Congratulations! Your peerless vision and strategic leadership have helped you reach the top of the ladder as a Chief Executive Officer. 

Now, more than ever, you require a resume as masterful as you are.  

Whether you own your own business or hold another company’s highest seat, a CEO resume should distinguish you by following these strategies:

Brand yourself. 

There is no secret formula that separates a CEO’s resume from that of any other executive-level position. However, because of your elevated authority and responsibilities, some aspects hold even more weight. Demonstrate your executive-level abilities from the very first impression. 

  • Create a contact information header with your name in a bold but professional typeface. Good choices include Arial, Calibri, Book Antiqua, and Georgia. In a slightly smaller font, add your email address, phone number, LinkedIn URL, and city and state, if desired. 
  • Unless the position to which you are applying uses a different title, such as “President,” be straightforward: CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER. 
  • Introduce yourself in an Executive Profile or Summary with your Unique Success Proposition™. This is three to five sentences that illuminate how your experience, leadership, management, and communication prowess have positioned you for this new opportunity. 

Optimize your experience. 

At your level, a resume isn’t merely a list of jobs. It’s your career success story. You haven’t come this far without impressive accomplishments, of course, but focus most on the past 10–15 years.

  • Analyze potential job listings to utilize their precise phrasing in both your Areas of Expertise section and the body of your resume. Improve your chance of readability by applicant tracking system (ATS) software used in most large firms by using abbreviations and spelling out phrases. For example, include “mergers and acquisitions” and “M&A”.
  • Work chronologically backward, listing your current position and month-and-year tenure with a brief paragraph-like description of your responsibilities. Begin each sentence with an action verb, as if to say “I did this.” Also, include up to 8 bullets illustrating relevant victories; quantifiable and data-driven achievements add value to your presentation. 
  • Avoid using articles (a, an, the) whenever possible and note that equally important are the sections that follow Professional Experience, such as Education, Licenses & Certifications, Professional Affiliations, and any Awards, Presentations, Projects, and Patents you may have earned.

Be succinct. 

Ideally, your resume will run 2 complete pages—and every word counts. So just as there are critical components that must be included, there are also elements that shouldn’t make the cut. 

  • Refrain from too much industry jargon or overused colloquial phrases like “moved the needle,” “in my wheelhouse,” “stood up a business,” and “created from the ground up.” 
  • Make the space you have matter by omitting overly detailed explanations. Stick to the most important facts and leave the details for the interview. 

After learning some key strategies for creating a compelling CEO resume, would you like to know more? Consult our comprehensive Chief Executive Officer Resume Guide.