Executive Resume Examples: How-To Guide & Expert Tips For C-Level Resumes

To write an effective resume for a C-level executive position, you’ll need to tell your story masterfully in just a page or two.

This involves self-reflection on your holistic career trajectory and where it has brought you — your education and lifetime achievements — to determine the strategy for your personal narrative.

Adopting the mindset of a marketing executive, you’ll be marketing yourself to each recruiter through your customized executive resume and cover letter.

At Arielle, we provide expertise in self-marketing, working with you one-on-one to shape the ideal executive resume.

As a start, a career expert here at Arielle has compiled this article containing executive resume templates and examples.

We also provide general advice on how to write your executive resume and cover letters so you can land an executive role.

With our executive resume samples and expert career advice at hand, you’ll be able to create a functional and effective marketing document for recruiters.

Learn By Looking At Executive Resume Templates And Executive Resume Samples.

Good executive resumes are unique enough to make you stand out while still presenting your vital information in a way that both humans and applicant tracking systems can easily read it.

Here are some of the best examples of executive resumes. Follow my guidelines to ensure you get noticed by business decision-makers.

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You’ll notice that all of these examples have the following principles in common:

  • Resume formats can vary, but you should focus on placing the most important information front and centre.
  • Use clear headings to separate the sections of your resume, with no fancy fonts that are hard for people or computers to read.
  • Use bullet points to highlight professional achievements and skills, and remember that most executives prioritise hard data over soft skills. Try to strike a balance between these elements.
  • For a C-level job, you’ll want to customise the writing of each version of your resume and cover letter to the recruiters for a particular company that you’ve shaped around its job description.
  • The selected achievements you list in your work experience section should be very different for a C-level job at a tiny start-up firm versus one at a well-established global powerhouse.
  • Remember that you should not only list your career responsibilities and skills but also measurable achievements.

When you write your executive resume, your professional skills will tell the story.

Your job is to create a resume that highlights the skills, education, and achievements making you best suited for the company.

(Related: If you’d like the best executive resume possible, consider hiring one of our professional executive writers).

The Key To Your Executive Resume Format Is Using An Executive Resume Template.

The best executive resume format will tell the story of your career to hiring managers and highlight the strengths that make you the best candidate for the position.

Form follows function: Use your executive resume’s format to help potential employers understand what you bring to the table and what other candidates don’t.

The best format for an executive resume is one that lets your achievements and skills tell the story. A reverse chronological format is ideal for this purpose, as you can easily customise key skills for multiple applications.

A combination resume can also be useful for executive positions since it places equal emphasis on your skills and your history.

You can easily use one to show off career highlights or a highly relevant previous job title. The education section, meanwhile, should focus on your distinct and specialised training.

For C-suite jobs, your executive resume’s header should link to your LinkedIn profile and your portfolio. Likewise, make sure that the header contains a personal email and updated phone number.

Use one-inch margins at most, but don’t place important information where a misaligned printer can eat it.

Judicious use of colour and creative formats can help show off your personal brand, but as a job seeker, you should never assume that recruiters and hiring managers will take the time to print your executive resume out in colour. It should look sharp in black and white.

The best executive resume template will balance the skills section with your work history to bring out the best of what you have to offer. Your resume content should work holistically to highlight these qualities.

Finally, unless the job description or application instructions specify otherwise, save your resume as a PDF file.

This simple step guarantees that a change in operating systems or word processor settings won’t reformat your resume and ruin your chances of getting that all-important first interview.

4 Executive Resume Mistakes To Avoid.

Your resume should bring attention to your executive experience and relevant skills, but you shouldn’t make it stand out in a negative way:

  • As tempting as it is to list every single achievement at previous jobs, recruiters won’t look at an overly long executive resume. Keep it between one and two pages long, no matter how much professional experience you have.
  • Also, avoid using an email address that doesn’t reflect your nature as a business professional. A professional email address is generally based on your name.
  • Combinations of your first and last name or initials are commonplace. Avoid including any reference to your age, race, religion, or sexual orientation in your email.
  • Finally, while bullet points are your friend in an executive resume, avoid overusing them. Try to use five or six bullet points at most for each job title that you list.

Don’t Neglect Your Resume Summary Or Profile.

While your resume summary is the first thing that a manager will read, it should be the very last thing you write for an executive resume. Even if you customise nothing else on your resume for a specific position, tailor this separate section for each application.

Your summary should be between two and three sentences long and as relevant to the position and company as you can manage.

Focus on results and achievements that can help the company fill its needs, and avoid using jargon and fluff. Use your cover letter to expand on the main points in your summary.

Here’s an example of a less-than-ideal resume summary section for a senior executive:

Experienced executive who has over 10 years of career history making a small business scale up. Served as Chief Information Officer of a highly ranked technology firm for eight years, focusing on cybersecurity, team management skills, and helping the company succeed long-term. Helped to save the company hundreds of thousands of dollars in tech costs.

It isn’t a bad summary of the applicant’s professional skills, but it also wouldn’t stand out to a recruiter at a business. Its claims are imprecise at best, and it doesn’t draw readers in to look at the work experience section.

Here’s an example of a summary for the same candidate, rewritten for a more successful executive resume:

Executive with 11 years of career experience. As Chief Information Officer of Illusion Technology, implemented and standardised security practices to scale a 20-employee business to 400 employees over eight years. Through unified endpoint management and infrastructure upgrades, reduced company costs by 18%.

Have A Second And Third Set Of Eyes Ready.

Whether you want to be a marketing executive director, a vice president, or a chief information officer, you owe it to yourself to have a career expert look at your resume before you begin submitting executive job applications.

A resume writing professional, such as a member of Arielle’s certified professional resume writer team, can be worth their weight in gold here.

At the very least, you should have someone who knows the industry and the position read over your executive resume example before you press “Send.” Reread the job description: Is there a key takeaway from it that you should add to your resume or cover letter?

Lastly, check over your entire executive resume for typos and factual errors. In the C-suite, one misspelled word can make the difference between getting interviews and having your application placed in the discard pile without a second look.

Spell check and grammar check are useful first tools, but they shouldn’t be the only ones you use.

What Do Senior Executive Resume Examples Look Like?

Often, the best way to learn is by looking at an executive resume sample.

While our hypothetical candidate’s key areas of strength are in information technology and her work experience section only lists one previous job title for the sake of brevity, you can use this executive resume example to kickstart your own listing.

Our Arielle team also has many executive resume templates for you to peruse.

Pay close attention to the way this sample executive resume uses specific active verbs. Instead of “helped,” say “collaborated with.” Instead of “watched,” use “evaluated.”

Likewise, this example resume highlights the applicant’s experience in cybersecurity and working under a growth mindset, making it a good resume for applying to a small start-up company.

Headline and Contact Information

CIO | 11 Years of Team and Technology Management | Expert in Growing Business Infrastructure at Scale
Harper KingSydney, NSW0491 570 110
LinkedIn URL
Portfolio URL


Chief Information Officer with more than 10 years of experience in the fields of cybersecurity and IT team management. Implemented and standardised security practises to scale Illusion Technology up by 1900% over an eight-year period. Cut company costs by 18% utilising unified endpoint management and upgrading key infrastructure.

Key Skills and Training

  • Cybersecurity specialist.
  • Regulatory and technological compliance.
  • Leadership and development.
  • Budget optimization and management.
  • Risk analysis.
  • Quality assurance.

Employment History

Chief Information Officer | Illusion Technology | 2015-2023

Collaborated with the executive vice president to lead a team of IT staff, scaling the team up from two people to thirty. Trained other executives in data management and information security to enforce cross-collaboration between teams.

Responsibilities included implementing strategies that allowed the company to create a home base for international business operations and transition the company to remote-first operations in 2020.

  • Transitioned Illusion Technology from a locally based operation to AWS cloud services, resulting in a 34% improvement in server response time.
  • Created a robust cybersecurity infrastructure for remote work that combined VPNs, multi-factor authentication, and unified endpoint management to reduce costs.
  • Managed fast company growth, scaling the business from 20 employees to more than 400 employees.
  • Streamlined Illusion’s operations using cloud sync while maintaining strong regulatory compliance, ensuring user and employee privacy throughout.
  • Utilised a top-down approach to change management, ensuring that every employee had needed resources.

Education and Leadership

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) | Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong (Sydney Campus) | Sydney, NSW | 2008
  • Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS) | Western Sydney University | Sydney, NSW | 2004
  • Active Member | Infosec Industry Executives of Australia (IIEA) | 2016

More Tips, Tricks, And Key Takeaways To Make Your Resume Stand Out.

Remember that resume creation is more of an art than it is a science. The most effective executive resume sample is the one that reveals the person behind the paper.

Every industry and position is unique, so executive resume writers should look at executive resume samples for the type of position they want and then build their templates based on those.

The perfect executive resume won’t get you anywhere if it doesn’t reach the eyes of the hiring manager or vice president.

We advise running your resume and cover letter through an applicant tracking system simulator to find out what the computers that read it first will see. No matter how stellar your qualifications may be, the first step is getting through this stage.

Rely On Our Professionals At Arielle.

If you’re having trouble getting your foot in the door for an interview, reach out to a certified professional resume writer here at Arielle. Our executive resume writers are skilled at helping applicants get their resumes noticed and providing career advice.

Remember that your resume should evolve as your career does. Don’t simply add listings as you gain work experience. Instead, constantly revise and edit your executive resume to show off the best elements you have to offer any position.

Making these edits is well worth the time you spend looking at other model executive resume samples