do you want to catch their eye? Then write an awesome career summary/ objective. If you do this right, you could end up in the “yes” pile rather quickly. 

Let's start with resume summaries: 

The career summary should have four things: 

  • years of experience 
  • years in the industry 
  • a characteristic wow factor 
  • most significant qualifications 

If you really want to be on the ball, integrate the keywords utilized in the job advert to mold your career summary to the advertised job. Having your resume resonate with the job advert will definitely put you in the top position for that interview pile. 

Trying to decide which “wow factor” would be the best to include? Think of a certain project, strategy, or activity that added value to the company you previously worked for. 

This section, also known as a profile statement, the resume summary/ objective, introduces you to the recruiters. 

Keep it short and sharp. In 3-4 sentences max, highlight your executive experience, leadership history, management skills, and remarkable achievements. Here's how to write a CEO profile:

It’s best to write a resume professional summary if you’ve gained more than three years as the CEO.  The summary statement gives concise details regarding your leadership experience, with a proud, quantified achievement or two to show the big guys upstairs you’re worth your seat at the table. 

Pro Tip: Even though this CEO profile statement is supposed to go at the beginning of your resume, don’t write it until the entire resume is finished. This way, it’s easier to choose what to write as you’ll have all the info already written down. 

If you choose the objective option:

Career objectives need to include your ambitions/ goals. It would be best if you said why you wish to work for that specific company and add value to the team. After you’ve answered questions like those, include key proficiencies and experiences that prove you’re the person for the job. 

It would be best to do a resume objective if you don’t have as much experience at higher levels. The objective statement gives prospective employers your career goals and gives them a chance to view your past accomplishments.  


Examples


Summary example 1

“Results-driven CEO with 6+ years’ experience spearheading and improving growth in small and medium businesses. NYIT MBA recipient, NYCDC “40 Under 40” award winner, and unmatched increase in company income (210% over four years). Looking to lead and grow together with Jasper Genomics as the next CEO and president.

Summary example 2

Intelligent CEO with 14+ years’ exposure dealing with intricate macro issues that could threaten company profitability and longevity by delivering innovative turn-key solutions that resulted in substantial expenditure savings of up to 27%. Acted as counsel to the board of directors with proven expertise in persuading and negotiating shareholder representatives concerning the most suitable merger and acquisition strategies. Currently completing a Ph.D. in Strategic Management via Cambridge University

Summary example 3

Highly experienced CEO with over 25+ years of experience in designing personalized operational plans that align with company expansion goals and objectives. Excellent understanding of international markets and cross-border joint venture negotiations that bring much-needed foreign investment into the organization, which resulted in a triple-A credit rating within 24 months. Has an Advanced Certificate in Corporate Governance as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

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CEO Employment History

Welcome to the make-or-break section of your resume! You must be concise and professional when explaining your daily obligations. 

Use the reverse chronological order format. You must include your employment tenure, job title, company name, and a bullet point list of job duties: 

CEO at Dodge

(January 2014 – December 2018)

Efficiently managed a team of over 279 employees in 13 locations across four countries.

  • Acting as the global and local anchor-person for the ManCo for the Credit Suisse organization.
  • Possesses overall management of assigned functions of the ManCo. 
  • Supervised company training, executive leadership, and public relations with the media.
  • Created intensive, motivating business strategies, short-term goals, and long-term objectives.
  • Developing and investing of resources: applies an entrepreneurial approach when developing financial resources.

CEO at Toyota

(January 2010 – November 2013)

Responsible for offering management/leadership to over 100 geographically varied communities, initiatives, or organizations that form part of the company’s external stakeholder groups.

  • Directed overhaul of several underperforming departments, reducing unproductivity and increasing growth and output.
  • Promoted change in company culture to adopt a more open, transparent, and responsible manner.
  • Technology Management: managing technology assets, using long-and short-range planning to budget for and choose new technology. 
  • Ensuring supervisory compliance, processing, and servicing improvements of the company.

Job Descriptions, Responsibilities, and Duties

It would be best to guide the recruiter to think there couldn’t possibly be a better person for this job. Tailor your resume by choosing from the list of obligations we have provided below and include your accomplishments. 

A CEO Generic Job Description

  • Effective track record in every area of financial development, including endowment, donor development, capital, and annual development.
  • Proved success in Board Development and constructing, leading, attracting, encouraging, developing, and engaging talented staff.
  • Developing and investing of resources: applies an entrepreneurial approach when developing financial resources.
  • Working across the public, private and corporate sectors to better conditions within the community
  • Brand Management: constantly managing the brand as a strategic asset and devoting essential resources to it.
  • Technology Management: managing technology assets, using long-and short-range planning to budget for and choose new technology. 
  • Reliable Chief Executive Officer for the Credit Suisse MultiConcept S.A., including supervisory obligations for the company towards CSSF, auditors, external stakeholders, and clients.
  • Board member of directors for selected client boards.
  • Responsible for being the Conducting Officer for MultiConcept S.A. 
  • Liable for constantly refining process quality and service abilities for MultiConcept. 
  • Possesses overall management of assigned functions of the ManCo. 
  • Building commitment and trust amid clients and stakeholders.
  • Acting as the senior relationship manager for funding sponsors.
  • Attending/ hosting on-site visits, acting as the senior SME for fund business, giving market and supervisory updates to clients, prospects, and stakeholders. 
  • Supporting the internal Relationship Manager from Wealth Management & Private Banking and the acquisition team in the client acquisition procedure.
  • Number of leads, net new assets, and revenue increase
  • Achievement of client referrals, development of existing clients, and generating new business. Ensuring retaining of clients. 
  • Ensuring supervisory compliance, processing, and servicing improvements of the company.

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Highlight Your Accomplishments


If there is one sure way to have the recruiters toss your resume into the “boring” pile, it’s by copying and pasting your list of duties you performed as a CEO under your experience section in the resume. It’s tedious to read, and it doesn’t set you apart from the other applicants.

 So, DON’T DO IT. Personalize every resume you write depending on the needs of the company whose job you’re applying for.  

It would help if you highlighted the skillsets that make you distinguishable from the rest. 

Ask yourself this: what makes you most proud? What did you accomplish in your prior jobs to save the company time or money (and make them money, obviously)? Portray these accomplishments using statements that catch the reader’s eye.

Examples:

Flat, Simple Duty (WHAT NOT TO DO):

  • Liable for refining technology systems.

Accomplishment Statement (DEFINITELY DO THIS):

  • Worked intimately with Exco to evaluate numerous technology systems and customized a platform to integrate these systems' best functionalities into one merged application, standardizing operating procedures across 34 business entities.

Quantifying Your Resume

By including numerical values, such as timelines, numbers, ratios, and percentages in your resume, you prove your experience and skills for recruiters to assess.  

  • If you saved time for the company, how much time and within what timeframe did you save it?
  • Did you improve profits annually? Give the percentages of the increases. 
  • Did you save the company money? Provide the dollar amount or percentage. 

Examples

  • “Decreased contract costs by 32% by localizing the suppliers, decreasing transport expenditure, and bettered delivery frames by three weeks.”
  • Improved the company’s turnover by 55% in the first year by refining marketing strategies to incorporate a combination of online and printed platform channels. 
  • Increased working capital by 29% in 12 months, assisting cost advantages in allocating resources, allowing for expansion projects to be finished four months ahead of the allocated deadline.

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Education Section

The education section is where you get to brag (in a classy way, of course) about every educational achievement. 

Just keep in mind it must still be in the correct format.  

This is how to set up your education section properly: 

  • Put your highest degree first. Include your major and/or minor (if relevant), name and location of the college, pertinent coursework, Latin honors, etc.
  • Should you possess a second, more advanced degree, include it next.
  • It would be best if you didn’t put your high school in your CEO resume (unless you’ve yet to finish college).

Pro Tip: When we say add “relevant coursework” for a CEO, it doesn’t only mean leadership classes or business management. You can include coursework related to the industry you’re applying for, if you have it. 

Some examples:

2019- MBA / Master of Business Administration (International Management). The New York Institute of Technology School of Management, New York, NY.

Relevant Coursework: Financial Accounting, Leading and Managing, Foundations of Teamwork and Leadership, Managerial Economics, Microeconomics, Information, Operations, and Decisions, Corporate Finance.

2018- Bachelor of Science in International Business. Manhattan College O'Malley School of Business, New York, NY.

Relevant Coursework: Strategic Economics, Business Strategy, Microeconomic Foundation Marketing Analysis and Development, Legal Studies & Business Ethics, Management Communication.

Writing the CEO Skills Section

This is how best to create a skills section: 

  • Write down all the work skills you possess that relate to management, technical skills, and soft skills (personality traits and interpersonal skills). 
  • Open the job advert and keep it with you throughout this process. 
  • Scan through the job advert for the listed skills wanted by the employer. If you have any of the skills listed, use those exact keywords from the advert in your resume. 

Prove to them that your management, leadership, and professionalism are exceptional by giving them the best CEO skills section they’ve ever seen.  

Skills Matrix

Soft SkillsTechnical Skills
Project Management SkillsBusiness Strategy & Planning
Verbal and Written Communication SkillsWorks Well Under Pressure
Management SkillsBusiness Finance
Decision Making SkillsManagement Operations
Critical Thinking SkillsInternational Business
Interpersonal SkillsBusiness Law & Business Ethics
Creative Thinking SkillsSharp Attention to Detail
Time Management SkillsAccountability & Determination
Problem Solving SkillsAccounting & Finance Management
Leadership SkillsHigh-Stakes Negotiation
Collaboration & Teamwork Risk Management

Qualifications & Certifications associated with CEO's

Certified CEO Designation, The CEO InstituteCertified Manager, The Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM)Member Business Networking International (BNI)
Member Young Presidents Organization (YPO)Member American Management Association (AMA)Jack Welch Executive Master of Business Administration
Master’s in Business AdministrationPh.D. Business Management and LeadershipExecutive Leader Graduate Certificate
International Directors ProgramAdvanced Certificate in Corporate GovernanceCertificate in Global Management Strategies
MSIT – Project ManagementMaster’s in Service leadership & InnovationManagement Excellence Certificate
Master's program in Strategic LeadershipMaster's program in Strategic LeadershipCritical Thinking Principles Course

Optional Extras for CEO Resumes

As it stands, you’ve created an awesome resume for CEOs.

You can, however, make it even better:

You can bet that all the other applicants will include the same core resume components (CEO profile, education, job history, and education, etc.).

To help make your resume stand out, include an “extras” section. 

Here are several executive extras you could put in your resume:

  • Language proficiency levels
  • Resume certifications
  • Accomplishments/ awards
  • Project portfolio
  • Memberships on a resume
  • Volunteering experience
  • Hobbies/ interests

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