You’ve set the bar high and achieved professional success with your innovative operational management and strategy. You are considering the next step in your career. With your diverse responsibilities, you understand that the role of a Chief Operating Officer is perhaps the most collaborative and difficult to define in the C-suite. That’s why it is imperative to develop a resume that illustrates your qualifications and experience with strength, purpose, and clarity.
Get yourself noticed by executive recruiters, hiring managers, and CEOs by following these resume writing success strategies:
Make a stand-out first impression.
A C-level executive resume should be as professional as you are. Remain sophisticated and permit your achievements to speak for themselves. Include your phone number, email, and LinkedIn URL at the top, and forgo any graphics or profile pictures. You will also want to limit your resume to 2 solid pages, leaving some areas of white space for easy visual scanning.
Give yourself a title.
This isn’t necessarily your current role, but the aspirational position you are seeking. A COO by any other name is equally dynamic and objective-driven, so pay close attention to each unique job listing: a certain company might instead be seeking a “Chief Strategy Officer” or “Chief Transformation Officer.” Change the title accordingly for every job to which you apply.
Pat yourself on the back!
Perhaps your best introduction—equal parts handshake and “elevator pitch”—is your Executive Profile. This is a paragraph of 3 to 5 sentences combining your greatest strengths, preferably ones you can quantify. In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, a COO must be a change catalyst. According to Forbes, CEOs also seek COOs who are strategically savvy, people-centric, detail- and process-oriented, and have a deep understanding of data analytics.
Also, list talents that describe your business, leadership, and operations style—combining soft skills, like Analytical Problem Solving, and hard skills, such as Financial Acumen. Select 8 to 12 of your core competencies to create a bulleted Areas of Expertise. Utilizing these keywords and phrases will not only provide a glimpse of what you have to offer as COO but also help your resume fly through Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) used by most large companies to screen resumes.
Showcase exactly what you will bring to the table.
If everything else on your resume were appetizers, this is your main course. In your Professional Experience section, include company names, titles, and dates of employment (year to year will suffice). Start with a short paragraph describing each role and its responsibilities. Then use bullets to show a pattern of growth and specific achievements. You need not repeat similar accomplishments and can omit any held more than 10–15 years ago. Finally, list degrees, any certifications and licenses, volunteer engagement, and relevant honors and awards.
Last but not least, always proofread closely—you’ve come too far to let a typo hold you back!
By taking the time to incorporate these tried-and-true tips into your resume, you can craft a clear, concise career success story. To learn more about executive resume writing, review our Chief Operating Officer Resume Guide.