Resumes for Executives

Executives oftentimes find themselves in the situation where they've moved up the corporate ladder based on their performance, not necessarily because of the information found on their resumes.  When looking for a new job, their resumes might be in need of a significant update.

Putting together an article on this topic is not an easy task since there are many types of executive roles in the workplace.  Several of these positions have already been addressed in the article:  Resumes for Professionals.

Resume Styles for Executives

There are three basic resume formats in use today, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses.  Listed below are those three styles and how they might apply to an executive looking to change jobs or careers.


The chronological resume is the most popular style in use today.  Its focus is on where the executive worked in the past, with secondary consideration for the knowledge and skills they've gained.  The primary feature of this format is a reverse chronological listing of work experience.  If that is considered the executive's strength, this format is a good choice.  If the writer wants to emphasize skills acquired in addition to work experience, the combination resume provides this benefit too.


In contrast, the functional resume is a good choice for job hunters that have a significant employment gap.  This can happen if someone is rejoining the workforce after taking a leave of absence.

With a functional resume, the writer doesn't include a list of prior job titles or places of employment.  The primary feature of this format is the skills acquired and knowledge gained.


The combination resume style gives job applicants the best of both the functional and chronological formats.  The resume starts out by describing the writer's qualifications; the skills and knowledge they've acquired over time.  This skills section is then followed by a reverse chronological listing of the job applicant's work experience.  This is oftentimes the best format for executives, unless they're contemplating a significant change in careers.  If that's true, the functional format is a better choice.

Since the combination resume is the most complex, and marketable, format in use today, the example provided later on is going to be in that style.

Power Words and Phrases

Since the purpose of a resume is to convey the skills, knowledge, and experience of a job applicant; it's important to make sure a resume is as effective as possible.  One of the ways to increase this effectiveness is by using power words.

Also known as "buzz" words, these are words or phrases that add to the appeal of a resume by invoking a positive feeling in the reader.  They're verbs and adjectives that are used to describe the action taken.  Writers looking for the right words to describe their accomplishment should bookmark our article: Resume Power Words.

Sample Resume

A resume for an executive level position should be fairly straightforward to assemble.  Executives may have professional certifications and / or associations they might want to include on their resume.  The example provided shows where to include these achievements so they grab the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager.

Executives looking for a downloadable example in the combination style can find one here:  Executive Resume.

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