3 Must-Have Components of your C-Level Executive Resume

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3 Must-Have Components of your C-Level Executive Resume

A C-Level executive resume has a lot of bases to cover. It must be written TO the position you are seeking for maximum impact with your audience. Value should translate in the form of summary statements and metrics. Your C-level resume should be easy to assimilate at a cursory glance and visually attractive. The top of your executive resume is prime real estate and should create scale, scope, and career alignment for the reader in short sound bites.

How can you achieve all of this? Here are 3 tips that will help:

1.  Avoid constructing your CxO resume without doing your pre-search. Again, the best executive resumes are written TO your next role! So begin at the end and then work backwards. Create context to help you get clear on where you want to go and what you want to do.

Consider your ideal preferences including:

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    ​Preferred location
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    ​Preferred title
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    ​Preferred industry
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    ​Preferred compensation range
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    ​Any other core drivers very important for you to achieve


Additional Tip:  Remember to consider the economic health and long-term stability of the markets you are considering. Focusing on industries that are stable and/or growing will typically generate more interest (in you).

2.  Consider hiring a professional executive resume writer. When I started my business 10 years ago I tried to build my first website myself using a blog platform—to save money. BIG mistake and it looked like crap. I quickly realized I would be saving both my time and money by hiring someone who could reflect the image I needed. I wasted 4 weeks arriving at that realization.

Here are a few examples of professionally written executive resumes.

All my clients are capable of writing good, solid resumes. I write strategic marketing documents and have an objective component that my clients appreciate. Here is a small sampling of feedback below that my clients have given me—and I would encourage you, that if you are on the fence about what to do, why not google something like top C-Level resume writers or Executive Resume Writers and vet a few of us. You may find it to be an investment with a very nice ROI!

… I took a position with an aerospace company (new industry) and went from COO to CEO. The total comp is only slightly more, but the potential payout opportunity is in the multi-seven figures.

I received a 30% total increase in comp ($100K) and a higher title: Chief Accounting Officer.

… Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know that within 30 days of updating my web page and resume through you I got an offer for $40K more in compensation.

3.  Front load your metrics, respect white space, and set the right tone and pace for leadership and value. Leaders are visionaries, focused on results. Start your C-Level Resume summary statements and bullets with your results, not your actions. Speaking in clear, short statements is usually best. Don’t get too detailed; focus mainly on your results with a supportive outline of how you got there.

Here are a few examples of REALLY short snapshots:

  • Drove $500M revenue in 24 months leading major turnaround
  • Generated $90M through establishing a new division
  • Realized 250% growth over 36 months by leading 3 successful acquisitions

Remember to respect white space. Too much text (over 4 lines deep) or too dense of an executive resume and you will lose the reader. Speak in short sound bites and organize core information in boxes or sidebars to separate out the quick points from details.

Spending time making sure you have considered these points will ensure that the impact of your C-Level Resume, at the cursory glance, will accelerate and improve people’s interest in you and generate interviews.


​Mary Elizabeth Bradford founded and operates the #1 Online Executive Resume Writing Service for VP to CxO Executives worldwide (maryelizabethbradford.com).

Since 2008, Mary Elizabeth Bradford has provided executive resumes, LinkedIn profiles, executive biographies, online websites and recruiter/private equity/venture capital distributions for some of the worlds most respected executives. 

​She is triple certified executive resume writer and holds the highest career-related certifications available including CERW, CARW and MCD.

As an industry thought leader, Mary Elizabeth is the recipient of multiple career industry awards, including the CDI Lifetime Achievement Award and a two-time TORI award winner for executive resumes, as well as a TORI Top Tier Judge in 2017 and 2018. Maryelizabethbradford.com has been voted a Forbes Top 100 Career Website.

Mary Elizabeth is a member in good standing of Career Thought Leaders, The Forbes Coaches Council, Career Directors International, The Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, and The National Resume Writers Association.

She has been seen and heard in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, TIME, NBC, GlassDoor, Inc., Texas CEO and more.

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