Executive Resume Tips

Keeping up with employment trends, tailoring your executive resume, adjusting your job search campaign, and interview strategies can be somewhat challenging at times which is why it’s great to have some expert executive resume tips on hand.  However speaking of resumes in particular, as a professional resume writing service, we see hundreds of do-it-yourself resume templates. To tell you the truth, some are pretty good—even if they usually fall short on focus, value offered, and personal branding strategies.

The question is, will an executive resume template work when applying for a CIO, CEO, COO, or CFO-level position—or do you need a professionally designed, customized, executive layout?

When to Use a Resume Template:

First, in order to be sure we’re on the same page … when I refer to a “resume template,” I am speaking of a generic, boilerplate, off-the-shelf resume shell. These templates are great if you wish to communicate only your skill level and career history.

In other words, if you have decent written and verbal communication skills, basic organizational and time management abilities, can multitask with an attention to detail, have a professional business presence, are proficient in MS Office Suite, and you have had previous employment possibly as an executive administrative assistant, you can probably get by with a store-bought, or downloaded resume template.

Some people can utilize a resume template, as long as they are willing to customize it to fit their target job or prospective employer. I am certainly not downplaying the importance of an executive administrative assistant position, as this is a very important support role in any company. However, as a top executive, you need a highly branded, strategic professional resume and cover letter.

Customize for a Strong C-Suite Brand:

Let’s say I am looking for a success-oriented COO to oversee the future direction of several divisions. Someone to spearhead Sales and Marketing, Engineering Operations, and Project Management. A person with deep experience in change leadership, culture building, and fiscal management to serve as a key member of the executive team to grow the organization and to ensure financial strength and operating efficiency.

If you are applying for this opportunity, you will find that resume customization for a specific executive position is crucial—simply because the competition for those higher paying jobs is fierce. You will need to separate yourself from the others who are also well qualified for the position you seek. You cannot afford any missteps.

One mishap could possibly result in the recruiter moving on to the next candidate. You will need a customized executive resume that represents you and the unique qualities you bring to the table, as opposed to a display of your skills and responsibilities. The likelihood that you will achieve this using a resume template that is common to most people in the hiring industry is slim.


If passion, humility, integrity, and team leadership are some of your best qualities as a COO; an executive resume template may not be the best format to communicate this when applying for a top executive position. It can be adequate for other employment fields, but If you don’t consider yourself a run-of-the-mill senior leader, and if you are not applying for a run-of-the-mill position, then I wouldn’t recommend a run-of-the-mill resume template.

Whether you are a professional, mid-career level, or in pursuit of a Marketing Executive Resume, Insurance Executive Resume, or Healthcare Executive Resume, we have a talented team of Certified Professional Resume Writers and LinkedIn profile writers specializing in designing interview-winning resumes and cover letters: contact us for resume help at info@resumesbyjoyce.com or 404-790-4883.